Freedom to Live Victoriously and Not as a Captive

Freedom to live with Jesus!

True freedom. The freedom to enjoy life is such a lovely thing and it is truly tragic when someone goes through the sways of life but is never able to enjoy freedom in its entirety. God designed human beings to enjoy freedom. It is in your nature to be free and to pleasure in the benefits of liberty. That is why I am taking the time to dedicate an entire post to the topic of freedom to make you understand its nature and enjoy the freedom to live, so continue reading.

Captivity and Its Deceptive Borders

One can live a life of normality and still live in captivity. Captivity is sometimes not as obvious as it seems. It is not always a dirty dungeon, it can be one’s fears, strongholds, and more, which makes it very hard to identify. An example of this is a rich man reaping a six figure salary yet unable to enjoy relationships out of fear that someone will take his money.

Similarly, Jesus also told a story of a greedy man and exposed the vanity of greed.

Luke 12:20 World English Bible (WEB)
20 “But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’

God reminded the greedy man when he died that his money will only stay with him so as long as he’s alive, but, as soon as he dies, he cannot enjoy that money. That man was a slave to his financial fortune.

Freedom to buy anything you want but to be enslaved by your love for money is not true freedom. True freedom as the Bible puts it, is to enjoy life and God’s gifts in the way which God knows is best for us.

And the border between captivity and freedom is very hard to pinpoint. Many have the freedom to eat anything their heart desires, but they are captive to their addiction to food. Others have the freedom to exercise like anything, yet, they remain captive to their obsession over public image.

I am not saying money, exercise, or tasty food is bad. What I am saying is that there’s a multitude of things which can enslave us as human beings and you just have to ask yourself, “Am I really free? Is there anything that enslaves me?”

Liberating the Captives

And if you know deep within your heart that you are a slave, reach out to God. Jesus offers you the promise of freedom. Freedom to enjoy your life in all its entirety.

Matthew 11:28 World English Bible (WEB)
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ, being God, came in the flesh as a man and took the punishment for your sins along with the whips reserved to make you a slave, and He bought you freedom to live as children of God.

Three days after, He rose again from the dead and is now alive, forevermore. This is the gospel of freedom which the Bible is all about and I talk more about it in this post.

Luke 4:18 World English Bible (WEB)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the broken hearted,
    to proclaim release to the captives,
    recovering of sight to the blind,
    to deliver those who are crushed,

Jesus said that He is here to proclaim release to the captives. When Jesus says that He has come to “proclaim release to the captives,” the Greek word used in the Gospel for the word, “release,” is “aphesis.”

Aphesis almost always translates as meaning forgiveness in the other verses mentioning it but in this case, God uses it to mean release or freedom from captivity.

Therefore, I believe freedom starts with forgiveness. And whether you’re struggling with addiction, pride, greed, or whatever else enslaves the human mind, you must first understand that when you turn to Jesus Christ, God forgives you.

Ephesians 1:7 World English Bible (WEB)
in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Experience His grace!

Freedom to Live a Life With God

Therefore, God has purchased and redeemed you with His blood and has forgiven you as soon as you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you were a slave under the slave owner named, “Pride,” or “Greed,” or “Addiction,” Jesus Christ is your new master. He alone is your Lord and your God.

When He purchased you through His sacrifice on the cross, He decided to no longer call you a servant, but as His friend.

John 15:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.

Even more, He not only calls you His friend, but calls you into His family where you can call Him as your Heavenly Father. God grants you the privilege to be His beloved child.

1 John 3:2 World English Bible (WEB)
Beloved, now we are children of God. It is not yet revealed what we will be; but we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.

And so, you have the freedom to be God’s child and to be friends with Him. You do not need to be a slave to evil passions or sinful desires but now you are led by Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of God. So, come out of the darkness and into the light to enjoy your relationship with God. Freedom was never cheap. Someone had to pay a heavy price for it.

But, since Jesus already paid for our freedom, it is now free for you to access. Now, it’s up to you to experience the freedom which God has granted to you.

John 8:32 World English Bible (WEB)
32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Psalm 119:45

Shattering the Stronghold of Addiction

No one ever starts doing something in the hopes of getting addicted. It just happens. To the addicted, addiction seems to be their life source, something which they cannot live without, but this extreme dependency is nothing less than a curse. If you are entangled in the webs of addiction, then let the Word of God shatter the stronghold of addiction in your life.

Addiction and the Soul

Your soul consists of your mind, will, and emotions. It is basically your human personality.

Psalm 94:18-19 World English Bible (WEB)
When I said, “My foot is slipping!”    Your loving kindness, Yahweh, held me up.19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me,    your comforts delight my soul.

