Thursday, May 03, 2007

Enslaved: Then and Now

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?...
Romans 6:16
The following poem was written by an alumnus of Setting Captives Free, a ministry for setting people free from slavery to sexual sin.

The Beast

The beast came a calling on a cold and lonely day.
He wanted to come inside so that we could play.
His voice was small and friendly, and he was lonely too.
I let him come inside with me, what else was I to do?
I learned so much from him as we started having fun.
I soon lost sight of trees and birds, of flowers in the sun.
It didn't matter, I did not care; the beast was my best friend.
I laughed with him and played with him, not looking at the end.
Little did I notice there in my bedroom
The beast had grown much larger, and light had turned to gloom.
We continued on into the night despite my weary fare.
I did not eat, I did not sleep; I simply did not care.
It felt so good to have this friend in the deep and dark midnight.
There was no one there to tell me this simply was not right.
Morning came, some friends stopped by; I had no time for them.
The beast was here, how little I knew - I was now in prison.
There were no bars; there were no gates, no locked doors to see.
But sure enough, I was trapped by one much stronger than me.
Time moved on, I continued to play; the beast continued to grow.
There still were no trees or birds for me, no sun on pure white snow.
There was only the beast and I, and the lust which filled my heart.
I never stopped to question the beast within my heart.
More days passed, and many nights, and I took another look.
When I reached out for the beast, on the floor I saw a Book.
It was old and it was worn, I had forgotten it was there.
There were whispers from its pages, a voice of love and care.
So quickly did the beast shut the Book up tight –
I had no time to read it and day turned back to night.
Morning gloom came slowly to my private room again.
Misty memories reminded me I had another Friend.
I told the beast to leave me alone, just for this one day.
I wanted to ask my other Friend if He would like to play.
The beast left without a word, he didn't even fight.
I spent the day with other Friend, He made me feel all right.
When day was done and I returned, beast was there for me.
It would take more than just one day to set this captive free.
More time passed, the beast grew large, and my life was filled with dark.
I was blinded to the fact this beast now filled my heart.
The Voice of Love I heard before called for me one more time
Reminding me the Book was there, and that the Book was mine.
I found it there upon the floor, the pages all torn up.
The beast had done its best to keep me from its touch.
There still were words that I could read, words of peace and life.
I told the beast I wanted to read; he hit with words that lie.
“All you ever need or ever want I have right here for you.
What need of words from a battered book that claims to speak the truth?”
“Still,” I said, “I want this Book, that’s what I’m reading for.
I can not let you stay with me to steal from me some more.
So let me read or go away, just be quiet now.”
With a roar, the walls came down; I knew not why or how.
I yelled and screamed, fought the beast, all to no avail.
The beast was stronger than I; he held me in this jail.
This beast I thought was my good friend, now held me in his arms.
If only I had known before I would have made alarm.
Now I knew it was much too late, I was captive all alone.
The beast began to squeeze me tight, crushing all my bones.
Then I remembered from the Book words which spoke of grace.
I called out to my other Friend; I began to see His face.
He told me I could never win against this mighty beast.
Hope quickly left my heart as I became a feast.
My other Friend spoke more words that filled my heart with Love.
“To beat this beast, you need all help from heaven up above.
I will ever fight for you if you confess your need of me.
If you try to fight alone - victory will flee.
Grace is all that’s needed and deep humility.
Choose now, my friend, the ugly beast or love and purity.
Count the cost, deny yourself, or choose a life of death.
You can be free right now, today, if you take this Breath.”
I ceased my struggles as tears of shame rolled down my burning face.
I don’t know why I forgot, or forsook this grace.
Scarcely had my heart subdued than the beast was gone -
And I was shown how deeply my heart was twisted and wrong.
I confessed it all, asked forgiveness of my Friend.
He held me gently in His arms, this love will never end.
Now I know it’s always choice, and life is filled with pain.
The pain of love I ever choose - never beastly pain again.
The beast comes knocking, now and then, to ask if I can play.
I tell him no, shut the door, and quickly run away.
And there on a table in my room sits an old and weary Book.
Its pages are ripped and taped together, better it never looked.
And my Friend is ever there, always by my side
To remind me beast will strike at the sight of pride.
He reminds me, too, of the price He paid to simply be with me.
The price I pay is small - compared to Calvary.

Kent Bevers
...But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
Romans 6:17,18
Gracious Father in Heaven, thank You that being set free from sin doesn't mean we become our own masters but rather that we become slaves to righteousness. There is nothing greater in the world for a depraved sinner than to be enslaved to You. So here I am and love to be, forever. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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