Did God really say that gaining freedom from sin comes at a price?
Yes … yes he did.
What God said was this: “When you return to Egypt … I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will not let the people go.” Exodus 5:21.
God’s intent was clear: his people would be set free. But the struggle would last days, weeks, months … possibly over a year. Too often we think accepting Christ as our savior means we are instantly changed into super-God-children who act and think like Christ. But the process of sanctification, of becoming holy and pure, takes days, weeks, months, years … a lifetime. And the effort may kill us.
In fact it must.
In a spiritual sense, if we are to truly be free of sin, we must die to self (Luke 9:23). Not be wounded, hurt, inconvenienced, but die. The Apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20.
Satan will not surrender a single soul without a fight. He will make your circumstances more difficult and cause you to question your decision, your faith, your commitment to doing the thing God has called you to. Satan will lie to keep you addicted to your sins. And keep on lying. It is his native language.
“Make the work harder for the men,” Pharaoh said, “so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.” Exodus 5:9 Did you catch that? Pharaoh called God’s truth a lie. Satan will, too.
Often the circumstances of life do not get easier with Christ, but harder. Pharaoh ordered the Jewish slaves to gather their own straw rather than have it supplied, and when straw ran out, their brick quota remained the same. “The Israelites foremen realized they were in trouble.”
Aren’t we all.
Maybe you have said, as Moses said, “Lord, why have you brought trouble upon us? Is this why you sent me?” Exodus 5:22.
In one sense, yes. This is why we are called to face trouble and hardships — to be set free of sin. Christ paid the price for our freedom, but we must do the hard work of becoming transformed into his image — of working out our faith. Often that means working with straw stubble, rather than straw, and working day and night to meet the demands of life with the standard of God.
Freedom from sin comes at a price. It always does. In fact it costs you your very soul.
Lord, thank you that you have provided a way to live free of sin in this life. May you give me the strength and discernment to make the hard choices and do what is right in your eyes. My your hope of freedom burn in my heart.