Captive, Tangled, or Free?
Some weeks ago, I wanted to wear a necklace with my birthstone to an anniversary party. I wanted one with a gold chain because it fit the outfit better, but when I tried to pull the necklace from my jewelry box, I found three amethyst necklaces tangled in an enormous knot. I had no time to tackle the mess and free each one, so I grabbed a silver necklace and hurried out the door. Later, I came back to that impossible mess and tried to separate the thin golden chains. I even asked for suggestions on Instagram and Facebook and searched the Internet for ways to loose these chains. I would pick at them now and then but came very close to giving up. Then I managed to get the thicker one free. But the two thinner chains were locked tight and one of my favorite amethyst hearts was attached to one. Was I going to have to cut it free and take my losses?
One Sunday afternoon I spent hours with a straight pin and oil and slowly, meticulously, pulled one strand at a time through one loop after another, but progress was very slow. I told my husband that there was a blog post in this somewhere--in other words, a lesson I needed to learn and hoped to share with you. IF I was successful.
But I had no way of knowing if that would happen. All of my best efforts couldn't break these chains or rather release them from their bondage. If you know Scripture well, you are probably already seeing a parallel here, so let's just go there.
Jesus said that He came to set the captives free. Isaiah predicted this about the Messiah generations before Jesus came:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captivesand release from darkness for the prisoners,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (emphasis mine)
Jesus said to those who believed on him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." When He said that, He also had the power to do exactly what He said. He is truth, so the more the people of the first century got to know Him, the more they would understand truth and that truth would give them freedom from sin, fear, temptation...anything that might hold them captive.
He can set us free too--just as He did those first believers.
But how often do I remain in a tangled mess believing lies because I won't come to Him to teach me truth?
I've heard it often said that God has a plan for our lives, but you know, we don't have to follow His plan. So often we want our own plan, and the lure of the world draws us away from the truth. We think we are here for years and years and that we can do whatever we want to do. We don't realize how quickly our life is fading and that our purpose here isn't about fixing the world. Our purpose is to remain faithful to Him who is Truth. To share Truth with hungering people who long for freedom at a heart level.
God didn't say to neglect caring for the world--far from it. His Word has a lot to say about how we are to treat our fellow human being, even our animals. But our main purpose as those who know the one who is Truth is to share what we know of Him with those who are still tangled in lies.
Like those necklaces that got tangled in my jewelry box without any help from me--they managed to create a giant knot all on their own--so our lives can get pretty messy. As the old adage goes, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
Lies do that to us.
But if we know the Truth, the picture changes. Those necklaces? They're free of each other though one still has knots. Kind of like we can still be held captive by things even after Jesus sets us free--if we don't keep in step with His Truth. If I don't remain faithful to His teachings, guaranteed I'm going to find myself in bondage to some sin or habit or...something. I know because I'm a work in progress. Like I'm still working to get the last knots out of that final chain, so God is working on my heart to set me truly free of the things that trouble me.
I have to let Jesus do the work to set me free and that comes by trusting one truth at a time. By trusting Him with what I can't control but what will control me if I'm not careful.
He patiently woos me, woos each of us, determined to free us from our captivity so that we can go and proclaim good news to those who will listen. Good news that true, heart-deep freedom has a name.
#livegrace #lovetruth #hecametosetusfree