Living Outside the Box

A number of years ago I heard a story about a flea that was put into a jar with a lid on top. The flea kept jumping trying to get out, but it would hit the lid with each jump. After a number of tries the flea quit trying, and you could remove the lid and the flea would remain in the jar.

We cannot explain how Satan’s forces influence our thinking, but I can imagine it’s a lot like the flea in the above illustration. Let me illustrate my point:

Before we accept Christ, we are inside of a box with a lid over us. Having committed sins of pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony and laziness (just to name some), our conscience tells us this is wrong and we feel guilty, unworthy and go through life weighed down. We have been hurt by our mistakes and possibly by what others have done to us. We take this heavy baggage with us everywhere which keeps many of us from thinking positive thoughts and willing to take risks. Just like the lid on the jar, Satan’s forces use this guilt to keep us from stepping outside the box and living as God has intended for us to live. The enemy’s goal is to keep control over us through fear, but Christ came to take the lid off the box!

When we first receive salvation, we rejoice and begin a new life with the lid off the box. As we mature spiritually, Christ keeps reaching His hand out to us trying to help us step outside the box to freedom. However, we are often like Peter who asked Christ to allow him to walk on water. Christ did, and Peter took a few steps and sank. Often our situation is very similar. We may take a step outside the box only to feel more secure getting back in. It isn’t easy living outside the box because more is expected of us. Satan’s forces often tell us living outside the box will require risk taking. Like Peter, we do not have the faith nor the trust to realize that outside the box is where God designed us to live. On the other hand, some willingly step outside the box, but under Satan’s control. He targets those that he can trust to serve his evil purpose. Some become wealthy, powerful and idolized. They may be politicians, actors, musicians, business people or religious fanatics. There are no limits as to who satanic forces may use to influence the world.

The Christian must realize that we too can live outside the box but, live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and compete with those serving the forces of evil. The prince of darkness took control of the world when Adam and Eve relinquished the control God had given them prior to their sinning. It is easier for some people to have allegiance to the world than to God. The world is visible and can be seen and those who live by the rules of the world, many times receive greater material rewards and recognition than those who separate themselves from the world and live for God, who is not visible, and live according to His ways. What does it take as a Christian to grasp the hand of Christ and live outside the box? Scripture tells us we must be willing to give of our best, have faith and believe the promises of Christ. We are to also be obedient, persistent, develop a relationship with God and others and be willing to do good deeds with unconditional love. Negative fear comes from the devil and Christian love comes from God. We must allow Christ to change our lives to such an extent that we no longer allow negative fears to keep us from living as God meant that we live.

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