The Call of the Wild
I have been thinking about the issues going on in the world. State governments are trying to force immoral behaviors on people, and many go along with the rationalizations that are provided. I believe the powers of darkness, as always, are influencing evil people to oppress the people of the world. It has always been that way, it is nothing new, but from looking at history, and comparing it to now, the difference today is that it is happening on a global scale. I won't pretend to know everything that is going on in the darkness, but I know that evil is afoot. People, including Christians, and perhaps especially Christians, have suffered terribly under the world's rulers. We learn about it in the Bible - Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Ahab, and Herod; and from historians - Hitler, Stalin, Khan, Leopold II, Vlad IIII, Mao, and Lincoln - not to mention all of the injustices that have occurred on a smaller scale.
What many fail to remember, or realize, is that even though many people suffered under the tyranny of these individuals, it is also true that many others went along with what they were doing. They couldn't do it alone. Some no doubt went along for self-preservation purposes, while others shared their diabolical views. They bowed to the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar, as it were, and doomed their souls. Never bow down to an earthly ruler or nation. Never. It may be pragmatic to go along in ways that are not necessarily immoral, like obeying traffic laws, but you must always keep your eye on Christ and refuse to disobey him even if the result is being thrown in a fiery furnace by an earthly ruler or governing body. Think about those that have doomed their souls in the U.S., for example, by bowing down to the golden image of nationalism. They kill in the name of "country", they destroy in the name of "law and order", and they support the oppression of family government by yielding to government dictates about right and wrong. People have been brainwashed into thinking they must be "loyal" to their "country" when people do not even agree on what "country" means. As one man wrote recently, does this mean we must be loyal to the dirt we stand on? The government? The place of our birth? For what? Even if people are suffering wrong there? Even if people there are doing wrong? It's a foolish mindset.
Perhaps I have had an independent spirit from my youth. I would think that all men have something of this spirit in them in their youth, yet many of them sell out to the establishments for various reasons. They are slaves to their flesh, they want to control others, they are afraid to go against the grain....and perhaps with many of them, they want to just save their lives.
My spirit of independence leads me to want to head out into the wilderness to live among the wildlife and the forces of nature. I have dreamed of this way of living since I was a boy. In his youth, my father spent much of his time in the woods and on the lakes and rivers of Texas, and naturally, his raising of me included taking me to these same places. I despise the concrete jungle. I prefer the woods and the mountains. Alongside my love of the woods and the mountains is my love of farming. Raising dairy goats, chickens, cows, rabbits, and growing vegetables is my idea of satisfaction. Providing for my family solely through these means and being disconnected from “the system” would give me great delight. I am not against interacting and trading with others, as long as it is voluntary and mutually beneficial, I simply despise the idea of having politicians trying to run and regulate the economy, production, trade, medicine, and family affairs. They tell us we can’t buy, sell, and trade with other families unless we have their permission (licensing) and the State gets its cut, that we can’t provide a service unless it complies with government regulations, that we must forfeit a portion of our earnings so they can continue their rule, that we must forfeit our lives and the lives of our children to protect the interests of politicians and a political system, and that we must submit to their ideas and dictates when it comes to family health and well-being. To hell with all of this. The State system is coercive, manipulative, and exploitative. We can have civil governance without it. May the system burn to the ground. Indeed, one day it will.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
Due to the influence of my woodsman father, my animal-loving mother, my farming, gardening and natural living minded wife, my love for my children, my rabid spirit of independence, and my craving for adventure, the Alaska wilderness is screaming in my ears. Now that I live in Alaska, I could disappear today and find my paradise in the woods and the mountains. I could leave the machinations of the system behind. The call of the wild is powerful in my life. Not just because there is something I want to get away from, but because of the splendors of the wilderness and natural farm production. I want to flee the system of manipulation and control, headed by evil men and women who call good evil, and evil good. I am ready to leave today.
