I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
You may remember the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids trilogy, which portrayed the misadventures of inventor Wayne Szalinski and his electromagnetic shrink ray. Whatever the ray pointed at shrank down to microscopic size . . . including people.
Did you know that sin does the very same thing in the life of the believer? Let’s take a look.
When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s Word in the Garden of Eden, here is what happened: they shrank the size of their lives down to the size of their lives. Our first parents were created by God for God to serve God as His cultural caretakers, and they were commissioned to expand the borders of their lives to the boundaries of God’s kingdom.
Tragically, Adam and Eve chose the way of sin; instead of living for the kingdom of God, they began living for their own kingdom. Sin caused Adam and Eve to shrink their focus from God’s grand plan and purpose for their lives down to their own puny purpose—which was pleasing themselves. Their greatest concern was no longer for the majestic creation God had given them; now their greatest concern was for the tiny course of their lives.
Sin is Satan’s electromagnetic shrink ray. Every time we sin, we shrink in our service to our Savior. There are countless “shrink stories” in the Bible that make it perfectly clear just how destructive sin is in shrinking our lives.
- Abraham shrank his life when he refused to believe the promise of God and passed off his wife as his sister to save his own skin.
- Jacob shrank his life when he schemed to acquire the birthright of his brother Esau.
- Joseph’s brothers shrank their lives when they sold Joseph into slavery because of jealousy.
- Moses shrank his life when he tried to free his people in his own strength by killing the Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave.
- Peter shrank his life when he denied knowing Jesus three times on the night our Lord was betrayed.
If we pause for a moment, we can think of numerous times when we have shrunk the size of our lives down to the size of our lives and began living for self rather than the Savior. When we do that, we find living in community with others incredibly difficult and living in contentment with ourselves virtually impossible. When self is on the throne of our lives, we have effectively squeezed our Savior out.
So how do we avoid Satan’s shrink ray? We must remember whose we are and what we have been put here to do. As image-bearers of the Most High God, we are His by creation; for those of us who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we are twice His by re-creation. We are not our own, we have been bought at the highest price of all: the precious blood of Christ. When we remember whose we are, we will remember what we have been put here to do: to live for the glory of God, not our own selfish pursuits. We will never shrink ourselves when we seek the glory of “our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope” (2 Thessalonians 2:16).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!