By Julie Ganschow
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 your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness takes many forms. Something to keep in mind is anytime you indulge your flesh to the point of “addictions” you have become a slave to whatever you 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 your friends and neighbors, family or co-workers. Maybe one of them is you. There is only One who can free you from such bondage. We bring His message of hope and truth to the hurting people surrounding us. The reality about sin is, the Lord is not going to swoop in and take away all your sinful desires. It is going to take the hard work of a changed heart to bring about the changed life you so deeply desire.
At some point, you are going to have to be willing to knock whatever you worship off the altar. Knocking it down will be painful, I will warn you now. You cannot expect to claim it in Jesus’ Name and walk away healed and free; that is foolishness. You have built a system of belief and a system of worship around this thing and it colors and influences how you “do” life!
You must begin with prayerful determination that you will no longer be a slave to whatever has you bound (Romans 6). Enlist the help of those around you and make yourself accountable to them for change (Galatians 6:1-2). Learn where your pitfalls are, what sets you off, what makes you run to that old comfortable idol and then make a plan to run somewhere else – like into the throne room of the Almighty God (Hebrews 4:16). It is there that you will find grace to help you in your 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 and enslave us and they grow more and more powerful in our lives and they corrupt us further and further until we believe we are beyond hope.
Do not go back to the grave dear friends. You have been set free!
Julie Ganschow is the founder and Director of Reigning Grace Counseling Center (ACBC, IABC, AABC Certified Training Center) and Biblical Counseling for Women.