Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Joy Where You Least Expect It

Don’t you hate it when someone takes a verse out of context and makes it say something it wasn’t intended to say? Well, try not to hate me too much.

Peter was writing about the condition of a man’s life when he subjects himself to false freedom and becomes enslaved to evil intentions. Like accepting a lie for the truth and building a life on the instability of that lie.

He goes on to say, “for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” We have little problem realizing what Peter is talking about—allowing our evil desires to capture us and enslave us to its power. But, though there is no question of what he means, I see another application from the life of Paul.

Paul saw his life so devoted to the Lord that the word slave, a harsh reality of people being bought and possessed by other men, could also define his connection to God. He was God’s slave. He gave away right to his own life and entrusted himself to a new Master. The parallels are quite similar.

And Paul would probably also say he had been overcome by God’s mercy and grace. His life was under the constraint of God’s love. He demonstrated in his writings he was overwhelmed by forgiveness and astonished that God would choose to use him to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

So having been overcome by the greatness of God, Paul became enslaved to God’s intentions. I think I like that. By what overcomes us, that which overwhelms our resistance to deny, we bind ourselves to in loyal obedience.

A servant who loves his master and knows his master loves him lives with a joy “freemen” can’t experience. Paul knew that. He had lived free from the restrain of God, but now found greatest fulfillment being God’s own possession.

As God’s possession, God has committed Himself to us in ways the world can never know unless and until someone out of that world gives him/herself to the Master.

Question: Do you know you are not your own but you have been bought with a price and that therefore God owns you?

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