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“Get back to your burdens” (Exodus 5:4).  That’s what the Pharaoh said to God’s people as they groaned under the subhuman evil that slavery is.  “Get back to your burdens” is the devil’s command.  It is the whip he uses to keep his slaves on the plantation.  It is the kingdom of oppression he is working overtime to build.  It is what we used to accept, because we didn’t know there was an alternative.  Now that we have the gospel, we fight.

Christian: “Jesus told me, ‘It is finished.'”  Devil: “You believe that because you’re lazy.  Get back to your burdens.”

Christian: “Jesus told me, it was for freedom that he set me free.”  Devil: “That ‘freedom’ is morally unserious.  Get back to your burdens.”

Christian: “Jesus told me he sympathizes with my weaknesses.”  Devil: “True Christians are always victorious and strong.  Get back to your burdens.”

Christian: “Devil, you don’t sound to me like Jesus.  I’m going to free my mind of every burden you impose, to the glory of my Savior.  Get back to your kennel, devil.”

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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