(They say success breeds success. That explains how a series of guest articles from Shirley R. Evans last year on Freedom and the Godly Woman has eventually led to the start of weekly blogs from her. Those weekly blogs come under the title of Eden Weekly inspired by the name of her ministry as well as a garden that had a lot going for it. I hope you will be duly encouraged and challenged by the words she offers. For His Name’s Sake, Shalom, C. L. J. Dryden)
“Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed earnestly for him. The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate.”Acts 12:4-6
“When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion
We were like those who dream
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing
Then they said among the nations The Lord has done great things for them.”Psalm 126:1-2
In the passage in Acts we read that Peter is imprisoned. But the thing that stood out for me as I read it was the precautions taken to ensure Peter’s captivity. Herod was taken no chances, it was as though he recalled the resurrection of Christ from the sealed & guarded tomb so this time he has stepped up the guards, and he has fastened him with two chains between two guards, with additional guards on the door. Herod created what was an impenetrable situation, or at least so he thought.
But Herod did not know the power he was up against. He did not know our God. Our God is sovereign – He has power over captivity.
Seven Ways to Know You’re in Captivity
- State of being demobilized as a result of forces of darkness = captivity
- Inability to fulfil one’s destiny = captivity
- The state of operating below the capacity ordained by Almighty God = captivity
- The absence of well being / lack of progress = captivity
- Inability to enjoy good health = captivity
- Inability to have a good marriage = captivity
- Failure to experience the breakthrough you have been praying for = captivity
What Brings about Captivity?
If we recall the story of Esau & Jacob, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a dish of red lentil stew, he unwittingly but willingly surrendered his birthright his future and that of his generations for short term and immediate gratification.
So, we too at times mortgage our futures for the quick fix but we end up tied into situations and circumstances that does not become saints and is not God’s will for our lives.
Any drug addict will tell you that they only intended to try it. The person in spiralling credit card debt might say that they only intended to use it just for emergencies and pay it off at the end of the month. Then there’s the person who went into the relationship to combat their loneliness and is now struggling with unholy and unhealthy soul ties.
Sometimes as in the case of Peter the enemy devises schemes and plans, working through government, country, nation, states and people with the intention to muzzle the gospel and destroy the people of God. Such as Peter being forbidden to preach, the Jews stoning Stephen, or our churches closed and the freedom to worship and fellowship constrained.
But in either case the result the master schemer is the same – the enemy
Who Can Liberate Us From Captivity?
The ways in which we can be bound in captivity may differ, but the solution is always the same – Christ is sovereign – He has power to bring liberty from all captivity.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.Galatians 5:1
Christ came to set us free from the penalty of sin and death but more than that to set us free in every area of our lives and from every situation and condition that would want to hold us captive. He opens every prison door. He will loose every chain so that His people can be free.
Shirley R. Evans of Eden Cumi Ministries
(Shirley R. Evans is a gifted teacher, writer and speaker using these to great effect in local, regional and national church organisations. As one who has experienced the liberating power of God, she is keen for others to experience this same God in action via community action and getting saints to activate their Kingdom mandate.)