“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness.”
This verse is powerful, but I think it is even more impactful, coupled with verses 17 and 18. They say, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Every day we have a choice: yield to the desires of the Lord, or submit ourselves to the desires of our flesh. Be held captive by sin, or be captivated by the Lord. Easier said than done. There are countless distractions and innumerable thoughts racing through my mind, day after day. Just the other day during on the mount, (our set aside devotional time) I spent one hour writing out a three page prayer. I took five minute breaks, just to clear my mind because, in all honesty, I was thinking about everything but God. My thoughts wandered off to what my future will look like, how my team will do in Kenya, and the laundry list of things I needed to get done that day. Often times, escaping from my fleshly desires just seems impossible and I give up. How can I truly deny my self, my innate nature, and choose to follow the one person that my flesh battles every second of the day? But this verse reminded me that I am a slave to either sin or God, the choice is in my hands. Will I choose life, or death? Most of the time, I choose sin. I choose self and it leads to my death. I lose the wonder that my soul so longs to experience, and God becomes that far off guy sitting in the clouds, watching me suffer. But there are so many other moments that I choose life. I choose Jesus and it leads to my resurrection. It certainly is not the easy path, by any means. Being a Christian is rough; it requires a daily death to my comfort zone, what I want, and how I want to live, but again, it is life. Hosea 6:1-2 says, “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up that we might LIVE before him.” Returning to the Lord and submitting to his unforeseen purposes, requires us to break apart. We have to allow God to invade our hearts, and remove all of our unwillingness, and all of our filth from the depths of our being. Only then will we find fulfillment, healing, purpose, an obedient spirit, and true life. Verse three of that same chapter goes on to say, “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Let us walk in obedience to know and understand God more than the day before, and he will reveal his heart to ours. He will appear. God, I want to be your bond servant. I want to be anxious for the things of the Lord, and overjoyed to pursue His purposes. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
Application: Today I will be led by the spirit, and be obedient to God’s will. The past few days, God has been impressing on my heart to go talk to someone here, and I am finally going to listen and obey.