Tag Archives: bondage

From Slavery to Freedom – How Wisdom Overcame Foolishness

Introduction: In Old Testament times, some cultures held the practice that should a person who owed another person a debt have no financial means to pay, he or she could sell or herself into the service of his creditor to work off the debt owed.
In this arrangement, a bond between both parties would be made, such as ‘work for me for these many years or make for me these may baskets to pay off the debt you owe me’. In this arrangement, the person was ‘bonded’ by law to the creditor and so became a ‘bond-servant’.
Moreover, at times the written bond agreement was placed at the entrance of the person’s habitation to remind him and everyone else that he was in a debt bond. Indeed, such a person was in ‘bond-age’, because he/she was not free to go as he/she pleased.
Consider: Imagine walking up to the house of a person and seeing a bond statement. Imagine that out of curiosity, you reach for it and discover the following: The man sold himself into bondage though he owed no debt to his creditor when he first sold himself. And because he sold himself of his own freewill for nothing, and his now master agreed to the surrender of his freedom and freewill for bondage, no sum of money or work could redeem him, for indeed, there was nothing to pay.
Seeing this, I bet you’d be somewhat dumbfounded. You’d wonder whatever possessed the man to do such a thing – sell himself voluntarily into bondage for nothing. You might also feel sorry for the man!
How one moment of temporary insanity and foolishness can lead to a lifetime of bandage.
The interesting thing is this: You and I are the ones that sold ourselves into bondage for absolutely nothing (this is what plays out in the story of Adam and Eve for they owed the devil absolutely nothing). God saw what we did and took pity on us. Knowing the only thing the slave master (Satan) would settle for to let us go was the utter control of God’s kingdom and domain, God immediately formulated a plan.
Story of Wisdom: So how did God overcome our foolishness? He overcome it with Wisdom. Since the scripture tells us that Jesus is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30-31), we see that God combatted our foolishness with Jesus (wisdom). Jesus came and substituted himself for us of his own free will so that we could regain our freedom. Here is how he did it.
He started by writing a new bond agreement that allowed himself to be a substitute for the man in bondage. Then he knocked on the house (heart) of the bondservant and said: Lets make an exchange; lets make a binding perpetual accord – your freedom for my bondage. I will take your place under the same bond that you agreed with your current master. Dumbfounded by Jesus’s love, the man accepted and was immediately set free, and Jesus took his place. Jesus then took the parchment that contained the man’s bond agreement and folded it into two, signifying the debt of the man is now invalid, and kept the agreement between him and the man with him.
Next day as the creditor comes, he sees Jesus instead of the old bondservant. The creditor asks Jesus what happened, and Jesus explains that he has taken the place of the man. Glad that he has a bondservant, the creditor asks Jesus to get to work. Then Jesus asks the question, why? The creditor replies that because he has taken the bondservant’s position. To this answer, Jesus asks said, what is his debt so that I may begin to pay it? When the creditor replied, well he has no debt, Jesus simply said, well consider his non-debt paid, and simply walks out!
The creditor knew he had been outmaneuvered. While he could have argued that debt of the bond-servant was his freewill promise to him, he could not argue that Jesus owed him a debt for He had not made any such promises or agreement with him. Furthermore, since Jesus was substitute for the old-bondservant, he could now no longer go and get the man back.
Upset, the creditor quickly tried to see if he could convince the old bondservant to tear up his agreement with Jesus. When he found the old bondservant, he simply laughed at the creditor and said ‘why would I fall for your trap again! And besides, even if I wanted to tear up that agreement, I can’t because a condition of our agreement was that only He could tear it up. You will have to find Him and convince Him. Moreover, our agreement supersedes my agreement with you. Therefore, if something ever possesses me to work for you again, I can walk out freely when I come to my senses. You can no longer hold me against my will’

Point to Ponder: Anyone suffering in bondage is wise to consider accepting Jesus’ proposal for freedom and sign up.

Bible Verse: You have sold yourselves for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money – Isaiah 52:3 NKJV.

Disclaimer: This story is not meant to fully and accurately depict how Jesus won liberty for us. He did it through the shedding of His blood.

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Emmanuel’s Thanksgiving to EMMANUEL!

