Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We can be free from our chains

There are many ways to be in bondage. Fear can hold us down. Temptation can darken our path. Pride can drown us in self. Sin can confuse us as lies become our truth. Anything that takes us away from Christ has us in chains. It can be the shopping desires that break our bank accounts. Pornography can hold us back from purity. The list can go on and on. Is there something holding you down? Does something have you by the collar? Are you dragging your feet in pity?

Until we are honest with ourselves we will continue to stay in bondage. Look back at the Israelites who were captive in Egypt. They were in bondage, but they were free. They had a hope in God. They didn't allow the Egyptians to keep their hearts from seeking God. They may have had their bodies, but they didn't have their hearts. The Hebrews knew they were slaves, but they also knew who was their real Master. They knew God had a plan for them and He would make a way.

If we remember the slaves of our country's first beginnings, they too knew they were in bondage, but they were free in their minds because they knew of the Savior that set them free. As they were beaten and bruised the plantation owners might have had their bodies, but they didn't own their faith. They sang hymns in the fields. They communicated by singing in faith. They too knew there was One higher. The King of all kings. It was His kingdom they were looking forward to. They knew this life was not their home.

"Bondervents, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bond servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is slave or free." Ephesians 6: 5-8

We are all slaves to something. Something is always trying to steal us away from God. But see, God is our Master. He is the One who sets us free. Our chains can be broken and released by allowing Him to be Master of our lives. When we have faith there is nothing that can hold us back.

"For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:20-23 

Living in sin is like having our wings clipped. As long we are being held down we are never going to fly. God doesn't just want us to fly. He wants us to soar. He wants us to soar above the temptations of this world. He wants us to be aware of the sin that can capture us.

"The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My Father's God, and I will exalt Him." Exodus 15:2

With Christ we can move past our sin. We can see the temptation before us and move the other way. God always gives us a way out. He makes a way for His children who love Him. We must make a decision. Will we worship the God of heaven and allow Him to be Lord of our lives or will we allow the world to be our God and find ourselves in bondage? There is nothing in this world can us away from God.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against he rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

Satan knows us. He knows what tempts us and will try and place those evils in front of us daily. We don't fight against people, but Satan attacking through them. That is one way he can keep us away from those very people who can lift us up and become a circle of hope. He wants to single us out and make us feel alone. Like we are the only one who struggles with our sin. But, God knows Satan's tricks. This is why He has set up armor for us to place on daily. He knows what it will take to protect us from the evils of attack.

"Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10,13

We can place on all the armor God gives, but without prayer it is of no good. Prayer is powerful. With prayer we can be released of the oppressions of this world and find peace wherever we stand. When we are in prayer anything is possible. We must pray in the Spirit and ask of His will. He will lead us in prayer. He knows what we need before we need it. He knows what Satan is going to throw at us and we can be prepared in the word for anything to come.

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18

When you feel as though something is holding you down. When you feel frustrated and trapped you can call out to God for wisdom, for strength and power to overcome all. I have felt cornered by the trappings of this world and found my escape in Christ Jesus. There is nothing that can separate us from Him.

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
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