Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entagled again with a yoke of bondage. – Galatians 5:1
The Lord Jesus Christ has not surrendered us to circumstance where we are like people walking through a mine field who never know if they’re going to get blown up. There is a relentless attack of the adversary. The fiery darts are raining around us everywhere, but they don’t have to break in on you. Periodically, you may get hit by a dart, but that doesn’t mean you’re bound; it can just mean you’re wounded. But unless that wound is dealt with, it becomes infected, spiritually-speaking, and can begin to poison your system.
For example, the feelings of a believer in Jesus Christ are hurt. They get hit by a dart of criticism. They deal with it by pulling the dart out, and saying something like, “Lord Jesus, just take the venom out of that. I forgive that person. Let there come freedom, Jesus.” And they still feel the hurt, so the next day again, they say, “Lord, I stand in the liberty by which You’ve made me free. I will not let bitterness or resentment come against my friend, my brother, my boss, the unbeliever—whoever it was that took a shot at me and managed to register it and it hurt.” And so they keep the wound clean until it heals.
But if they let that wound stay, then a spirit of bitterness can become an infection. They’ve got something sucking out their life and health in the Lord. There needs to be something dealt to break that thing. You can break it by confession and repentance on your own part; you don’t need to go a prayer room or get ministered to. On the other hand, there may have come such a place of bondage by that unforgiveness and resentment that you need folks to join with you.
A lot of times people stumble along and don’t even realize how the whole thing happened until they enter into a conversation and things begin to surface. Then whoever is ministering to them begins to discern it and helps them to recognize and deal with it.
Watch and pray
How do you keep yourself in freedom? Jesus said, Watch and pray. Watch—that’s keep alert, keep awake, keep sensitive. Recognize what’s going on. Be an understanding person. The word “watch” there is the same word that’s used for the idea of a person being “on watch.” It’s the soldier that’s up from midnight to four; that’s his “watch,” and he’s on duty, watching for the enemy. Watch!
Pray! If believers would just walk with Jesus in an intimate association, regularly on a daily basis, you would preempt the possibility of ninety percent of the things that begin to gain success of people. So many dear beloved people of the Lord simply don’t give time to be with the Lord. It’s not that your eternal salvation is washed down the drain or that God’s mad at you since you didn’t spend a given amount of minutes with Him today, but you suffer what happens for not having done so. It’s as though there’s a swathing of your life in the anointing oil of the Lord. It’s hard to get “hell-burned” when you’re covered with the anointing.
Anointing is something every believer is given, but like all things that are given to us, it functions only when applied. The Bible says you’ve received an anointing from the Holy One, the Spirit abides with you, but this matter of living in that resource necessitates the daily refreshing, walking in the newness of Jesus’ life.
Let there come this regular practice of being with the Lord. Get up and be with the Lord in the morning. People assume it has to be an hour. Jesus said, “Could you not watch with me one hour?” But you can also grow into the hour, and if you get up and it turns out you didn’t get an hour, but it turned out to be twelve minutes instead because of some things that happened, God’s not going to discount it. Get up and be with the Lord, sing before the Lord, pray in the Spirit, pray with the understanding And then, having that refreshing, watching and praying keeps you alert to the adversary, swathed about in that protective anointing of a fresh work of the Spirit of God in your life.
Take the sword and the shield
The Bible is the key. Every time Satan tried to tempt Jesus (Luke 4:1-13), Jesus answered with the words, “It is written.” If Satan seeks to register a pot shot from hell to try to spear Jesus through, you can count on it that you’re liable to attack too. It isn’t our only resource, but there is no stronger resource than the Word.
The shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit go hand in hand (Ephesians 6:10-19; Romans 10:17). One is defensive; the other offensive. The shield and the sword both have their same fountainhead—the Word. The sword is the cutting edge of the Word of authority against the works of darkness. The shield is kept in place by the resource of the Word.
Stand firm in the liberty by which Christ has made us free
Trust God’s work and obey His dealings with your heart. Faith is hearing and responding to the Word. Faith doesn’t come simply because you had a set of Bible lessons. Faith comes because the Word is received and activated in your life. When it is, God will deal with your life. He does not just give information.
The whole ministry of the church in discipling is not to teach people a body of truth alone. It is to teach them a way to live. It’s very important. It so much exists in the mindset of believers that if they get so much information they can master things. But the gaining of the insight of the truth is to learn a way to live. When you do that, you learn a way to love. All information gives us is the law which inevitably reduces to loveless-ness, rather than lovingness. So we learn the truth that we might speak it in love.
Standing in liberty means that when I’ve received the Word, the Holy Spirit will use the Word to refine me in details of my life. There comes a ping in the soul. You’re engaged in a conversation and the Lord…
There has to be some point where the spirit of the adversary gains an attachment. Part of the key for deliverance is finding that point of entry and letting Jesus nail the door shut. But for Him to nail the door shut, we must be able to recognize the attack.
Sometimes deliverance is not instant but prayer sets in motion a process. Then there are times that it happens right at the moment, and there comes the flowing of the discovery of what it was that occasioned that bondage, and the bondage is melted. Once the Adversary is flushed into the light, it’s amazing how unsuccessful his capacity is to retain any kind of stronghold in any part of our lives.
Copyright 2015 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries. All rights reserved.