A Prisoner By Choice
The articles I write I do so because most people never think about the subjects I write about. My topic today is “A prisoner by choice” in which I am referring to people choosing to remain a prisoner to their human fleshly desires rather than enjoy the freedom of living by the spirit.” This may sound to simple to illustrate a truth; but how many people do you know live in a home they do not know how to unlock the exterior doors so they can come and go as they please? None I bet. As simple as that illustration is; most people do not know God gave them the keys to releasing their spirit person from the fleshly prison they live in. So they do not live the life they were designed to live choosing to remain a prisoner in their own house instead. Isn’t that ironic? They let the fleshly body dictate to them what they will eat, whether they exercise or not, where they can go, who they can associate with and to whine and moan if they vary from their routine the least little bit. We were not created to be slaves to our fleshly body. We were created a spiritual being who just happens to live in a fleshly body.
I read one time that a certain tribe of Indians held the belief there were two hungry dogs living inside them. One was black and the other white which to me represents the spirit and soul and the flesh of man. They concluded the one they fed the most was the one who dominated their life. Do you grasp the meaning of this belief? If we yield to the flesh and follow its demands we are a slave to the desires of our flesh, but if we feed our spirit person it becomes strong and will rule over the desires of the flesh.
Cosmetics, plastic surgery, and clothing lines are three billion dollar industries that cater specifically to the flesh. People are so vain they spend billions of dollars annually attempting to hide the flaws the human body contains not understanding that no matter how much money they spend on their flesh to make it more appealing, it is still dying day by day and nothing they can do will change that fact. The second thing they fail to understand is it’s the inner beauty of a person that makes a person truly beautiful. It is what people do that makes them attractive and desirable, stable and secure in their own skin, not what they do to their exterior. These people do not see the faults we all have and they do not see color. They see the needs of other people and move to do something about their need to make the life of that needy person worth living. Our fleshly desire cares not for others, they are only concerned about me, my, and mine. What a waste of a life. Vanity keeps us from truly being all that we were created to be. Jesus said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” What if a person is the most beautiful person to ever live and gains control of the whole world, but they do nothing to help others to become all they can be; they are still a vain person. Jesus said their selfishness will cause them to lose their soul. Each of us came into this world with nothing and we will leave it the same way. The only question God is going to ask each of us is; “Did you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and did you help your fellow man to better his situation in life?” If your answer is no; you will never enter through the gates of God’s kingdom.
People are vain because they lack understanding. Hosea 4:6 tells us God said, “His people were being destroyed because of a lack of knowledge.” (My paraphrase) What knowledge were they lacking in that was allowing God’s people to be destroyed?” They were lacking in the understanding that God had a plan for them to prosper in this life even though they had been told of His plan numerous times. Therefore they did not follow His plan for them, and they failed to act upon the word of the prophet Hosea and all the prophets before him whom God had sent to tell them where they were failing, how that could remedy the situation, and what would be the end result if they continued to follow the path they were following. They refused to listen to Hosea and were taken captive a short time later by the invading Assyrian army, forced marched into a hostile land, and dispersed around the Assyrian empire.
Today, in a sense, there isn’t any difference between how the modern-day Christian lives and how the northern Israelites were living back then. Both of them were and are ignoring God’s plan for them and following the dictates of the flesh, both were and are trying to prosper their way, both ignored God’s directives to follow after Him and both will pay the ultimate price for their rejection of God’s plan for them. You cannot hear the voice of the spirit within if you are listening to the dictates of your fleshly desires. You will have to tell your cry-baby flesh to shut up before you will be able to hear the voice of the one you haven’t been feeding. God did not accept the ignorance and the excuses of the northern Israelites for not listening to Him, and the modern-day Christian will not be able to use ignorance of God’s Word as an excuse either because we have been told many times to renew our mind using God’s Word as that renewing force. You may be thinking, “Is that in my bible?” You bet it is. (Romans 12) You better get your bible down off the mantle, dust it off, and start reading it, because ignorance is not an acceptable excuse in God’s kingdom. We don’t read God’s Word because we think we know better than He does what the future holds for us. But you better think about this… what right do you think we have as a Christian who lives according to our fleshly desires to expect the Son of God who died for us to build us an eternal mansion to live in? (John chapter 14) None whatsoever! Jesus made it abundantly clear in the gospel of John when He said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15) If you love the Lord Jesus who is the Word of God, you will do what He commands you. (John 1:14) If not, we remain prisoners to our fleshly desires which is contrary to the teachings of Christ Jesus and in the end our refusal to hear and obey Him will cause us to lose our soul which is the most valuable possession we own. DThrash