Life Spirals and Death Spirals
We’re slaves to what controls us. For many that’s things like drugs, alcohol, financial security, food, cell phones, video games, profane language, gambling, gossip, and pornography. Enslaving appetites can be lethal.
Paul Harvey described how Eskimos kill wolves. They coat their knife blades with animal blood and let it freeze. They continually repeat the process. Then, they put the knife in the ground blade up. The wolves lick the blood on the knife. Their craving for blood is so great they don’t feel the knife cutting their tongues. They don’t realize when their thirst for blood is being satisfied by their own. The Eskimos find them dead in the snow. Only God’s grace can keep our lusts from consuming us.
We’ve died to sin through our identification with Christ’s death on the cross (Romans 6:1–10). Practically, we must live like we’re dead to sin. We do that by making God the focus of our life.
Lust is the 600-horsepower engine of the self-life. It revs at full throttle toward sexual desires, material enjoyment, another’s possessions, etc. Apart from God, we inevitably become lust’s tools. We’re a saw that severs relationships. A hammer that pounds others into submission. An awl that makes a point no matter what. A ruler to which others must conform. Life changes only when we change our Lord. We refuse to be lust’s instruments any longer. We become God’s instruments of righteousness. Sin has no business mastering us. It doesn’t master Jesus Christ. We’re with Him.
Jesus was a slave to righteousness (Philippians 2:7). He’s our example. His food was to do the Father’s will and finish His assigned work (John 4:34). That’s our food too. We move from being a slave of lust to a slave of righteousness when we obey from the heart the pattern of teaching that’s claims our allegiance (verse 17). Who our master is reveals what we truly believe.
Sin’s servants are on a downward spiral. They’re already spiritually dead. They’re spiraling downward toward making that spiritual death permanent—eternally separated from God. No earthly pleasure counterbalances that price tag.
An upward spiral reigns in Jesus’ kingdom. When we serve God with reckless abandon, wholeheartedly, and gladly, we progressively grow in holiness. We become more like Jesus. Eternal life is our present and eternal possession. Our destiny is to become like Jesus and to enjoy forever all the blessings that includes (1 John 3:2).
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