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by Troy Brewer
based on Romans 12:1-2, Isaiah 10:27
In the late 1800s in metropolitan areas you could pay 1 nickel to go to the zoo and spend the day gawking at the animals and tapping on the glass. But the animals that entertained Americans were not gorillas and elephants, they were human beings and the zoo that I am referring to was the asylum for the mentally ill.
Some time in the late 1880s a young Jewish immigrant from Budapest name Enrich Weiss stood in one of these zoos watching a man struggle to escape from a straitjacket. Young Weiss paid his nickel left the building and began saving money to buy his own straitjacket. Several years later he changed his name to Harry Houdini. He claimed that he was from Appleton, Wisconsin and people began to pay big money to watch him struggle to escape from a straitjacket.
DO YOU WHAT AN ESCAPE ARTIST IS? It is somebody that is able to miraculously escape from bondage
Houdini first made the escape from a U.S. Postal Mailbag in 1907. This became his most talked about escape as people tried to figure out how it was accomplished. A university professor was so intrigued by the problem that he purchased his own mailbag and had friends lock him up in it and had to be released when he couldn't take it any longer. This is one of the escapes that convinced Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes) that Houdini could de-materialize his body and then re-materialize again. Houdini could never convince Doyle otherwise and it caused a bit of a conflict in their friendship.
On January 27, 1908 when Harry Houdini came out on stage at the Columbia Theatre in St. Louis and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, my latest invention-- The milk can. I will be placed in this can and it will be filled with water. A committee from the audience will lock the padlocks and place the keys down in front of the footlights. I will attempt to escape. Should anything happen, and should I fail to appear within a certain time, my assistants will open the curtains, rush in, smash the Milk Can and do everything possible to save my life... Music, Maestro, please!" He performed this escape for 4 years and the audiences never seemed to get tired of seeing it.
There is something romantic about people escaping out of terrible places. About 5 years ago a movie came out called the Shawshank redemption where a man escaped from a terrible prison and people will pay big money to sit through horrible prison scenes for 2 hours if they think that the last five minutes of the movie will show his escape. There is just something about a man escaping from bondage that you can't help but like.
The Fugitive a great movie you root for the guy because number 1: you know he is innocent, and number 2 you want to see somebody get away. People can't help but root for the guy on the run. Remember OJ in the white bronco with a hundred police cars behind him and all these people running out to the highway holding up signs RUN, OJ, RUN
PEOPLE WANT TO SEE PEOPLE ESCAPE FROM BONDAGE! Shortly after thanksgiving dinner on November 26th of 1998, Martin Gurule a convicted murder of 2 Corpus Christi restaurant workers, stuffed his bed with a makeshift dummy and strolled into the recreation yard with 6 other death row inmates in Huntsville. Huntsville is home to 8 prisons and the Ellis unit is one of the toughest. It is considered impossible to escape from Huntsville, particularly a death row unit such as Ellis and nobody has made outside of the fence in 64 years. But these guys figured out a way. Using a hacksaw blade that had been smuggled in through a can of peaches they climbed to the top of an interior fence cut the metal and rolled the chain link back. They had darkened their prison issue longjohns with black markers and wearing this perfect camouflage they crawled across the pitch black, 1000 yard roof of the prison. when they got to the chapel they crawled down the chapel's slopped roof and then bolted through fog to the first of 2 perimeter fences. (the body suits of cardboard and magazines sown into their longjohns allowed them to get past the razor wire) they easily scaled the first fence, then the second. When the shots rang out from the guard towers, the other six men fell to the ground in surrender but ahead of them, Gurule kept on running, through the fog and then finally into the pine trees.
I'll tell you what happened to him in just a minute. He's an escape artist and against all odds he has been able to breakout of a place specifically designed to keep him in bondage and while this man doesnt represent righteousness in anyway this a perfect parallel of what God wants you to be as a Christian. God wants you to escape, against all odds, from those things specifically designed to hold you in bondage.
