Just like paint, the gift of God often needs to be stirred up

Nick Hasselstrom

Did you ever go to a circus and look at those huge 12,000-pound elephants and notice that they were kept in one place by a small chain and a stake? When they were very little, they were chained to a stake and fought it until they realized they couldn’t get loose. They had been conditioned to a life of captivity.

As I thought of that, I reflected on my past. I was that elephant. I look at that stake as the world. I was chained to a world of alcoholism, pornography, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, shame and rejection — just to mention a few. I now see that that chain was my umbilical cord to the world. It was feeding me nothing but destruction and death.

As I fought against all of this destruction, I finally got to the point of just giving up and surrendering to the fact that my life would always be that way. I was ready to put a .357 to my head.

Then a good friend said I needed Jesus. I considered the alternative to Jesus and started going to church. I was immediately drawn into the word of God. And one night, six months later, Jesus came into my life in a big way, and he cut the umbilical to the world and set me free. Then through the power of the Holy Spirit, he gave me an umbilical cord to Jesus.

In John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” From the umbilical cord to Jesus, I receive life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). From the umbilical cord of the world, I received destruction and death.

Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Jesus said in John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

That is why the word of God is so important in a Christian’s life. It truly is the word that brings life through our new umbilical cord. If our spirit isn’t nourished by the word of God, we become weak and the flesh takes over. The flesh will lead us right back to the stake of the world and we start taking in death and destruction again.

Galatians 5:17 tells it pretty well: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

In closing, I want to make a statement for you to ponder. There are too many elephants in the house of the Lord today. Too many Christians coming into the house of the Lord and they are missing the Lord of the house.

Hasselstrom is pastor at ROXY 714 on Main Street in Lewiston, a partner of Cross Tied Ministries.

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