I’ve shared a lot about ways that we can be held captive in chains in my freedom in Christ series. And I have not by any means covered all aspects. My prayer is that God will whisper into your heart the specific areas He wants to free you from. It won’t be easy, but we can learn how to live in freedom.
An Opportune Time
Our enemy would love for us to believe that we are stuck, that we don’t have much of a choice in how we live. But we do! Galatians 5:1 is very clear in this – we have the choice to stand fast in our freedom. Is it easy? NO! Especially when stormy winds come. But we must keep hanging on to Him with all of our strength.
In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus is telling us what His ministry is. He shares Isaiah’s prophecy after he was tempted by the enemy. He has been filled with the Spirit and he is prepared to do His Father’s work. Before we get into the prophecy – can we just take a quick look at verse 13?
Did you notice that?
Satan departed from Jesus until AN OPPORTUNE TIME.
He looks for opportune times!
He watches us, waiting for us to stumble, to trip up. He waits until he sees a chink in our armour and then he attacks in full force. He takes every unfair advantage he possibly can in order to try and destroy us and render us useless for God’s kingdom.
Doesn’t that make you ANGRY?
Let’s look at the 2 other ‘opportune times’ – when Jesus rebuked Peter after Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from fulfilling His plan of salvation and said “Get behind me Satan” and when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, when He was crying out to God to deliver Him from what was about to happen. Those are the two I found. Are you aware of any others? I just don’t want to miss any.
The first example is when Peter tried to discourage Jesus from His calling. Have you ever been discouraged from your calling? That is an opportune time for our enemy to strike. Jesus responded with a strong rebuke. The Holy Spirit has given us the power to rebuke the enemy when necessary.
The second example is when Jesus was extremely distraught. Another opportune time. Jesus remained focused on His heavenly Father instead of listening to the voice of the enemy. Jesus made the choice to hear His Father. So must we.
Being aware of opportune times and wearing our armour for protection will help us to live in the freedom Christ has given to us.
I will mention another opportune time in a post I am scheduled to write in a couple of weeks. I think it deserves it’s own post…so, I’ll just leave you hanging there!
Fulfillment Of Prophecy
Let’s move on to what Jesus shared about His ministry. He opened up the scriptures and read from Isaiah 61.
This is WHY He came! This is His ministry! To preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, to give sight to the blind – not just physical blindness, but more importantly, spiritual blindness! To give liberty to the oppressed.
And then He said that Isaiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled through Him.
It was accomplished.
He came to set us free!
So, to live in our chains, what we are really saying then is that our choice to remain stuck dismisses and rejects what Christ has already done for us.
Chew on that for a bit.
I don’t want to come across as someone just giving you a list of things to do in order to be ‘good enough’. Or offer a 5 step outline that will straighten out your life. That kind of stuff just does not work.
Nor do I want to give the impression that the Christian life is easy and free of pain. On the contrary. I am in a daily battle to keep my freedom. Trouble comes. People betray. Sin rears its ugly head. But I have to make the choice for freedom. I have to make the choice between a hardened heart and one that is softened by amazing love. A softened heart will help me to live in freedom.
Walking In Freedom
We are under so much grace through Christ and it is important to recognize that our lives are a ‘work in progress’. Growing and learning is lifelong. It won’t be until heaven that all mysteries are revealed to us.
I pray that He will show you the areas that He wants to work on and we will have the courage to obey. And really, all of these areas are the areas I am presently working on myself, so they are just as much of a reminder for me as they will be for you. I’m serious, as I was going through my notes a couple of weeks ago, the truth of God’s word washed over my weary soul. It was the refreshment…and reminder I desperately needed.
And it seems that as soon as you thing you’ve got those chains licked and they are gone for good, God reveals something new to work on.
For me, right now, it is healing a deep hurt from when I was a teenager. My oldest is 14 and everyday that goes by I am reminded of how little time left I have with her. I would think, “She could stay with me forever!”.
Of course, I do hope that she will follow God’s calling on her life, wherever that takes her. But my pleasant thoughts of having my girl home with me after she graduates brought up some painful memories. When I was about her age, my parents started saying things like, “I can’t wait until you graduate so you can get out of here.”
Those words stung my heart. What does that say to a young girl? Do you know the damage words like that cause?
In my grade 12 year, I had heard those words plenty of times. And so, I left. Why stay where I am clearly not wanted? I moved in with my boyfriend’s family. That didn’t go over well. I’ll save more of that story for another post.
Through the healing of that pain, I will remind myself these truths:
Choose freedom, choose life.
He came so I could be FREE and ALIVE!
Christ has made me FREE!
He died on the cross for my freedom. He rose again so I can live.
My freedom is not based upon how I feel. If I want freedom and victory, then I have to begin walking in it regardless of how I feel.
Are you ready to begin walking in your freedom no matter the cost?
If you need reminders of this truth like I do, I created some freedom cards for you to download and print off. Just print on card stock and cut. You can put them in a prayer journal, scrapbook, on a binder ring…or just have them on your fridge or desk. Click the image to download.
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