Like always, I just want to share with you what the Holy Spirit is laying in my heart. I’m currently in a mind shifting process, and I believe the Holy Spirit will have me share what I am experiencing with you. I earnestly pray that the words you’ll be reading, from the next paragraph, will do a whole lot in your life and also bring you to a point where you truly walk in a better knowledge of the freedom we have in Christ.
Recently, I’ve been allowing a particular person’s actions affect some parts of my life. I didn’t realize how much of a problem that was, until few days ago. This person interrupted my Bible study and literally made me end my study, earlier than planned. This person had walked in on me and like it was a pattern for the person, words that were not properly thought through and coated in the wrong tone starting pouring out from the person. I was so upset about the attack that at the end of the conversation I tried going back to my Bible study and I just couldn’t. I closed my Bible and couldn’t even pray. I just lay on my bed and starting telling God how I was so tired of having this person close to me. I couldn’t have a meaningful prayer time until the next day. During my Bible study time the next day, the Holy Spirit told me something that has been changing my life.
So, what did the Holy Spirit say to me?
“Don’t be slave to men”
Now who is slave? The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has three definitions for the word “slave.” I’m going to give the second definition because it fits, perfectly, into the point I want to drive home. It says:
A person who is so strongly influenced by something that they cannot live without it, or cannot make their own decisions
The Holy Spirit went ahead to show me how I was allowing what this person was doing influence my thoughts, emotion, and actions. I spent many hours living in the corner this person’s actions have kept me. I mean, it led me to the point where I even had to abruptly stop my devotion with Jesus. How sad was that? That was as sad as sad can ever be, because no man should ever have the power to come in-between me and the Lord of my life. No man should Lord over my thoughts, emotions and actions like the Saviour of my soul. I allowed myself to be a slave to someone’s actions because the person’s actions were influencing and forcing me to do what I hate doing. I might want to argue that it wasn’t for years or months or weeks, but no matter how short it was… I was a slave.
Now, this wasn’t the first time of allowing what people say or do get to me, but I’ve never seen it as being enslaved. But, that is what it is: they said something or did something and I decide to act in a certain kind of way because of what they said or did. The question is, if they haven’t said that thing nor did that thing would I have acted in that way? If no, then what they said or did just made me do something I wouldn’t have done…and that’s like the relationship between a slave and a slave master. God doesn’t want others or anything controlling us like that; God wants our lives to be controlled by the Holy Spirit…Him and Him alone.
1 Corinthians 7:23 says, “You are bought with a price—purchased with a preciousness and paid for [by Christ], then do not yield yourself up to become [in your own estimation] slaves to men, [but consider yourself slaves to Christ].” (AMPC)
This doesn’t mean we should be foolish
I’m not saying if we see red flags in our relationship with people (or things) we shouldn’t take note and act with wisdom. When someone or something brings out the worst in us, we should learn to stay away from that person or thing. If we can’t avoid the person or thing, we should ask God for wisdom on how to manage the situation because every scenario is unique and we can’t give a blanket solution that can cover everybody’s situation.
This is about not allowing someone or something to make us live our precious lives in a way that’s not God’s desire for us. No human being or thing should influence our lives negatively, no matter how short the length of time is. You shouldn’t hold back the gift you already planned to give him, just because he made you angry a day before his birthday. You don’t have to show signs of disrespect because they just proved that they’re not worthy of your respect. Don’t hold back the information that would have blessed them now they had an argument with you. Still defend her in her absence, like you would have done, even if she just accused you of not being nice.
