Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Excitement in the boat, part 22: What Kind of Free?

For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power. (Luke 8:29 NLT)

We see here that the evil spirit had such control of the man (actually spirits, as he had many spirits in him) that they could take control of him. Because he had become so demon-controlled that he was considered completely out of control and a danger to himself and others, there had been considerable effort made toward subduing him. At times, he had been under guard, both chained and shackled. Unbelievably, he was able to break the chains, escape from the guards, and run into the wilderness. Finally, it appears, those trying to subdue him gave up and allowed him to run wild among the tombs. 

In a way, the demons helped set him free from those bonds. He was free from chains and shackles and guards.  He was free to run wild and naked in the tombs. But what kind of freedom is that? He had no comfort, no love, no relationships.  He was at the mercy of the demons. 

Then Jesus came to set him free. When Jesus came, the power of those evil spirits was broken and he could be free indeed. No more tombs, no more nakedness, no more hunger and isolation. He was free to live the life he was created to have, and free to resume society and the comforts of community. He was free indeed. 

Which freedom do you suppose he preferred? Of course, the freedom only Jesus gave. That freedom came with a new Master, but One who loved him and had only good plans for him, and it was the freedom he chose to keep. 

We do have a choice about freedom, you know. We can reject the freedom that Christ offers and cling to the appearance of freedom the world offers. In so doing, we may shed some "shackles" on our behavior choices, but what we lose is so much more precious, so much more costly.  

What freedom do we choose?  What freedom do our loved ones choose?  Pray today for hearts that seek the true freedom that only Christ can bring. 
Link to last night's blog: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/08/on-life-gaining-and-losing-it.html
Our terrorist/terror group of the week is the former ISIS, now the Islamic State. Their leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To learn more about them and their goal of spreading radical jihad and sharia rule throughout the world, click here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/08/radical-obedience-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi.html