Monday, April 18, 2011

Alive But Held Captive

The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." John 11:44

This scripture really hit me this week and my mind had been spinning with the real good news! How this illustrates what Jesus did for us is absolutely stunning.

You were once dead in your sins, Paul says to the Ephesians (2:1) and God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ. (v 4-6)

Notice that the Ephesians quote talks about what our God has already done! This is the finished work of the good news of Jesus. He, raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ.

Here is where we need to turn back to the first scripture, the account of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Jesus instructed those attending: "Unbind him, and let him go."

Many of us have been made alive like Lazarus in the story but many of us are still bound up in restraints.

Read the Book of Acts about the actions of the first Christians and you can't help but discover a disparity between what you see there and what you see in today's churches.

What kinds of things keep Christians bound up? You could list hundreds, I am sure,but suffice it to say the values and wants of the world have transfixed the people of God so much that we look just like those who not yet "seated with Him in the heavenly places".

The Holy Spirit will open up the bondages that are holding you captive if you just ask Him. He will also give you the strength and the drive to loose them.

Jesus is saying, "Unbind him, and let him go." Will you be set free?


Jeanie said...

When I was 12 and 13, Acts, the whole book, but especially chapter 2, just blew me away! I would read it aloud at slumber parties and LOVED starting prayer meetings anywhere and everywhere I could find a group of girls who'd let me introduce them to the exciting Jesus life!

I feel sad that I so easily became beset with western-organized religion. I know how to "do Christian" and "do church" too much!

Just this morning I was singing an old Andrae Crouch song as a prayer to the Lord, "Take me back to the place where I first believed You..." I am such an Ephesus-sort. :)

Real Life said...

Jeanie, I appreciate so much your leaving such a great comment.

In March, and every Sunday since, we have had people in the Prayer Room at Northern Hills to pray for the services and for anybody that wanted prayer and anything and everything the Holy Spirit lead us to pray.

Oh, the powerful presence of our God! I simply have not been to any of the services in over six weeks because of the manifest presence in the prayer room. That is true "church".