So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Freedom is the greatest of gifts, and it’s one that comes with a heavy price.
But freedom doesn’t mean we do what we want; it means we are gifted with an opportunity to live above ourselves. For truly, there is no greater slave driver than self-indulgence.
Christ’s freedom liberates us from guilt, shame and the desires that drove us to self-destructive habits. We are now empowered to serve others as He served, to deny our own wants so that others can be blessed.
While drafting an article for a Christian magazine, I was struck by the rugged nature of the early church. Against all odds, the believers challenged social norms, upended the religious traditions, stymied a pagan empire that spanned the known world, and crushed political opposition.
Who were these warriors?
Ordinary men and women, most of whom couldn’t even write their own name (Acts 4:13). But they possessed the power of the Holy Spirit and, through it, they turned the world upside down.
21st century Christians should look in awe at those early believers. They crossed cultures, conquered resistance with zeal, love and a rugged faith in a miracle-working God. Today, we must also face a world ruled by fear, superstition and, political correctness. Boycotts have become the game of the day as the Bible predicts would happen (Revelations 13:16).
But there are individuals who embody Christ’s answer.
Let us be the warriors that Christ ordained, proclaiming His Word with boldness and faith. Let us challenge the darkness, recognizing we are not weak but strong in Him.
We insist He is alive and prove it by letting Him work His supernatural wonders through us.
Let us be His witnesses, empowered by His Spirit to carry on His life. Fear must be met with faith, darkness with the conquering power of light.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:16 KJV
This morning while reading this encouraging verse, the thought struck me that many times Christians don’t realize the power of their prayers because prayer itself is not seen. The Western world is programmed to believe in things that are tangible. If we can’t prove it, we don’t believe it.
Prayer defies that.
God expects us to recognize that, while our prayers are unseen by ourselves and those around us, they are not unseen by Him. Our words, spoken from hearts of faith and wrapped in the name of Jesus Christ, pass through dimensions into the very Throne Room of God.
Our prayers are bullets, zipping through hordes of demonic forces. Does one bullet win a war? Hardly. It takes countless thousands. Yet Christians often become discouraged when we pray a few times about an issue but don’t see change.
We must not stop firing our spiritual gun when things appear to remain unchanged or even get worse. Instead we should intensify our firepower!
The Bible tells us that if we are righteous (through Jesus Christ of course), our prayers are taking an effect. They are working. And while we may not see them now, we must hold fast our confession with confidence, knowing that we will see the effects of our prayers someday.