In popular culture, through both fact and fiction freedom fighters have captured the hearts of those who learn of them. Most of us can name some character, real or not, who are known as such. Does it ever occur to us that the greatest freedom fighter of them all is Jesus Christ? That's exactly what writer Chris Tiegreen calls Him, citing the beautiful words of Christ in Luke 4:18, "He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners." Through His life, ministry, death on a cross and resurrection, He has, through all that, fought and defeated every power of hell and darkness that would seek to keep us prisoner. Not just beaten them, but crushed them, breaking every chain they have forged for us, and bringing freedom to all who will really be His. Have you received the freedom that Christ the Freedom Fighter offers you? He is Victor over all. In Him, we are as well. So, in our day to day living, are we?
All this brings to my mind something I heard Beth Moore teaching on recently. She spoke from Mark 9. Jesus, Peter, James and John have returned from the Mt. of Transfiguration to the valley below, where the rest of the disciples are contesting with the Pharisees over the casting out of a demon from a boy. They couldn't. Now, there is a lot of teaching here, but it is really what Jesus said as He cast the demon out that lodged in my heart. He spoke directly to the demon that was keeping the boy in its power, saying, "Spirit of deafness and muteness, I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again." Two words. Never, and again. Never again. Christ's words to all who will receive them, and spoken to every chain, prison cell, and captivity of every kind that seeks or does hold us, is always, and will always be, NEVER AGAIN!
When He spoke those words to the spirit, it tried to resist, but could not, and it left him. The boy was free, and never again held in its bondage. Just before He did it, He asked the boy's father if he believed He could do this. The father, like so many of us, said that he did believe, but he asked that Jesus would help him to believe in all the areas where he was struggling to believe and trust. I think most of us are very familiar with the father's struggle. We want to believe what He's proclaimed. We want to believe that the freedom He promises can be ours. We want to believe that it's real, yet, the chains we see and are held by, seem more real than the promise. We can see them, we struggle to see the reality of the promise in our lives. Yet, in His lovingkindness and mercy and grace, if we will give Him the faith we do have, no matter how little, He will take it, and work His miracles. Chains will fall off. Prison doors will open. Captivity, physical, emotional and spiritual, will be broken. We will be free. He has spoken "never again" to them, and if we will trust Him to keep us in that "never again," we will know the reality.
Christ the Freedom Fighter has come. Have your received Him? Have you heard and believed His words, "Never again?" Some part of you does. Bring that part to Him, no matter how small, receive His grace to behold it to grow, and every chain and door will fall off. Likely it will be a process, but just as Peter was freed from the prison and guards that held him in Acts 12, walking out through first his prison cell door,and then three gates, so too will Christ the Freedom Fighter lead you, me, through and past ever form of captivity we've been held in, no matter how deep or strong. He calls us out from our captivity, and speaks to it, "Never again." Do we hear? Do we come?