This is why the Bible says to love God with all your soul, and as in the above verse, it says that God can comfort your soul. So, your soul is who you are as an emotional being.

1 Peter 2:11 World English Bible (WEB)
11 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Now, addiction is a fleshly lust. It affects one’s body and is a deep, irresistible desire. The Bible says it is these types of desires which wage war against your soul.

You may be experiencing food addiction, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or any other type of addiction, but they are all waging war against your soul! They are not for you, they are against you.

The Struggle With Addiction

Your mind may not want it; you may be saying to yourself, “Ah, how I wish I could stop this addiction, but I just can’t, it’s impossible.”

And so, it is clear that addiction does not care about your soul’s wishes it just strongly pulls a person to do something which is not good. This in part is because addiction is at heart, sin.

Romans 7:15-18 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good.

It is this inward struggle with sin that Paul is talking about. Although he was not addicted to a substance of any sort, he was struggling with the sinful nature that entices many people to fall into addiction’s grasp. He is writing through the Holy Spirit how even he, the apostle on fire for God, was not able to break apart from his sinful nature. But, he talks about the solution in the next chapter and that same solution applies to you if you struggle with addiction.

Shatter the Stronghold of Addiction

Romans 8:1 World English Bible (WEB)
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

This is the start of Paul’s next chapter in the Letter of Romans. He says when you walk according to the Spirit, you will not be condemned.

If you believe you are condemned as a slave to whatever addiction there may be, let me tell you, there’s hope for you. Paul was just talking in the previous chapter about how he consistently failed in a certain area of his life. But, now he writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus.

When you are in Jesus, you are not, “condemned,” to be an addict. No one can decide your fate except Jesus and He decided to free you. Therefore, accept what He has provided for you. Jesus already defeated the addiction that is trying to trick you into following it. Let God shatter the stronghold of addiction.

The King Who Conquered Temptation

You may say, “Andre, how would you know how addiction feels like, you don’t understand its grip on me!”

Yes, but, Jesus understands your situation. He was tempted for forty days! Yet, Jesus was tempted so that He could understand your pains. And even so, He never lost to temptation.

Matthew 4:2-4 World English Bible (WEB)
When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterwardThe tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth.’”Deuteronomy 8:3

Moreover, in those forty days, He fasted. He ate nothing. And it is in these moments that eating feels like an addiction. I am not saying that prior to this extreme temptation, Jesus was addicted to food. I am saying that He biologically like any other human being would desire to eat. But, the urges to eat must have been extremely difficult. So much so, that it is comparable to how an average person may struggle to abstain from substance addiction.

The devil tempted Him to eat, he reminded Jesus that He could turn a stone into a nice, puffy loaf of bread. Yet, Jesus resisted in obedience to the Father so you could experience the same victory over temptation!

Jesus said man shall live by every word that comes from God, so live based on what He says about you. Do not live based on the lies of the enemy. You can remind yourself that Jesus lives in you and He is the Word of God who is your source of Life.

Hebrews 4:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.

The Solution to Addiction

The moment you feel tempted, remind yourself, “Jesus already set me free, I am God’s dearly beloved child!” This is what you call resisting the devil. You are not giving up your identity to the lies of the enemy. No matter what tempts you, it cannot waver you from the solid identity you have in Jesus as the beloved child of God. As you submit to God, resisting the lies of the enemy, you allow God to shatter the stronghold of addiction in your life.

James 4:6-7 World English Bible (WEB)
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”Proverbs 3:34 Be subject therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

If you have not already accepted Jesus, know this: He wants you to be in a relationship with Him. When you believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross for you, there is no spiritual enemy or addiction which can condemn you. Rather, His Spirit will work in you.

Therefore, when you believe in Jesus, God’s Spirit is in you and if you think it is fate for you to fall into addiction, reject that mindset. Jesus already decided your fate and He says that your future is nothing but good, a future devoid of addiction. It is in your hands to yield yourself to His love as you submit to Him, and to stand firmly in the truth which Jesus called you to follow.

The King Who Overcame Anxiety!

There are many types of anxiety. This post will be tackling the topic of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Basically, GAD is a disorder that causes people to worry abnormally and frequently throughout their life.

Now, what does the Bible say about anxiety in general?

Matthew 6:27-30 World English Bible (WEB)
2
“Which of you by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan? 28 Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, 29 yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?

The general topic of this bible verse is anxiety. This is when Jesus tells the people that you should not worry about anything because God is in control.

He says that He will provide. If you are worried about anything, just lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Doesn’t Jesus say in verse 30, that if He put so much effort into the design of flowers, then how much more, will He care for you!

No Longer in Bondage

Romans 8:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Paul, influenced by the Holy Spirit, wrote this passage straight from Heaven so that you can truly understand the solution to General Anxiety Disorder. He says we have not received the spirit of bondage to fear. But, what is bondage to fear?

