“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

Recently, my boss was explaining to me why she does not want to smoke. She has been a smoker at different times in her life, and of late has started smoking again. She is not really concerned about the health issues that come with smoking, but she is concerned about the strong hold it has on a person. She does not like the bondage that she is under—everything she does is controlled by the need for a cigarette. When she goes to a restaurant, she has to know if there is smoking allowed. Going to the movies must be planned around her last cigarette. Her next smoke is all she thinks about while she is at work. At one time she had quit for eight years, and she said that she had not realized how much bondage she was under until she was freed. She could breathe better, her food tasted better, her schedule was not dictated by smoke breaks, and her thoughts were not occupied with cravings. She no longer felt like a chained prisoner.

As she was explaining all of this, it occurred to me that this is exactly what it is to be in the bondage of sin. People who are bound by sin often do not know they are under so much bondage until the chains of sin are loosed. They cannot understand the freedom there is in salvation until they have experienced it, and then how grateful they are to finally know what it is to be spiritually free.

However, it is sad to say that there are those who, once freed, decide to return to a life of bondage. I turned my back on the Lord’s goodness several years ago, but in His love and mercy, He called me back. What joy I experienced when He set me free! No more a slave in the bondage of sin, I am free to live life as a child of the King! With God’s help, I will never turn my back on this freedom.

Logically, it does not make sense to return to something that was so terrible, yet many have been tricked into doing just that. Thank the Lord, there is hope for backsliders to get victory again, and there is enough power in Jesus’ Blood to keep those who are determined to be kept. May we all be vigilant to stand fast in the liberty Christ has given us, and to “be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”