Conformity to the Rope
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12: 1. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free." Gal. 5:1
I learned a sad fact about circus elephants in my Bible Study this morning. It seems that baby elephants are chained during infancy when growing up at the hands of circus masters. It begins with them tied to a tree without the strength to pull away. Though they repeatedly try they eventually exhaust themselves and surrender to the fact they can never walk in freedom. The struggle to be free ends and conformity to the rope begins. The bigger they become the smaller rope is required since their minds and spirits have already been broken. They adapt to living in the boundaries of the rope.
Living in the boundaries of the rope…haunting words for elephants and equally for Christians. Since infancy we were all born into the captivity of sin. Our circus master, Satan has trained us well as we find ourselves in adulthood living in some binding from our past. Our rope is the thing that always surfaces and entices us the most in our flesh. It is the thing that entangles…imprisons… binds. For me, it is serving to receive approval which means no boundaries. I have exhausted myself and frustrated others with this lopsided rope, all in the name of goodness. My caregiving tendencies in the past had such a hold on me from the time I was a child. We all possess ropes around our ankles that discourage us from living in the freedom God intends.
Christ gives us an opportunity to untie that rope that binds and be led out of our captivity. Even the elephant needs guidance when the rope is unsecure. He still thinks it is around his ankle because it always has been. It isn’t until the one who frees him guides him out into the wild that he is convinced he no longer is bound by the rope. "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature...But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Gal. 5:16, 18.
Just because Christ has freed us doesn’t mean we live like we are free. We can accept the freedom Christ gave us at the cross but still live like we are tied up. ‘Since our tendency as humans is to err in a direction away from God, we must retrain ourselves to walk in the ways of freedom.’ One in a Million – Journey to Your Promised Land, Priscilla Shirer, p. 14.
Don’t just believe the rope has been removed…walk and live as if you are free!