Friday, July 01, 2005

Loose yourself: Is 52:1-2

"Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean will no longer come into you. Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion." (Isaiah 52:1-2)
I had a friend who, when he was younger, had a flee circus. To train the flees, he would put them in a large tin can with plastic wrap over the top. When the flees jumped, they would hit the plastic wrap. After a while, they got used to the plastic covering and would only jump so high, so as to no hit the plastic covering. He would then lower the plastic and, in time, the flees would adjust the height of their jumping so not to hit the plastic covering. Over time, he would keep lowering the plastic cover until it was so low that the flees would give up jumping altogether. He then could remove the plastic wrap completely and the flees would never attempt to jump out of the can. Even though they could, they wouldn't, because they still believed that they were imprisoned by an invisible plastic cover. They were free, but they lived like they were bound.

I have know others, and at times even myself, who live like those flees. They had been set free by the work of Jesus on the cross, yet they continue to live their lives as if they are still in bondage. Paul boldly states that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Romans 8:2) Jesus has set us free and He wants us to walk free. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1) Satan no longer has power and authority over our lives, yet he wants us to believe that he does. One of satan's greatest schemes is to make us believe that we are in bondage, to make us believe that we are slaves to him, to sin, and to the world. He is trying to sow doubt into our minds that we might grow weak in our faith. We have been set free, but sometimes walking free takes a deliberate stand.

Satan wants us to doubt our salvation, doubt the love of God, and to doubt the word of God. "Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart! But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped." (Psalms 73:1-2) It is easy to fall into the "but as for me's." Surely God is good to His people, but as for me... God is not only good to His people, He is also good to me! God not only died for the sins of the world, he did for me and my sins. The healing Jesus purchased by his stripes is not only for the world, but also for me and my infirmities as well. The kingdom of heaven is ours. The love of God and the forgiveness of God are ours too. It is time that we not only believe this, but that we live our lives as if it's true. This is real faith, not when we merely give mental accent to the Word of God, but when we begin to live our lives as if it's really true. The chains around our necks have been unlocked therefore let us arise and shake them off and learn to live life in freedom.

David Robison

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