A Path to Imprisonment – Part Four
We know that our old self
was crucified with him
in order that the body of sin
might be brought to nothing,
so that we would no longer
be enslaved to sin.
For one who has died
has been set free from sin.
captivity through habitual immorality.
When God gives a person over to their sin, they are in a most desperate, dangerous place. In that place of ‘being given over’, there is opportunity for a hardening of the heart so that the senses are progressively dulled to the possibility of a different existence.
None of us is exempt from empathizing with one imprisoned by a course they have plotted, cleared and traversed. I believe those who find their way out of this kind of bondage, discovered that all along, the key to their shackles was clenched within their own hand.
I do not believe this is the only way to become imprisoned. We sometimes fall prey to predators who capture us and keep us. We sometimes inherit generational sins that unknowingly bind us. We sometimes construct prisons in which we live out unhealthy cycles with other people. But for all of these, God has made provision and asks us to work with Him in the breaking of those chains.
It is for freedom that we have been set free. God is all about dissolving anything that would keep us from living unencumbered. He is bent on the annihilation of every chain, every false notion within our system of belief, every practice that is contrary to abundant living, anything and EVERYTHING that would bind us. And why not!? God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. No one has ever displayed such radical love! God is ‘all in’, and He’s asking us to give Him every bit of who we are in response to that all-inclusive demonstration of love, something an imprisoned person cannot do.
If the path to imprisonment begins with ingratitude, I want to stop the progression there. I want to overflow with a heart of gratitude for the bounty that is mine as The King’s daughter. If I find that I practice self-worship, being the center of my own universe, then I want to de-throne ‘me’ allowing God to take His rightful place. If I find myself practicing behavior I know is contrary to God’s way (sin), I want to stop and repent and return to Him. And if I have gone unchecked so that I now find myself enslaved to sin, bound and shackled, I want to cry out to a merciful God for deliverance. He has the power to take the key in my hand and release the bindings of my self-constructed prison. As long as I have breath, freedom awaits.
You are slaves of the one whom you obey,
either of sin, which leads to death,
or of obedience, which leads to righteousness.
Thank you Anne for so clearly revealing that all of us are so capable of this slippery slope. Your insights peel away the layers of pretense and reveal beautiful raw nuggets of truth. How human it can sometimes feel to be ungrateful, how easy to justify as “normal” and yet what a slippery slope it is down the path to imprisonment. This revelation strips me of any self-righteous notion that the worst could not happen to me and fills me with compassion for others, rather than judgment. How foolish to believe that we have any power in our own strength. Lord, help me to seek fervently to love you with every fiber of my being so that my gratitude flows freely and my sins break my heart and send me running to your arms.
I am so grateful to a mutual friend of ours – for sending me the link to your web page. Your blog speaks deeply to things hidden, even from our own awareness. (We are so desensitized to our own sin) So thankful you are using another one of the many gifts the Lord has given to you. What a blessing these have been to my heart. I’ll be sharing your blog with our women’s small group. One day, at the Bema, you will know the ripple effect of your obedience and transparency in writing for the world to see.