FREEDOM

AAFREEDOM FROM TEMPTATION :

Luke 10:19 – “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Although these are examples of God’s protection from harm caused by the physical creation, this scripture is also speaking of mastery over the spiritual realm of the enemy (i.e., Satan). This Scripture does not say that Satan cannot inflict any harm. The scriptures abound with examples, and warnings of the enemy’s damage on the godly and the ungodly alike (2 Cor. 2:11, 2 Tim. 2:26, 1 Pet. 5:8-9). However, he cannot harm us when we are walking in faith in Christ’s redemptive work.

There are no unique temptations. The devil likes to make us think there are. If he can convince us that no one understands, no one has ever had this problem before, then he can isolate us and take away our hope. But any temptation we face is just some variation of the same old thing. It may come in a different sized box, be wrapped in a different paper, and have a different bow, but the contents are the same. Understanding this diffuses much of the power of temptation.

Even though temptation is universal to mankind, we are not left on our own. God is faithful. Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet He overcame every time (Heb. 4:15). Part of His ministry is to specifically aid us in overcoming temptation (Heb. 2:17-18). Most of us have experienced times when we thought we couldn’t resist another minute. Either we were wrong, or we were on the verge of a breakthrough. The Lord promised that He would not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to bear. So, at those times when you can’t stand another minute, stand two and this promise will pull you through.

BE MINDFUL OF CHRIST’S OBEDIENCE AT THE CROSS :

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 – casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Have you ever felt condemned because of the bad thoughts you have had? You could be in the middle of a prayer meeting when suddenly a dirty thought enters your mind. Actually, it is the devil who puts such thoughts in your mind. Then, he steps back, looks at you and knocks you on your head, saying, “How can you call yourself a Christian and still think such thoughts?”

I used to be in bondage over the bad thoughts I had because I felt that I had to confess every one of them and seek God’s forgiveness. But that is not what God’s Word exhorts us to do. You see, God wants us to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. Now, whose obedience are we to focus on? Christ’s obedience and not our own obedience!

But what is “the obedience of Christ”? It is His obedience at the cross, where “by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous”. (Romans 5:19) Jesus shed His blood for us at the cross. This means that when our thoughts condemn us, we are to focus our thoughts on Jesus’ obedience at the cross.

My friend, the devil can only make inroads into our minds when he gets us to focus on our obedience instead of Christ’s obedience. His strategy is to point us to our obedience or the lack of it to determine our standing before God. But just as our position as sinners is not based on what we do, but what the first Adam did, in the same way, we are forever righteous today not because of what we do, but because of what Christ, the last Adam, did on the cross.

So the next time your thoughts seem to condemn you, say, “I am righteous whether I have good or bad thoughts. My righteousness has nothing to do with my obedience. Jesus’ obedience at the cross made me righteous.” Then, go ahead and pray, knowing that you have access to God and His favor, and that He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29).

IT IS FINISHED!

John 19:30 – So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Imagine looking at Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre museum. Would you think of adding more brush strokes to it? Of course not! It was done by a master, so what could you possibly add to the painting to improve it?

In the same way, that is how we are to look at Jesus’ work on the cross. He cried out, “It is finished!” You cannot complete a completed work. You cannot finish a finished work. Our salvation is won. Our sins are all forgiven. We are made forever righteous by His blood. Christ paid completely and perfectly for our total forgiveness, righteousness and every blessing!

In fact, these three words, “It is finished”, come from one Greek word teleo. In the days of Jesus, a servant would use it when reporting to his master: “I have completed the work assigned to me.” (John 17:4) The word means, “It is finished, it stands finished and it will always be finished!” Perhaps the most significant meaning of teleo is how it is used by merchants: “The debt is paid in full!” When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He met fully the righteous demands of the law. He paid our debts in full!

Today, it is not our works that will bring us the blessings. It is Christ’s finished work. Christian living is not about doing, but believing in His finished work. Under the law, we must do. Under grace, it is done!

