We are finally wrapping up our series on Walking the Path. That definitely turned into a much longer adventure than I had planned. We started it in March! I hope you were as blessed as I was. Today, we reach the last stage of this earthly journey of freedom (Heaven and true freedom will be the ultimate last stage). Each of us will spend, or at least should spend, the duration of our lives in this last stage.
Every human soul that has come to know the saving grace of God should spend their lives in this stage, regardless of the particular sin with which they personally struggled.
In Scriptures, Christians are advised multiple times to be on their guard. In Ephesians 6, we are instructed:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
In 1 Peter 5, it says:
Be sober , be vigilant ; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about , seeking whom he may devour : Whom resist stedfast in the faith…
Elsewhere, we are told to resist, abstain, flee, be watchful.
In summary, freedom is not synonymous with ignorance.
Our freedom is lived much like that of a soldier in peace time. Yes, there is peace. No, there is no immediate threat. Still, he trains. Still, he drills. Still, he stays ready and up to snuff. He is prepared because he knows that his enemy is still alive and well, waiting, watching for that moment of weakness.
So, we should walk around paranoid, right? Wrong.
Not to offend any of my readers here because I know some of you find hope in being in ‘recovery,’ but this is why I have a problem with labeling ourselves as ‘recovering.’ ‘Recovering’ carries the idea that “I’ll never be quite strong enough. I will always be rehabilitating from this. I will never quite be over it.”
I live in America. America is not a nation still ‘recovering’ from British rule; we won our victory years ago. Done. Over. Finished. We still have problems and there are still battles, but that part of our history is over.
Calvary did not happen so we could stay in a perpetual state of recovery. Our own willpower could generate a state of ‘recovery.’ Grace exists to give freedom. There is a victory that has been won. Sin no longer has a hold on us. Is there a time of healing? Certainly. Is that time ever over? Probably not (hasn’t ended for me, yet), but being in that state of healing, to me is different than labeling myself as a recovering porn addict. Recovering still lends the idea that I am actually under the power of sin more than under the power of grace. I am a former porn addict. It’s over. It’s done with. God has fought that battle, won that victory and set me free.
If the son has set us free, we are free indeed. it doesn’t mean we are free to be stupid.
Every one of us has a weakness. If you are reading this, you’ve probably already identified yours. You may never struggle with things that hold another sister in Christ captive. For whatever reason, this particular sin ‘works’ for you, and it will always work for you. You have a few choices.
You can be paranoid– standing at the door with a shotgun, scared stiff that somehow you will be compromised.
You can be oblivious– walking around flirting with temptation like you are some kind of superman (the relieved survivor mentality).
You can be aware– you have a weakness. Welcome to humanity. Be aware of that weakness; don’t be obsessed with it. Live the abundant life God has called you to have but always keep one eye open, aware of when temptation may come. Be a good soldier– with a battle plan always in place.