God stepped in and changed my life after eight years of spending my days in the futility of my own thinking and chasing after cleverly disguised foolishness. No more was He going to standby and allow me to waste all the ability and promise He had placed within me when He molded me. Instead, He used the veiled death trap of pride and fear I had unknowingly built around me to bring me to my knees. He gently and methodically unfolded the straight jacket that had constricted me, kept me in bondage, and restricted all freedom. I thought I was free but I was not; I thought I had the mind of Christ but I did not; any mind that is not the mind of Christ is the mind of bondage. Now that the shackles are gone, all I can do is give Him praise.

I caused death and destruction in my foolishness, but I know my Father who rescued me from myself is more than able to undo to the uttermost all the mess that my foolishness may have created in others.

He is God and so worthy to be praised. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Give it all to Him and He will turn your tragedy into a trajectory towards wholeness, beauty, and victory. He has and is doing it for me and will do it for you. He will not despise a broken and a contrite heart (Psalms 51:17).

My story is that of a Superchump – the state of a man who lives outside of Christ! But now, it has turned into that of living in Christ – thereby allowing Him to daily turn me into a champion for Him. I am not a good man but simply enjoying the goodness of God by daily crucifying myself so He may live in and through me.

The story begins with Diary of a Superchump, but I do not know where it ends! All I know is that the end of a matter is better than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). I am walking a path that leads to nowhere I know but I am determined to walk it nonetheless for I know He who directs my path. I know the end is going to bring fame to my King. To Him belong all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise!  

What is your story? What are you thankful for? What are you thanking Him for?

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Law Mongering – The deceptive path to hell on earth

Every human being has a decision to make with regards to where he/she is going to live spiritually. We have to decide whether we are going to live in the world, in the law, or in the Spirit. Those that choose to live in the world are those that have chosen not to know about God and so live a life controlled by the river of this world which flows right towards the water fall of emptiness/deep spiritual void while bruising the individual with every inanimate object contained within the river. These are the people that have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For those of us that believe in Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in us, two options remain – whether to live in the law or live in the Spirit.

Lightbulb MomentTo live in the law is to know about God; to live in the Spirit is to know God  

Wait you say! I thought that I am now living in the Spirit because I have accepted the Spirit. Not true! Paul tells us that if we have the Spirit, let us also walk (live) in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). So there is a difference. Yes, we are given the Spirit upon believing with our hearts and confessing with our mouths (see Romans 10:9-10) but the glorious inheritance of the goodies of the kingdom of heaven which includes a life of love, joy, peace, self-control and much more are reserved for those who live in the Spirit. See, we do not miss the mark (sin) when we are walking in the Spirit for there is no sin in God; hence we only miss the mark when we are walking out of the Spirit. Note: Only Jesus was able to walk in the Spirit perfectly for He had no sin.

Lightbulb MomentThe extent to which we walk in the Spirit determines the extent to which we live heaven on earth

The snag today for too many of us is that we spend most of our time walking out of the Spirit and instead in the law. We think we are alright as long as we do not walk in the world. No! The law only condemns and brings death. We find that the incessant walking in the law results in the church body being very little different from the world – same lack of victory, same divorce rates, same lack of self-control, same fear projection and mongering! No wonder the influence of the church in many places seems to be dwindling. Part of the issue is our law-mongering which produces no tangible fruit for the world to be attracted towards!

Lightbulb MomentLaw mongering is the attempt to fulfill what is written in the perfect law of liberty (the bible) in our own strength and reasoning; our own flesh.

Law mongering causes us to apply the word of God to our situation (most of the time based on our feelings) rather than allow God to speak His word to our circumstance. What is the difference you ask? The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness illustrates the difference: Although Satan and Jesus were both quoting from the scripture (law), only the scripture (law) that was given to Jesus by the Holy Spirit (Word) brought life. Conversely, the word spoken by the devil was obviously not from the Word (Holy Spirit). Thus, we see that the Holy Spirit speaks the ‘word of the law’ that brings life, but the devil speaks the ‘word of the law’ that brings death.

Likewise, we should not apply the word of the law as we ‘think’ it applies, but should allow the Holy Spirit to apply the word of the law that will bring liberty (instead of bondage). For example, we should not decide whether we are going to discipline our children (Proverbs 22:15) or pardon their offense (Colossians 3:21) but allow the Spirit of God to tell us which one we should do. See, both actions are scriptural, but only the one the Holy Spirit directs us to do for the specific situation brings life. If we are not living in the Spirit, we choose the word of the law to apply based on emotions, history, circumstance, and upbringing and so put ourselves into bondage when we invariably get it wrong.

