Luke 1:74 We have been rescued from our enemies
so we can serve God without fear
My pastor told me a story of a bear who had been owned by the circus for many years. The bear was kept in a 6 x 10 foot cage, and for decades the animal paced back and forth, the length of the cage, over and over. When the bear was retired, and moved to a zoo where it had the freedom to roam throughout an enclosure, it continued to repeatedly walk the same distance, the same number of paces. It seems it didn’t know it had been un-caged.
I live 5 miles from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and for years I was there nearly every evening for a walk. But I haven’t been there for quite some time, as for the last year I have not had a vehicle. Although I was perfectly content to walk to the grocery store, I had grown quite used to not actually going too far from home. Two weeks ago, I was blessed with a car to use. Yet I find myself not going much further than … the grocery store. And I have not yet been back to the beach, once my nightly pilgrimage.
So many of us live our lives that way, in safe patterns and on safe roadways. They are the ways we know, the ways that are comfortable and familiar. Even destructive habits and behaviors seem more attractive to changing the way we live.
Whether it is a bad habit we do not break, a negative emotion we cannot shake, or a long list of things we want to do but are afraid to try, we are like that bear, pacing back and forth.
Not even realizing we have been freed.
I have some Christian friends who live amazing lives with seemingly no boundaries on what they will try, or what they have done. At young ages their list of accomplishments is long and impressive, yet they still live each day with a sense of wonder, awe and excitement. It is tempting to wonder if they ever had a cage around them at all. But we all do. The difference is that they live every day knowing that they are free. They realize that Jesus has swung their cage wide open, and they are no longer subject to bondage.
Jesus has given us the freedom from sin we could not obtain for ourselves. We are now told that all things are possible through Christ (Matthew 9:26) and if God be for us, no one can prevail against us! (Romans 8:31) . We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the yoke of slavery has been broken by Christ. (John 8:36)
Today, I ask you to join me in the challenge – stop pacing the imaginary cage, and explore this new world in the freedom that His sacrifice paid for.