“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” – Galatians 5:1a
A few years ago I went to prison. Not as an inmate, but as a guest on a tour. The whole experience was awkward and unsettling. Although it was an interesting experience, I was relieved when the tour was completed. As soon as we exited the building, I took a deep breath, thankful for fresh air. Thankful to be free.
However, there was a time when I was locked up behind steel bars, just like those men. But, one day – June 3, 1979, to be exact – I was set free! The chains that held me were broken, and I was released. God forgave my sin and granted me eternal life in him!
You would think that after leaving that dark, lonely place, I would never ever be tempted to return. But I have been. And I am. Perhaps you can relate. Negative thought patterns. Idolatry. Fits of anger. Lies, pride, lust, and envy. A few steps here and there in the wrong direction and soon the feet are shackled once again.
Friend, this is not what God has for us! Jesus’ death and resurrection severed our bondage forever. He freed us from the control of sin, enabling us to live through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, it’s entirely possible for one set free to return to captivity. That’s why the apostle Paul said, “Make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery” (Galatians 5:1b NLT). How do we stay free? By believing God’s commands. By refusing to listen to the lies of the enemy. By trusting in the Lord and leaning on his strength.
If you’re praying for victory over a particular sin, you need to know something: You already have it! Walk right out of your prison cell now. Hold your head up high and declare, “I will walk in freedom!” (Psalm 119:45) Remember, you’re no longer a slave to sin, you’re a slave to righteousness! Jesus Christ has set you free. Therefore, make every effort to stay free!