In the world’s eyes, it is the black and white statutes of God that stifle. They hem us in and prevent us from free expression and the pursuit of unbridled passion. They drain life of all of its color by putting a governor on the acceleration of our affections. On the other hand, in God’s eyes, it is our sin, not His statutes that stifle, since sin enslaves us to the bases of appetites.

The acceptance and application of God’s Word in our lives, both His written Word (the Scripture) and His living Word (His Son), enables us to see beyond ourselves and to be freed from the fetters of self-absorption. It creates a God-consciousness and other-consciousness that releases us from the small circle of self-centeredness. Conversely, the spurning of God’s Son and statutes results in the shrinkage of ourselves into ourselves. Rather than growing to become all that God has created us to be, we remain diminutive, due to the fact that we are so tightly wrap up in ourselves.

The story was told in ancient mythology of a magic vest that granted whoever donned it their every wish. The only catch was, the vest tightened every time a wish was made. According to the story, all who donned it were eventually squeezed to death by it. It is not God’s statutes, but our sin that squeezes the life out of us. It is not selflessly living our lives to fulfill God’s Word and will, but selfishly living our lives to fulfill our every wish.

When life is boiled down, you come to the realization that there are only two choices on the shelf. You can live for God or you can live for self. The former is most noble and fulfilling; the latter is ignoble and very vain.

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)