I appeal to you, my friends, as strangers and refugees in this world! Do not give in to bodily passions, which are always at war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11 (GNT)

My daughter came home from school the other day full of all sorts of information and questions about the Civil War in the USA. She wanted to know about slavery. She wondered what it must have been like to be a slave.

I realized at that point  how lucky I was that we have never had to deal personally with slavery. How comfortable we were in our nice middle-class rural existence. How far removed we were from the reality others face in their daily existence. An existence in which they are completely dependent on people who have not interest in their own physical, spiritual or emotional health. An existence built on getting the most out of you and giving back as little as absolutely possible; the bare minimum in order to keep you productive and alive.

Such was, from my very limited perspective, the life of a slave. Such was the life of a refugee. Yanked from everything they knew, from family, friends and homeland, they were (are?) sent to a foreign land where their culture is not recognized and their needs are disregarded.

The physical harshness must have been tremendous. The emotional trauma must have been staggering. But the biggest, most shameful thing that happened was the destruction of the soul. The soul is the very essence of our existence. It tells us of our value. It tells us who we are. When the soul is wounded it makes life difficult and we question who we are. When the soul is destroyed  we lose all sight of who we are and give up completely with the dreams, goals and potential of what we can become.

No wonder Peter calls us refugees. No wonder he warns us of the tactics of the enemy. Tactics that give no regard for who we are. Tactics that aim to destroy our freedom. He’s ruthless, cunning and full of hate and anger. His weapons are deadly, his goal is your destruction. But his banner tells us his way is best, most pleasurable, the ‘right thing’ to do to be free.

God’s way contradicts his way in every way. His rules are for our benefit, not our destruction. His plan is for our emotional stability and freedom. Living according to the principles of the Creator God gives us victory over The enemies attacks. Following him allows us to corral the passions that can so easily pull us down. When we are living in victory over the evil desires, the outward stressors will not change but our ability to endure and be at peace will be evident.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are so aware of the battle for my soul. I praise you for the victory you gave me over the enemy through your work on the cross. Empower me to endure the pressure of enemy attack so I can enjoy the freedom of my soul. Amen.

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