Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Don't Lock Yourself Back Up

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 

Remember playing cops and robbers?  I always liked being the bad guy -- maybe I'm just weird, but I thought they always had it made.  You got to run and hide, escape traps, and finally let the cops get you... on purpose, of course.  There was something exhilarating about letting someone tie your hands behind your back.    

It is one thing to play around with handcuffs, but putting yourself back under the bondage of sin is an entirely different matter.  It is so easy to fall into a besetting sin, enjoy it for a moment, regret it, and get back out again, only to slip right back into it.  So the cycle goes... you know (fill in the blank) is just as wicked as can be, yet you find yourself entangled in it time and time again.

In verse 8 Paul explains that a lost person can be expected to act in a sinful manner because they are still a slave to sin.  However, verse 9 goes on to say that it is absolutely ludicrous for a child of God to put themselves under sin's bondage.

Remember how miserable it was to be Satan's servant?  He made sin look so good, but it brought you more heartache, guilt, and pain than you ever bargained for.  Not only did you sin, but you had no choice.  Each transgression was a chain, weighing heavier and heavier as Satan piled them upon you.  But then you got saved.  Your burden was lifted and no longer did Satan have control of you.  You live and breathe in freedom, without a single obligation to your former master.  After a while, sin started looking good again.  Sure, you are saved, but that gives you a license to do whatever you want, right?  Before long, you find yourself falling into the same old stuff over and over.  You might be saved, but sin has once again locked you into its grip.

"How turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" (verse 9)  It seems ridiculous, but it's exactly what we do!  Why would we ever desire the chains that once held us fast?   How could we look at sin and think, "I want that instead of freedom!  It looks so much better than being free!"  Why?!?! 

Through Christ you are able to have victory.  Don't lock yourself back up into the mess from which you were delivered.  You don't have to be tangled up in bondage anymore!  Accepting spiritual defeat as a way of life is just as silly as grabbing the chains in the picture above and wrapping them around you.  Instead, decide that whatever your personal vice is, you will let the Lord change your heart and help you overcome it.

Another great thing about your freedom in Christ is you don't have to lift a finger for it.  "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free" (verse 1).  He's already gained the victory; all you have to do is ask Him for it.  In fact, trying to fight your own sinfulness in your own strength will end in utter failure.  The Lord is your strength and your shield -- live in the liberty you already have in Him!

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