“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”  Hebrews 9:14

I must confess something that may surprise the least of those that read this.  Last night I watched an episode of “Man vs. Food.”  I wouldn’t place this in the category of quality television, but it did strike an “Unbelievable!” chord.  Personally I can’t believe this guy isn’t 900 pounds, but that’s beside the point.  If you are familiar with the show, it is about a guy who visits diners, parlors and restaurants across the country to face challenges spun to attract the man or woman willing to take it on.  In this episode, he placed himself against the ultimate ice cream sundae.  It was called the “Kitchen Sink.”  True to form, it was a small kitchen sink filled with just over 2 gallons of scooped ice cream, loads of chocolate syrup, sprinkles of various kinds, multiple bananas and more whipped cream than I’d serve at a family reunion!  My stomach churned at the look of it.  Yet, there he sat, with a big spoon, taking on the challenge, confident he’d win this.  I’m not going to spoil the ending and reveal the winner.

Man or Food?  It’s a matter of ownership.  Either he was going to own this massive ice cream beast or the ice cream was going to own the man!  We saw this play out in many of the same ways in the Valley of Elah.  Remember the event?  The Israelites pitched camp on one side to face the Philistines from the other.  The challenge?  Send your most mighty warrior and meet in the valley between.  So, the Philistines sent their mighty Goliath, yet the Israelites sent no one because they were troubled — worried . . . owned!  Then came David to the scene.  Warrior?  Not really, more shepherd than a brute.  Aware of the troubled Israelites and the challenge they faced, the unlikely David volunteers.  It was “Boy vs. Beast.”  David went to the valley to meet this challenge with only a sling and a few stones.  Many say that his courage was bigger than Goliath, or his sportsmanship was sharp, or he got lucky on the first shot.  But there is a remarkable difference between he and the Israelites cowardly watching from the hillside.  He did not allow the fear, the facts or the odds to own him!  Instead, he focused on WHO OWNED HIM!  David said to Saul who questioned his abilities, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”  David remembered his original owner and served Him despite the circumstances!

It’s a lesson for me to remember.  Not as much to remember who owns me today, while that is still very important, but to remember who has owned me throughout!  I serve my King — He owns me, not the giants I face or the sweet moments that serve nothing but pain and agony.  I have victory before I face whatever challenge is before me.

There’s a reason I say, “I can’t do this.”  The reason?  I let it own me!  I serve the master of sin instead of the Savior who lives within me and He gives me access to all the power and strength in the universe to be owned by nothing.

My Jesus, I am not a slave to sin any longer because you paid the ultimate price for that in my life!  I no longer have to live being owned by my sin, rather I now live in freedom through You!  Remind me that you have already won this battle and you sit upon the throne and I am seated with you!

“It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere.  Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”  Deuteronomy 13:4

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