Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 9-22-09
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:1 and 2
All too often there are those who conform themselves to this world, abandoning the path of righteousness and letting themselves be tools for wickedness and iniquity. They seek not the Lord and His wisdom, nor Christ and his love nor do they try to find the Spirit and that peace that comes through it. Instead they let themselves become a force for evil and for sin as they put themselves and their will above the will of our Heavenly Father. And there, though they may pretend as if it is somehow different, they establish themselves to be gods with power over life and power over death, dominating through misery and despair every step that is taken.
They hold men and women in captivity, ransoming them or selling them, using them as slaves and as property, asserting their dominance over them as if it was meant to be them, not the Lord God Almighty who is meant to control the destinies and fate of mankind. They hold nothing sacred but themselves and their own power as they do what they want, when they want with no thought or consideration as to anything but themselves as they make light of humanity and rip the innocence away from those whom they come in contact with, those whom they touch. In the end they leave nothing but the hollow, shallow frame of their victims in their path, or the broken forms of their bodies all around them.
They conform not only to this world and to the evil that can be present in it but they seek to transform it into their own heavy, dark image as they try to set a fog about it that our eyes will be unable to see the works of their hands and the deeds of their hearts as they move around us, causing so much hurt and pain, suffering and sorrow, agony and anguish. They set the world ablaze through the chaos of their hands so that when it is done, from the ashes, they can remake every place in their own grim, dark image.
But then, through the history of humanity, it’s so often how it ends up happening when we follow our own path, letting the unrighteousness and the wickedness of the prince of this world overtake us. We establish ourselves to be the highest authority, we create for ourselves false idols and false gods to justify what we are doing, false gods made in our own image, whether its power or money or our own political agenda and we completely forsake the nature of humanity with all of the value that the Lord, our God, places in it. In the end all it causes is pain and torment as we think only of ourselves and our own gratification, never stopping to consider the effects that it has on anyone else’s life.
Then why would we? This, after all, is what our false gods demand of us.
A captivity of the spirit and a captivity of the soul…
Here, what we have to remember is that every captive and prisoner, every slave and hostage, they are held by those who are taken captive as well. By their conformation to this world and the prince of it they have let their spirit and their souls be taken captive and held hostage by the force of evil, an authority that forces them into their wicked actions, because of their unwillingness to break free or to seek that which will give them liberty, by their own unwillingness to be transformed by the presence that ransoms all those who are taken hostage by the forces of sin, death and the devil. Through their rejection of what is good and their acceptance of that which is evil as they become agents of misery they ensure their own captivity through their thoughts, words and deeds, holding themselves in the darkest of places that afflicts not just their victims to distress but themselves as well.
This is why we pray for all to be moved by a sincere repentance, because the compassion and the mercy of the Lord demands that we do. We do so not because we accept what these men of darkness do nor because we somehow believe it is right or anything less than pure evil. We do it because they, through their works, have set themselves captive and only when they are ransomed by the love of Christ and his great sacrifice is an end put to their wicked ways and to ensure the freedom of all hostages and prisoners, all captives and slaves. It’s only then that finally a true and lasting sense of freedom is sought.
Just as we seek not to conform to this world but to be transformed by the everlasting love of the Lord through and by the power of His Holy and Divine Spirit, let us pray also that all those who, in their wickedness, working their vile ways throughout this world are also transformed that they may find the errors of their ways and come to finally know that their ways are not God’s way and their judgments are not God’s judgment. Let us pray that though evil fills their heart they may come to know the hatred and the fear that they have inflicted on this world that they may finally come to know the hatred and the fear that Satan has so darkened their hearts with. Let us pray that they see their evil for what it truly is, a rejection of all that is good and righteous, a rejection of all that is given in love and compassion, and have hope that finally they too shall be set free.
We may not understand how the captivity of their spirit works nor may we understand how their souls have been taken hostage, disgusted by their acts and by all that they have done to cause misery and pain, yet we what we must understand is that when the Spirit of the Lord moves there is freedom, there is a lasting sense of liberty and it overtakes. This is the best force for true freedom in this world, and when it is at work God reveals His truth even to the most wicked of men who have worked in the most contemptuous ways to let them finally understand the true cost and the true toll of their deeds, transforming them from evil calling to set those that they hold in their tight grip free.
So seek to pray that these who work such wickedness and iniquity in this world may come to be transformed and made whole that once they do they shall no longer move with such vileness in their ways but shall seek to set all their hostages and prisoners, all their captives and slaves free, bringing themselves to justice so they can answer for the crimes that they have committed against their fellow man and all of humanity.
In this then true justice will finally be served and a lasting and abiding sense of hope shall overtake and overshadow the dark presence at work in this world, shining the light of the Lord and the love of Christ and the peace of the Spirit in all of the hidden, murky places that we know exist in this world and through this world. It will be then that there will be no captivity that shall so bind and capture the innocent, no captivity that will rob them of their dignity and their lives, just an abiding understanding that we are called to be transformed by the Spirit through the sacrifice of Christ that calls us to the greatest possible love.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.