The Shackles of Self

Adam and Eve were just chillin’ in the Garden of Eden when a serpent came and brought to the attention the one thing that they were suppose to stay away from. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that was in the MIDDLE of the garden. Yes the middle of the garden, think about that a while. So from the very beginning the temptation was either the beauty of God with His direction or death and our own direction/wisdom.

Thus the battle began that would be one that lasts until today in the hearts of every individual… churched and unchurched.

A psalm of David expresses a freedom from this inner turmoil in psalm 131.

Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child is with his mother; Like a weaned child my soul is within me. O Israel hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.  

Like a weaned child my soul is within me. I believe that David is expressing a deep connection and love for God that has broken the torment of trying to control His own life. The Psalms paralleled Kings in a beautiful insight into a man who was to be the example to all of Israel and to the world and to whom Jesus would be called the son of.

God brings Ezekiel up into a vision of the valley of dry bones and says to Ezekiel (Ezek. 37) “Son of Man can these bones live?” And Ezekiel responds “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then the Lord told Ezekiel “Prophesy to these bones and say…”

Ezekiel did not frustrate himself with His own wisdom, he didn’t try and rationalize or worry about what was going on. He just simple trusted in what the Lord was doing and he avoided His first and most easy choice to utilize his own brain.  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is in the middle of every situation… it’s the easy choice the one that most of the time you end up paying for like Adam and Eve.

So Ezekiel was a Man of God and knew things about God that are too profound to comprehend, yet he chooses to decline His own understanding and the possible burden of it and say “Sovereign Lord only you know.”  As we see as a response to this proclamation God asks Ezekiel to Prophecy to these bones on behalf of Him. The language here is so rich with responsibility and power and yet with complete submission to God.

In these passages I believe that God reveals His easy yoke to us. Where we work with Him in power and strength and yet are free not to hold the great burden of the responsibility.   I believe whether your in ministry or whether you car payment is late, God is speaking to you saying “Can you build this church?” or “Can you make this car payment?”, and your first response is to pick the tree of knowledge and try and rationalize and figure. But God wants you to be free and say to Him “Only you know sovereign Lord”. In which he can respond with instruction and direction that gives you power and freedom. 

David says my soul is like a weaned child within me.  My soul in at rest because God is in control complete control.

May your mind be renewed as you lay down your life as a living sacrifice and trust God. I would suggest to you that David, Ezekiel, and many other great saints did not just end up in that great place of faith, they worked at it. They saw what the Lord was offering and they laid down there own lives for the sake of a greater one. A life with and for God… a living sacrifice. A life of freedom and power holding high there shackles broken shackles of self.  



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