<< In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

In Touch - Feb. 11, 2009

February 11, 2009
Living in Bondage 

John 8:31-36

Freedom is one of humanity’s most prized possessions. That’s why Patrick Henry’s famous declaration, “Give me liberty or give me death,” resonated with the colonists. His sentiment ignited a revolution and helped bring about the birth of our free nation.

Yet many inhabitants of this land are in captivity. You see, people aren’t simply physical beings; they’re also spiritual. And they can be enslaved spiritually as well as physically.

Jesus said that anyone who commits sin is in bondage to it (John 8:34). He was referring to continuous wrongs that become a lifestyle, even for the believer. Almost anything—including the pursuit of power, money, or relationships—can develop into a pattern of sinful living.

Usually, ungodly habits begin in a way that seems innocent and fulfills a desire or need. For example, a person might justify working too much in order to take care of his family. Over time, he may become desensitized to any guilt he originally felt. As he gradually senses less conviction by the Holy Spirit, the habit becomes a comfort and eventually controls him. Though he may hate it, he is powerless to stop. Ironically, people in this state often say and believe that they could stop the behavior
if they so chose. But they are deceived.

Neither human determination nor effort can overcome the bondage. Yet what man is unable to do, God can achieve (Luke 18:27).

Take an honest look at your life’s motivations. Is there some habit, emotion, or dream that “owns” you? Jesus —and Jesus alone—can set you free. 



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