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Cross Words: The truth shall set us free Part 2
After some 400 years of enslavement at the hands of the Egyptians, the Israelites were miraculously, divinely granted their freedom.  It was what they had pleaded for day after day for centuries. But a scant 45 days into their freedom march, at the first sign of difficulty, they desired to return to the chains they had grown to despise (Ex. 16:1-3). It makes one wonder just what in the world they were thinking.
Before we throw those fickle Israelites down the river, we who have accepted God’s forgiveness and grace should ask ourselves that same question.  The Bible says that those who have begun a relationship with Christ have been set free from sin (Romans 6).  Yet we, just like the Israelites of old, continue to travel down that nostalgic road of destruction.
So how do we break free? Is there some Bible verse we can memorize to break this curse? Is there some prayer we can recite over and over? Can’t God just take the temptation away? Surely there’s an easy answer.
The truth is there’s not an easy answer or an easy way.  It is a battle you and I are going to have to fight for the rest of our natural lives. Jesus said we have to deny ourselves (our sinfulness) and “take up His cross daily” (Luke 9:23). Grace may be a free and easy gift from God, but overcoming the temptation to sin is a challenge and it is on us.
Essentially the Israelites wanted a commercial jet with first class seats to take them to the promised land.  They wanted their freedom from captivity but they didn’t want to have to break a sweat to get it. We are not much different. We want God to remove the temptation and the tempter. We want the road to heaven to be smooth and straight. Yet there are no shortcuts to the ‘Promised Land.’  Most often our paths must be traversed through the desert.
Stay the course.  If you stumble, get up and start over.  We don’t want to be like our Jewish forefathers who died out in the desert, without seeing the best God had for them on this earth.
“Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness” (Romans 6:13-14).

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