“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.”* Freedom in Christ is something that we Christians are entitled to but we often don’t live in His freedom. There is so much bondage in the Church. There are yokes that keep believers hostage. We have not fully understood the extent of the freedom that belongs to us in Jesus. I remember when I first got saved I felt a certain freedom that I didn’t understand. My spirit was born again and free but I didn’t know what that meant. Freedom in the Lord is something that should be taught more in the Church. We as believers ought to learn about the freedom of the Lord and live it out.
This verse from Galatians tells us that we were set free in the Lord but it also says that we are susceptible to being under bondage, under a yoke. It doesn’t say that we can easily hold on to the freedom in the Lord and we never have to worry about any kind of bondage. The enemy goes around with bags of destruction and he hands out pockets of oppression to everyone including believers. It is when we are not aware of the authority we have in Jesus that we become victims of those yokes. I have talked to friends in Christian circles who were struggling with addictions and other forms of oppressions. It can happen to any of us. What should we do to stay free and to fend off the yokes of the enemy? Today I want to encourage you to stay in the Lord and to let Him fill you up to the point where every bondage is squeezed out of your system. I am going to talk about what Jesus said Himself about the situation and go over His solutions.
In Galatians 5:1, two words stand out; Stand firm. These words imply that we have to do our part. We get freedom from the Lord and it is an amazing gift but we have to work at staying free and work at being strong against the attacks of the enemy. The enemy knows us well. He knows where it hurts and he knows what makes us weak. He uses our weaknesses and makes us feel terrible because he focuses on what hurts and magnifies it. The burden that came with not being saved can be duplicated in our lives under the form of bondage and yoke. It doesn’t mean that we lose our salvation. It just means that our life in Christ is dented by oppression. We don’t get to enjoy the freedom in the Lord. The yokes show up as dark spots on the canvas of our lives.
When we get saved, we are given a clean slate and we are given the promise of an abundant life in the Lord. The enemy doesn’t stop working against us just because we are saved. On the contrary, he makes sure we don’t enjoy our lives in Christ. He doesn’t want Christians to embrace the “Christ part” of their salvation. Salvation without Christ is dull. People can be saved and never interact with Christ. It is sad but it happens. If the enemy can keep us under bondage, he will separate us from Christ little by little. “The yoke of slavery” symbolizes the yoke of the enemy who kept us captive before we had Christ in our lives. We are told to stand firm and we can stand firm when we stay in the Lord and we follow Him no matter what. We can stand firm when we exercise our authority in Christ. There is power and authority in the name of Jesus and we can win against the attacks of the enemy when we keep using the name of Jesus with hope and faith.
Jesus told us to stay in Him. He explained that He is the vine and we are the branches. From Him come all power and authority. When you let Jesus be your source and be your King, there is no room for the enemy. Jesus in you, the hope of glory. Jesus in you will push the enemy out. Resist the devil and he will flee. Resist the devil and his yoke over you won’t be strong anymore. Resist the devil and make Jesus the Lord of your life. Submit yourself to the Lord. Let Him be your number one. Praise Him. Worship Him. Tell Him you are nothing without Him.
Submit to God wholeheartedly. See Him as the head that He is. He is the vine. He gives you life, you, the branch. Without the vine, you can’t be a strong branch. Without the vine, your spirit can’t be fed. Without the vine, you don’t have what it takes to conquer yokes, bondages and addictions. Jesus will help you. Jesus will set you free every time you remain in Him and let Him do what He does best. You will keep your freedom when you exalt the King of freedom. Don’t despair. Don’t lose heart. Stand firm and know that He is God. May God bless you and protect you and remember that the Lord will always love you!
Suggested reading: John 15:5; John 15:7; Galatians 5:1*