So what is the point of the law? The law is useful for a myriad of reasons including testing of the spirits speaking to us. It lets us prove that it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, for the Holy Spirit will not contradict what is contained within the bible. This is why Jesus says that He did not come to abolish the law! The law makes the nature of God tangible to us and allows us to choose Him.

In summary, to have life, we must be doers of the word instead of being doers of the law. We must allow the law to speak to us through the Holy Spirit rather than speaking and acting out the law to our circumstance. We must allow the Spirit to guide us through life and so enjoy the benefits of walking in the Spirit.

Food for Thought: Walking in the law is walking in the flesh; walking in the law makes us Pharisees.

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I think I feel – You could be your own worst enemy!

Oh I think this; Oh I feel that! Just because we think it does not make it the truth, and just because we feel it does not make it real. And just because a friend agrees with it does not confirm it. Since what we feel stems from how we think, it stands to reason that we can change how we feel by changing how we think. The scripture gives credence to this by letting us now that ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 3:27). So what kind of men or women are we? Does what we think line up with the Word? If whatever we are thinking does not line up with truth (the Word), then it is a lie! This lie in turn creates fantasy (untrue) emotions that lead us to speak lie-based words and take lie-based actions. We start living a lie-based life that keeps us in bondage – for only the truth brings freedom.

Since words create worlds and words come from thoughts, it is best to create a world of life and truth by inclining our ears to God’s word instead of creating a world of lies and death by acting on our own thoughts and feelings, even if they are supported by the world – which they most likely will be.

Yes, we all have our own thoughts and feeling and we will always have opinions. Yet, we must scrutinize them against the perfect law of liberty (the Word) when they come. If they do not jive with the Word, we must surrender them to God in humility for they are fear-based lies from the father of lies (Satan) who is most likely plaguing on our past experiences, fears, and insecurities.

Should we find that our thoughts never jive with the Word, it’s a sure sign to us to surrender our hearts, spend more time with Him in Word and prayer, and give up our control for His control. When we do this, our thoughts will begin to reflect more of his thoughts.

Remember, His thoughts towards us are good; always to prosper us and to give us a future and a hope (see Jeremiah 29:11).

Lightbulb MomentWhile our thoughts tend to be motivated by a mixture of good (love, hope) and evil (fear, pride, selfishness) and leads to foolishness at best, God’s thoughts are motivated by agape love and always lead to life.   

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Adversity – Why Me?

Adversity is a bridge we will all have to cross in this life. King David reminds us of this when he says ‘many are the afflictions of the righteous’. Jesus confirms it by saying ‘in this world you will have trials and tribulations. The truth is that we do not have to look for adversity before adversity finds us. As long as we live in this world, we are a target of Satan – the god of this world (see 2 Corinthians 4:4); the god of adversity.

Yet, Jesus prays to God not to take us away from this world. So does that mean He delights in our adversity? No! He died on that cross so as to overcome the god of adversity, thereby overcoming all the adversity we could ever go through. What He wants us to learn is how to overcome the bridge of adversity in Him so we may help others who are in bondage to cross over into freedom. He wants us to be salt and light while triumphing over every conceivable snare of bondage.

So how do we do this? Rather than concentrate on the snares of the bondage and certain death that exists below our feet, we ought to focus our eyes on the freedom and life that awaits us on the other side of the bridge. You see, when we cast our eyes upon Jesus, the trials and tribulations of this world do not much matter, and the seemingly insurmountable issues lose their power and diminish in size in comparison to the glory of God. Our eagerness to claim our prize grows and we begin to sprint past our adversity into safety. When we cast our eyes upon Jesus, love overcomes fear, faith overcomes doubt, and life overcomes death.

Lightbulb MomentAdversity is simply a bridge towards glory and greatness.

So next time you come across that bridge, keep your head up, avoid looking down below at the scary bondage of your circumstance, and run towards the victory that awaits you on the other side. Do not say why me, for you already know why. It is you because the god of this world does not like you. Just remember this:

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all – Psalm 34:19

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world – John 16:33

Lightbulb MomentDo not be overcome by adversity (evil), but overcome adversity with God (good)

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