Life Lessons from the Road (A to Z)
Czech Republic: Freedom: "The Way of Destruction or Life?"
Weeks ago I started with the letter A and will go to Z focusing on a nation or island group, and what I learned in that place. If you are looking for perfection then just read the Words of Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. I'm only a pilgrim that has and is still on a journey with Jesus. He is constantly working on me like a potter does the clay. Welcome to the potter's house!
‘The Way of Destruction or Life?’
My wife Denise and I were carrying the cross in Eastern Europe during the mighty upheavals in those nations during the fall of communism there in 1990. I had already carried the cross in some of those nations during the early 80's and been mobbed by crowds of thousands eager to see the cross being carried and to welcome it and me! The crosswalk was the ultimate in rebellion and defiance. I had also been arrested and faced many struggles, but the people were always coming to the cross!
Now, things had changed. The atheistic communist government of Czechoslovakia was falling and oppression was crumbling; freedom was arriving. And we arrived at the same time this huge change was happening!
On the historic Charles Bridge located in the center of Prague the capital, we led a lady to Jesus, and then entered the main city square! I was expecting the crowds to gather as in the previous years in communist countries...but, no. Things had changed; "freedom" had arrived! Where in the past Western produce etc. were difficult or impossible to get, now there were vans, trucks and cars about the square loaded with Western goods with crowds of people gathered about, each looking and buying once forbidden goods. There were hamburgers, bananas and porn and much more. The cross was just one more thing in the market square. It seemed the people wanted "things" more than the message that day. We did have a few people talk and pray, but gone were the days of oppression and now there was freedom to choose. The cross was no longer radical and a rallying point, but was becoming more of an odd thing.
We stood there watching the show and people rushing about to look at everything. I could well understand the curiosity they had in the newfound freedom.
In the Garden of Eden in the Bible book of Genesis, we have the story of Adam and Eve rebelling against God by disobeying His command. Satan offered freedom to become “like God.” But, instead of freedom, they and all future generations became slaves to sin! Now, God's Word was no longer the standard, but what is “good, pleasant to the eyes, desirable” became their bondage –– and ours. (Genesis 3:1-6)
Every person now must decide whom to believe, what to believe, and what they will do with the information they have. There is this huge battle being fought on earth and it rages in every human heart. Worldly freedom just gives more options. This kind of "freedom" does not make one free. It can be the door to addiction, greed, selfishness, hate, success, and sin in every form. People become bound when they live outside the freedom of God.
True freedom is only in Jesus Christ who said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No person comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6)! Again He said, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
Oh the joy, peace, and blessings of living in the Jesus Freedom! Free to love! Free to serve! Free to live in purpose and destiny! Free to care! Free to give! Free from the opinions of others and having the pleasure of knowing the peace that only Jesus gives!
This is real freedom. To know and do the will of God. To love others as ourselves and like Jesus loves us! Wow! I will never trade my true freedom for anything this world offers. I am a follower of Jesus. Period!
What about you?
In the movie “The Cross” you see this struggle played out. You see how I've tried to live out this life with Jesus and stand in His freedom even when facing jail, beatings, or death. You, too, face these struggles, but the victory is in Jesus. I suggest you get this movie and show it to your family, church, outreach groups, prison groups, youth groups, etc.
I have heard many people say that college or the military corrupts when the youth go. But, I believe it only gives them the opportunity to truly express themselves without restraint of family or community. To be who they really are. This is freighting and difficult to see what our churches are often turning out. For the godly businessperson, traveling does not corrupt him –– it only gives them the opportunity to live as they truly are.
True freedom is being free to do the will of God. It comes with a cost: rejecting the lust of the flesh and a self sufficient spirit in a very humanistic direction. Many wonderful people walk in the wide way and broad path that leads to destruction and hell. Jesus said few find the straight gate and narrow way that leads to life.
Follow the crowd of "freedom" and you will miss the way of freedom now and for all eternity.
The Bible never offers freedom outside the Word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit and following Jesus!
I pray for you as you make your decisions. Whatever does not look like Jesus… and the Word; reject it. Walk in the light and be free in Jesus. Like the Czech Republic market there are all kinds of things calling to you. Choose well, eternity is at stake!
God bless you on your journey!
For the story of the crosswalk and photos in the Czek Republic please go to: Crosswalk Stories Top Left
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt,