I know two families who have adopted girls from the slums of China. Their history is very sad.
More than 25 years ago the Chinese population was mushrooming. In order to bring population growth under control and to cap overall Chinese population at around 1.2 billion, an edict, limiting each family to only one child, was enforced.
This brought about significant negative consequences. Families wished to have a child who would carry on their family name, and often if their first born was a girl, they would abandon her. These baby girls often ended up in one of China’s many orphanages or living like beggars on the street, neglected and unloved, facing less than desirable conditions.
The two adopted girls who I am acquainted with are now living in caring families in Canada. Their every need is provided, they are sheltered from potential danger, and their once-empty stomachs are now full. And perhaps, most importantly, their former lives of rejection have been replaced with mountains of love.
Would you think that they would be contemplating any plans of running away from their adoptive parents to return to the slums of their origins?
Why? Because they are truly aware of where they came from, and they have experienced the power of love in their lives. Instead, they prefer to reach out to other little abandoned Chinese girls in order to let them experience the unfathomable love they have been blessed with!
I wonder why we, as Christians, are not so inclined to embrace such love with open arms? Before meeting Christ, we lived in the slums of sin, enslaved to our emotions and addictions. But the day we met our Lord and Saviour, the day we repented of our sin and fell head-over-heels in love with Him, we were freed from that former life of slavery and we were brought to real life. Sooner or later however, we usually find ourselves back in the slums of our sinful life! Where did we go wrong?
Is it possible that we focus more on the lures of temptation than we do on our loving Provider? Is it possible that the slums of our current world are more attractive to us than the glorious eternity that Jesus has provided for us? Is it possible that we don’t really understand what Salvation is about?
Salvation is not a one-time commitment. We can’t embrace it and then forget about it! Salvation begins a transform process, which will, if we allow it to, shape us into beings of light that brighten the lives of those around us! Salvation provides victory over addiction and all of our other negative human character traits: “Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.” (1 John 2:14 The Message)
We are not the defeated ones! The devil is, but he will do anything in his power to make you believe that you are still under his control!
Let us claim our helmet of Salvation: “Take the helmet of Salvation.” (Eph 6:17 NIV) Let us contemplate our Salvation so that we can fully embrace what it means. If we do so, nothing will ever be able to tempt us to leave Jesus’ household again! Why move into the slums when we can live like kings?
Notice that helmets are generally worn on the head-unless you are built differently than me, that is! This means that we need to allow the concept of Salvation to really sink into our brains! Only when we really contemplate what Jesus has done for us can we fully appreciate what we have been given. Then, just like these two charming Chinese girls who have been adopted into Canadian families, we will never again be tempted to go back where we came from!
Do you like living in the slums?
(To access the entire “When Temptation Looms” devotional series, please click here.)