A Slave to My Whims
Not long ago, I was reading in 1 Cor 6. I was reading this chapter in The Message. When I arrived at vs. 12, I whispered “wow”. This is a verse that most Bible readers would be familiar with. Let’s take a look at it in the King James first:
12All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
This verse is very enlightening for many reasons. When this verse began to shine as truth and light for me many years ago, I began to see that the first part illuminates our relationship with God and the law in that unmerited favor puts us much in the same position as an ambassador in another country. We are not subjected to their laws. However, disobeying their laws can cause problems, deportation for one. But you will not be punished for breaking a law of that country where you serve.
So while everything is legal, not everything is expedient. Paul says that even though we are not subject to the law, he himself would not be brought under the power of any. Amen.
I find this expression rather deep, something to contemplate, but not fully understood. So let’s take a look at it in the Amplified Version.
12Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.
Yes, thank our Holy God Almighty we are under grace. But Paul says even so, he would not become a slave to anything or be brought under its power. This sheds more light on the subject for me. God’s people, though not subjected to the law and it’s just punishment, should not allow themselves to be enslaved to anything or anyone. Paul says that it is not good or profitable for him. Guess what? The same applies to you and I.
Now let’s move on to this verse in every day jargon:
12Just because something is technically legal doesn't mean that it's spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I'd be a slave to my whims.
When I read this verse this morning, yes, I went “wow”. It says that Paul did not go around doing whatever he thought he could get by with. Does that sound familiar to you? I have lived most of my life getting as close to “wrong doing” as thought I could get away with, without crossing over the line. Invariably, we cannot live at the edge of the law without slipping over, yoking ourselves to our whims and our sinfulness once again.
Paul is writing this letter to the Corinthian Church. We commonly call this the “Carnal Church”. Here is the epitome of carnal living. You and I both know that attempting to live as close to sin as we can without crossing over the line is as carnal as it can be. We are not fooling anyone but ourselves. We impose on God’s permissive will. And stretching as far as we can to be near our “old love” and life, we find ourselves continually getting into trouble. In The Message, it says we become “a slave to our whims”. My, my, my. Is that the truth or what? I lived most of my life as a slave to my whims. Am I the only one here? How can I say I’ve been set free if I am still yet a slave to anything? I make myself a liar. Then the whole thing just comes tumbling down on top of me. Fear and depression come roaring in, and there I sit in dismal misery. I have “fallen short” again, and again, and again. Over and over I’ve had to cry out to the Lord for forgiveness and help.
Paul is warning us. Do not take your “liberty” as an occasion of sin! Why? Because it will come back to bite you, that’s why! You will find yourself in bondage all over again!
This truth is exactly why I’ve recently and finally put to death, “my whims” (Lord help me)! God has not created me to be a slave to my whims. He sent His Son to die in my place, and to be a light to my path. He shows us “The Way” for He “is The Way”! He lives in obedience, so I must also. No “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts”.
I’ve cast aside anything and everything that have in the past enticed my “whims” and led me astray. Oh the loss I’ve suffered running here and there following whims. I have repented, and God has restored me in an unbelievable fashion. I have no fellowship with the powers of darkness! I do not tempt my flesh to rise from the grave again. In my mind, I do believe I have finally put my “old man” to death, at last. Glory be to God.
I could not do that on my own will power and determination. That is religion and it does not work. I had to cry out to God, “Help ME!” I know He has been waiting a very long time for me to do just that. Now He empowers me to live the way He desires me to live, day by day, one day at a time. I am so very humbly grateful.
Are you a slave to your “whims”? Just pause a moment and think about that……God will wait. Isn’t it time to be set free of all of that and get deep into God? Stop trying to set yourself free. Let His Son set you free. 1 Cor 1:18 says that the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to those of us who are being saved, it is THE POWER OF GOD! How is this power introduced into and affect our lives? It gives us the ability to say “NO” to our “whims”, and say “YES” to our obedience to God! Alleluia! I’m going to end this right here, so you and I can spend some quiet time with God and get some things settled. May God richly bless us as we do. Amen.