We are slaves to whatever or whoever we let have control over us. Some of these things may not even seem to be controlling us at all, and we think that we are free, that we are in fact the ones in control, but “do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey…” (Romans 6:16)
We obey our stomachs when they growl and rumble, we fill them almost continually as soon as they seem to be even a little empty. We need food to stay alive yes, but the problem of obesity shows that people love to overindulge their stomachs, they fill them to bursting every single day and eventually they feel that they just cannot go without the massive amounts of food that they have been accustomed to. So they become slaves to their stomachs, always obeying even the slightest want with a bite here and there whenever the craving comes. But “the life is more than food…” (Luke 12:23)
We obey money and all the things that it can buy us; and this whole life can, if we are not careful, become a meaningless pursuit of money and things which, in the end- in death, will be useless to us. For many people money is the number one priority and we know from the high rates of crime in our own country, South Africa, from crime all over the world in fact and even from in movies, like Oceans 11 for example (which glamorize theft and make it cool to be a thief), that people will go to extreme lengths to acquire money, some will do anything to get it. But “what does is benefit a man if he will gain the whole world and forfeit his [eternal] life?” (Mark 8:36)
We obey our pride. One of the best, yet most extreme examples of pride, the biggest sin of all, is that of Walter White in Breaking Bad. It all starts simply because Walter was too proud to accept financial help when it was offered to him- and that pride led to a plethora of other sins, each one making the next easier to go through with until he gave no thought at all to what he was doing or who he was hurting in the process. Sin enslaves- it is a prison, perhaps a very comfortable one, it’s even fun, but it is a prison nonetheless and worse: it is a jailer with a death-sentence.
The world is full of these things that can enslave us, things that enslave us so well that we do not even know that we are slaves.
When I went through my conversion, I believed and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, my only way to salvation and eternal life. I have been trying ever since then to live in obedience to the law, the Ten Commandments, and to walk in newness of life- in the Spirit.
But I didn’t realise that having been freed from all sin by Christ, I went and enslaved myself immediately to the law: for we are slaves to whatever we obey. And I really wanted to be obedient, not to prove anything to anyone, but to show my gratitude and my repentance to Him, I wanted to obey- but by trying to obey the law, whilst at the same time knowing that I had before broken that same law many times and had therefore accepted Christ’s righteousness as my own, are two conflicting ideas; and worst of all, though I wasn’t aware of the implication, I was in effect rejecting God’s grace.
Those who have believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour have accepted the fact that they have sinned, that they have broken the law already and thus are already condemned to eternal death- so by nothing that we ourselves did, but by immense Love, Grace is given to us by God, through Jesus, to escape that death; therefore we are under that grace, not under the law anymore.
Because the law was put there to show us our sin, to set a Holy standard of behaviour for us, which only showed us that we, by ourselves, cannot attain that standard- only through the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us once we have been converted, can the righteousness of the law be fulfilled, which is love– loving God, and also loving each other.
This whole blog is a witness of my journey with Christ on that straight and narrow path that leads to eternity in the peaceful world to come, ruled by Him first and then by God when all has been restored; and I started that journey, paradoxically, by trying to obey the law. I started as a simple stone, covered in the dirt of sin and all throughout this walk He has been like a fountain of water, washing away that sin first, and then eroding away all the little things that are unnecessary, that are burdensome, and shaping me into something of His making. And His work for me this week has been saying not the law: just Me and My Spirit.
So whatever it is that is in control of your life now, be it the law, food, money, pride, alcohol, anger, remember that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
May the Light of the world be your Guide in all your journeying