By Ernest O'Neill

Why Are We Enslaved?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

The truth we often miss is that God gives us that gracious lifting power to reveal to us how we're meant to be throughout our relationship with Him and throughout our lives. But the actual truth is that there are many parts of the world that we have not actually cut ourselves off from. We're still involved in our businesses and in our company and we're still involved in what people think of us. It's just that God gives us a tremendous burst of power that raises us above all that for awhile. But actually it's sheer grace. And we ourselves have not actually dealt with those things in our hearts and that's what begins to be revealed to us loved ones, after we start to have troubles in the Christian life. That's why we begin to cry, "The good that I would, I cannot do and the evil I hate is the very thing I do."

It's when that begins to happen to us; when we begin to go into that switch back life that we've so often talked about where you have great mountain top experiences, and then great valleys where you disobey God and you hurt people and then a mountain top experience with God and then down again. When that begins, that is God graciously saying to you, "Now there is a lot of My Son's death that you have not entered into. There is a miracle that I have done in My Son that is greater than simply relating you to Me. There is something that I have done for you in Jesus that you have not yet experienced," and the truth is loved ones, that even after the new birth, most of us here are still strangely dependent on the world. We still have all kinds of entanglements with it, all kinds of ways in which we're bound to it by chains.

Do you realize how powerful is the influence of a person on you on whose opinion you depend? You realize the power that that man has over you, or that woman has over you? If they just appear not to approve of you, your heart just goes down. It's as if you're a little marionette or puppet, tied to their feelings by strings. I don't need to tell all of you about the power of the banking world or the power of our businesses over us, or the power of our sources of security. If it just wavers, if it just misses a beat, a heartbeat, if we ever think the person is going to take a wrong turn, it's amazing how it enslaves us and controls us.

The truth is that in a thousand ways, you and I are bound to this world on which we have been dependent from when we were little children and I know many of you, tie it to our parents, but dear ones our parents are just part of the whole thing you know. Our parents are only a part of it. We were taught to be dependent upon them and to please them and they didn't wish to enslave us in any way. But it is part of the supernatural elemental spirits of the universe that tie us and slave us in a wrong way to moms and dads, to older people, to coaches, to teachers, then to our bosses then to our peers then to our friends. It is dumb, but then it's to the TV commercials. Then to the guys that are famous and popular. We become enslaved in a thousand million different ways to all these things and then you know, we wonder why it is that the good I would I cannot do and the evil I hate is what I do.

No wonder, because you and I are attached to all kinds of umbilical cords. We're attached by all kinds of cords and strings and bondages to the outside world and the world around us. And of course, there is only one way to become free of that and that is through the work that God has done on Calvary. Loved ones, there are entanglements that you cannot free yourself from. There are reasons for your anxiety and worry that you cannot even discern. You cannot trace them.

The psychiatrist, and the psychologist can go as far as 'makes no difference' because the truth is that this whole dependency situation has begot in you a mind of the flesh and the Bible says the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, enmity, because it depends on the world and you have to depend either on the world or on God. The mind of a flesh is enmity against God. It is not subject to God's law neither indeed can it be.

Of course the tragedy with so many of us in our churches is that we have tried to continue a Christian life while allowing that mind of the flesh to remain within us. We have continued to try to carry on the Christian life even though we were still actually being governed by the external stimuli. We were being governed by the outside things, by the circumstances around us, by the things around us, by the people around us even though we were still being governed by those things, even though we hardly knew it. All we did know was, "Boy, it's harder to obey Jesus then it used to be, it's harder to obey God, in fact I can't obey Him. There are things that I don't seem able to obey Him on."

Loved ones, the reason is, that we're still entangled and attached to those things by a million different cords and chains and there is no way in which we can free ourselves from those and of course, the whole dear world of Christendom is built on that. It is built on that. Our churches are filled with loved ones who have never come free of those things but who continue somehow to try.

I remember my own agony. I would read in this book, I can do all things through Christ that strengthen me, and as a young man I said, "No, I can't, that isn't true." I would read what these great Psalmists said about the wonderful times they had before God and about the victory over sin. "Whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin." And I thought, "No, that isn't true of me. I do sin. I cannot do all things through Christ that strengthened me." So our dear world of Christendom is faced with a Bible that it has to continually disbelieve in order to keep itself believing it is in the kingdom of God. And so we have a church that limps along with all kinds of crutches with psychiatrists, with psychologists, with books on renewing our minds and changing our temperaments with all kinds of tricks and aids and helps and thoughts that are suppose to help us live the way God meant us to live.