As I flung open the door, I saw my childhood best friend handcuffed, her captor shouting threats at me. I left. Immediately, I was placed in a large parking lot. A stranger was talking to me. He was explaining there were more in similar troubles. People everywhere are being taken captive with their captor heavily guarding them. I spent the night barging into churches, grocery stores, shopping malls and camping trailers locating these captives, but I had no way to set them free. Finally, I woke up.
I have been plagued by this dream. Each captive was someone I knew and recognized. They were imprisoned, desperately wanting to be set free. But I couldn’t do it. I could only locate them. It reminded me of the words of Isaiah 61:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
Thousands of years later, a young man, walked into a synagogue in the town of Nazareth, was handed a scroll and began to read. When He finished reciting, He rolled up the scroll, handed it to an attendant and sat down. With every hearer’s eyes fixed on Him, He returned their gaze and said, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:20-21)
These words have been fulfilled! By who? Jesus Christ! How? The Son of God came to earth as a baby, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and on the third day rose again – conquering death itself. In return, we who believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins are Redeemed. We have been set free from the captor of sin and death who held us, heavily guarded.
My oldest son loves to trap. He spends much of his extra time outside, observing the animals he wishes to ensnare. He observes their patterns, where they may live, eat and travel. The same can be said of our enemy. Unfortunately, he also knows us all too well. He’s spent many hours watching our daily schedule. He takes notes on where we spend our time, where we often stumble, what catches our eye, and what we’re proud of. Like checking links in a chain, he knows our weaknesses and where they are. That is his favorite place to prowl.
Just like my son, our enemy selects the right size trap. He makes sure it’s not too big to be noticed and not too small to be ineffective. Then, he spots the right place. He finds just the pathway, inconspicuous, yet heavily travelled. Finally, he sets the bait, covers his tracks and waits patiently in the nearby bushes.
As we saunter along our usual routine road, just like Todd in the Fox and the Hound, we’ve no idea what traps lie in wait for the “souls” of our feet. When, WHAM! We’re caught. But wait, just as Satan runs back to retrieve his catch, he sees someone else standing over his victim. The frightened, wounded soul, looks up and instead of being afraid, looks into the eyes of His Deliverer, who’s releasing his foot from the hold of the trap. His only words are “Run!”
Jesus came to set us free. Psalm 25:15 says, “My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only He will release my feet from the snare.”
So what holds you captive? His truth is enough. Let it set you free – that is why He came! Just as I was powerless to free my friends, but could only find them, Jesus’ words of truth are the only key to the chains. He has called us, His body, to share His truth with our friends and let Him set them free!
Casting Crowns has a powerful song to illustrate!
Casting Crowns Set Me Free