There is a famous speech made by William Wallace in the (documentary) film “Braveheart” as the Scottish Army line up to face the English at Stirling.
Wallace, as he sees the Scots begin to leave, as they see the might of the English approaching rides through and manages to convince his countrymen to stay and to fight. The main thrust of his plea is around the fact that, in spite of their current experience, of oppression and being subject to an English King, that they are in fact free men.
For those who are unfamiliar with the speech, here it is.
“Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen, here, in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? will you fight?
Someone replies – “no, we will run, and we will live.”
Wallace replies, “Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you’ll live, at least a while. and dying from your bed, many years from now, would you trade all the days from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies, that they can take our lives, but they will never take our freedom.”
Whether this speech actually happened or not, I was struck by the question Wallace asked at the beginning. “What will you do with that freedom?” That the Scots were free was never in question. They may not have felt free, but that is what they were.
The truth of their reality (rather than their experience) required a response. What would they do to demonstrate to their enemies that they were no longer satisfied to be subjected to oppression?
The question is just as relevant for us today as it was for the “Sons of Scotland” centuries ago. The bible tells us that “it is for freedom that we have been set free.” (Galatians 5:1) There is a reason for our freedom. It was bought at a price, a price that none of us can fully appreciate or understand, yet we accept the gift, without realising that it comes with a need to be active in our acceptance. It is not sufficient just to say thank you and wait until we receive the call to heaven.
Too many of us sit back, with our ticket, just waiting. When trials come, we conclude that it is simply human experience and there is little we can do to change things. Yet, Paul tells us that with the freedom we have, we don’t have to be oppressed any more. The chains have been broken. We are free from the shackles than ensnare and hold back, and yet we don’t really try and move off, to try and achieve anything for the Kingdom.
Whilst stating that it is truth that is more important that experience, I firmly believe that we should be experiencing more of the Kingdom here on earth than we currently do. Even those of us who have experienced great things already have more to experience. There is always more. God is eager to show us more. Jesus himself taught us to ask for it. “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, here on earth, as it is in heaven.” He wouldn’t have told us to pray it if it wasn’t possible.
I believe that God is perfectly capable of bringing His Kingdom to earth by Himself. He needs no assistance. I also believe that He chooses to partner with us. 1 Corinthians 3:9 says that “we are God’s fellow workers.” It also tells us that we are God’s field, God’s building. He wants to use us to further His Kingdom here on earth.
Those that understand that they are free and choose to do something with that freedom are those that are most malleable into the people who can be effectively used.
William Wallace understood that there was an action required in response to freedom.
You are free.
What will you do with that freedom?