…there is Liberty.

Quarantine is not about your freedoms being taken away. It’s about liberty. Liberty says that I am free as long as my actions do not infringe upon or take away the freedom of others.

We’re doing a new thing. It’s called self-quarantine. We’ve no context for what this means for our future. We’ve never experienced anything globally such as this. We have never experienced anything in our country, our state, our community such as this. The closest my family has come to self-quarantine was the Chickenpox and those quarantined were under 4 feet tall with no drivers’ license, job or responsibility other than making their own bed and picking up their toys.

The Chickenpox was a bit of an inconvenience but nothing more. My kids were itchy and have a few faded scars but other than that our life as a family returned to normal very quickly.

Today we are self-quarantined. Many people are under a mandatory quarantine; only permitted to leave their homes for the necessities of food and medical needs. It seems our state may be heading, very quickly, in that direction. Americans have never known this type of constraint of freedom on a large scale. We, Americans, pride ourselves on our freedoms. We live in a “Free country.” We are free to make our own choices and we resist the government telling us what we can and cannot do with our money, speech, bodies, time etc. We are free to choose. Our state motto is “Live Free or Die.” The idea of quarantine stirs up the perception of loss of Constitutional freedom and produces an inclination to defy the heavy hand of government and defend freedoms.

And so we live in a growing culture of fear. Fear of contracting Covid-19. Fear of spreading the virus. Fear of losing our jobs. Fear of economic crash. Fear of losing control. Fear of losing our freedom.

Dictionary.com defines Fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by a belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or threat and defines Freedom as the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Liberty is not exactly the same as freedom though we use the words interchangeably. Liberty is a type or a subset of freedom that carries with it responsibility and duty. It’s the responsible use of freedom; a freedom with boundaries that are considerate of the freedom of others. It does not act selfishly but for the good of others.

Let us turn our focus to Liberty.

This is true liberty:

1 Corinthians 10:23-24

All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good but the good of his neighbor.

Quarantine is not about your freedoms being taken away. It’s about liberty. Liberty says that I am free as long as my actions do not infringe upon or take away the freedom of others. Can we look at this through the eyes of Liberty and with that freedom, love and consider others before and above ourselves?

Let us willingly, fearlessly, obey the strong suggestions, requests and orders of our leaders. Romans 13 says we all must obey those who rule over us. Those in authority serve God. It’s a conscious, humble act of submission to authority. God did not offer this up as an option. It’s a command. Honor God by honoring those in authority. Romans 13 goes on to remind us to love our neighbor as ourselves and that love does no harm to his neighbor. Can our love be identified in our obedience?

As men and women, brothers and sister in Christ, I encourage you to open the hand that clutches tightly to the fears that so easily overwhelm us and grab hold of Jesus, the anchor of our soul and our hope. Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have said these things so that you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor. 3:17

Where the Spirit of the Lord is…

Get Dressed

While we may be attentive to clothing the outer person, God is most concerned with the dressing of the inner person. God calls us to dress according to our identity not our activity.

Everyday it’s the same routine. We get out of bed, remove whatever we slept in, jump into the shower and then get dressed. Women probably spend more time choosing their wardrobe than men. Women not only carefully choose their wardrobe but also their accessories (i.e. earrings, necklace, scarf, shoes, etc.). If we don’t spend a lot of time pondering outer adornments, at the very least, we think about what we’ll be doing for the day and dress for that. We dress appropriately for the task at hand. Since God clothed Adam and Eve in the Garden we have been putting on something to cover the body.

One can easily recognize a person’s vocation or who that person represents by the way he or she is dressed. Police officers are identified by their uniforms. Healthcare professionals are known by their scrubs. A firefighter is recognized by his/her PPE. I know the difference between the FedEx driver and the UPS man not by his face but by his uniform.

They are dressed to be known and recognized before they ever utter a word.

While we may be attentive to clothing the outer person, God is most concerned with the dressing of the inner person.

Colossians 3:12-13 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

The Word of God uses the same language for physical dressing as for spiritual dressing. Everyday we cover the body with outer garments that are determined by the activities of the day. Not so for spiritual dressing. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing for the day. The spiritual dressing is for every day, every activity, every moment. God calls us to dress according to our identity not our activity.

He reminds us the we are:

  • Salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16)
  • Image Bearers (Genesis 1:27; Colossians 3:9)
  • Individual members of the body of Christ (1 Cor .12:27)
  • Chosen (1 Peter 2:9)
  • Adopted as Sons, Children of God (Ephesians 1:6; 1 John 3:1-2)
  • New Creations (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Debtors (Romans 8:12-13)
  • Ambassadors-One who represents the sender in character and authority. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

And in Christ we: Ephesians 1

  • Are blessed with every spiritual blessing
  • Have redemption through the Blood
  • Have forgiveness of trespasses according to the riches of His grace
  • Have wisdom and insight
  • Have obtained an inheritance
  • Have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit

Who we are in Christ determines what we put on! That identity establishes our wardrobe. It looks nothing like the self-centered garments of the old man (Ephesians 4:22). We, who are in Christ, must chose to live and dress like the One we represent. We must, with great thought and intention, put on our new garments. We are not the same. We were bought with a price and covered by the blood of Jesus. We are a new creation. Our behaviors, responses and pursuits should match our identity.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with the beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Everyday you choose what spiritual garments you will wear. Remind yourself who you are in Christ. The new man, holy and beloved, puts on garments of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Wear them with joy, as they are a gift from the one who covered you with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness.

Get dressed!