"When Queen Victoria was a child, she didn't know she was in line for the throne
of England. Her instructors, trying to prepare her for the future, were frustrated because
they couldn't motivate her. She just didn't take her studies seriously. Finally, her
teachers decided to tell her that one day she would become the queen of England. Upon
hearing this, Victoria quietly said, 'Then I will be good.' The realization that she had
inherited this high calling gave her a sense of responsibility that profoundly affected
her conduct from then on" (Anonymous).
The greatest freedom we will find, is when we realize that we are responsible to more
than just ourselves. Our faith in God is not, nor has ever been, a license to neglect our
responsibilities to the office we hold as Christian. We are responsible first of all to
our Lord. This demands discipline and obedience in our daily lives. This demands that we
take seriously the office of Christian that we hold. For even as a politician is ideally
to reflect the desires of those whom he represents, so also we are to adequately reflect
the desires of the Lord whose name we claim.
In being responsible to our God, we are equally responsible to others. We are to uphold
integrity and maintain a Christ-like character in all of our dealings. Being honest,
paying our debts, keeping appointments, and giving our best efforts in our work place are
necessary parts of who we are to be as a representative of Christ--anything less is
dishonoring to our Lord.
Our faith is very important, but it fails us if it is not coupled with obedience,
integrity and honor. Our faith will never lead us to neglect our responsibilities, but
will open the doors to meet them. Our faith will never excuse actions that forget our
debts, but will enable us to discover God's methods for restitution. We cannot justify
breaking a promise because God has "led us elsewhere." We cannot rationalize
laziness because we are simply "trusting" in the Lord. Our trust must be placed
in God, but with that trust we have also been entrusted with the task of representing
Christ to the best of our ability--placing His name ahead of our desires--upholding
integrity so that the name of our Lord is not brought down by our actions.
Our obedience is of great importance, but if fails us if it is not coupled with faith.
Doing what we have been told by God is truly disobedience if it is not done the way He
directs. He has told us that we must do all things as unto Him, and that we must rely on
Him to provide what we need to accomplish every work in our lives. Our Christian work, our
jobs, our relationships; all can only be accomplished best if they are accomplished God's
way. He tells us that we must abide in Him like a branch on a vine, and that apart from
Him, we can do nothing. It is through a balancing of faith and obedience that we will
allow God to effectively carry out His purpose in every aspect of our lives--and therein,
we shall find true and lasting freedom.
Lord Jesus, thou who art the way, the truth, and the life; hear us as we pray for the
truth that shall make all free. Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved but also to
be lived. Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books. It costs too much to be
hoarded. Help us see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please, but the
opportunity to please to do what is right. (Peter Marshall, Before the U.S. Senate ).