By Julie Ganschow
The Members of Your Body
“And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13, NASB).
Offering the members of our body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness takes many forms. Anytime we indulge the flesh to the point of “addictions,” we become a slave to whatever we are worshiping.
For example, I used to worship the idea of being thin, and so I abused my body to make it that way. I thought I was in control of the situation, but I quickly learned that if I wanted to be thin I was going to have to play by the “thin rules.” Those rules included not eating or not eating much beyond diet soda and popcorn, not cooking, not making foods I knew others would enjoy because I would eat them too and that would violate the “thin rules.”
I thought I was exercising control over my life, and in actuality, I became a voluntary slave to being thin. My days and activities were constantly dominated by “don’t.” Don’t eat this or that, don’t go here or there because they could have food. Don’t go out to lunch with your friends because you will eat. You can’t eat because then you won’t be thin!
This way of life took over my life. I had no freedom or control because what I once controlled was now controlling me!
The person who wakes up on their face in the driveway one morning, all foggy-brained from the drunk or high they went on the night before may not understand their slavery. The young woman who rushes to the bathroom many times a day to vomit up her food intake does not understand her slavery either. The young man who clicks on pornography in his bedroom in the dark, seeking harder and harder porn thinks he is only looking for the next thrill. The man or woman who takes the house payment to the casino for one last try at making it rich doesn’t understand what drives them, or that they are no longer having “fun” at this anymore.
Each of these people is real. They are our friends and neighbors, family or co-workers. Maybe one of them is you.
There is only One who can free us from such bondage. We bring His message of hope and truth to the hurting people surrounding us.
The reality about sin is that the Lord is not going to swoop in and take away all our sinful desires. It is going to take the hard work of a changed heart to bring about the changed life we so deeply desire.
At some point, we are going to have to be willing to knock whatever we worship off the altar. Be forewarned: knocking it down will be painful. We cannot expect to claim it in Jesus’ Name and walk away healed and free; that is foolishness. We have built a system of belief and a system of worship around this thing and it colors and influences how we “do” life.
While there are no “easy steps,” there are biblical principles we each must pursue.
- We must begin with prayerful determination to no longer be a slave to whatever has us bound (Romans 6).
- We must enlist the help of those around us and make ourselves accountable to them for change (Galatians 6:1-2).
- We must learn where our pitfalls are, what sets us off, what makes us run to that old comfortable idol.
- We must make a plan to run somewhere else—like into the throne room of the Almighty God (Hebrews 4:16). It is there that we will find grace to help in our time of need.
There is a reason that Ephesians 4:22 tells us to throw off our old fleshy selves, our old desires, our old objects of worship. It is because they capture us, enslave us, and they grow more and more powerful in our lives. They corrupt us further and further until we believe we are beyond hope.
But we do not have to go back to the grave. In and through Christ we have been set free!
How can God’s story of being set free in Christ empower you to find Christ’s victory over the things that enslave you?
Julie is the Directory of Reigning Grace Counseling Center and a member of FCC.