Day 49 - Issue 21

June 6, 2017

Hebrews 2:15 NLT

'Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.'

In life we find ourselves in unusual circumstances. I remember seeking to entertain a large crowd with a zany monkey glove puppet on my arm while attempting a ventriloquist act. I died a slow death on stage with little audience reaction save shock, horror and heckling. I pressed on valiantly, but to no avail. Before I ever went on stage I’d feared my act might crash and burn. Fear acts as one of the great inhibitors throughout life, but one we must always push back against.

Israel was in slavery in Egypt, living a horrendous life, yet fearful of what confronting Pharaoh might bring. Having faced that challenge, they then feared the loss of the familiar and their uncomfortable wilderness life. When we live by fear we’re constrained by the horizons fear creates.

In pursuing Messiah, we may never get off the starting blocks for fear that God can’t sustain us once we leave the safety of what we know. Society reinforces its key life messages but these are mere fictions presented as hard facts. So much of the advertising we experience sells us a lifestyle that it alone normalises. Social norms build our world view from an early age and easily enslave us.

God sets us free so we might think for ourselves. Such thinking enables us to see beyond the normalised constraints of life and begin to move towards the space God invites us to occupy. Israel could not have made the Promised Land without forward movement, even if they circled the wilderness for 40 years. Breaking a mindset takes courage and time.

The wonder of the work of the cross is that in defeating the powers, Jesus removed all obstacles from our path. We’re invited to dream and imagine that God’s kingdom is in fact the norm, not simply some worthy, idealised utopia that, at best, awaits us beyond the grave. Failure to imagine and seek to realise what I imagine is to sign my own death warrant. Be brave and begin to look at life as God intends us to live it.

QUESTION: Do you find the concept of being different from the majority worries you?

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have redeemed me from slavery to sin and death.

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