I was watching a show the other night on TV and one of the characters was being chased by some bad guys and his escape was through the back of a shop into an alley. He turned right and sprinted to the end of that alley and then turned left. All the while, these bad guys are right behind him and closing… He goes a little further and then realizes that the last alley he had turned down is a dead end and it is very dark and ominous. Rats!! He turns around and just at the time when he thinks it is all over he notices a fire escape ladder to his left. He jumps up and brings down the ladder and starts climbing up, higher and higher, until he gets to the roof of the building where the fire escape is attached. The next camera angle shows him looking down on the dead end alley and the bad guys who are following him. They realize he has escaped their grasp and retreat to hassle someone else. He is FREE!! What seemed like a dead end alley had a way out that was UP! For believers there is always a way out because of the freedom we have in Christ. Not just freedom, but escape from the dead end alleys of life. Paul wrote to the Colossians in Chapter 1: 13-14 13 God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, 14 the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. That is good news for believers who live in a world that at every turn we have to flee the evil one who is out to ruin our lives by ruining our faith. Our God is faithful to give us a way out of those situations by giving a new way to live, totally free in God’s grace. Our freedom not only helps us out of tough situations, but also gives us wisdom, through the Spirit, that helps us not get into those situations. Earlier in the chapter of Colossians Paul says this in verse
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. I’m the kind of arm chair quarterback that talks to those characters who start down dead alley by saying, “That’s dumb, don’t go in there!!” But of course, they go down the alley almost every time and get caught. I need to apply that wisdom to my life and it will make me more capable of handling the attacks by satan. No more dead end alleys only clear sailing, looking at life from a loftier vantage point, the roof of God’s grace and power. Paul knows this is an ongoing battle because he has been there and offers some more advise about how to live through it in 1 Corinthians 10:13 by giving us this ladder attached to the strong building of His deliverance. 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. When going through the stuggles in life, God is there with you all the way. Allow Him to show you how to live the Spirit-filled life through His Word by spending time in the playbook of life, the Bible. No more armchair quarterbacking, living and playing in the game. God is generous with wisdom and will give us much more than we need to handle any situation in life and help us also “in the moment.” So…. no more dark dead end alleys, only life from the vantage point of freedom, leaving the evil things behind and below us as we live in true Spirit-filled freedom. Oh, what a great life to live. The Pilgrimage continues…… David Warren