• Jack Selcher

Eagle in a Cage

Apart from God’s law, we couldn’t recognize our neighbor’s sin! Meanwhile, our own sin is camouflaged. It blends into our chosen way of life. To others, however, it’s dressed in fluorescent orange.

The law commands us not to covet (verse 7). It condemns cravings which trump God’s authority. They could include things like power, position, prosperity, sports, shopping, video games, etc.

“But none of these things are really bad,” you say. True. Wealth, for example, isn’t bad. But the rich ruler’s craving for it was more important than following Jesus (Mark 10:17–27). We can repeat his sin in a thousand different ways.

Our cravings for God-substitutes reveal sin within us. They overpower us. Fulfilling them is our consuming purpose. We don’t recognize the problem until the Holy Spirit, through the law, puts His finger on the sore spots. God’s law both reveals sin and causes it to thrive and spring to life.

Spring to life? In Florida a sign on a bridge said, “No diving off the bridge.” Many defied it. It was replaced with a sign that said, “Please don’t feed the sharks.” That worked much better!

Sin deceives us. It makes us think we’re basically good. Compared to what? To our own standards, of course. But Jesus’ life is the standard. God’s law isn’t the problem. It’s good. It reflects God’s character. He intended it to bring life (verse 10). “Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:5, NIV). God’s law is like a directional sign that points to abundant life, blessing, fulfilment, and happiness.

Sin deceives us. It promises those same things independent of God. The law provides a valuable service. It exposes sin, the mighty force within us in rebellion against God.

God’s law isn’t the problem. We are. We’re carnal. We’re sold under sin (verse 14). We’re like an eagle in a cage. We have wings. But we can’t free ourselves from the cage of sin. We know we should read our Bible, pray, fellowship with other believers, love and serve God and others, give liberally, and tell others about Jesus. Yet, we do what we shouldn’t. We don’t do what we should. Despite being determined to do what’s right, we often don’t. “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18, NIV).

We’re better at believing the Bible than living it. We’re better at talking about what’s right than doing it. We’re trapped in a cage. Romans 8 opens the door. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, there’s freedom!

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I invite you to check out my book, His Power for Your Weakness, a devotional discipleship resource and to share it with others: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B09NZG9W7L&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FSRD4SGCXC35KMZ6ED5R

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

Photo: Bald Eagle Raptor Bird Of - Free photo on Pixabay

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