The New Testament declares that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore do not be entangled again in a yoke of slavery.” The insanely high cost of this freedom is the death of Jesus on the cross. And yet in my own life (I don’t presume to speak for you) I’ve again and again how I’ve chosen bondage over freedom.
By turning to familiar comforts, by harboring unforgiveness, by trying to find life apart from God. And isn’t true that we will worship that from which we hope to derive life?
I’ve seen it time and time again in my own life. It’s crazy! It’s the kind of dissonance of which Paul wrote in Romans seven: “it is not I, but the sin within me.” The sin is within me because I am a spirit, possess a soul, and walk around in an unredeemed body.
We all do. Yet the beauty of the freedom for which Christ died is that we no longer have to heed the voice of the flesh (or of the evil one): we are free!
Yet that freedom comes with a sobering responsibility: we have to choose everyday–moment by moment, hour by hour–to walk in it. And believe you me: the world, the flesh, and the devil will do their utmost to keep us in a place of bondage.
Is the desire for revenge entirely natural? Yes–yes it is. But God says that vengeance is His.
Is it natural to withhold forgiveness when we’re hurt, or slighted? Again, yes. But God commands us to forgive.
Is it natural to lash out, use our words as weapons? Assuredly. But God says that the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Make no mistake: these are hard things. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We must choose, despite what our senses tell us, to align ourselves with the values of an invisible kingdom.
And it begins by dying, by crucifying our pride at the foot of the cross everyday. By taking up that cross, and following Jesus, who thought equality with God was not something to be grasped. Instead, he humbled himself, and came as a servant.
And that is what we are: servants.
Bondslaves of grace.
Let grace compel you today to dig deeper, reach higher, and bow before the One Who sees and knows all. For there is nothing hidden from Him with Whom we have to do.
He knows the bitterness we hold inside, knows about the unforgiveness, knows in fact every prideful, lustful, vile thought. So instead of hiding in shame: tell Him.
He already knows anyway.
We have nothing to lose (except our pride), and absolutely everything to gain.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Speak on it: What are you laying down today?