Set Free To Serve
(Romans 6:18 KJVA) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Bob Dylan wrote a song with the words that said,
“You have got to serve somebody,
It might be the devil, it might be the LORD,
But you’ve got to serve somebody.”
We have talked before about how nature abhors a vacuum. As we are on our human journey, we develop habits and systems of doing things. Some of these systems help us grow and go forward on our journey, others, have us sliding backwards, or are holding us back, in the least. If we truly desire to press forward then we have to identify these negative systems and remove them from our path. Many of us already know the things in our lives that have been restricting our spiritual growth. Many of us know the bad habits that we have; those things that keeps us from being all we can be. We know the besetting sins, we know the dumb things that we keep doing over and over again, and we have tried and tried and tried to be set free from them. Too often after a short term success the negative habits return with a passion.
The main thing we are going to see today is how our freedom is dependent upon our commitment to an equal or more powerful positive force.
Now before I go any further it is imperative that we answer the question of why. Why should we even bother? Why should we go through all the effort to break these bad habits that we have had for so many years? Does it really even matter? Why try?
The answer on the surface seems to be easy enough. So that we would have a better life. Didn’t Jesus come so that we could have life and have it more abundantly?
(John 10:10 KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I have to put this in here…. You have to look at the original language at that word translated “abundantly.”
From G4012 (in the sense of beyond); superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication excessive; adverb (with G1537) violently; (as noun) preeminence: - exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly, advantage, exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, vehement [-ly].
God wants more for you then you can even imagine. You need to start thinking bigger for yourself!!!! I am talking not just abundant, but SUPERABUNDANT!!!!
So the answer is a resounding YES! The problem is, the enemy has so many of us brain washed into believing that we do not deserve to live the abundant life. Or that the life of sin and deprivation is the more abundant life then a life of righteousness and holiness.
Even when some of us have hit rock bottom and know that is a lie, we continue to choose to remain in the chains of bondage to an enemy who wants nothing more then our destruction and to rob from us any chance of living out the divine purpose that God has predestined for us.
With that being the case, the answer of the abundant life is not good enough for some of us, because the unfortunate truth is that some of us don’t care enough about ourselves to want to try any harder for ourselves. The cause of our struggle needs to be bigger then ourselves.
Why do young men and women go into battle? They, for the most part, do not do it for their own glory. They do not go to war, knowing that they may not return, to make their own lives better. They go for their families, they go for their country, they go for their firm belief in their cause.
If you desire to do great things then you need to have a great cause. If you know that your struggle against the enemy of your own will is going to be one that you will have to fight every day for the rest of your days here on earth, then you are going to need a reason far beyond your own life to continue in the fight.
For, many they can find the strength to enter the fight for the love of their families. For some, even that bond is not strong enough to keep their eyes upon the finish line.
What is it you are living for?
What is your purpose in life?
What real cause is there that will finally make you make a stand and say no more? No more addictions, no more mediocrity, no more constantly falling back into that pit of despair.
Beyond the superficial things of this earth, what is it that you desire to accomplish with your life. You might remember how I quoted William James who said;
“The best way to spend your life is on something that will outlast it.”
What is it that you want to leave behind you? What legacy do you desire to have? And above that, what difference do you want to make in this world?
Our cause needs to be a great one.
There is an expression that is used in more of a derogatory way then in the way that it should be used. The expression is;
“For Christ’s sake!”
We have been bought with a great price, a price that we can not even imagine. Above that price, is the love that God has for you that moved Him to make such a sacrifice. You are loved with an unconditional, never-ending, super-natural love. That love is able to move mountains. That love is powerful enough to raise the dead to life. That love is strong enough to lift you out of the deepest muck and mire that you could ever get yourself in to; and wash you clean as snow.
If you only knew the price, if you only know the love, if you only knew Jesus, you would do all things “for Christ’s sake.”
Going back to our text; in the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul paints for us the picture of freedom from the bondage of sin, as reflected in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That sin, that, addiction, that bad habit, that generational curse, what ever has been holding you back has been crucified with Christ.
(Romans 6:6 KJV) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
You have been set free, You have been set free, You have been set free!
If you finally come to the realization of this awesome fact, you can not only put that sin to death and behind you, but you can rise to a new life, fuller then you ever imagined.
(Romans 6:11 KJV) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The term “reckon” in the Greek is a word were we get our word “logic” from. You have to logically see yourself dead the past, You have to call it done. You have to stop praying for it to happen and start praising God for it already happening.
You are now Alive!!!! ALIVE!!! ALIVE!!! Unto God!!!!
It is time to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is time to empty yourself of the past, and fill yourself up with the eternal now!!!! God is the God of the Eternal now!
We live not for ourselves but we live for Christ’s sake!
(Galatians 2:20 KJV) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
To go back to our original proposition; our freedom is dependent upon our commitment to an equal or more powerful positive force.
I have a real question that I want you to ask yourself. Look back at yourself just one year ago today. Are you any spiritually stronger or are you still playing the same games with yourself and God? I mean, is your relationship with God stronger today then it was last January? How about your relationship with the other people around you? You, know sometimes you can judge your relationship with God by your relationship with your friends and neighbors. Are you developing real caring relationships, or are you still getting caught up in the gossip and back stabbing?
I really want us all to take a moral and spiritual inventory. If you have not found yourself any better then you were last year, or if you are realizing that you are about the same, then you are in bondage and you need to be set free. Remember, if you are going forward with God, you are going backwards. What we all need to do is to press in….. I mean really press in. You need to push like you are pushing hard against a door trying to get it open; so hard that when it does open you fly in and fall into the room. You need to go forward with passion. You need to get a clear vision of what God has available for you and go for it with everything you have got and then some. The verse of scripture that I often quote from Paul tells how he is pressing towards the high calling in Christ…..
(Philippians 3:14 KJV) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
That word Press… is an active verb meaning to run, to flee from or rush towards. It does not mean that you slowly trudge along…. It means you rush forward. It is time to take the kingdom by force. It is time to be set free and it is time to serve the king of kings and the lord of lords. All authority and all power has been given unto him so….. then if not for your own sake…. If not for your family’s sake, then for the sake of Christ…. Press on toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God….. Press on to victory, Press on to freedom. Press on!!!!