But I am constrained by another call.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
The Lord Jesus was and is the greatest enemy of the godless world systems that manipulate, deceive, control, and destroy. He defied the system in his day, rebuked the civil and religious rulers, and came to set the captives free. Not through an armed rebellion, but by defeating the power of sin, the power of death, and the power of Satan. He showed people that there is a kingdom worth submitting to, but it is a kingdom not of this world. Entering this kingdom requires self-denial. Our flesh presses us to indulge in self-gratifying pleasures, including forcing others to obey our self-serving will, regardless of the suffering it causes for others. The Lord Jesus, the rightful King of the earth, refused to accept the rule of earth’s kingdoms on Satan’s terms. He denied himself, submitted to the will of the Father, and ultimately surrendered his life for the good of humanity. The civil and religious establishments murdered him. He was a threat to their rule – so he was exterminated. His life, death, and resurrection have given hope to mankind. His are the words of life. Satan and selfish men will fail you, hate you, and seek to kill you. But God will not fail you, he loves you, and he wants to save you from destruction. But he does not force us. The choice is ours when it comes to who we will serve. We can serve the flesh behind closed doors, we can serve the flesh openly through the evils of a decadent society, we can serve the flesh and bring harm upon others while justifying it as “government policy”, or we can deny ourselves and submit to the righteous and merciful King of kings and refuse to aggress against our fellow man. We can follow Christ and know that in a coming day all will be made right. The Lord laid down his life for our sakes. He has commissioned us to lay down our lives for his sake and the sake of the gospel.
We are called to be living sacrifices, trying to save people from the sinking ships that are the kingdoms of men, by changing their minds. Serve self, or men, or darkness cloaked in flags and real estate – and perish. Serve Christ by forsaking sin to follow him, and by seeking to rescue the perishing - and live. Christ deserves the rewards of his suffering, but how can he, and how shall they hear if we do not tell them?
I can seek to save my life, the way I want my family and I to live, by heading to the wilderness. But according to the Lord Jesus, if I refuse to take up my cross and follow him, though I save my temporal life, I will forfeit eternal life. But if I lose my temporal life for his sake, I will be resurrected unto life eternal.
Who gave me my spirit of independence and adventure? Who else but my Creator? Influences in my life have drawn them up like a bucket being pulled from a well, but ultimately King Jesus is responsible. We are called upon to share in one another’s burdens, but no man can carry another man’s burden of responsibility. Any man worth his salt wants to protect and provide for his family and doesn’t want another man, or group of men, telling him how to do it. I’m not referring to rejecting godly counsel, I am speaking of being forced by others because they think they should get to control a man and his family. Though the world rulers and systems have been beating us down, and they have conquered the spirits of many, may this spirit of independence from husbands and fathers hold strong. Our families and the world need it. Furthermore, the Bible shows us that God is a God of adventure and even risk. He created a world of animals, plants, and people, and having created mankind with freewill he took the chance that many of us would not obey him. Assuredly, many have not. The Lord moves along with us in life and has interjected himself into world affairs in the Garden, at Sodom, at the Tower, in a wrestling match by a river, and of course in the incarnation, and at times unrecorded. What an adventuresome God.
I have no doubt that in the coming world, though being ever dependent upon the great King, people will live in freedom and harmony, and no one will be forced to follow the immoral edicts of any man. I can confidently say I believe there will be many opportunities for adventure. As for today, I cannot allow those things to be an idol in my life, for truly, evil men and spirits will never allow us to realize them anyway. We can seek to use our influence to push for these ideals, and certainly they can occur in small measure. I will farm and garden and seek to free myself from the coercive and immoral corporatist/State system no matter where I live. I will go out and spend time in the wilderness as time allows, and who knows – a situation may arise where I need to remove my family from imminent harm and find safety in the bush. I will not sit idly by and feed them to the government wolves, nor do I think the Lord would have us do that. I prefer my chances with the wolves in the wilderness. But in the meantime, we must follow Christ by carrying our crosses and preaching deliverance to the captives. The Lord will return and reward every man according to his works. Who will we serve? Will we seek to save our lives and thus lose them? Or will we surrender our lives to Christ and thus save them?
Our ultimate deliverance awaits the return of the King. Even so, come Lord Jesus.