10 Things to Lay Down
Our Own Path to “Freedom”
According to the National Runaway Safeline approximately 2 million teenagers run away from home every year in the United States. Youth as young as ten years old decide to leave their parents’ home. Some may have parents who tell them to leave, but other may be escaping from sexual abuse or neglect. Most don’t believe their parents care, so they wander the streets seeking a better life. Only 7% of missing teens ever return home.
During my first year of high school, I packed up my bedroom and stomped out the front door angrily. Selecting my own path of “freedom”, I actually stepped forward on a treacherous climb over the “dark mountains.” I didn’t believe my mom cared for me or would even miss me. But thankfully during my long walks, I sought Jesus to guide me. Like a lost sheep, danger to destroy me lurked at every street corner.
During this confusing time, I often read a little booklet called, The Daily Bread. But other than sporadic attendance at youth group and Sunday service, my attentions were unconcerned about “His healing stripes.” I didn’t even believe that I needed to be healed. What I sought from Jesus was protection, financial provisions, and wisdom to graduate from high school. All my time was spent working so that I could pay for movies, youth trips, and a prom dress. I did not have a slavish fear of God, but I was completely ignorant of my corrupt heart. I did not even feel weak, but felt like I was a strong woman completely competent to find my place in the world. I remember having a bumper sticker on my car that read: Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell is afraid that I’ll take over.
I had no idea that my soul was suffering from a grave sickness. My joyless spirit rotted every moment of high school and I hated it. But there was hope. Sin eventually melted my heart to sorrowful tears. Sorrow for what I had done was my first stage in the healing process.
Jesus is the cure for the grave sickness of our soul.
According to C.H. Spurgeon Jesus himself is the cure for the following:
- The mania of despair.
- The stony heart.
- The paralysis of doubt.
- A stiffness of the knee-joint of prayer.
- Numbness of soul.
- The fever of pride.
- The leprosy of selfishness.
- The fretting consumption of worldliness.
- 10. The cancer of covetousness.
It wasn’t an overnight transformation but a long wrestling match to overcome my stony heart, numb soul, and waves of anger that unleashed from my tongue in violent bursts.
But once the power of the Holy Spirit reveled the truth, I believed in Jesus. He slowly healed my soul. Gratitude, love, and obedience followed God’s merciful grace to me.
We all go astray during the frenzied moments of our day and sometimes lift our heads to discover once again we have wandered into the wilderness of sin. View the nightly news to discover that the whole race of mankind, no matter what race or culture, have wandered from the truth. We all need redemption because we always turn to our ways. Individually we sin. And as nations we sin.
In Corinthians 5:21 Paul writes that God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus Christ covers our sin with His own righteousness so that we might we made right with God. Jesus’ mercy and loving-kindness for us was the reason He willingly accepted the burden that was laid on him by God, the Father. God desires to redeem mankind and Himself fulfilled the requirement for a “perfect sacrifice” so that we all can be forgiven.
We all have at least one “beloved sin” of which we may not even view as sin. But our Heavenly Father knows that even what we perceive as the smallest sin deserves our sorrow of repentance. God saves us from our destruction by laying our sins on Christ. Jesus is our only way for salvation. According to T. de W. Talmadge D.D, “Our sins were the thorns in Christ’s head, the nails in his hands and feet, and the spear in his side.”
He willingly suffered to the point of death for our offences. He earned for us the Spirit and grace of God. Compared to what Jesus suffered, our present circumstances seem much lighter.
T. de W. Talmadge, D.D. describes this event: “But suppose you and I were in a regiment together, and I was fearfully wounded in the battle, and I fell unconscious at your feet with gunshot fractures and dislocations, five bullets having struck me at once — you would say to your comrades, “Here, this man is helpless. Let us carry him to the ambulance; let us take him out to the hospital.”
Perhaps God views us as so spiritually wounded in our daily battles, unconscious of sin with gashes of pride and despair but still under the delusion that we can deal with our own sin. But God waits patiently until like a drowning sailor we are at the helpless point of dying on the field if God does not immediately send His divine intervention, Jesus Christ to carry us to safety. How amazed when we awake to find Jesus himself binding up our wounds.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. NLT
“You have the right to remain silent.” We all know that the guilty remains silent in today’s society. And Jesus was silent before the judging crowd, so they probably viewed it as an admission of guilt. It’s hard to imagine Jesus who calms the wind and the waves does not use his power. He knows his impending fate, but accepted it.
With one word He could have made the world tremble, but He did not open his mouth. Even though His enemies accused Him of making Himself equal with God, He did not reject the charge but seemed to welcome it ( J.I. Blackburn).
C. H. Spurgeon relates how Jesus was like a lamb by describing how a sheep in the hands of shearers experience all the wool clipped off its back. But the shears never cut its flesh. The reason is because the sheep lies perfectly still.
I agree with him that we should learn from Jesus’ example as we endure our own trials. Do not kick or struggle, but lie perfectly still so that we won’t wound ourselves. Instead trust our Heavenly Father’s skillful hands.
May I Pray for You?
Heavenly Father, You are our Hope, the very essence of love, and our Confidence. We thank you for pursuing us when we stray from the path of your son’s footsteps. Thank you for revealing to us what causes our soul sickness. We welcome your son, Jesus Christ to heal our souls. We confess the sin that we love and ask that you break the stronghold it has over our minds. Give us a trusting spirit to remember that you are our merciful LORD when we are “being sheared” with difficulties. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.
View this video to learn about God’s history of Redemption from the fall of Adam to the promises of Abraham and Moses, to Jesus Christ. It answers the question Does God’s promises extend to all mankind. The reference books are the bible and Promises of God by R.C. Sproul.
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National Runaway Safeline. (website).
Our Daily Bread, devotional booklet. (website).
Sproul, R.C. The Promises of God. Discovering The One Who Keeps His Word. (book).
Spurgeon, C.H. The Universal Remedy (sermon).
Talmadge. T. de W. D.D.