FREEDOM IN CHRIST
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
~ Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
Claiming one’s freedom in Christ is central to the faith and fighting fear. For example, in China when authorities threaten house church leaders with the confiscation of their property, they reply, “If you want this farm, you need to talk to Jesus, as I have given it to Him. But if you do take it, I am free to trust God for my daily bread.”
When Chinese Christians are threatened with torture, they claim they are “free to trust God for healing.”
When they are imprisoned, they proclaim that they are then “free to share their faith with other prisoners.”
When Chinese believers are told they will be killed, they state that then they are “free to be with Jesus.”
The country of Bulgaria is plagued by a prevailing spirit of fear. Even many Christians suffer from it. It’s a country that was occupied by the Turks for five centuries (1396-1878) followed by several wars. After 1946, it was ruled with an iron hand by the Communists. This long story of repression and sufferings passed on for generations from the parents to the children has left durable marks in their spirits which results in a deep anguish. It acts like a spiritual yoke and creates, as a consequence, the fear of taking any initiative. In families, this anguish has been passed on through generations like a legacy. It has become a vicious circle from which it is difficult to escape. A popular Bulgarian proverb says, “Fear has big eyes!”
Our co-workers were thus surprised when they delivered Bibles to Bulgarian Pastor Simeon Popov. He appeared radiant and serene. The absence of anguish could be explained as much by the action of the Holy Spirit, who releases us from yokes, as by the influence of his study time in Germany. According to the pastor, he not only studied theology, but he also learned to claim his freedom in Christ.
So this draws me to a significant conclusion and principle: If you are a Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit, and have lost your fear of death, you are unstoppable until God calls you home to heaven!
RESPONSE: Today I will claim my freedom in Christ and live in the power He gives me.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for freedom from fear that comes only from You.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.