Saturday, Dave and I worked in our landscaping trimming shrubs. Our dog loves to be outside with us but he gets bored with what we are doing. If we don’t keep a careful eye on him, he runs over the river and through the woods to someone else’s house! We don’t like that so I have taken to putting him on a long leash so he can wander within reason. It’s safer for him and it allows me to work without wondering if he is on the road.
Throughout the day, I moved Oliver around the yard so he could be close to where we were working. The final time I moved him, I didn’t attach the leash to anything. He was free to roam but he didn’t know it because the leash was still attached to his collar. As we were doing a final clean up and putting tools away, he stood up by the house, where he thought he was tied, and barked at us. He didn’t like to be so far away.
I laughed as I thought about how often I act just like my dog. He assumed that since the leash was still attached to his collar, the other end must be attached to something immovable. He didn’t even try to come to us; he stayed where he was.
I thought about behaviors or lifestyle choices that have chained me up. Even after I confess my wandering, am forgiven and set free, I act like I am chained to that “thing” whatever it is — like this old habit has the power to define the parameters of my life. I don’t embrace the freedom I have in Jesus and stay tied to old ways of thinking or doing.
6We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.Romans 6:6-7
12Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.Romans 8:12
Paul is clear in his letter to the Romans, sin has lost it’s power over us when we say yes to Jesus. There might still be remnants (leash on Oliver’s collar), but we are no longer chained to that behavior.
What is keeping you from cavorting in the freedom Jesus gives? You are not obligated to stay chained there; you have no obligation to do the things from your old life! Run free!!