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The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim 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, 

Of all the lies Satan tells us, the ones that are the most damaging are the ones that take away our freedom. If there is one thing that can rob us of the freedom we have in Christ it’s the prison of bitterness. The Lie associated with the Battle for our FREEDOM is that ‘You don’t deserve to be treated this way’. The lie comes in various forms. It can be health related and involve you or a loved one: “I eat right and exercise and do all the right things to take care of my body. I don’t deserve cancer.” or “He/she is too young to have to battle all this illness. It’s just not right!”

The lie can involve relationships as well. We listen to the voices as work that tell us that we don’t deserve to be paid the way we do; that we do more for the company than anyone else and for the least amount of respect, and the voices go on and on repeating the poison that saps our energy and riddles our body with bullets of anger, leaving wounds that ooze bitterness.

We hear the voices at home demanding justice, fairness and respect. No one deserves to be treated as a second rate citizen regardless of gender or body size or sexual orientation or age or… (The list goes on). We fight back physically or emotionally or cower in the corner in self defense until, one way or the other we are released from the pain only to relive it in another relationship. The fight for freedom can turn ugly. For some, the fight for freedom has led to death. When we give up the fight, the enemy wins. 

As with most of the lies we’ve talked about, this lie is another example of the cunning methods the enemy uses to subdue us. Remember, Lucifer is the master of deceit and he loves to tweak the truth just enough to make the lie look wise. Half truths are his specialty. Do you deserve the abuse you are taking? Most certainly not! It isn’t just the righteous people who are created in God’s image. He created the wino laying in the gutter in the same image as the squeaky clean pastor in the cathedral where the bum lays his head to sleep, protected from the wind. The child molester is created in God’s image just as the terrorist, the adulterer, or the judge who seeks his own power and refuses to acknowledge the ultimate Judge or right and wrong.

The truth is, in one sense you don’t deserve whatever it is you are going through physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise. Your Heavenly Father created the Garden of Eden and all the animals, and we human beings so we could live in a world free of sin and in perfect harmony with nature and himself. When sin entered the picture it destroyed his dream for us…for now. The enemy doesn’t want you to know that when God sees the pain in our lives he weeps. His passionate heart is heavy when he sees the young person commit suicide, when he sees the cancer report, or hears the verdict from the judge’s bench. You don’t deserve what you are going through.

The adversity we face in life shouldn’t be surprising though. The Apostle Peter tells us: “Christ suffered here on earth. Now you must be ready to suffer as he did, because suffering shows that you have stopped sinning.” 1 Peter 4:1 (CEV) The Psalmist constantly talks of his pain, but in the same breath mentions the love and faithfulness of his God. (Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:16-17). 

The harsh reality is that while we are here on earth we will suffer in ways no human should suffer. It’s not whether we will encounter injustice or suffering in life. We will. Just as Jesus did. Regardless of how much pain you are going through or for what reason, none of us has suffered more than Jesus suffered for us.

The real question is how we will respond to the attacks. Will you dwell on the injustice or claim the freedom in Christ to rise above the adversity. Will you refuse to forgive and be prisoner of your own anger and bitterness or will you live in the awareness that just as Jesus suffered here on earth, we are destined to suffer pain. 

Freedom in Christ doesn’t free us from adversity, it give us strength to overcome it. That’s the Truth Statement the enemy doesn’t want us to hear in the battle for our freedom. Look at just a few verses the Bible tells us about our freedom in Christ. Truths that show us that we will suffer, yet our suffering won’t keep us from living free emotionally and can actually be used for the benefit of the Kingdom of God.

  • It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
  • Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (the truth! the truth about me. The truth about God’s love, grace, mercy and forgiveness!)
  • Brothers, understand what we are telling you: You can have forgiveness of your sins through Jesus. The Law of Moses could not free you from your sins. But through Jesus everyone who believes is free from all sins. Acts 13:38-39 (NCV) (the law (religion) was never intended to bring us freedom. The law was given to show us the need for freedom!)
  • Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
  • But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. Colossians 1:22
  • The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Freedom in Christ allows us to live in His strength regardless of what comes our way. Live free dear child of God. Live free of bitterness and anger so that others can see the truth of Christ in you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I’m struggling under anger and bitterness. I’m living in defeat physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes on you because this burden blocks my view. Empower me with your Spirit to live in the freedom you intended me to have. Amen.

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October 2011
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