I see him often. He sits quietly, a man broken and beaten down by the storms of life and by the people that surround him. There is rarely a smile on his face. His shoulders slump with pain and defeat. He looks you in the eye, but as one who has been a victim so long that it is the only thing he knows.
Yesterday our pastor said, “You can take the people out of slavery, but can you take the slavery out of the people?” referring to the part in Exodus, when the people of God grumbled about having being taken out of Egypt. They were begging Moses to let them go back; go back to the old land, the land of slavery, the land of other gods.
What??!? Why would they want to go back to being enslaved?
But this is like us too. Sometimes God works an amazing miracle of freedom in our lives, and when things begin to become difficult because God is trying to teach us to stand up in our new-found freedom, we decide that it would be easier to go back to how things were before. Sometimes it just seems easier to wear the shackles because they are familiar.
I see it sometimes in a prayer ministry setting. The very people that are bowed over with problems and pain come for prayer and are released by the Spirit of God from chains that held them captive. They experience the joy of freedom, the joy of an amazing experience of God touching their broken spirits and mending them back together. We all rejoice. And then, a few weeks later, I might see them, bowed over once again in pain. They don’t understand that they were freed from what bound them! They go back to feeling enslaved.
What is the antidote here?? I believe that it is making an effort to renew our minds with the truth of Scripture.
That way, when we hear a hissing voice whispering in our ear, planting doubt about who we are in Christ, or what we have received from Christ, we can recognize that whatever is said is not the truth. Jesus called the enemy a liar in John 8:44: “…for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
When we hear that voice, we do what Jesus did when faced with the tempter. We fight his twisted lies and subtle deceptions with the powerful sword of the Spirit, the very Word of God. We write down the truth, we speak it out loud, we embed it in our memories and in our hearts.
For we know that in Him we are more than conquerors (Rom.8:37). According to Scripture, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2.Cor.3:17). In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and we have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority (Col.2:9-10).
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness (2.Pet.2-3).
This is what I know to be true: Jesus longs for you to be free from the pain of the wounds of life. He longs to touch your broken heart and stitch it up with his truth and love. He can do this.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Ps.147:3
The Lord sets the prisoners free… Ps.146:7
We need to spend time in His presence. Ask for his voice to fill your heart, your mind, your spirit. And open up His Word and ask Him to reveal more truth to you.
God longs to reveal more about his goodness to you. That includes freedom from that which oppresses you, whether it be in spirit, mind, soul or body.