God’s timing is always perfect ~ even when we don’t understand it. In the by-and-by it always falls into place and makes sense. Yesterday I was driving to a nearby town and I decided to put in a preaching CD. My mother had ordered it and had shared it with me over a year ago. I’m not really sure why I had never listened to it. So there it was in the visor ~ and I decided to put it in and see what it was about.
I was actually kind of surprised - it was about being a slave to sin. I must say that after I listened to it I called my mom and asked her if she remembered giving it to me and she said that she did ~ she also said that there were folk we knew that were enslaved to sin and she thought it might help. Simply put ~ that is an understatement!
Christian families are falling apart in epidemic proportion. And I believe I state that without exaggeration. If I ~ me all by myself ~ know of six Christian families that are devastated by sin and the family is broken, that tells me that the war of satan against the saints is heating up.
So many Christians are enslaved to some type of sin that wages within them. They go to church on Sunday, heartily shake everyone’s hand, answer "I am doing great" when asked how they are - but they aren’t fine. Most of these folk would even say that they are free ~ but they aren’t free. Oh, they are free physically but emotionally and spiritually they are slaves ~ slaves to something that has a power over them ~ a power that commands them to indulge in desires that they should not be indulging in (i.e. alcohol, drugs, sexual immorality, porn, gambling, etc). They are slaves to sin.
In John 8: 31-36 Jesus is speaking to the Jews about being in bondage to sin. In verse 34 Jesus says Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Certainly we all sin every day of our lives. But in this context ~ in referring back to the Greek word for committeth ~ it states the definition "continually." Understandably, if we continue in a sin we become a servant to it ~ we become enslaved. I can truly relate to this bondage. For 12 long years I was enslaved to soap operas. It began very subtly and before I knew it I was watching three a day. I was addicted, I didn’t care that I was addicted, I completely stopped reading my Bible, I completely stopped praying ~ how in the world it happened, I’m not sure. But the point is I became a slave to that sin. I’ve been "soap opera free" for 10 ½ years and when I look back on it, it is truly hard to imagine how I let myself get in that shape.
Only God could set me free from that bondage. John 8:32 says And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. I had to recognize that it was sin, that I needed to walk away from it ~ and it wasn’t easy. There were times in the beginning that I so desperately wanted to turn the TV on and start it up all over again. It wasn’t easy. But eventually, after getting back into the Word, after reestablishing my prayer life ~ freedom finally came.
I do believe that God had me to listen to this CD to remind me of where I’ve been and even more importantly to better equip me in dealing with those who are there now. You see, I’ve gotten angry particularly with the ravaging of sexual immorality among Christians. The statistics are staggering with 50% of Christian men addicted to porn and 27% of Christian women struggling with it. It is wreaking havoc in the homes, in the work place ~ everywhere we look we see sex being used to sell any and everything. It is at every turn.
Listening to this preacher talk about sin and how it can enslave ~ giving the analogy of a chain being wrapped around our neck and being drawn tighter and tighter with each indulgence ~ I reckon the anger just left. I know we are to hate the sin and not the sinner but when I see people I know and care about hurting ~ well, I just kept getting angry.
I thank God that He guided me to this sermon at a time when my heart was open and ready for it. I don’t know what the next step is in ministering to these folk but I do know that feeling hateful toward the one enslaved ~ toward the one that has done what seems to be irreparable damage ~ doesn’t help anyone. I need to pray more and talk far less.
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