“For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 ASV
It’s now day 17 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. During this time, as lead by our pastors, we’re declaring many things over our church, others and ourselves. Of those declarations, one is declaring freedom from bondage. It’s unlikely that any of our readers don’t have a basic understanding of those two words, but for kicks, I’m listing some of the key definitions for each.
As we continue with this season of prayer, I’m lifting up the names for several I’m praying for who are suffering from bondage of some sort; be it a lifestyle, finances, depression, anger, fear, illness, diagnosis, shame, a relationship(s) OR an addiction to alcohol, smoking, drugs, pornography, work, social media, overeating, etc. The list could go on and on. Truth is at some point we’ve all experienced some form of bondage or slavery in some capacity. However, many don’t realize that they are in bondage, or if they do, they don’t know that they can be set free from it. I know for a long time, both were the case for me. I had just thought that was the hand I’d been dealt and I’d have to learn to live with it. I can’t even begin to explain the release I felt the moment I not only realized that wasn’t true, but also was set free, truly free from everything of my past and all that was attempting to handicap my future.
The story of Exodus depicts how God delivered the Israelites and took them out of Egypt. However, as we continue to read, we discover that despite everything He had done for them, they still feared the unknown and complained and wanted to go back to the life they knew, even if it was slavery. Therefore, they found themselves wandering in the wilderness for the next 40 years as they learned to trust God. They got out of Egypt, but they needed to get Egypt out of them. The same is for us. So much of the time we don’t realize it’s us holding ourselves captive because even though we’ve accepted Jesus as our savior, we’ve yet to walk away from our prison, though the door is wide open. Much of the time it’s because we don’t know any different; it’s become our identity and we don’t know who we are without it. The whole purpose of Jesus and His sacrifice was to set us free! Not just so we can go to heaven, but so we can also experience life here on earth and to the full as He intended! The only way to experience the life He has for us here on earth is to allow Him to set us free from our bondages. It’s different from receiving salvation. Salvation breaks the chains off of us, but its up to us to walk away from the chains. And there’s nothing more incredible than walking away and experiencing true freedom and being transformed into a new person.
This particular topic is my ministry; helping others to find freedom from the circumstances that which have enslaved them, preventing them from experiencing all God has for them. Twice a year I lead what are known at our church as Freedom Groups, for women or my husband and I will lead one for married couples. Our church, Church of the Highlands, has a 13 week bible study curriculum, simply called “Freedom”, on this very thing that is offered as a small group. Hundreds of these groups are about to launch on January 31st. And it’s not just our church that offers this study but countless other churches across the country have adopted it as well. This curriculum teaches how to be set free and then walk in freedom every day.
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 NLT
There is complete healing and freedom in Jesus. It is more than possible to be set free from every bondage imaginable, if we’re willing to surrender it all to Him and trust Him to lead us into life abundant. Trust me, I know. He redeemed me and set me free. ~ Heather
Your Turn: Is there something in your life you feel like you’re a slave to and want to be released but don’t know where to start? Is there something from your past that won’t let you forget but you wish you could? We’d love to help and get you connected to a Freedom Small Group whether in our church or another. If you’re interested, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings! ~ Breath on Paper