When most people think about freedom, the last word that probably comes to mind is “beggar”. The society we live in equates freedom with choice. Freedom means options, and not having to beg for what we want, but going after it with passion. I also think that most current ideas about freedom have to do with getting what we “deserve” and that we should never be made to feel like what we’re doing is wrong or bad for us – basically, that everything is relative, and we all have the freedom to decide what is best for ourselves.
These ideas show me, once again, how God’s thoughts really are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways. Because from what I’ve been experiencing, true freedom has come when I embrace my role as a spiritual beggar. There are times when I feel so incredibly low, so lost, and the world encourages me to pull myself up, make myself better, think my way out of it. Some people would even encourage me to do things that would further hurt me, like going out and engaging in (more) self-destructive behaviors to cheer myself up or forget about my pain. And I won’t lie and say I haven’t tried that solution, many times. Surprising to some, those choices never helped, and always helped dig my pit a little deeper.
What has brought me a real feeling of freedom, and a true sense of release from captivity, is to acknowledge my powerlessness, and to come begging for what my heart needs. And it’s not in vain. I’ve never felt condemnation from God. I’ve felt it from the world, and I’ve felt it from people in the religious community, but God always gives a fresh start if I can leave my pride at the door and admit that without Him, I’m nothing.
Dave discusses the idea of being a spiritual beggar in the God Story videos that go over four main ideas: having a Pure Heart, Knowing God, Doing Kindness, and Growing Life. These videos and the study materials are a great way to reevaluate what we may have learned about what our role is here – and where our hearts are supposed to be. It’s helping remind me that being part of the Kingdom may feel counter-intuitive to what’s going on around me, but it is in the Kingdom, as a poor beggar, that I am given total freedom.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10