After we give our lives to Jesus, we are freed from slavery. Then the devil, our former slave driver (see Heb 2:15), drafts people to re-enslave us. These people are often Christians, who "talk empty bombast while baiting their hooks with passion, with the lustful ways of the flesh, to catch those who have just come free of a life of errors" (2 Pt 2:18). When those who are re-enslaved "are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first" (2 Pt 2:20).
When the Egyptians were about to re-enslave the Israelites, "the Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward' " (Ex 14:15). To prevent going backward into slavery, we must go forward. It seems to us that we will drown if we go forward. However, we must go forward by:
- loving and forgiving our enemies,
- praying with our spouses and families,
- witnessing for Jesus, especially at work,
- praying, reading, and studying the Bible,
- radically changing our lifestyle,
- submitting to the authority of the Church,
- serving the poor,
- tithing and almsgiving,
- prayer and fasting,
- living Christian community, and
- redemptively suffering.
Go forward! Go where you've never gone. Break new ground (Hos 10:12). Go forward into the land of freedom, for the forces of slavery close in on you and threaten to enslave you. Go forward!