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
During this season of sheltering-in-place, many individuals are binging on alcohol or illicit drug, television or pornography, or social media or gambling to cope with their distress. The damage they are doing to themselves will far outlive the devastation of COVID-19. Many of these individuals will spend the rest of their lives trying to get over their addiction. In some cases, those addictions will ruin families, destroy marriages, damage careers, and certainly influence their spirituality negatively.
Followers of Jesus Christ cannot allow themselves to live in bondage to anything. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, redeemed us by His blood and set us free from all forms of captivity. Our freedom is part of our inheritance as citizens of heaven. We are no longer enslaved to sin. We can set ourselves free by the power of our resurrected Savior and lean on our faith in Jesus Christ to help us deal with these stressful times.
In today’s text, we are reminded of the freedom we have as people of faith. It is, therefore, our responsibility to walk in our God-given freedom and not allow ourselves to be held captive by any substance, or person, or ideology. The Lord has given us the power to tear down all strongholds that want to hold us in bondage.
To those who are captives to alcohol or television or pornography or social media or illicit drug or gambling, may I encourage you to set yourself free! Seek help from professionals if you must. Find an accountable partner to help you get over your addiction so you can set yourself free. We do not have to be addicted to anything. God created us with the freedom to choose and the ability to take control of our destiny.
Unfortunately, many Christians are turning entertainment into idolatry. These brothers and sisters have convinced themselves they cannot spend a day without watching television or drink alcohol or watch pornography or explore social media. That is a lie from the enemy. In the Ten Commandments, God makes it clear that we should not have any other gods before him, nor should we worship any graven images.
As we shelter-in-place, the enemy is trying to seduce us to become addicted to activities and practices that may lead to emotional or spiritual or psychological bondage. I want to encourage you to spend the next two days without watching any television, or drink any alcohol, or watch pornography or surf through social media. It is time you set yourself free.
In the next 48 hours, every time you feel the urge to do any of the activities I mentioned above, find a private space to pray, or call your accountability partner, or write in a journal. There are things that God wants to reveal to us, but because we are distracted by those activities, we cannot hear from God. I am not saying that drinking alcohol or watching TV or exploring social media is sinful. However, our addiction to them can lead to a sinful life.
The Almighty should not have to compete with Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or our favorite alcoholic drink, or our favorite television program for our attention. Jesus redeemed us so we can remain available to God. When God calls, we have to be ready to respond. Our minds and spirits should remain focus on God’s kingdom service.
Let us, therefore, stand firm and not be burdened by any yoke of slavery. This is our time to draw closer to God and declare our freedom as followers of Jesus Christ. No more shame or guilt. It is time to walk in the joy of the Lord.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the freedom given to us through Jesus Christ. Please give us the courage to resist the seduction of the world and to keep our minds on the things of God. In Jesus’ name.