Saturday, December 3, 2011

Born Free

by Tim Howard

Since the inception of our country many wars have been fought. All of them remind us of one very important fact: we have an enemy! This enemy is often illusive, controlling and very deceptive.
The Bible makes us aware of a spiritual enemy and this adversary seeks to influence us for the bad, control us in order to thwart freedom and deceive us into thinking that good is bad and bad is good.
One person said to me, “ If you believe in God you must also believe in Satan.” I couldn’t agree more! That’s one of the many names given to our spiritual enemy. Other names are: The devil, liar, deceiver, accuser and the list goes on. Each name represents something of our enemy’s nature, character and strategy.
Being born into freedom is different than living a life of freedom. To ‘get free’ from the tyranny of another is one thing, but to ‘remain free’ requires wars to be fought, battles to be waged and skirmishes to be won. There is no victory without a fight and freedom is definitely worth a fight.
Knowing your enemy is a key to victory. Whether it’s in Afghanistan, Iraq or a spiritual battle, we must have certain Intel to be successful. The enemy doesn’t want you to walk in freedom. Here’s 5 ways Satan seeks to keep you imprisoned.
1.              Ignorance. I didn’t know the speed limit was 35 mph officer! Sorry about that, here is your ticket. Isaiah. 5:13 … “My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge...” Paul the Apostle said: “ we are not ignorant of Satan’s schemes.”  Ignorance is not bliss! What you don’t know can hurt you.

2.              Negligence. Luke 6:49 …"the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed…” Many marriages and relationships unravel, not because of what one does but because of what one doesn’t do.

3.              Disobedience. Proverbs 21:3 “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” God’s laws are not meant to restrict us, but to keep us from bondage. Our Father is not so interested in slapping you on the wrist for failure to follow His directives, as He is desirous to keep you free from the snares of the enemy.

4.              Arrogance. Proverbs16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Your enemy loves to see you filled with pride. It hinders God’s work from happening in you because God draws near to the humble but opposes the proud.

5.              Un-forgiveness. This can be likened to a Hydra monster. Hydra was a multi-headed serpent or monster in Greek mythology, slain by Hercules. Similarly (but unfortunately, it is no myth; it is hard reality) un-forgiveness will manifest in multiple ways - resentment, vindictiveness, scornfulness, bitterness, anger, passive unresponsiveness and a host of other unproductive things. When you walk in un- forgiveness you are playing into the strategic plan of the enemy.

You were born to be free. If you are to remain free, however, you must close the door to these 5 entry points and open the door to wisdom, participation, obedience, humility and forgiveness. God sent His Son to set us free. That’s why He came! Why not visit one of the many church families in Kings County as you enter the Christmas season. You can celebrate His birth and the fact that you are born free in Him. 

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