For every form of bondage a person can know, God in Christ is the Ultimate Freedom-Giver. He saves us from ourselves unto Himself, breaking the death-grip of the myriad of ways our hearts have been in chains.
We are, by human nature, influenced by the tangible which we can physically see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Our senses are always pressing about to interpret our circumstances to us. We presume that success has a certain kind of appearance to it, and that failure does also. We squirm under defeat and condemnation when we interpret failure in our lives; we celebrate with the force of our fragile ego’s when we interpret success in them. Each one of us has a desperate need of validation for our words, our choices, our actions. We live in an oftentimes fickle and unstable environment when the outside or external circumstances dictate to us our standing in this world.
The renewal of our mind is ongoing and constant. This is not written to be a discouragement. For every layer and level of renewal brings with it a new apprehension of Christ and He is the great Encourager, full of Life and light; offering love and mercy and grace.
When we are walking after the flesh, prior to our being born from above, our minds perceive God and our surroundings through the lens of dread, fear and distrust – this is the enemy’s DNA! When we begin walking after the Spirit, allowing the new nature within, which is Christ’s very nature, to come forth, choosing to cooperate with and renew our minds to His mind, we are better able to perceive God and our surroundings through the lens of love, redemption, and trust – this is God’s DNA in Christ! Romans 5 verses 1 through 5 speak to this very thing. Oh, beloved, this is life-long for us. It is not shared here with a spirit of having arrived by any means. But, and hopefully you would be able to say the same, He has brought me further into knowing His heart than any previous recollected time.
Here is the irony: God in Christ’s Life and light are often revealed to our hearts when what our physical eyes are seeing in the tangible is death and darkness (not to be taken literal, for death and darkness close in by various means). There is always a temptation for us to go back to Egypt, so to speak; where the tangible was our comfort, even if we were slaves; we had food, rules, and knew what was what. There is the temptation to see the trouble and oppression; to feel the perplexity and the pain; to hear the silence and the persecution (in all its many forms), and, using the old nature’s lens to perceive God we suspect He has abandoned us, is deaf to our heart’s plea, or is punishing us due to His great displeasure; dread, fear and distrust are like the wolves banging at the door of our heart: Let us in, let us in! Everything is falling apart! God never heard you, this is proof of the absence of His presence, His love! If you have walked this narrow road for any amount of time, you know the roaring of the lion seeking to devour.
But it does not end with a wolf banging on the door or a roaring lion looking to devour or our selves going down under the weight of the death and darkness. We may emotionally succumb to it, He knows we are but dust. The flesh is weak to walk on and endure, that is to be certain. But the spirit, our spirit, where the Spirit of the risen Christ is living within us, this is strong – He is our real strength. It is downright laborious at times to leave the Egypt of our flesh and cross over to the Promised Land of Christ. Many of us are being pressed in on, troubled, oppressed, crushed, embarrassed, deserted, etc. There seems to be an onslaught of the removal of various degrees of human and earthly help that once supported us ceasing to hold any longer. Beloved, lean in closely and listen: He is here! Our real life is hidden with God in Christ. He is our Source. He is our Refuge. He is our ever present help in our time of need. Our lives are, even here in whatever you and I are facing, being liberated by the chains of Christ. It is shocking to our frail systems which have clung to so much of this earth, religious and otherwise. It is the One who was dead but is now alive forevermore who is our Life, teaching us in these times of great difficulty how to look to Him, lean on Him, seek Him, trust in Him.