“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Gal 5:1 NIV)
What does this text mean?
It means that only Jesus can give us freedom. It is only through His death that He gives us victory. No one else can give that freedom. Only Jesus.
The church cannot give freedom; our actions cannot give liberty. Doctrines will never give freedom. In fact, these doctrines are burdensome. No one, including yourself can ever work freedom into lives. Freedom is the promise from Jesus and Him alone, and Jesus always keeps all His promises. He never stops!
Grace came to Earth, and Jesus showed what Grace truly means. Who else would be willing to die for someone else? The innocent took the terrible death, death on the cross. Grace took our sins, and He gave us the promised freedom: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)
Sadly, many are obsessed by different things. Our focus is not always on Grace, but on other things instead: “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from Grace.” (Gal 5:4-5 NIV). Remember that when Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Nazareth, He promised: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:16-17 NIV)
Jesus is the only One who saves and brings us freedom. No one else: “Then he (Jesus) rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'” (Luke 4:20-21 NIV)
Some years ago, I was invited to be an usher at one of the Benny Hinn crusades in Toronto. Although some believe he is from the devil and others proclaim he is a fake, all I can say is what I experienced: The gospel message was preached with over 1000 people giving their heart to Jesus that night. In addition, over 2000 people were healed. The lame walked, the deaf started hearing, the blind got their vision, cancer was healed…But perhaps the most poignant thing I witnessed was how many received their freedom in Christ.
Around 9:30 p.m., an usher from another section came running up to me: “I need your help. Someone is having a seizure in my section. I think she may be epileptic. I don’t know what to do.”
My first inclination was to tell her to call the doctor. I certainly didn’t know what to do with someone having a seizure! But God, in His peaceful voice, said: “I am in charge. Follow this lady”.
And so I followed her to her section. She seemed to be terrified of even getting close to the poor person, however, and not knowing where to go, I started to climb the stairs in the general direction that she pointed. As I reached a certain row, people suddenly began getting up and making way for me to get through. I made my way down that row until I came to a bleak-looking lady who was convulsing badly. She was surrounded by 4 ladies who were praying for her. One of them turned around and told me that she was a nurse and that she never had seen anyone seizure like this. She was sure it wasn’t a seizure at all, but rather, the poor lady was in the midst of a spiritual battle. In other words, demons were possessing her. She didn’t need physical healing, she needed to be freed from the demons within!
I had no idea what to do, but I stretched my hand towards her and started to pray.
The convulsing immediately stopped.
The ladies around her tried to encourage her to go down (We were on the third floor) to share her testimony with Benny Hinn. She was terrified. She said the demons would punish her if she went; but finally, following my lead, she decided to go. As we started towards the aisle, she began convulsing again, worse than ever.
The Lord impressed me then to talk boldly to her, and although words were coming out of my mouth, they were not my own: “You will be set free, my friend. Jesus loves you and He has paid for your healing 2000 years ago. By His stripes you are healed! Do you believe this?”
All during this speech, she riveted her attention on me. Finally she said, very weakly: “Yes”.
We started to pray for her freedom and began casting the demons out of her life. Then we invited God’s Holy Spirit to come and take up His dwelling in her. As we concluded our prayers, all convulsing stopped. The lady looked so peaceful. Jesus had set her free from those demons. Praise the Lord! Praise be to God for loving each one of us so much! Praise be to Jesus, who died so that we could be free, so that people like this poor lady could find their freedom from the demons controlling her!
God can do the same for you, my friend. Whatever it is the holds you in spiritual prison, cry out to Him and believe He will answer your plea. He always does, for is it not for freedom that Christ has set us free?
(To access the entire “Experiencing Our Heavenly Father” devotional series, please click here.)