"Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom"
2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
Congratulations on staying the course! Coming to Christ is just the beginning of this journey. Salvation has come and so has freedom from the penalty of sin and death. This is the experience of “justification.” A great way to understand that term is to think of it like this: It is “just-as-if” those sins never happened. How awesome is that! Everyone likes a reset, a clean slate and a fresh start.
After salvation, a new work now begins called sanctification. This term means, being made holy or set apart unto God. The process of being molded into the image of Christ is also a work of sanctification. The new believer is now connected to the Local church and forming new relationships with fellow believers in Christ. Life is headed in the right direction, but there is still so much more ahead. Many more blessings from God are coming!
Much like the children of Israel, new believers have escaped the bondage of Egypt. When least expected, however, young Christians may encounter a bad thought, say something, or do something undesirable, and find that even though Egypt has been left behind, some of the traits of Egypt may still be hanging on. What is needed is breaking free from the past.
Second Corinthians 3:17 (NIV) tells us,
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Galatians 5:1 (NIV) affirms,
“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.”
Grasping and experiencing this freedom is the purpose of the Freedom Encounter weekend. It is designed to reveal any areas where the enemy (Satan) may still have a foothold in a believer’s life. The aim of this book is to prepare the reader for this amazing opportunity to experience complete freedom.
More great news is that God sent a traveling companion. His Holy Spirit, to help on this journey. In the book of John chapter 14 and verse 16 Jesus told the disciples that He would send a helper (the Holy Spirit) who would never leave them. At the Freedom Encounter, participants will have the opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit and be filled with His Power. As someone once said, “The work of the Holy Spirit is to make believers a holy spirit.”
Satan cannot stand the idea of Christians being free from the grip of his power. He will try everything to draw them back into the old life. He does not want God’s children to live free and victorious in Christ. Because Satan cannot force new believers into the slavery of sin, he will try to lure them back to “the good old days.” Instead, of looking back, however, Christians are encouraged to stay focused on Jesus and the amazing journey ahead that God has planned for them (Hebrews 12:2). So, don’t stop now! The best days are ahead and the future is filled with God’s plan.
Jesus regularly freed people from yokes of bondage. One man He set free went to ten towns preaching the Good News (Mark 5:1-20)! Experiencing freedom will inspire a person to do things like that. Mary Magdalene, who traveled with Jesus and the disciples, had been bound by seven spirits but was liberated by the power of God. Through the blood of Jesus, Satan’s power has been broken over every believer’s life as well.
The enemy will try to keep people bound with bad habits and addictions. One of Satan’s most successful tactics is to lie to believers using the “fiery darts” (thoughts) of insufficiency and fear. After that, he tries to implant bitterness and unforgiveness. Whispered in the ears of offended believers is, “That person does not deserve forgiveness.” Understand, all of Satan’s intentions toward God’s children are purely evil. But know this too. Jesus won freedom from the plans and attacks of the enemy (Acts 10:38).
The apostle Paul said,
“Do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27 NIV).
After salvation, there may be areas of a believer’s life that grieve the Holy Spirit and give Satan a legal foothold in which to freely operate. This amazing Freedom Encounter weekend is an opportunity to address these areas. At the event, the power of the Holy Spirit is present to liberate and break bondages for those longing to experience such freedom. God gives grace to the humble and sees and responds to the desire to be transformed. Expect God’s grace to be fully operational, removing sinful ways as they are fully surrendered.
When a person is saved, the spirit is now swept clean and free from the stain of sin. However, if there is not a thorough housecleaning and an invitation for the Holy Spirit to fill the new believer, Satan will attempt to return, and the final condition of that person will be worse than at first (Matthew 12:44-45). This is why new Christians often go back into bondage.
Do not remain comfortable with any sin. Keep in mind that Jesus died on the cross to free people from sin’s grip. Remember the Freedom Encounter weekend is an opportunity to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, ensuring power and guidance for this journey.
Even after the Freedom Encounter, this newfound freedom will be tested. James 4:7 (NIV) says,
“Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
To the believer walking in obedience to God’s Word, Satan is an illegal intruder and can be commanded to leave! As Prov. 26:2 (NIV) says,
“Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.”
“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity” (John 12:25 NLT).
God’s desire is to give real freedom, but to receive that freedom will require a new believer to release some things that are still holding on to.
Turn from destructive habits, addictions, emotions, thoughts and relationships. Renounce Satan in any area where bondage lingers, and declare freedom. Forgive and release all those who have offended and contributed to past bondage in your life. And finally, rejoice in this new liberty! This is just part of the total house cleaning that can be experienced at the Freedom Encounter weekend. Begin preparing now for this amazing part of your journey with Christ.