“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19, NIV2)
Dennis Vibert was far from happy. His little island home, known by the world as Jersey, had been invaded by the Nazis. His freedom had been curtailed and he didn’t like it. He began to dream of freedom, and in September 1941, he decided to do anything that was in his power to obtain that freedom. As a result of his decision, he set out to cross the North Sea for England in a tiny 2.6 meter vessel named Ragamuffin.
He left Jersey rowing his craft so as not to draw attention to him, and it wasn’t until he was about 4 miles out that he started his outboard engine. Two German E-boats (Sounds like email for boats, but it isn’t.) passed within hundred yards of his craft, but they never paid any attention to him or didn’t see him. Who would have thought he was trying to escape in such a tiny vessel? The wash from the E-boats filled the Ragamuffin with water however, ruining all of Dennis’ reserves of food.
He wouldn’t let this stop him from executing his plan, however. His focus was on obtaining freedom.
By dawn he was 24 km from Guersney. While attempting to refuel, seawater splashed into his engine, literally killing it. Dennis, however, had come prepared. He had a spare outboard motor!
Unfortunately it fell overboard while he was trying to attach it.
Dennis was still undaunted. If he didn’t have an engine, he still had his arms, and he set out to row himself to freedom. In fact, he rowed for two days straight!
Finally a British ship, the HMS Brocklesby, spotted him off Portland Bill and brought him on board. After being interrogated by military intelligence who suspected him of being a spy, he was finally released, thanks to a fellow Jerseyman who knew him. Free at last, but that freedom came with a price. Dennis was then charged import duty by His Majesty’s customs when he went to reclaim Ragamuffin.
Dennis is not the only one hungering for complete freedom. I get many emails from people who would do anything to find freedom from addictions, sin and bad habits. Some are quite desperate. Others want to obtain it without having to put out any effort. I have good news for all of you:
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15, NIV2)
Jesus has obtained our freedom!
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much to those who don’t believe a word of it. They continue to remain in slavery!
It also doesn’t change the fact that, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15, NIV2).
What some considered the demise of Jesus was instead His triumph over the authorities that have held humanity in bondage.
The signs of Satan losing his power on earth can be seen everywhere, but only in those who believe in the freedom Jesus offers. I know many want to believe, but they fall short of this belief. My advice is that instead of depending on your own strength, ask Jesus for His help. Through Him and solely Him you will be victorious!
It is hard to dispel the lies of the evil one however, and at times they seem more real than the freedom Jesus promises. This is why it is so important to resist these lies. Just like the seawater stopped Ragamuffin’s engine, lies will prevent you from obtaining that freedom!
Now consider such a freedom that is real. I can vouch for this, as I, too, used to be a prisoner of the war raging on this planet, and Jesus freed me completely. It was hard, especially shaking off the lies I that I considered truth and accepting Jesus fully as my Lord and Master, but it was worth it. I, too, reached the shores of freedom, just as you will!
1. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV2)
2. “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:5-6, NIV2)
3. “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19, NIV2)
4. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV2)
Freedom is within our reach. It all depends on what we want to believe. If Dennis had giving in to discouragement, he never would have reached the shores of freedom. He had to fight the idea that he never would be able to reach his goal.
Thank you Jesus for providing us freedom. I still stand in awe for what you did for me on the cross. You not only forgave me, you also provided me with real freedom. Thank you for being my Saviour.
Why are you standing there in your boat half-full of seawater? Don’t give up! Freedom is within your reach!
(To access the entire “Hell’s Tactics” devotional series, please click here.)