Christ, Christian Life, Church Life

Dances with Wolves & Freedom in the Wild

Growing up, I loved the movie, Dances with Wolves. The idea of living on the frontier, depending on the land, being subject to the elements, and “living the way God intended” captivated my imagination. I remember spending so much time dreaming about what it must have been like to rise with the sun, follow the food source, and move with the seasons. That natural, organic way of life appealed to me big time. At least that’s how I saw the movie, and I admit, I had a pretty romanticized idea of what all that was like. But every time I watched the movie, or even thought about the movie (or even quoted lines from the movie: Why don’t he write?), I inwardly yearned for such a life.

Recently, while on a Skype call with some saints considering a move of the Lord, my wife made a comment that brought all those images and desires of that frontier life flooding back to me. All she said was, “There is freedom living in the wild.” In the context of the visit, it was a brief statement, and the conversation continued with the topic at hand, but that little statement resonated in my spirit. Then the Lord opened my eyes to see that I had been living the reality of that frontier life.

The True Wild

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of freedom. The way I had longed for a life in the wild, free from the machinations of man, I was now, and have been, living in the reality of Jesus Christ. Free from the religious systems of man, I’ve been living in the frontier of Freedom, Himself. My wife knew it. That’s exactly what she meant by her statement. We’re living in the Great Frontier, the spiritual wilderness – the True Wild.

Spiritually speaking, out here in the True Wild, we are free to follow the Life of Christ and not the pre-formatted methods of man. Out here, we live on the Frontier (Christ), we depend on the Land (Christ), we are subject to the elements (the storms, the winds, the heat, the cold, etc.), and we are indeed living the way God intended (utterly dependent upon Him – in Christ). In the True Wild, we rise with the sun (the Son, of God, the light of men), follow the food source (Christ the true bread and living water), and move with the seasons (sowing, reaping, storing, resting, etc.). In the True Wild, Jesus Christ is All and in all.

Frontier Life

Life on the Frontier, in the True Wild, is not a life for the faint of heart. I admitted earlier that I had romanticized that life. Many saints romanticize living in the spiritual wild, as well. However, you can’t hide in the wild. The elements can beat you down in the wild. You’re open to attack in the wild. There is more danger and trouble in the wild. Sometimes food is scarce in the wild. Sometimes the seasons are short (or inordinately long) in the wild. People hurt people in the wild. But life becomes more precious out here. We value it more on the frontier. We value each other more on the frontier. We value the food more on the frontier. We value the seasons and what they bring more on the frontier. We value the elements more on the frontier. In the wild, you can’t play games. This is life and death out here. Frontier Life is a real life.

This Frontier Life is also a life of freedom. And it is also a life of bondage. How’s that? We are free to follow the Lord and all He is. But we are bound to Him, too. When the food source moves, we can’t stay put, or we’ll starve. When the seasons change, so must we, or we’ll miss the purpose of that season (e.g. harvesting the food in autumn for the winter). We are bound to the Land and all that it produces and provides. But this, dear reader, is the true freedom. We are bound to the Lord, not to man! Being bound to man and his systems means that when the food source moves, we stay and try to artificially produce it. And being bound to man and his systems, we try to stay in summer even when it has long passed and winter is obviously around us. Frontier Life is a free life.

Another aspect of this Frontier Life, is that we are not alone. In the movie, Lt. Dunbar starts out alone in his camp, but he soon joins with the Sioux tribe. Together they hunt the buffalo. Together they defend the tribe. Together they face what the wilderness brings, and together they get through it. The same with Christ. Together we hunt and bring in our food. Together we struggle against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Together we face what comes, and together we get through it. In the wild, one cannot survive on his or her own for very long. In the True Wild, we cannot, and are not meant to, survive on our own for very long, either. Frontier Life is a community life.

The Call of the Wild

Have you ever felt the call of the wild? Has a movie, song, or book (Wild at Heart, maybe?) ever stirred your spirit for something more? The call of the wild is real. The wild is real. I had that call in my spirit some 27 years ago (if not longer, in truth). And the Lord answered it. He answered it without me even realizing He had. He answers the call, because He is the call. He is the wild. He puts that desire, that longing in our heart, and when we go searching for Him, He fulfills that desire. He satisfies that longing. He is the pioneer and perfecter of faith. He leads the way on the Frontier. He is the way on the Frontier. He is the Frontier! The True Wild answers the Call of the Wild. There is Freedom on the Frontier, Freedom living in the Wild. Will you allow Him to heed the call through you?

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