In John 8:32 (NLT) Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This freedom is ours the moment we believe that Jesus died for us on the cross and we receive Him into our life as our Lord and Savior. But because of years of living controlled by our old nature with its sinful habits, we must be reprogrammed. Our minds must be renewed by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word.
Let’s imagine that you are a bird, who by some strange series of events was hatched into a family of rabbits. Your entire world was a rabbit’s world. You learned to eat rabbit’s food; you shared the warmth and security of a rabbit’s burrow; you played rabbits’ games. You considered yourself a rabbit. You were accepted as one of the rabbits’ very own.
Once, when a dog chased you, for an instant you flapped those strange appendages on your sides and almost thought you could fly; but then you caught yourself. That was stupid; rabbits don’t fly! Then one day someone came by and said to you, ‘”By the way, did you know that you are a bird? A real bird? A bird who was built to fly?” “What? A bird! Ridiculous. I know who I am; I’m a rabbit!” But this person was very persistent. You couldn’t hop away from him. Day after day he was there to remind you, to taunt you with a new identity. It was a fascinating idea, but it was so cross-grain to everything you’d been taught. And you’d been comfortable being a rabbit.
Persistence finally won, and this person began to teach you to exercise those strange flappers (wings, he called them). He spun all sorts of stories, tantalizing stories, about birds. Birds in flight . . . soaring high above trees . . . with the dogs below. Gradually you found yourself wondering, ‘Could it really be?’ Perhaps a rabbit could be carried aloft by a bird–or perhaps hop so high and so far, that it would almost seem like flying. But to really BE a bird…?
Then, at last, that momentous day arrived; and that someone led you high up to a bluff overlooking the rabbit world far below. This was the moment. You hopped right to the edge. With a most contagious shout your companion cried, “Now! You ARE A BIRD! Jump! Fly!” You jumped. Flapped. You fell for a moment that seemed forever. And then. . . you flew! You soared. Higher and higher. With the sound of wind swishing through your feathers you cried, ‘I am a bird, I am a bird! I can fly!'”
(David C. Needham, Birthright, pp. 58-60)
Of course, it is just a silly story; but don’t miss the point. Many Christians have accepted and adjusted to a fake personal identity. People tell them “Fly! Live a victorious life above the sin of this world.” But they say, “It’s not my nature to fly!” However, they can submit to be carried on the wings of the Holy Spirit. The believer is a new creation in Christ, designed to live a victorious life.
(Dr. Lee C. Turner)