Maybe you are faced with overwhelming odds today. Jesus promises, “It is finished!” You are not going to be delivered because you have already been delivered. You are not going to be healed because you are already the healed! God healed you 2,000 years ago! Isaiah 53:5 declares, “By His stripes you are healed!” You are already pregnant with healing. Keep resting in His finished work and it will manifest!

My friend, the work is finished. The victory is won. Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Live life knowing that there is nothing for you to do — only believe! It is finished!

THE APPLE OF HIS EYE :

“Keep me as the apple of Your eye…” – (Psalm 17:8, NIV)

In this day and age, people are considered to be important for so many different reasons—titles, position, possessions, where you go, what you drive. But God’s value system is very different from the value system of the world. God cherishes and values you so much today simply because He made you. You are the apple of His eye; the center of His world!

If you’ve ever thought that God has too many other important things on His plate to be concerned with you and your life, know this today—you are God’s number one priority. And there’s nothing you can do to be more important or less important to Him. He values you today and your value will never change. You are significant. Your life is significant. The things that concern you, concern God. He carefully watches over every detail of your life, and there is nothing too big or too small for His attention.

Today, don’t be afraid to take your concerns and cares to the Father. He loves to hear you call upon Him. He is waiting to show Himself strong on your behalf.

USE YOUR DELEGATED AUTHORITY :

Mark 16:18 “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

This either speaks literally of supernatural protection if we pick up a snake, or symbolically of protection in our fight against the devil. Since the other four signs in this list are literal, it is most probable that this means physically taking up snakes.

The apostle Paul experienced this supernatural protection from a viper when he was shipwrecked on the island of Melita (Acts 28:3-5). However, this is the only recorded example of this type of protection in the New Testament.

There is no record of the disciples picking up snakes just to prove they were believers. That would be tempting God (Lk. 4:9-12). This, as well as drinking any deadly thing, is a promise that if we pick up snakes accidentally or are forced into that position because of our stand for Christ, we can believe for supernatural protection.

The power that is now working in believers is the same power that worked in Christ to raise Him from the dead. Everything we have as believers in Christ comes from our union with Him. Therefore, what is true of Him is true of us too. We have come to share in Christ’s throne, to partake in the authority that the throne represents, and to exercise divine power and dominion. There is no place in the New Testament that tells us to ask God to do something about the devil. Rather, we, (the church) are told to do something about the devil. This is because we have been given delegated authority over the works of the enemy. God desires that the church be enlightened to this, and walk in victory.

BORN AGAIN TO HAVE DOMINION :

Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

When God made man, He gave man dominion over everything on earth. To have an idea of the kind of dominion that man would have had had he not sinned, let’s look at the perfect Man, Jesus Christ.

When Jesus wanted to pay the temple tax, He only needed to command a fish to bring the money to Him. (Matthew 17:24–27) When He wanted to feed a multitude, He only needed to multiply five loaves and two fish in His hands. (Mark 6:34–44) When a storm threatened the lives of His disciples, He only had to speak to the storm and there was perfect calm. (Mark 4:35–41) And every sick person who was brought to Him went away healed. He even brought the dead back to life because He had dominion over death!

Today, you have the same dominion that Jesus exercised because Christ is in you. (Colossians 1:27)

“Pastor, forget about having dominion over the sea, air or earth. I want dominion over my backache which has robbed me of my time with my children. I want dominion over my financial situation.”

My friend, because God’s purpose for you is to have dominion on earth, He will keep you healthy. After all, it is hard to rule the earth when you are sick and lying on your bed. And God will prosper you because it is hard to want to do things when you are poor.

We need to understand that since God’s greater purpose is for man to have dominion on earth, it would include the lesser blessings such as health and prosperity. Then, we will see ourselves as God sees us, walking in dominion, and we will walk in victory over our negative circumstances in the natural realm.

Beloved, you have been born again of the Spirit, born to rule and have dominion over everything on earth!

Keep praying even though it feels like God went on vacation. Keep believing even though your mind is telling you it’s never going to change.

In the natural realm, we exchange money for the things we want & need. But in the spiritual realm, we exchange faith.

God hears and He sees, and you are not alone in your struggles. Remain firm and stable, for God has your deliverance planned

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