A physical prison is built brick by brick. Similarly, a spiritual prison can be erected one sin at a time without a believer noticing. Ensnarement happens slowly, beginning with a thought. Over time, unless the thought is eradicated, contemplation turns to action. With Satan falsely promising happiness as the reward for giving in to temptation, sin gains strength through repetition until our conscience is finally overpowered. One day we discover the devil holds our will in bondage.
But we can avoid spiritual chains. Our first step is to acknowledge two basic truths: All sin enslaves, and bondage begins in the mind. We cannot maintain a healthy relationship with the Lord while indulging sin. When a wrong thought creeps into our consciousness, we have the choice to expel it or to entertain it. Through the strength of the Holy Spirit, every believer possesses power to change his or her mind.
A strong antidote to temptation is a long-term view of disobedient behavior. A second step, then, is to ask ourselves, Is the pleasure of this sin worth the consequences of enslavement? Inevitably, the answer is no. What alcoholic would claim that his next drink is worth the powerlessness he feels against the bottle?
Third, we order our life according to Scripture. That is, we make the choice to place ourselves in bondage to the Father because we find true freedom in Him. His Word trains us to recognize sin and excises wrongdoing from our heart. Ask God to speak through the Bible today, and see what He reveals about your life.
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