I have been reading The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum with my children. I was struck yesterday by a passage in it from chapter 12: The Search for the Wicked Witch. Bear with me -- I have a point.
'The Wicked Witch was both surprised and worried when she saw the mark on Dorothy's forehead, for she knew well that neither the Winged Monkeys nor she, herself, dare hurt the girl in any way. She looked down at Dorothy's feet, and seeing the Silver Shoes, began to tremble with fear, for she knew what a powerful charm belonged to them. At first the Witch was tempted to run away from Dorothy; but she happened to look into the child's eyes and saw how simple the soul behind them was, and that the little girl did not know of the wonderful power the Silver Shoes gave her. So the Wicked Witch laughed to herself, and thought, "I can still make her my slave, for she does not know how to use her power." Then she said to Dorothy, harshly and severely,
"Come with me; and see that you mind everything I tell you, for if you do not I will make an end of you, as I did of the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow."
...The Witch bade her clean the pots and kettles and sweep the floor and keep the fire fed with wood.
Dorothy went to work meekly, with her mind made up to work as hard as she could; for she was glad the Wicked Witch had decided not to kill her.'
There she was, kept safe by the mark of the kiss on her forehead, walking around in power she didn't know she had, and working for the Witch. Do you find yourself there? Do you know you have been set apart by the love of Christ? Have you been made a slave because you don't know the power you're clothed in?
"God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness.
This power was given to us through knowledge of the One
who called us by His own glory and integrity.
Through His glory and integrity He has given us His promises that are of the highest value.
Through these promises you will share in the divine nature
because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world.
Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith;
and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control;
to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness;
to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love.
If you have these qualities and they are increasing,
it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive.
If these qualities aren't present in your life, you're shortsighted
and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, use more effort to make God's calling and choosing of you secure.
If you keep doing this, you will never fall away."
(2 Peter 1:3-10)
Serving sin is no place for a free person clothed in power.