“If a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live.” (Ezek. 18:21)

Randy, proud owner of black Labs, invited his neighbor, Ted, to witness a demonstration. After several broken chains (and late-night searches), Randy had installed a system of underground wires around his property, which signaled special collars to deliver a minor shock to his dogs when they neared the property line. Now, two months later, Randy demonstrated the system’s effectiveness by calling to his dogs from across the street. The dogs got excited when Randy called them, but kept their distance from the underground fence.

Impressed, Ted commented, “I guess it was worth the expense.”

“That’s nothing,” replied Randy. “I turned off the power to the fence ten minutes ago, and my dogs still think they’re locked in.”

People who have spent years—or even a lifetime—in sin may believe its power will always hold them and there’s no hope for change. Day after day, they live within limitations that exist within their own hearts and minds, not knowing that God can and will help them break the fence and escape into a better life with Him. God welcomes those who have had enough of the pain and deception of sin, and who have discovered His willingness to help them walk away from it and serve Him wholeheartedly. You’re not locked in. Change is possible when you put your trust in Him.

Ask God to help you serve Him wholeheartedly.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher and enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.