Such were some of you… ~1 Corinthians 6:11
I enjoyed Jen and Susan’s blog post on Monday. It’s always fun to see what people first think about a book titled Kept and where it takes their thoughts. For my book, Kept means different things at different times to Miska Tomlinson, my main character who is a kept woman.
Like Miska, we are all kept women. We are all slaves to something, whether we want to acknowledge that or not. It’s easy to get philosophical and say we’re slaves to our jobs or our cultures or our families or the pressures of others, but the Bible makes it pretty cut and dried. We are either a slave to Satan or to God. We are either kept by Satan himself. Or we are kept by God.
We all start out kept by Satan, and for however long we continue in that path, we tend to mostly enjoy it. We like our sin. We like those pleasures that last for a time. But when the pain of sin comes, two things can happen. We either shrug off the pain as just another fact of life, or we start looking for answers. For truth. For someone who will keep us like we’ve never been kept before.
Something that amazes me over and over is that sometimes it’s our enslaving sin that God uses to bring us to Him. We begin to hate the bondage we’re in, the pain we’re suffering, the constant battle we fight . . . and lose. There has to be more, we think. And it’s at this point that we realize that we are slaves to an evil we cannot escape on our own.
Kept begins with a snippet from I Corinthians 6. In verse nine, Paul tells the Corinthian church, a very messed-up church at the time, that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. He lists sinners who will not inherit: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, covetous, drunkards, and others.
That’s our American culture. We are running fast and hard from God. We don’t want Him to keep us; we want our sin to keep us. We want Satan. We want eternity away from God. We see this more and more, don’t we?
But then there’s that beautiful verse that gives us hope. “Such were some of you.” The verse could stop there, but it doesn’t. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
This is still happening in America. Men and women who’ve fought God are still being saved. They’re being washed, sanctified, and justified. Yes, their past is still there, but it doesn’t keep them anymore, does it?
In Kept, I wanted to explore that scenario. What if an unchurched woman runs into her complete opposite? What if she’s perfectly happy with her life as it is? What would it take to make her want Christ? And when she finally did, how would her past affect her present and future?
I hope you’re already kept by Christ. We know He won’t let us go. Once He saves us, we are His forever because it’s His power completely that saves us, nothing that we do. And that means that our past can’t control us anymore either. Yes, there will still be consequences of our sin that can’t be undone. We all deal with that in varying degrees. But once we’ve exchanged Satan’s chains for God’s, we find freedom and safety we never had before.
Here’s the verse I chose to end Kept with. It’s one of the first verses in the short book of Jude. “To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.”
Now that’s the kind of slavery I want.
Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction that deals with real issues and real hope. A Chicagoan since age five, she now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they get back to Chicago often for important things—like good pizza and White Sox baseball. Sally loves to connect with her readers, and you can find her at sallybradley.com and her Facebook page, Sally Bradley, Writer.