Eph. 2:1-9 (The Voice), "As for you, don’t you remember how you used to just exist? Corpses, dead in life, buried by transgressions, 2 wandering the course of this perverse world. You were the offspring of the prince of the power of air—oh, how he owned you, just as he still controls those living in disobedience. I’m not talking about the outsiders alone; 3 we were all guilty of falling headlong for the persuasive passions of this world; we all have had our fill of indulging the flesh and mind, obeying impulses to follow perverse thoughts motivated by dark powers. As a result, our natural inclinations led us to be children of wrath, just like the rest of humankind.
4 But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, 5 united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life—even though we were buried under mountains of sin—and saved us by His grace. 6 He raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly realms with our beloved Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. 7 He did this for a reason: so that for all eternity we will stand as a living testimony to the incredible riches of His grace and kindness that He freely gives to us by uniting us with Jesus the Anointed. 8-9 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing."
I found this version of the Bible to be especially interesting. The wording in verse 2 "You were the offspring of the prince of the power of air—oh, how he owned you" made me think of my life. Satan has "owned" me many times and unfortunately he still gets in my mind and messes with me. I remember how I was so deep in porn that I would lie to keep it hidden. Then there is the people pleasing. Sometimes he still "owns" me when it comes to pleasing others or wanting their approval. Just as it says "we all have had our fill of indulging the flesh and mind, obeying impulses to follow perverse thoughts motivated by dark powers". I know I have had my fill. I don't want to do anything that keeps me from God but I still find myself doing the things I don't want to do. M-M-M, that sounds like Paul in Romans 7.
Now the good news. "But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, 5 united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life—even though we were buried under mountains of sin—and saved us by His grace." All I can say is thank you Jesus for liberating me. I did nothing to "earn" it no it is a gift but because of that gift I want to do more for Him. Celebrate Recovery has helped me to overcome many things and will continue to help me if I continue to work the principles and steps. God brought me to my knees then he provided Celebrate Recovery to help me really break free of the chains that held me for almost 50 years. Because it took 50 years to get where I was it will take time for all those ingrained habits to be wiped out but He is patient and works with me every day.
How has Satan been "owning" you? You know, just like me, you may not know just how much he owns you. Why not come to Celebrate Recovery and break those chains as I and many others have done. I think deep down you know there is something you need to give to Jesus. So, tonight at 6 PM, at Park Plaza Church of Christ, why not come hear a testimony and give whatever is hanging you up to Jesus. It works if you work it!