Sunday, October 3, 2010

Breaking the chains

The Bible talks about it - being set free. Preachers preach it, often referring to the chains of sin being broken. We sing songs about it. But are the chains always broken? Does God always deliver 100%? To show where I'm going, I will make up a couple of illustrations......

Martha starts smoking at age 13. She becomes a Christian at age 35. She wants to quit, but after 22 years, it is hard. She gives in every once in a while, when the desire is too great. She sees others who have been instantly delivered of the habit, but for her, she struggles with it for the rest of her life. Have her chains of sin been completely broken? If so, then why do cigarettes still hold power over her?

John was exposed to pornography at an early age. By the time he reaches adulthood, it has him bound firm. He becomes a Christian, but still has to fight the draw daily. He has to drive different routes to work to avoid the adult bookstore, and his mind is still filled with countless images. Occasionally, the draw gets too powerful, and he gives in, only to hate himself afterwards. Have his chains been truly broken, and if so, why can't he completely escape the power of pornography.

Michael grew up feeling different from all of the other boys. He realized in his teens that he was attracted to guys, not women, and he begins years of anonymous sexual encounters with other men. He meets Christ and turns his life over to him, but daily he has to fight his attractions and lust for the same sex. Has he truly been set free? Are his chains gone?

I know Satan fights us where we are weakest, and he knows where to strike, when to strike. I also know the Bible says that there is no temptation that God can deliver us from..... but why doesn't he take away the desires that are wrong, whether they be for cigarettes, drugs, sex, pornography? Must we suffer and struggle for the rest of our lives?

I have my own battle, my own struggle.... I just can't relate to the chains broken idea, for I feel like they never have been broken. It may be a poor way to put it, but in my mind, I have put it this way: I feel I am chained ina  cage. God forgives me and opens the cage so I can get out, but leaves the chains on me to deal with. Truth be told, I have wondered at times if I ever have actually become a Christian, yet feel that I have...... but why doesn't God seem to deliver 100%? And does anyone else feel this way?


stanw said...

Yes, I feel that way. I have often related my own struggle as being in a prison, behind gates of steel that are impenetrable, waiting for the gates to open. In many ways I feel like a prisoner of hope as mentioned in Zecharian 9:12 "Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you." There have been many times I felt I was winning but I see I have been impatient with the process. 100% deliverance, seems not as I read others testimonials, but I'm still holding on to that hope.

This morning in church the words of an old song came to mind and it was such an encouragement - "Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away; Every burden on my heart rolled away, Every sin had to go 'neath the crimson flow; Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away; Every burden on my heart rolled away." May our burden, that chain, be rolled away, broken in our lives.

Annette said...

Any answer would be too long to place in this little box.
Sometimes God does deliver someone miraculously and quick. More often not. I know from my own life that I would not be who I am as a witness for Him (after all that is why I'm here on planet earth is for His purposes and His glory) if I had not gone through difficult trials, pain, horrible habits I cannot seem to get rid of, etc. Now, how am I a witness? By loving and encouraging others that are going through difficult hardships. Also persevering through the struggles brings me to my knees in depending on Him, not myself. I guess that is enough for this little box.