The idea of slavery has always been a strange concept to me. I understand why someone would want slaves, but I have no clue why you would want to treat another human being that way. Slavery is nothing new, but remains a huge problem worldwide. Slavery is a profitable business. This morning though, I want to talk about another kind of slavery. This type of slavery is readily accessible by all. No one born on this earth is immune to it. It has been described as a jail cell where you voluntarily walk in and chain yourself to the wall, even though the door is wide open. I am talking about the slavery of sin.
We all do it. We all have experienced it in one way or another. Yet, only one person was able to make it through life without sinning. Everyone else either struggles with it or gives into to it whole heartedly. It may start differently for you than it did me, but the end result is the same. Death! Along the way, there were caution signs, stop signs, and blinking red lights that you blew through to get to where you are now. Most sin starts with a desire to experience something different from the mundane. I want to touch it, I want to feel it, I want to see it, I want to experience it… Only I will know. What started out as fun, curiosity, and a rush of adrenaline has begun to change. You can tell that the feeling isn’t the same anymore. There is a numbness that has taken over. The happiness is gone. Your soul has grown cold and silent. Your bones begin to ache. You are tired even though you just got out of bed. You either need to run as far from your sin as fast as possible or you need to dive into it deeper, just to feel something. What started as freedom and fun has turned into pain and captivity. Satan has a grip on you. You have to ask yourself one very important question.
But before we get to the question, let’s look at a story from Scripture and see if it can shed light on our problem. The account is in Exodus 1-13, but for the sake of time and typing I’ll summarize. The nation of Israel had gone to Egypt to escape an awful famine. Egypt provided food and safety at the time. For some reason though, it never crossed their mind to go back home for 400 hundred years. You would think that some crazy uncle of the family would have stood up and said, “Well its been fun, but I think I will go home now!” But no one did. They had become comfortable in the provision of Egypt and had forgotten God’s provision. That went well as long as the current Pharaoh was alive, but he didn’t live forever. Another Pharaoh came on the scene who knew nothing of Israel and of Joseph. He panicked because of the sheer number of the Hebrew people. He decided that manual labor was the best way to keep them in their place, but slavery would control them. The Israelites came into Egypt free, but became slaves because they stayed too long.
They cried out to God and He heard them. God raised up a man named Moses to lead the people out of slavery. God showed His power over Egypt and care for His people. Finally it was time for the Israelites to leave slavery and head toward the Promised Land. The Israelites were faced with the same question you and I face when it comes to sin. We had choices to make all along the way, but chose wrong. Another choice rises up when freedom is back on the table. Up until now, we have not chosen freedom and neither had the Israelites. Things have gotten so bad, that now we finally see we need help getting out. Freedom was available the whole time through Christ, but we ignored it. We have finally looked up and the door is wide open. The chains will fall off if we answer the question correctly. Here is the question: Do I really want to be delivered?
It seems like an obvious question and answer, but I have found that it is not that easy. There have been times of sin in my life that I felt guilty, shameful and wanted freedom. So I would confess it and move toward freedom only to circle back to the sin a few days or weeks later. Freedom from sin is not a brief hiatus from the sin, but completely moving away from it. As one rapper put it, “I’m dead to you…’cause He (Jesus) has crushed sin.” The Israelites would not be free if they walked out of Egypt, wandered around in the desert for a while, and then returned to Egypt. No, they had to leave and never return. That is deliverance.
The problem you and I face with sin is that we want freedom and our pet sin. We don’t mind Christ having most of our life as long as we can have an indulgence of our own on the side. I had to take a hard look in my own life. I had given every area of my life to Christ, but upon searching I found a locked box in my heart. I have asked Christ to clean it out before, but I am real good at filling it back up and locking it again. I had to ask myself if I wanted to be delivered from sin or not? Jesus came to set the captive free. He came to set us free from sin. We must understand that we cannot be free and hold on to sin at the same time. You must choose to be free. Jesus has already provided a way. Just like the Israelites when the gates of the city opened, you must choose to leave slavery by following God’s path and plan. It will not always be easy and will not always be fun, but it leads to life and the Promised Land. If you keep holding on to sin, it brings evil consequences and death. Don’t let the fun of the moment keep you enslaved until death. The door is open and freedom is waiting on your answer.
What is holding you back from truly wanting to be delivered? Are you just having too much fun in your sin? Have you been ignoring the signs as you travel in the wrong direction? Do you need a wake up call, because this is another one. Don’t stay chained to the wall. The door is open and freedom is standing outside. Jesus died on the cross for all our sins and to set us free from sin. Don’t be foolish with your life.
Grace and peace to you as you choose to be delivered from the slavery of sin and death. Please accept the invitation to be free today.