Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"No" to tyranny

We've all heard stories of people who were kidnapped and held in confinement for years. Over time, captivity became their reality, and though they hated it they could no longer imagine what normal life was like. Sadly, many have coped by just accepting their slavery as normal.  

This is a pretty good description of what happens to many of us in the spiritual realm. God’s power and promises are far greater, more beautiful and more real than anything in our ordinary lives, but our circumstances and past cloud our judgment and make us passively accept things the way they are. We say we believe in His power and promises, but some have been under the tyranny of the devil for so long that it’s virtually impossible for them to conceive of a life of faith that conquers and sees the promises of God coming true. They have adapted to their captivity.

Jesus didn't come to earth to die, resurrect and return to heaven in a matter of days. He went through the entire human experience, lived for over 30 years on earth, in order to be an example of how we—weak little humans that we are—can defeat the tyranny of the devil. Like a parent taking his child by the hand and leading him step by step, Jesus did, and wants to do just that. He personally discipled the twelve as He walked the dusty roads of Judea and Galilee, and now through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit He wants to disciple us, teaching us to triumph over doubt, fear and temptation, over seemingly impossible circumstances.

The word “sacrifice” makes people squirm, but only when we follow Jesus’ example of radical faith by sacrificing our own worldly mindset and emotions, can the power of the Holy Spirit work in us. The common reaction to this is: “Well that was Jesus, He could do those things,” or, “That was then, things were different in the days of the Bible.” But when Jesus healed the sick and freed the oppressed He was not dangling a precious gem in front of our eyes only to snatch it away because we were not lucky enough to live in the first century. His faith and miracles are a blueprint for us to follow. His Word explains what we can do right now to eradicate the tyranny of the devil, as long as we walk in His ways, and have His eyes and heart and authority. 

But we need to constantly refocus our eyes on what is real. The devil has taken the world we live in captive, like Romans 8:22 says “…the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.” Nature itself knows that this is not the way the world is supposed to be. How can we be so complacent to tolerate a life of defeat and oppression as if it were all we have? Why embrace this world that even the birds outside your window know is not real, when Jesus has shown us how to take hold of heaven? Let’s walk in His footsteps and determine to break out of Satan’s tyranny starting today. 

You know the events that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him.  (Acts 10:37-38 HCSB)

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