One cannot write a Civil War novel without addressing, at least superficially, the subject of slavery. While it was not my intent to make the evils of slavery the preeminent theme of Fever Season,in retrospect slavery and freedom did indeed become a pervasive theme for nearly all of the characters, North or South, slave or free.
On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln made it illegal for people to be owned in America.
However, whether in 19th century or the 21st, we are all slaves to whomever and whatever controls us. Slavery, control, oppression, possession, addiction, strongholds, bondage …are all synonyms for allowing something other than King Jesus to be the Lord of your life.
There are a million different ways for folks to enslave themselves or to open the door for demonic forces to have free reign in their life. There is total emersion in career and related ambitions. There is bondage to a lifestyle you can’t afford with the ensuing ball-and-chain of indebtedness or crippling credit card payments. There is bondage to habits that you know are harming your mind or body.
Many today have addictions to pills, pornography, gambling, computer/ video games, shopping, lying, alcohol or Oreos. We all know about negative peer-pressure but there are also those consumed by friends, time and activities that ,while not bad, just have no substance-no eternal purpose.
It is human nature to not appreciate others telling us what to do. As children we emphatically informed our siblings that, ” You aren’t the boss of me!” However, if we believe ourselves to be independent thinkers and masters of our own destiny then how have we allowed ourselves to be snarled up in all those pitiful issues?
This infers that we are not just wasting time or pursuing our own lifestyle choices, but we are actually placing all these frivolous pursuits in front where only God should be. That these things that have enslaved us, are in fact, just variations on a theme of idolatry. This is beginning to sound pretty serious.
Jesus confirms this in Luke 4:18, that among a lot of other wonderful things, that he was sent to preach deliverance to the captives and to set at liberty those that are bruised. Jesus then is the key to our freedom.( also Ephesians 4:8) He also tells us in John 8:34 that “Truly, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. ” (Pretty all inclusive, isn’t it!)
Galatians 5:1 reinforces this fact: ” For freedom Christ has set us free: stand firm, therefore and do not submit to a yoke of slavery.” Paul is telling us that slavery is ever a possibility and to dig in our heels against the possibility of slipping back away from the total spiritual freedom we have in Christ.
Sales strategists tell us to always let the customer know what the benefit to them will be with any prospective product or service. So, I will finish this little treatise with Ephesians 2:1-7 where Paul relates that not only are we slaves to sin but that we are convicted and already dead. Dead slaves. BUT ( this is the benefit!) because of the GREAT LOVE of Jesus: not only did he pay the full price on the cross for our freedom, He bought us back from death row with his blood. And as if that weren’t enough, out of the goodness of His heart, He threw in a huge promotion of joint-Kingship and the authority of his name to operate with. Slave to sin or going steady with the One who has Great Love for me? Hummmm….What do you think?