My family and I, we live in a pretty tiny duplex apartment. Our building isn’t a side-by-side duplex, it’s split top and bottom. We have the top half. For quite a long time, I was just itching to get out of here. It’s not just that our apartment is small, it’s not very nice.
When we moved in, there were lots of cosmetic issues that just made this place look, well, yucky. There was peeling paint on the walls and ceiling, stained and ripped carpet, and broken tile in the kitchen. Everything was obviously very dated and done very cheaply. But, hey, we had been apartment hunting for quite some time. This place was cheap and available so…here was are.
As I grew as a Christian, I learned to love my tiny, yucky apartment more and more. I got creative and made it more homey. It’s amazing what curtains and fresh flowers will do to a place! A lit candle here, a throw pillow there, and our apartment began to feel like a home. That is, when I decided to make it a home and quit whining. Where ever we are, we should make our home a place filled with love and joy. Constantly whining about how much you hate your home isn’t exactly joyful, eh?
So, I’ve nestled in and found contentment. God has provided a roof over our heads and a place to call home. How dare I tell God that His blessings aren’t good enough for me? I needed to humble myself before a holy God. But, any way…
I’m sure you all have heard Christian songs that talk about “breaking chains”. It’s a common theme in our worship music today. If we say that God will break every chain this implies there is something that is binding us. Something is holding us captive from which we must be set free. What is that?
Friends, we are not bound by tiny apartments or dead-end jobs. We are not bound by hand-me-down clothes or singleness. As a matter of fact, Scriptures calls us to sell our possessions and give to the poor. Yet, we think if we aren’t living a prosperous and flourishing life, something is wrong. Not at all.
In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul talks a bit about finding contentment in any and all situations. Contentment is found in Christ. Regardless of what we have going on, we have hope and peace in our Savior. If we can find contentment in all circumstances, it is safe to conclude that unfavorable circumstances are not a chain that binds us.
Romans 8 speaks very clearly about what bind us:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8:1-8
It is sin that binds. It is the law of sin and death from we needed to be freed. Christ broke that chain. When we live according to the Spirit, there is freedom. Living in circumstances that we deem unfortunate or unfavorable is not binding. This false belief can lead us to believe a false gospel. If we believe God wants to deliver us form our tiny home or dead-end job, we are not understanding the Gospel.
Now, perhaps God will open doors and opportunities for you. Maybe He won’t. But we should understand that peace can always be found because it comes from God. We should know that Christ died to forgive us of our sin, not so that we can have a cozy life.
As a matter of fact, Scripture warns us that this life will be hard. But, where Christ is, there is always hope.