When I was young, my family rescued a dog named Butch out of the county kennel. This mutt who used to live in a tiny cell was brought into a huge backyard where he had all the food, water, and running space of which a dog could only hope. Surrounded by love and protection, I knew he would happier than ever before.
Until the stray dogs came around. When these visiting dogs came around, a change happened in Butch.
All of a sudden, the protection that he benefited from became the barrier that confined him.
That night, he dug an escape route to enjoy the life of a stray.
Unfortunately, that can be our story sometimes too. Having complete freedom in Christ has immeasurable implications, but we sometimes see how those outside these Christian “fences” are living and we envy their carefree state.
15 By abandoning the straight path, they have gone astray and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16 but received a rebuke for his transgression: a speechless donkey spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17 These people are springs without water, mists driven by a whirlwind. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them. 18 For uttering bombastic, empty words, they seduce, by fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. (2 Pet. 2:15-19, HCSB)
Peter says of these people that they seduce us by promising freedom, but they are actually “slaves of corruption.” We tend to confuse people who don’t have a standard to live by as being free. While they may seem carefree, they are slaves to sinful appetites.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to try to convince ourselves that a sinful way of life isn’t fun. Of course, it’s fun – for a season.
Following every sinful desires brings about momentary pleasure, but it causes us to be imprisoned by our desires.
Today, be careful of envying sinful lifestyles. From celebrities to coworkers, don’t envy distance from God. Acknowledge that following desires is pleasurable, and the only thing more pleasurable is handling those desires in a God-honoring way. Choose to follow Jesus today over your desires or the seductive lies of those around you.