We are placed in bondage, as it were, while the wicked do all within their power to attain as much as possible in this life, to grasp at every opportunity for advancement either in power, social standing or the accumulation of items this world of Satan offers them, we seek to deny that which is also offered to us.
“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)
I believe, though I cannot verify it from the Scriptures, that there is a base limit, a certain amount of temptations and trials that our adversary is allowed to perpetrate upon those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, they are limited to a degree, and he is allowed to tempt all who serve the Living God with them. Beyond that point, he must ask permission.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1st John 2:16)
Those three are not withheld from any human being, saved or lost, wicked or chosen, there is an encapsulating offering to all mankind within them, and those who have been crucified with Christ are not spared of them. This is, in a sense, the bondage all are under, and that bondage can only be avoided by our free will, we are accountable for our actions and inactions as ambassadors of the Kingdom of heaven.
Every one of us has fallen into one of these two lusts and that pride in our lives, many times, the difference with those who have been crucified with Christ is that not only do we recognize them as sin against the Most High, albeit too late sometimes, but we see them as what they are, a form of bondage meant to hinder our profitability to and for the glory of God. A man alone in a prison cell is of little use to the Kingdom, one who places himself there in full view of others stands a very good chance of losing his ministry to those he has been sent to reach for the Almighty.
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numb. 32:23)
If you have willingly placed yourself in that cell, if you are in a season of sin, only you, as the prodigal son did, can come to yourself and see the error of your ways. The father knew the reason his son wanted to go to town, to Vanity Fair, and he let him go, and not only did he let him leave, but he did not come to bring him back. He had to make up his own mind, he had to see for himself the ruin of the world, that its offerings do not last, that there is no fulfillment in them.
The lesson must be learned by personal experience, it cannot be taught in any other way.
He left as a son, he returned as a son, his brother received the entire inheritance, save for a ring and a robe, yet this son learned a lesson that his brother would never understand.
Our adversary will do all within his power to draw you into bondage, into his world, and there will be times that we will do so, by our own free will. The question for you is this, will you need to end up at the pig’s trough before you realize the error of your ways?
“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” (Prov. 6:26)
You cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose your rewards, and if you will not return of your own free will, the Lord will leave you at that trough.
There is a difference between lost sheep and prodigal sons, you are accountable for your actions, and you will give an account of them one day.