Poor Sheriff Rick Grimes! The long-standing hero of AMC's The Walking Dead, loses one beloved person after another to the zombie invasion. With almost four seasons under his belt, you think he'd be a bit tired from this zombie invasion...and become a walker much sooner than later.
Truth is, we're all prisoners or walkers. In the Bible's book of Romans, the Apostle Paul tells the readers we are all dead in our sins, doomed for eternal damnation without God. In a sense, we are prisoners of our own making. Think of what you have done in your past that brings you shame, that has hurt others, that has been dishonest or lacked love. If you're like me, that is quite a bit of things to regret and can be a heavy weight to live under. We're prisoners of our own doing!
And yet, Jesus! Thankfully, Jesus, the Son of God, paid the price Himself for our sin- my sin, your sin. And those that would put their faith in Him and live for Him, believing Jesus was raised from the dead for our benefit, would be given a new life. A life that begins anew here and one that will last for all eternity. Can I hear an "Amen!"?
But- and this is a big one- even those of us that know and love and trust Jesus- can act as if we are the Living Dead. How does this happen? It happens in a few ways:
1- We can choose to live like we used to. Living a life that only pleases us, therefore we look and act no different than when we encountered Jesus. And the darkness in us grows stronger than the true light over time.
2- We can insulate ourselves from the dying world around us. In the church, this is sometimes referred to as "the Christian Bubble". What happens is we hang out only with those who think as we do. The problem is, this kind of living creates a dullness in our souls. Why? Because we are made for more! We are made to love others and share the news of Jesus with them.
3- We can live our lives as victims instead of as those victorious in Christ. I see this happen all the time. Let's face it- crap happens to all of us. Betrayal, deceit, disappointment, illness, misfortune, death. Jesus never did promise us an easy life- and He sure didn't have one. If believers in Jesus begin to own that as their identity, instead of realizing they love and serve the Living God, bitterness and sadness rule their lives instead of joy and peace.
There's a Zombie Invasion in our world. People of all types are lonely, discouraged, and disappointed. The church itself has even taken on a victim mentality. (And I'm not saying it should be all wealth and health and prosperity- that's not a godly viewpoint nor one that is supported by reading the Bible as a whole.) What I am saying is that too many people who say they believe do not live as if Jesus has really overcome.
Let's not be satisfied to live as a walker or a prisoner. Let's embrace new life in Jesus Christ- the only one who can give it- and live in freedom, joy, and peace- with a great eternity ahead as we persevere!