Breaking The Iron Fetters
When a person has believed in Christ he has made a huge leap of faith!
He has broken the iron fetters of mere earthly and human powers. Those who have not so believed are still bound by the strictest of limitations. And so Scripture says, "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. (presumably the best of the best). (Psalm 118:8-9)
The Psalm answers like this, "Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever ..." (Psalm 146:3-6)
The person who reaches out to God pierces the limitations of human wisdom, savvy, experience, hope and possibilities. He pierces the sky, the created universe and his hopes and prayers lodge in the ear and the heart of the all-powerful and living God. (Thus the church confesses: I believe in God the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth.)
Now all the fleeting, quickly-passing advantages of earth, however pleasurable wise or noble, diminish. Now a person sets his heart on heaven, and stores up treasures for himself: "where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Mt. 6:20)
Now his life becomes one of love for God and for his neighbor. There is no greater, sweeter more beautiful way to live in this world; which is something like the womb of eternity. Once our gestation period is over we will all be born into eternity. Will it be into a good life or a bad one? In any event it will be an eternal one.
Scripture twice says that: "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
If you bend your knee to God you can still be further humbled. But if you lie prostrate on the ground before him as did the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, and spread out your arms in imitation of Christ, you can go no lower. Now you are in communion with God through the ground from which you came; that dust that is the gate through which we must pass to get to heaven.
How counter-intuitive! But then Scripture informs us that this is the way God loves to operate. St. Paul writes:
"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians: 1 27-31)
God has enabled us, in Christ, to break iron fetters and pierce the sky! And so, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:31)