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Keep Your Carrot

| Looney |

I loved watching cartoons as a kid. Growing up in the 80s and 90s allowed you to be exposed to the old classics as well as the newer cartoons of the time. One of the things I remember from the older cartoons was the old adage of the carrot on a stick. I can't quite remember exactly which cartoon showed this image. It was probably Looney Tunes. Anyway, in order to get a mule or donkey to move, you would hold a stick with a carrot out in front of it, and the mule would go wherever you lead it.

The Lord showed me a vision of this exact image, and I knew immediately what He was saying. You see, as long as the mule has a hunger for the carrot, the mule will do the bidding of the rider. The rider has complete control over the mule, where he wants the mule to go, and what he wants it to do.

Many of us are like the mule. We are able to be drawn away, manipulated, and kept in bondage because of our lustful hunger. The rider of the mule is Satan, who is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). The carrot represents, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and sin. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness and showed him all of the kingdoms of the world and the glory within. Just like he showed the Lord those temptations in a moment of time, he shows us temptations with the promise that the carrot dangling on the stick will satisfy us. However, the truth of the matter is that we are a slave to that carrot and the rider who is controlling the carrot. The bible refers to this as the bondage of sin (Romans 6:20).

|Beat You Like A Rented Mule|

Why is this? Why is it that the mule will allow itself to remain in the bondage of this rider? It's simple. The mule is hungry, and the reason he is hungry is because he's empty inside. As long as the pain and discomfort from the emptiness is there, that mule will do anything to be fulfilled. Our flesh knows this. Satan knows this. The enemy will do is dangle an illusion of satisfaction in front of us in order to keep us in bondage. Your "carrot" may be sex outside of marriage. Your carrot may be drugs. Your carrot may be selfish ambition. Your carrot may be the love of money. Our "carrots" will not all be the same, but the purpose of dangling the carrot is always the same - to keep you under the mastery of whatever that idol is.

Occasionally, the rider may even let you get a bite of the carrot, but it can only satisfy you for a moment in time. Once that gratification is over, you realize that you are right back where you started, hungry, thirsty, and back to square one. Until you break free, there will be an ongoing cycle of enslavement where you are kept under the mastery of your flesh and sin.

So how do we break free? Well, it's simple. If I'm not hungry, then I don't need what you have to offer. When the mule is full and satisfied, then there's no incentive to chase after the carrot. Without God, our souls are hopeless, starving, and thirsty, but God makes us some promises in his word.

Matthew 5:6 promises, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:

for they shall be filled."

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never

hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus proclaimed in John 4:4 But whosoever drinketh of

the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in

him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

|Keep Your Carrot|

When we make an intentional decision to allow the Lord to fulfill us in every area of our lives, then we can't be brought under the bondage of any sin. The carrot won't be appealing. God stands on His promises. When we fully surrender and let the Holy Spirit live within us, we will have life and contentment flowing from the inside out. We won't need anything external or from the world to satisfy us because we have been made free. The more we abide in Christ, the more we are empowered to walk in our freedom. There is nothing that Satan can dangle in front of our faces to lure us into sin. Just like a mule, we have to be stubborn towards sin and not budge. When we let Christ reign in us and do an inner work, we can tell that rider to "Keep your stinking carrot. I don't need it. I've got Christ."

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