The Exodus

Yesterday we talked about the story of The Exodus and finding true freedom from the slavery of sin in our lives. After reading through hundreds of cards filled with serious issues of bondage, I believe it is important for me to encourage you to continue taking steps towards freedom this week. That’s what this blog is about. Many people feel trapped by the sin they are in and don’t know what practical steps to take towards freedom. Every person will, at some point in his or her life, experience bondage and slavery to sin. It is human nature. So, what does it look like to be redeemed by grace and experience true freedom from the slavery of sin?

The first thing we must realize is the nature of slavery and sin. It is human nature to desire to be in bondage, as weird as that sounds. As soon as Israel got free from slavery in Egypt, they beg Moses to take them back.[1] This is part of the psychology of slavery, particularly when it comes to being enslaved by our own sin. In his book called Man—The Dwelling Place of God, A.W. Tozer talks about this phenomenon. He says the man enslaved to sin is self-deceived and “is his own enemy and is working a fraud upon himself. He wants to believe the lie and is psychologically conditioned to do so. He does not resist the deceit but collaborates with it against himself. There is no struggle, because the victim surrenders before the fight begins. He enjoys being deceived.”[2] Tozer goes on to say, “Grace will save a man but it will not save him and his idol.”[3] So, the first step is to realize this will be a battle, and for you to truly desire freedom.

After slavery has taken you to the end of your rope, the thing to do is cry out. This means you need to ask God for help, and tell others about your condition for the sake of accountability. One of the biggest reasons you don’t want to cry out is pride. In his book called You Can Change, Tim Chester says, “One of the main ways in which pride wrecks the process of change occurs when we hide our sin from others. We want our good reputation. So we hide, we pretend, we don’t seek help…We’d like to stop sinning, but not if that costs us people’s approval. And that means true repentance isn’t taking place.”[4] If you are afraid to tell others about your struggles, you need to remember everyone struggles with something. We are all sinners saved by grace. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Remember, there will be times you want to go back. If you’re really deep into an addiction, you may need to seek professional help from a Christian counselor. While God is the one doing the “redeeming,” those around you will be His hands and feet.

After this point in the process, everyone’s journey looks a little different depending on the situation and persons involved. Here are a few other questions to take into consideration that may be true of your journey:[5]

  • “Do you blame someone else for your sin?”
    Shifting blame onto someone else for your chains will never help you move forward. After all, it was not the fault of the Israelites who were enslaved in Egypt for being in slavery. But they had to take ownership of their situation to move forward.
  • “Do you tend to minimize your sin?”
    All sin and addiction is offensive to God because He desires for us to live as free men and women. The Israelites in the desert started to forget how bad slavery actually was. Don’t fall into the same trap.
  • “Do you really want to change?”
    Many times we say we want change, but our desire for change is only true for fleeting moments. Jesus has promised in John 8:34-36, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” And we know, He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.[6] Can we say the same about you?

In closing, it is important to understand that overcoming sin and addiction is not something you can do on your own. Richard Foster says, “Remember, an addiction, by its very nature, is something that is beyond your control. Resolves of the will alone are useless in defeating a true addiction, You cannot just decide to be free of it. But you can decide to open this corner of your life to the forgiving grace and healing power of God. You can decide to allow loving friends who know the ways of prayer to stand with you. You can decide to live simply one day at a time in quiet dependence upon God’s intervention.”[7] What Foster is saying is there is true hope for you. You really can be redeemed by grace.

[1] See Exodus 16:1-3 or Numbers 11:4-6 for examples.
Tozer, A.W. Man—The Dwelling Place of God. (Wilder Publications, 2009). Pg. 54.
Ibid. Pg. 55.
Chester, Tim. You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions. (Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 2010). Pg. 123.
Ibid., Pg. 130.
Philippians 1:6
Foster, Richard. Celebration of Discipline. (HarperCollins Publishers: New York, NY, 1978). Pg. 90.

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