Like Slaves in Search of Little Masters

My Dear and Darling Fellow Sojourners, I wish I had all the time to be on here this morning that I’d like to take for this post but I am in the midst of preparing five messages for the Life Today taping this weekend. To say I have some work to do today is an understatement and I bet many of you know the feeling. Our schedules are beyond us, aren’t they, Girls? My heart is so impressed with something, however, that it’s about to burst so I’ll at least offer it in the short version and leave it in God’s hands.

So many of us in this community have been freed from big things. We’ve also, thanks to the persistent, sustaining grace of God, learned how to be on guard against other big things. We know that there’s a life we do NOT want to return to and that our joy, our anointing and our profound effectiveness thrive only when we are dancing free in Christ. But it’s occurred to me again recently how insidious the smaller things can be. If our enemy can’t hang us with one big rope, he’ll gladly strangle us with a thousand threads.

We forget we’ve been set free. We keep returning back to that enslaved way of thinking and living and find ourselves in bondage to a host of little masters. Most of these things are not bad in themselves. Maybe they’re even good. They’ve just taken more authority and attention than they should. I’ve had one of those recently. That’s not true. I’ve had a lot more than one but there is one in particular I became most aware of. It wasn’t a bad thing. Not a sinful thing. It had just become too much of a thing. It had the makings of an addiction and, Lord, have mercy, I’m the last person who needs to open that door again. I had lost the ability to be moderate with it. People can say what they want about whether or not we can hear the inaudible voice of God in our spirits but, as I live and breathe, there I was doing that thing again and I felt Him say, “STOP IT.” Not forever because it’s not a bad thing. In fact, a person would be kinda weird without ever doing this particular thing again. The instruction I discerned from the Spirit was to give it up just long enough to gain back some moderation. Would you believe, as silly as the thing was, that the first few days without it were really hard? That’s how I know it had the makings of an addiction. A week later, however, I felt a full release of joy. It wasn’t even a challenge anymore. In fact, it was a praise and a restoration of time and energy and focus that I could lift up to God. It’s been a month now and my date for having it restored is coming up pretty soon. I feel cheerful about it but, mostly, I couldn’t care less. I could live without it a whole lot longer if I needed to.

1 Corinthians 6:12 speaks to those things that aren’t bad in themselves but have the propensity to enslave us. Those things that I’m referring to, in this post, as little masters. Under the inspiration of the Spirit, Paul reframed a common colloquialism of his time. You’ll see it in quotations in the segment below just as you’d see it in quotations in most of your translations. Paul was frustrated with new believers in Christ who were twisting around the whole idea of freedom from religious laws and using a common saying in their culture to support their carnal appetites. He made a distinction that is the difference between day and night in our daily lives if we’re willing to listen.

“Everything is permissible for me” – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” – but I will not be mastered by anything.

Something may be permissible that has grown out of proportion until it has ceased to be beneficial. It has taken a place of mastery. Authority. We feel enslaved to it. Maybe some of us can actually go from addiction straight to moderation but most of us have to actually stop the thing for a while to give the power over us time to break. Then, if our flesh dies down about it and we can manage to rediscover that beautiful thing called moderation, we can reintroduce it. IF we will employ the strength of the Holy Spirit within us to command it to behave and keep its place. I’ve had a few other things in my life, things that offered no benefit whatsoever, that simply had to be cast out for good. And, after I could get over those first pangs of craving, I gladly said good riddance.

That’s not bondage to me. That’s not a life of denial to me. That’s freedom. That’s where I’m happy. Effective. Liberated. That’s where my arms are loosed to grab hold of all the incomprehensible graces for which I was apprehended. (Phil. 4:12) I don’t know how this speaks to you today but sometimes we in find ourselves in similar places. It’s often not the big things, Girls. It’s that host of tiny masters. Put them back in their place. They’ve grown from trolls into monsters.

I love you. I’m committed to walking victoriously with you. Let’s remember today that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)


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