Welcome to the training ground my friends. Today we are getting started with basic training. The fundamentals. And we are working our way up to an exercise that will blow your mind and bring about freedom.
Let’s get started.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners.
How do we know who is a captive and who is a prisoner???
I wonder if you are like me. I’ve been in conversations where for some crazy reason we get into the discussion about demons and ultimately there is a debate over this question. “Can a Christian be demon possessed?” Well, I think that’s entirely the wrong question. And I can tell you that the enemy loves it when we debate over this because he just continues his work on people as we debate and never get to a solution nor take any kind of action. So, let’s look for some truth and discover real steps we can take to bring freedom to the captives and the prisoners.
Who are the prisons and who are the captives? For the first time I feel like I have a grasp on this. Let me share with you what Kris Vallotton shares in Spirit Wars:
Prisoners are people who have invited a demonic oppression into their lives through a lifestyle of sin. The demons know they have permission to wreak havoc on these prisoners’ souls until the prisoners repent.
Captives are people who have been captured in battle and held as POWs. These people do not have lifestyle sin issues in their hearts. Instead, they are bound by lies they have believed.
Okay, can I just say, “WHOA.”
I think we need to start here and let this just sink in for a moment. Now I can already hear the rumbling. “But Lynn, when you are saved you receive the Holy Spirit and therefore you can’t become a captive or a prisoner.”
Let me assure you that is true. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are released from sin and as a prisoner you are set free. But what often happens is that we believe in Jesus but it’s REPENTANCE that keeps us free. Now, I’m not a theologian. I don’t have all the answers but I have graduated from the school of hard knocks and have learned over years and years of practical experience that this rings true. And this truth has become glaringly evident in my life recently. Lasting and real freedom is born out of radical obedience.
I’ve personally lived in this place of partial repentance. I know God has loved me through some of my long-term sin habits. I have watched him give me healing and freedom several times and like an idiot, I’ve returned to some of those habits. But it’s when we truly abandon all of ourselves to God, jump into obedience, that is where we discover a lifetime of freedom. Will God still love us when we are in the prison cell? Absolutely. Does he continue to offer rescue, time and time again? Of course. Will he give us every resource to help us conquer it? He does. He will. Always.
It’s a struggle of freewill, pride and add in there laziness and or comfort.
I know this because I’m talking about myself.
Ridding our lives of habitual sin is excruciating. I know. I still fight these battles just like you. But I’ve also tasted sweet victory and the “freedom” the Bible talks about.
For me, fighting this battle and winning gave me something I didn’t know I was missing. The Dove. My friends after our visit to Bethel I came home healed from a habitual sin for which I received prayer. I arrived at my home with something very precious and yet very fragile. It was a fresh anointing of God’s presence and it sat upon my right shoulder. I’ve never felt so full of God’ grace, his love and his power as that Dove rested upon my shoulder. But, a few weeks after returning and settling into my life again, sin comes around and hits me in the face. I’ve grieved the Spirit and that sweet Presence grows a little more distant and is no longer on my shoulder.
Once you have walked with this Dove, you will go to great lengths to keep it sitting on your shoulder.
Now this is only one area where the enemy gains entrance or gains territory in our lives and certainly the lives of unbelievers. On Monday we are going to look at how we are held captive by lies. Oh and it gets really good. We need to have a grasp of these basics to understand the complexities of how the enemy uses these areas to keep us as captives or prisoners. Once we wrap our arms around the basics then we can see how our freedom is born. Once our freedom is born then we can help free others. Our children, our spouse, the world who is continually terrorized by the enemy.
Okay, here is where it gets hard. It’s time to face your reality. It’s the hour where you ask yourself the really hard and revealing question. Do I have habitual sin in my life? My friends, if you do, you already likely know what it is. Because God is not silent about this kind of stuff. He will point it out to you over and over through scripture, through teaching, through studies, through people he strategically places in your life.
Ask God in an honest and open way, “Daddy, is there deep sin in my life that I have not faced or dealt with that is keeping me from living in your Presence?”
Then let the answer come. Some of the answers might be pornography, alcohol, television choices, infidelity, gossip, anger. How about these:
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21
My friends, it’s okay. All of us have wrestled with more than one of these and still do. But, here is our God and his son, Jesus. They are here among us and they are shouting……
“I’m here to release you. Let me love your through your healing. Let me lavish my forgiveness upon you. Let my scandalous grace delight you. Living in my freedom is so much better than what you have settled for. Trust me.”
This post is meant to mess you up. I hope it did. I hope it causes you to see your reality. I hope it pushes you to take steps toward healing. And for those of us who have experience our healing, let us fall on our face giving thanks. Let us love those on the path of healing. They need encouragement without judgment.
My friends, there is a battle raging. We MUST bring healing to our lives before we can help others. So get on this train because at the end, I can see this community of SUM touching hundreds of prisoners that are all around us with the truth that sets people free.
If you want healing and prayer, take courage to share it with me and our community so we can pray for you. Pray in the comments. If you have been healed, share what God has done so that the words of your testimony gives God glory and brings healing to someone else.
And on Monday….. Oh, my friend, ON MONDAY… It gets even better.. I love you. I love you. I love you. Hugs, Lynn