Dwight Fletcher | Freedom from the influence - Part 2
Last week, we learnt about life-controlling habits from which God wants to set us free. We have three enemies that fight against us - the world, our human nature, and our most lethal enemy Satan - who strives to keep us shackled to unhealthy life habits, destructive behaviour, and defeat. While there are some natural physical contributions to these situations, there is a clear and real spiritual component, too.
Satan's influence in our lives is usually very subtle. Some of the things that have us bound and hold us captive are not only caused by our sinful nature; they are orchestrated and manipulated by him. Sometimes the influences come from the outside tempting us to evil or badgering and shaming us about confessed sin and at other times, it comes from the inside, causing people to act or think in certain ways.
The Apostle Paul made it clear that as Christians, we can either live by the flesh or by the Holy Spirit. Whenever we choose to live by the flesh (such as when we give in to anger), we "give place" or a foothold to the devil, giving him an opportunity to influence us. "In your anger, do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
Satan does not want us to be free, but Jesus Christ died so that we can walk in freedom. We're called to be vigilant, discerning and respond with authority to strongholds. As we start to recognise that we could have a problem in areas of our lives ... here is the good news - Jesus can set us free!
One definite feature of Jesus' ministry was bringing a stop to satanic influence in people's lives. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me ... To proclaim liberty to the captives ... To set at liberty those who are oppressed..." Luke 4:18 NKJV. Jesus wants your freedom from oppression and captivity and He fully demonstrated this while He walked the earth. Don't allow the enemy to make you focus on your weaknesses or your history, or make you feel ashamed; instead, focus on the one who can set you free.
Do you need to be set free?
Let us explore three things that can help you to get free:
1. Get Connected to God. The key to freedom is a relationship with Jesus who opens heaven to us. Without Jesus you would be hopeless to fight this battle for freedom. But with Him you can walk in freedom and overcome every life controlling habit. Jesus understands that sometimes we get tangled up. Sometimes life happens, and we conduct ourselves in ways that leave us open to enemy attack and influence, but Jesus Christ is the solution.
2. The Name of Jesus unbounds you. After you get connected with Jesus the next step to freedom is praying in the name of Jesus. One definite feature of Jesus' ministry was freeing people from life controlling influences and bringing a stop to negative activity in people lives. Jesus said. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me ... To proclaim liberty to the captives ... To set at liberty those who are oppressed ..." Luke 4:18 NKJV. A part of Jesus' mandate was your freedom from oppression and captivity. And He fully demonstrated this while He walked on the earth. At no time did Jesus ever come up against a life controlling habit or satanic influence that He could not break.
3. Exercise Your Authority. The next step is to use the authority that God has given us through his son Jesus Christ. Luke 10:18-20 NKJV tells us, 19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Jesus gives us the authority to walk in freedom.
The key to victory is our relationship with Jesus, it is He who opens heaven to us and is the centre of it all. You and I can get free from life-controlling habits when Jesus is the captain of our ship.
If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal saviour, you can by reading this simple prayer:
Father, I humbly pray to You, knowing that you are God. I know I'm a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life.
I surrender my life to Him and trust Him as my Saviour and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."