Satan does all that he can to keep his entanglements in the lives of people wanting to head for a new life of salvation in Christ.
For he knows that if a clear, complete cut of ties to the old ways is made, he’ll have much less influence to reeling the new believer back under his control.
That’s why it is so important for Christians, particularly new believers, to be ultra careful to sever ties that are intended to maintain Satan’s influence in their lives.
A man who becomes a Christian has no business still bellying up the bar with his drinking buddies and acting like he always has except for drinking non-alcoholic beer.
And a woman who becomes a Christian has no business loitering as usual in the circle of co-workers who are verbally slicing and dicing others as if they were workers in a meat-packing house.
We are to leave behind the old ways.
The writer of Hebrews calls it laying aside the sins the world that “so easily entangle” the believer.
Leaving entanglements behind was selected today as a devotion topic because of what I read in Sunday’s segment of the One-Year Bible. Moses had told Pharaoh repeatedly of God’s command for the Hebrews to go into the wilderness to worship. Moses didn’t tell Pharaoh the whole story about God’s plan to lead the Hebrews to Canaan, yet the Egyptian ruler knew that there was more to Moses’ story.
That’s why he didn’t want to let the Hebrews head off into the wilderness with all their livestock. Pharaoh reasoned that the Hebrews just wouldn’t come back and then he’d have to replace over a million slaves.
In Exodus 10:25, though, Moses told Pharaoh that “not a hoof is to be left behind.”
Moses explained that the Hebrews didn’t know just how God would use the animals but they wanted to have all of them available for worship as God led them.
Pharaoh didn’t like this explanation, of course, and rejected the Hebrews’ request for permission to leave Egypt “to worship.”
God’s will was done, though, at a horrible cost to the Egyptians.
Moses had no intention of going back to Egypt after heading toward a new life.
That’s why it was so important to not leave even one hoof behind.
For only bad would have come from returning to Egypt to collect something that should have been brought the first time.
Please, dear friend, closely examine your life to see if you’ve left any hooves behind in your past “Egypt.”
When you repent of a sinful action or pattern of behavior, don’t maintain ties to people or things that require you to go visit your old barstool or your old gossip circle or your old spending habits or your old whatever.
Cut the cord.
It’s not about hating the people of your past.
Even the Hebrews brought a number of Egyptians with them into the Wilderness.
Instead, it’s about hating the poisonous environment that hates you and strives to enslave you.
Struggle with Internet porn? Put the computer in the family room where everybody can see what you’re surfing.
Struggle with bitterness? Invite a dose of accountabilitiy by asking a close friend to monitor how you’ve been giving encouraging words, notes or deeds to the person who wounded you.
Struggle with despair? Make a covenant with yourself that you won’t allow your mind to ponder any of your pain until AFTER you’ve prayed sincerely for wisdom and strength to overcome it and asked somebody to pray with you.
Cut the cord, my friend. And don’t leave a hoof behind.
As always, I love you