I live in America, where I am free to make all kinds of personal choices: where I live, how I relax, where I work, who I spend time with, how I worship, and more. Living in a culture of freedom, I find it difficult to understand a life of slavery. But I know that even today, many people still live in chains, whether literally or figuratively, with no control over their lives.
I remember the stories of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt over 4,000 years ago. God sent Moses to set them free from their lives of bondage to the Egyptians, but surprisingly they did not seem eager to escape. They lived by Pharaoh's bidding, but still they did not really want to leave the comfort of their
This past week, I've been teaching the children at our church about Moses and the stories of the Exodus. The tales of pestilence (gnats, flies, frogs and locusts), illnesses (boils and dying livestock), miracles (the river turning to blood and 3 days of darkness) and natural disasters (the hail storm) send shivers up our spines. These days filled with plagues prepared both the Hebrews and the Egyptians for a pivotal moment in history.
The King of Egypt ignored God's commands and He underestimated God's power. The path that Pharaoh (and Egypt along with him) was a path that led to death. The path of disobedience always does.
Before God led His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, He tested their faith and made them answer a crucial question. Would they choose a life of chains and death or would they trust God and follow Him on a path to life and freedom? That night when the angel of death came throughout the country, the Hebrews put a sign upon each home that declared it as a home of life. The blood from the passover lamb signified trust in God's plan, obedience to His instructions, and a choice to walk in the path of life.
We may not completely understand what it was like to be slaves, not having a country of our own, living at the whim of another, but we have all lived in bondage.
Romans 6:17 - 18
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
We don't see "Sin" chained up to our wrists, leading us around where we don't want to go, but we feel Sin's power in our lives. We know in our hearts that sometimes it's easier to do what we know is wrong and we are tugged away from God's path onto the path that leads to death. The Bible declares that we are FREE from the power of sin the moment we put ALL of our trust in Jesus. What a wonderful feeling - to know that sin no longer has any power or control over us.
When I realize this crucial fact of the gospel, I live a totally different life. I know sin is still out there, tempting me and luring me into it's trap, but sin no longer drags me along without my consent. I now have a choice - to walk in the path of life or to follow the path to death. And besides that, I have the power to conquer sin, because I have God living within me since I gave Him control of my life!
Is there a sin in your life (anger, bitterness, jealousy, sexual impurity, greed...) that seems to be wrapped around your soul with a tight dark knot?
Do you believe that God has the power to break those chains in your life? If you want to find freedom, surrender your life, every nook and cranny of your soul, to God and trust Him completely to have utter control. When we take this step of faith and stop struggling against sin, but allow God to conquer sin in us, we can find true freedom.