Bondage to fear is when someone is always scared of what’s happening next or what has already happened. It can be seen as constant anxiety, which perfectly matches GAD’s description. So, God tells us through this passage, that if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, He will put in you, His Spirit of adoption.

It means that as soon as you believe in Him, He considers you His own child. When you were young, your parents would tell you not to be worried. They would always take care of everything to the best of their ability. I mean, I’ve never seen a child worry about paying the bills or providing food on the table in a functional family.

In the same way, Holy Spirit tells you in this scripture that you have not received a spirit of bondage to fear, but the Spirit of adoption from God, meaning that He see you through the lens of love, as His dear, beloved child, just rely on Him.

God’s Primary Calling to You

Therefore, God calls you to believe in Him and to place your trust in Jesus Christ because He loves you; He wants to do something great in your life, He wants you to be set free from all anxiety as He calls the whole world to Him!

John 3:16 World English Bible (WEB)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Moreover, Jesus leaves you with His peace which is not dependant on your situation but on your relationship with Jesus.

John 14:27 World English Bible (WEB)
27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

Before Jesus’ crucifixion, He made a promise that He would give us peace. So, accept His promise, He put His Spirit in you and there is nothing that should worry you if the Almighty God is on your side.

You may be saying, “But, Andre, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness, it is beyond my control!”

Yet, my response remains the same because it’s supported by scripture, Jesus made that promise of peace for everyone; it is not supposed to be under your control, you just need to surrender it to Jesus. He did not say that His promise of peace is reserved only for healthy Christians, His promise is for everyone and anyone so as long as you decide to trust Him.

Philippians 4:7 World English Bible (WEB)
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

His peace transcends human comprehension; if you suffer from GAD, just ask God for that peace which He promised, GAD should have no place in your life.

You do not need to be anxious about the future, your situation or anything for that matter, but you should remind yourself that Jesus promised you peace. There may be challenges here and there but Jesus will turn your challenges into testimonies.

Therefore, accept His love and enjoy His perfect, wonderful peace.

Righteousness in Christ Jesus

Psalm 17:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness.
    I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with seeing your form.

This Psalm is a prayer from the mouth of King David who’s in the Old Testament. Now, what is the Holy Spirit trying to convey through this line of scripture?

First of all, you have to understand what it means to be righteous! To be righteous, means to be right with God. So, for the first line of the verse, David says there’s a time when He can see God’s face because he is righteous.

Remember, David was a man of faults, but a man after God’s heart, nevertheless; he had faith in the coming Messiah as is revealed in Psalm 22.

Our Righteousness? Or His Righteousness?

Now, for us, we are righteous (made right with God) because Jesus, the Messiah, was perfect and without sin, so that when He was punished despite being innocent, our wickedness was transferred to Him, while His righteousness was transferred to us!

2 Corinthians 5:21 World English Bible (WEB)
21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Righteousness has nothing to do with your works or how you act. Your works are like filthy rags to God because your standard of morality fails in comparison to God’s perfect morality. So, the only way to be truly righteous is for you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

Isaiah 64:6 King James Version (KJV)
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Romans 3:23 King James Version (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Again, scripture makes it clear that if we know that we are righteous in Christ Jesus, we will not continue committing works of the flesh, but will manifest the righteousness God gave us, in our lives. We will never be able to stop committing works of the flesh, but Holy Spirit will strengthen you with His grace so you can live in freedom from sin.

Galatians 5:24-25 World English Bible (WEB)
24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.

Walking With God

Since we become righteous in Christ Jesus, we can then behold the face of God. His righteousness in us, allows us to live free from guilt. We can look straight into God’s face, without any guilt or shame, because we have been made right with God, and now, God considers you His friend!

Exodus 33:11 World English Bible (WEB)
11 Yahweh spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, didn’t depart from the Tent.

Moreover, the scripture reveals a sense of satisfaction with seeing God’s form. The Hebrew word for “form,” in this verse, is “Temunah,” which also means likeness.

God uses this same Hebrew word to describe His friendship with Moses, where Moses can see God in His true form.

This is simply wonderful because that means we can see God and talk to Him just like how Moses spent His time with God, only with a New Testament understanding!

Numbers 12:8 World English Bible (WEB)
With him, I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see Yahweh’s form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?”

All in all, Holy Spirit wants you to know that when you accept Jesus, and understand you are righteous in Him, you can live a satisfying life with the Almighty God of this universe.

He paid the price so that you can live in relationship with Him; where you can constantly see His manifest presence all the days of your life.

Therefore, live in the understanding of your righteousness in Christ Jesus so you can live in a deep relationship with Him!