Catch Me If You Can

Featuring Branon Dempsey Posted on September 9, 2008

Over the Labor Day weekend my wife and I took a trip to Kerrville, Texas and hung out with my favorite mentor Mark D. Roberts. In addition, we also spent some time with Michael Card. Anyway, this was my second time to visit Laity Lodge. On my last trip, there were so many things that God showed me. However, like you, when your spirit is aroused with great inspirations sometimes it's hard to keep up. On this trip, I asked God to help me remember the one thing I was to walk away with.

In a session with Michael Card, he introduced the topic and study on slavery. Huh? In fact, when I first met him we exchanged book titles to share what we were reading. He mentioned the autobiography of Fredrick Douglass. If you may remember from history, Fredrick Douglass was a slave born in Maryland on 1818. Michael went on to describe the hardships that countless African Americans as well as other nationalities all over the world who have encountered Jesus Christ in their life as a slave. When we come to Christ, He removes are chains as we now become his and have a New Owner. This is an interesting truth as we read in Romans 6:22 which says: But now that you have been freed from sin and have become God's slaves, the benefit you reap is sanctification, and the result is eternal life.

The Slave Collar: Ok, so intrigued as I was from meeting Michael Card in hearing about his story/study about the slavery era, last night we picked up a copy of Fredrick Douglass' autobiography. I will tell you, his book, "My Bondage, My Freedom," is pretty riveting and is not for the faint of heart.  If a slave were to escape, the capturer could identify who the salve belongs to by the inscription which read something like: "I belong to master _____, capture me for I am fleeing." The Bible tells us that we were once dead to sin, but alive in Christ. Before we were free in Christ, we were identified by an Evil owner.  Paul reminds us in Romans 6:14 that sin shall no longer be our master. The question we face is not what we are enslaved to, but rather, who do we serve as our Master? If each of us were to be identified by a collar, what would it read, what would yours say?

To continue in this topic of “Slaves of Christ,” Mike Card explained in great detail regarding our identity on our name collars. The more I listened the more I saw how the words “catch me for I am fleeing,” describe my life. We as a people are constantly running from God. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is a double edged sword that pierces the heart.  It judges our thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Because we are prone to sin, God knows when we are running when no one else does. The question is do we allow ourselves to be captured by God? I use to think when becoming a Christian, that my life was meant to be chained and bounded by strict laws handed down from the “Big Man.” Through my journey as a follower of Jesus and worshiper of God, I realize that the chains of Christ are the loving harnesses of God.

When I was once enslaved to sin, God released me and purchased me from my chains through the Messiah. In that ransom, I become purchased and now owned by God. In this new identity, I become a slave to God in which I am free in Christ. In this love I am also in debt to serve, honor and love Him eternally. This understanding broadens the concept of what it means to be a Christ’s slave. True freedom is made possible through the sacrifice of others. In this case, Christ was the perfect sacrifice rendering perfect freedom of grace and mercy. So may the words of my collar and name plate read, “I am Branon, Almighty God is my Master and I belong to Christ, if you see me running, catch me for I am fleeing.”