TEMPTATION, SIN AND SLAVERY
We live in the age of internet, artificial intelligence and smart devices, and are constantly bombarded with an overdose of information. Though this explosion of information can be wielded to benefit people, one cannot deny that the easy access to all sorts of input can corrupt innocent minds. In this article, let us look at the addiction that most Christians are unknowingly indulging in and let us prayerfully look at ways to break free with God’s help. The smart phones in our hands give us a round the clock access to a plethora of information that may serve as inputs that will eventually work its way to defile the mind of a righteous person. In the Bible we see how Joseph escaped from Potiphar’s wife who planned and presented the former with an offer that would give him all things that belonged to his master (Read Gen 39:7-12).
The Bible says that she spoke to Joseph day after day and proposition to him the same way the serpent beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden. She tempted Joseph with the Lust of the eyes, Lust of the flesh and Pride of life, covering all grounds to enable the young man to succumb. However, the Lord was with Joseph and the fear of the Lord kept him from sinning against God and Potiphar. Joseph physically removed himself from the temptation presented to him by fleeing from this master’s wife. But, how is one to flee if the pawn used for tempting sits in our hands or pockets? We are witnessing a steep rise in daily screen time which in turn is positioning our generation to be soft targets of the enemy. The screen addiction not only corrupts our minds but also keeps us away from the only cure to this addiction – the Word of God. If you are a phone/technology addict, below are a few ways that can help break free. ·
Pray: Ask God to strengthen you to choose Godliness over worldliness. Also, to instil in you love for the Written Word (Bible) and the Living Word (Jesus). ·
Word of God: Psalm 119:9 says, Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. Yes, the Word of God has the power to convict and cleanse us. Discipline yourself to read the Bible several times a day at preset timings. (A daily reading plan can help with this.) ·
Phone detox: Make it a point not to carry your phone around with you when you are at home. Also fix time to check messages and social media. A successful phone detox includes turning off all social media notifications. The time that is saved by keeping aside the phone can be utilised to dig deep into the Word.
Sin and Slavery: If we fail to check this (any) addiction which on the outside looks very harmless, it is most likely that our thought life will be compromised. This in turn will provoke the addict to convert his/her thoughts into actions leading the person to wander away from God into the clutches of sin. Once a person is gripped in sin, (s)he is a slave to the same. Galatians 5:1 says, 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.
In his letter to the Romans, Apostle Paul compared the slavery to sin with the Roman slave market. In ancient Rome, the number of slaves a person owned was equated to his standing in the society. Slaves were bought and sold as commodities. It is shocking to know that slaves were rented out for a set period of time, and second hand slaves were also sold in the market. A slave had no rights whatsoever. He/she had to do anything that was commanded by his/her master. Men, women and even children were showcased in the market for the wealthy to assess, bargain and buy. Whenever a slave(s) was put up for sale, a spear was erected on the ground or on a pedestal to let people know that the slave sale had begun.
A slave seen under the spear would be the slave up for sale. The spear is a sign that notifies passers-by that slaves are being sold under public authority. The Bible says in Romans 6:20, that we were slaves to sin; which means that we had a master – the devil. We had no rights and we were to blindly obey that master. Our situation was no different from that of a slave in the Roman slave market – gruesome. In Romans 7:14, Paul states that he was sold under sin. Sin in a person is the sign that he is up for sale in Satan’s slave market (sold under sin) just as the spear was a sign in the Roman slave market (sold under spear).
The only way to break free from the bondage of sin is to receive Jesus as master and saviour. It is only the blood of Christ that can cleanse us from all our sin. The precious blood of Jesus (once we believe) redeems us from the clutches of the devil. Once we are purchased possessions of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are no longer slaves of sin but of righteousness. We are set free from the bondage that we were in and Jesus has paid in full to redeem (buy back) us out of the hand of the enemy. Dear friend, If you are still a slave of sin or any kind of addiction, turn to the Saviour – Our Lord Jesus Christ. Call upon His name and he will deliver you (Joel 2:32). Once you are free from the clutches of the evil one – declare your freedom with the word of your mouth (Psalm 107:2). Also, be vigilant so you are not drawn away and enticed by your own lust (James 1:14) – this will require you to watch the inputs you feed your mind.
By Sheba Franklin