Imagine for a moment that you live in slavery. Your master is incredibly harsh and ruthless. You get beaten multiple times a day, you basically get starved, and you know that in the end, you will be killed in a violent way. None of the slaves that this master owns get to die peacefully but in the most painful and brutal ways.
Now imagine that another master comes along who is incredibly rich in every way. He owns it all and is rich in love, humility and mercy. He makes his slaves family. They get their own mansions and are made co-owners over everything he owns. He offers to buy every slave that the cruel owner owns and to adopt them into his family. You simply have to trust him and humbly ask him if you can become his.
It would be incredibly stupid to refuse this generous offer wouldn’t it? And yet you see countless numbers of fellow slaves refusing to humbly ask to become the good master’s slaves because they are too proud and they even say that they LOVE being slaves to the cruel master. This is unthinkable! But this is how many people live their entire lives.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the cruel slave master is yourself and sin and the good master is Jesus. We as humans love sin and we love to be slaves to our own desires. We want to do everything OUR way and not the way that God has clearly laid out for us in Scripture. I myself daily return to the cruel master of sin and self. Whether it’s by giving in to my desire to judge others, to lust, to not forgive someone of some stupid little thing that doesn’t even matter, to exalt myself above everyone else in my foolish pride, and the list goes on and on. I know that in spite of the fact that I have been adopted into God’s family, I still at times shake my fist at Him and basically tell Him that MY way is best and that HIS way is too hard and that it’s dumb.
I know that there are many people who also struggle with a variety of things. Many people believe that they cannot overcome their struggles and it’s true, they can’t without God’s help. I agree that we cannot choose what our struggles are, but we can choose whether we want to overcome them or allow them to overcome us and define who we are. Many people are slaves to the lie that their struggles define them, but the truth is, THEY DON’T!
There are many who struggle with things like homosexuality, lust, adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage), compulsive lying, alcoholism, being attracted to children or animals, gossip or any other number of things, but have overcome them by the power of Christ! Yet there are so many more who believe the lie that God made them the way they are and they can’t change, so they are going to live that way anyway because they think it makes them happy. But they are really empty, miserable and lonely inside and sometimes outside as well.
A lot of the problem stems from the fact that we think we can change our lives on our own. We try to do good but keep falling back into the same old sin over and over and eventually give up or get frustrated and wonder why we can’t fix ourselves. It’s because only God can change us from the inside out. We try to change ourselves from the outside but that doesn’t work. We have to humbly admit that God exists and that He is who He says He is and that He will do everything that He has said that He will do. We have to admit that we can’t change ourselves and we have to ask Him to change us. That is how we become adopted into His family, by humbly asking.
Those who do inherit the eternal Kingdom that God has promised to bring to earth. Those who do not, remain alone and enslaved to their desires forever. That’s what Hell really is. People choosing to be left to themselves and their desires away from God’s presence, utterly alone forever, and that’s exactly what they will get. As C.S. Lewis so brilliantly stated, “There are those in the end who will say to God, “Thy will be done.” Then there are those in the end to whom God will say, “Thy will be done.” Please don’t be one of those to whom God says, “Thy will be done.”
I say all of these things out of genuine love and concern for all. I call it speaking the Truth in love. This stuff does not come from me. This is not a matter of my own opinion. As the great singer/song writer Rich Mullins sang, “I did not make it, no, it is making me. It is the very Truth of God and not the invention of any man.” All Truth comes directly from the Word of God. Don’t just take my word for it. Go, and experience it and see it for yourself!
Grace, love and peace to all through God the Father and through Jesus Christ!