Today in the word, we are gonna look at, THE GETAWAY, AND THE ESCAPE PLAN THAT GOD HAS FOR EVERYONE THAT LOVES THE NAME OF THE LORD.
Open up your bible if you would and turn to the book of Luke and lets read together:
LUKE 11:24 "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
If you are working in the prison fields and suddenly have the impulse, or an urge, or a whim that it's time to get out of there, drop your hoe and try to outrun the dogs, you would be caught and you would be in worse shape then before you tried to escape.
In Texas there is a 25 year sentence attached to your sentence if you try to break out.
IT'S THAT WAY SPIRITUALLY AS JESUS SAID IN LUKE 11, IF THERE IS NOT A SPECIFIC PLAN AND IF CERTAIN THINGS DON'T TAKE PLACE YOU'LL BE WORSE OFF AFTER YOUR TRY YOUR ESCAPE THEN YOU WERE TO BEGIN WITH.
A LOT OF PEOPLE GET SOMETHING OUT OF THEIR LIFE BUT BECAUSE THEY DON'T DO IT RIGHT, THAT DEVIL WILL COME RIGHT BACK INTO THEIR LIFE AND IT BE SEVEN TIMES WORSE THEN THEY WERE TO BEGIN WITH.
How many of you have seen a girl who has an abusive boyfriend and through some miracle she breaks out of that relationship and then, a year later, will marry somebody 7 times worse?
A lot of people will try and be set free through illegitimate means other than the Lord. To escape stress theyll use marijuana or a 12 pack. To escape loneliness they will use will use all kinds of sexual relationships, To escape those terrible memories they will use drugs. Remember Martin Gurule the death row convict that escaped the Ellis Unit? See, he made it past the wire but not much farther than that. Several hundred yards ahead of the dogs, he dove into a creek with the intention of reaching the other side, but no sooner had he bailed in, all of that cardboard and those magazines that he had sown into his clothes filled up with water and the weight of all of it took him 12 feet down to the muddy bottom.
The very thing that he thought would cause him to escape, killed him.
Don't you make that mistake.
Jesus says he whom the son sets free is free indeed.
So how do you get set free by Jesus? Lets look at Gods escape plan for his people.
Turn with me to Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Holiness and Sanctification which is adhering to Gods standard of living is not the 15th level of Christianity, it's not over and beyond the call of duty, it's your reasonable service you walking in holiness and having a different testimony is not radical servitude its reasonable or inexessive service. ITS the first part.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
The word we translate Transform is metamorpho its where we get the word metamorphoses which means to change or convert or alter something from one thing into another thing. LIKE FROM A FROG TO A PRINCE FROM BRUCE BANNER TO THE INCREDIBLE HULK OR FROM A WORM TO A BUTTERFLY.
BE YE TRANSFORMED OR LET A METAMORPHOSES TAKE PLACE IN YOUR LIFE. HOW?.......BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND
GOD WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE IF YOU LET HIM CHANGE YOUR MIND
Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish: where there is no life changing revelation, where there is no mind-changing gospel being preached the people die."
THE FIRST STEP IN GETTING OUT OF BONDAGE (A) YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE LORD AND ALLOW HIM TO CHANGE YOUR MIND (B) HEBREWS 6: REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS IS THE VERY FIRST OF THE FOUNDATIONS OR THE BASIC CHRISTIANITY THE WORD REPENTANCE MEANS TO CHANGE YOUR MIND IT DOESNT MEAN TO BE SORRY. IT MEANS TO HAVE YOUR MIND CHANGED!
Remember John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand
Jesus said in Luke 13 IF YOU DON'T REPENT, YOU'LL DIE THE SAME DEATH AS THE WORLD.
ISA 10:27 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing."
To be anointed means to be Gods holy territory it means you don't belong to the world you belong to God.
Its the very presence of the Holy Spirit--a visitation of the Lord.
I encourage you in the name of the Lord, allow Jesus to change your mind and to set you apart. Allow him to guide you in how you think and in fact in who you are.
Frank Schaefer, for JavaCasa Resources and the Desperate Preacher's Site, 1999