This word has been passing through my mind a lot. We're all held bondage to something at one point in our lives. If you're a Christ follower, you were held bondage to sin. But when you committed your life to Christ, He freed you from that sin. But the more we grow in Christ the more we discover that we are held bondage to certain sins and issues. God wants to, and will free us from these issues. I know for me, God has been revealing a sin I have been held bondage to for quite a few years now. I have had to go to places that I didn't realize were present in my life, and deal with things that were hidden deep in my mind. These places were uncomfortable and as much as I hated going there, I didn't go alone. Jesus was there every step of the way.
I met so many people in the squatter camps that were being held bondage by sin, greed, hate, and worst of all religion. When our devotion and worship to God turns into a traditional, emotionless routine, we are in big trouble. The Lord intended our relationship with Him to be fully interactive. All too often, people are being told how to worship, where to worship, and who to worship. I would like to think that this is only happening in the African churches, but it's not. I've been noticing this very dangerous pattern in American churches.
It seems that people in the church are going out of tradition. They show up every Sunday wearing the "proper" clothes, park in the same spot, sit in the same seat. They listen to a nice sermon, and sing the same songs. It's all very routine, but they always feel better about themselves at the end of the hour long services. As long as it's only an hour no longer because everyone has something very important to do. There is a program, a schedule, and if you stray from that program, there will be a price to pay. But what if we're already paying the price because of our need to program and schedule. What if our routine is holding us captive to religion?
When we become routine in our worship of Christ, we are allowing Satan to have a foothold in our lives. Jesus didn't come to place us in a routine or a program, He came to bring us life and salvation. He came to bring Freedom! And if we're so tied up into our traditions and programs, we can't even begin to live for Christ. Jesus himself said " 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free," Luke 4:18
So why do we allow ourselves to stay in this place of bondage? I believe it has to do with comfort. We don't like to step out of what is comfortable and "safe" in our eyes. We don't like to go to places that make us think or really evaluate ourselves. So completely committing our lives to Jesus is a little bit scary. I'm not just talking about saying the salvation prayer, and then going about with normal life, I'm talking about being completely sold out, on fire 100% in love with Jesus. This kind of life requires sacrifice.... Now there's a scary word... Giving up, laying aside, dying to your flesh.... Hmm no wonder we shy away from a true relationship with Christ. No wonder we're ok with the routine of Christianity. Because once we really start diving into the Word of God, and we allow Him to start changing us, it gets personal and it gets tough. But that comes with the territory right?
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come"- 2 Corinthians 5:17
Oh man... What a deep verse.... The moment we come to Christ, we are a new creation. We are at that moment to begin laying down our old lives. Our old ways, habits, traditions.... We begin a life long journey of change. One that at times will hurt and be very difficult, but the results will be beautiful and undeniable. It all starts with coming before the Lord and laying down our lives completely. Submitting to His will and allowing Him to break the chains of bondage in our lives. Especially the Chains of religious bondage. My challenge? Fall completely in love with Christ. Find out what it means to live freely in Him!