A Yoke of Slavery and War

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Gal. 5:1 ESV).

We are free in Jesus Christ. Most people prefer freedom over slavery or serving someone perpetually. Others may claim that servitude is unavoidable. How does servitude transcribe spiritually? On one hand, people have freedom over their decisions. On the other hand, this freedom can be taken or given away. So why are we commanded not to subject ourselves to spiritual slavery if we essentially have control over our decisions? There is perhaps, an agent working to overthrow our capability to reason righteously. Conversely, all decisions that we make are our natural decisions and show our true character. Nonetheless, this largely depends on how we are made.

Biblically speaking, we are essentially made like God (Gen. 1:27). According to Scripture, our natural tendency is to be God-like. Howbeit, as Plotinus affirms, when we do not “detach” ourselves from the “tyranny of…desires which…can break in, drive and drag,” and bring us into subjection to our sinful flesh and outside “environment,” it is possible to act contrary to godliness (Third Ennead, Tr. 1, Ch. 9). “Externals,” according to Epictetus, must be avoided in order to remain “elevated, free, unrestrained, unimpeded, faithful, (and) modest…” (Discourses, Bk. 1, Ch. 4). For Plotinus, heeding to external stimuli can harm a person spiritually.

Aurelius places desire in an ‘internal’ environment and claims that a person letting desire take rule in them indicates an internal “impulse to do wrong” (Meditations, Bk. 2, Sect. 10). Likewise, Freud asserts that the human soul is independent to make its own decisions and passions are a product of not an outside force but of one’s internal desires (Thoughts on War and Death, Ch. 1). On one hand, scripture tells us that the Spirit of truth lives within us and we are naturally in the Spirit (John 14:7; Rom. 8:9,11). On the other hand, James writes, “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:14).

Therefore, we were intended to be spirit-beings minding the things of the Holy Spirit, but there also exists this evil desire within us, ever since the sin of Adam, that is contrary to the Holy Spirit. Therefore there is a war going on not externally but internally, within our own bodies (Eph. 6:12). Nevertheless, God has deposited his Holy Spirit within us, the same spirit of Jesus Christ, who has made us free from having to be ruled by this government of darkness (Rom. 8:32,11; Col. 1:13; John 16:33). Yet, the good that we want to do, we do not do and the evil that we do not want to do we do (Rom. 7:15). May God bless you to reason spiritually and fight on the good side of the war, which is faith in Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:12).

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