Growing up as an only child, I always talked to myself. Yes, even answered myself! I have always been a deep thinker and so I had to process somehow. I remember just mumbling my thoughts aloud, trying to make since of life. I realized the battles of right and wrong, of good and evil. I remember feeling almost schizophrenic for I could play out two scenarios in my head. I knew how I should respond, but something in me wanted to know what would happen if I, instead, responded how I shouldn’t.
I think of Gollum in Lord of the Rinds. One side always plotting for the chance to steal off with the ring. While the other side tried to talk him out of it. Gollum was consumed with the turmoil of these two voices pulling at him.
Honestly, we as believers can share the same struggle. We have an “old self” or “natural man” we were born into. This great looking self carries on with life fine until he reaches a mirror and sees who he truly is – a grotesquely figured man, in shackles and chains. This self feeds on Power and hungers for selfish attention. He manipulates people and circumstances to accomplish his purpose no matter the cost to those around him. And the more he gets, the more he craves for more. Lies spew naturally from his mouth. He loves to hide in the darkness. Little does he know, though, this road leads to death. Not a pretty picture, huh?
But this is what we’re born into. Flesh, self, individuality, mortality, whatever you want to call it, it encases us the moment we are born. But something happened to change all that. A little baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger. Men from the East bearing gifts fit for a King came, along with lowly shepherds to celebrate His birth. It was prophesied long ago by the prophet Isaiah, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Why did this child Jesus come? Because the song is true… “Jesus loves Me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” He loves YOU. He loves you so much He couldn’t be away from you. He had to be away from you because of the fleshly, ugly sinful casing we were born into. God, being Eternal and having No beginning and No end, wasn’t born into this sinful casing. He is and always has been perfectly Holy, with no defect. That left us stranded, separated by a vast chasm, and no way back to our Creator. How can that space be crossed? There was only ONE way. A sacrifice from a man fully God and fully human – Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life and He died in our place, fully appeasing the required sacrifice. Now, we have the CHOICE to live and have life eternal again. He made a bridge so we could again have communion with the Father who made us – that Holy God. Have you accepted this gift this Christmas? It’s the most important one you’ll ever receive.
If you have accepted this gift, are you living in the Power of Resurrection? Jesus came that we would be released from the chains of our old self. He came to free the captive, love the fatherless, help the widow. We don’t have to stare at our old chained self in the mirror or listen to those old voices. That man is gone!! We are a New Creation, precious and dearly loved, and given Power from God Most High to live it out.
Gollum makes a great character in the movies, but not in real life. Break the cycle and live in freedom over the chains!
Putting it In Our Own Words,