As Christians, we’re Saved…Free…yet Bond…to Jesus
There’s only One we’re called to be slaves to…and that’s Jesus. Jesus saved us from the nature of sin, and because of that we’re free to live without guilt and condemnation, but we’re bond to Jesus. This means as a saint, you don’t have a life of your own. Your life is Christ’s. This means you have to constantly have faith in Jesus. Your ego shouldn’t run your life. What people say or do to you shouldn’t matter to you. The love and mercy of Jesus should blind you from every other thing that is going on in your life. You have to keep Jesus as your only focus. Like Paul, you have to constantly say, “I have been crucified with Christ—[in Him] I have shared His crucifixion; it is no longer I who live, but Christ the Messiah, lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith—by adherence to and reliance on and [complete] trust—in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me” Galatians 2:20 (AMPC)
Now, we have to explain this “slaves to Jesus.” When the Bible says we are slaves to Jesus, it doesn’t mean we become people without worth and value, no. We’re fellow heirs with Jesus. We’re seated with Jesus at the right hand of our Father in heaven. All that Christ is…we are. As a matter of fact, we’re supposed to be doing greater works, than Jesus did, here on earth. Our heavenly Father loves us like He loves Jesus. The “slave” refers to our obedience and submission to God’s will. We are supposed to obey and submit like slaves do, and there’s a reason for that. The reason is because our wisest wisdom is still foolishness before God. So, to be safe, we have to obey and submit…without hesitations and questions…like slaves do because God’s instructions are always the best.
We have to understand that God’s instructions are for our own good. God doesn’t benefits from our obedience to Him. It is us who benefit from obeying Him without hesitations. His instructions are guidelines that help us enjoy, to the full, ALL Jesus made available for us at the cross. Plus, though God wants us to be bond servants to Jesus, He will never force us. So, when the Bible says, “slave to Christ” it’s not in a negative sense. It is actually a call to enjoy all of God’s unlimited Goodness. And just so we’re very clear, while in this world, we’re always slaves… either to Jesus or to the devil. There are no in-betweens. There is no grey area. See what the Bible says:
Do you know that if you continually surrender yourself to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness—right doing and right standing with God? But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed. And, having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness—of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose and action. Romans 6:16-18 (AMPC)
How to keep yourself in check
Let me share what I’m practicing with you. It’s all in the Bible already, but you should write out a short summary of what you want your life to look and feel like. Find a time and prayerfully write out how you really want to live for Jesus while still on this side of eternity. When you write it down, read it over and over again…until you have it down in your spirit. Next thing to do is start training your flesh to fit into the picture you’ve created with words. I said “train,” because you wouldn’t get it right immediately. You’ll be like a baby learning to walk. When you take a step and stumble, don’t be too hard on yourself and give up. Keep keeping at it.
There are days when you’ll hate yourself because it will feel stupid to live out the picture you’ve written down. Sometimes the devil will make you feel like you’re being a hypocrite for trying to live out that picture. The devil will do that by making you feel you’re pretending and that you’ll be more real if you live out the ungodly desire you feel, but don’t listen to that father of all lies. No matter the opposing feelings that come, always pick the option that fits into that picture. At the moment it might feel hard for you to do it, never mind…few days down the line you’ll be glad with your option.
Jesus was a slave to the will of the Father too. We should imitate Him. (SEE 1 Peter 2:20-25). I like the way the writer of the book of Hebrew compared our trials to that of Jesus in the following words: “Just look at Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself—reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials—so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.” Hebrews 12:3-4 (AMPC)
Did you read that scripture carefully? Please read it again…if you haven’t read it twice.
That was referring to Jesus’s journey to the cross. It wasn’t easy for Jesus to submit to God’s will when it was time for Him to go to the cross. He prayed for the cup to pass over, but did He go? Of course He did. Thank God He did! During the suffering, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, but if you ask Jesus now, I’m pretty sure He’ll tell you how glad He is about that journey to the cross. Hebrews 12:3-4, are not popular verses, but they come immediately after a very popular verse that says, “Look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.” So, dear saint…imitate Jesus.
My prayer for you and me:
May we be free from the bondage of men and things, may we be totally bond to Jesus, may we never have a better yesterday in our walk with Jesus and may we keep being more like Jesus… in Jesus’s name…
Get in the gym, and do
Stay Spiritually Fit.