We have spent the vast majority of our time in the wilderness dealing with the primary sources of our bondage, namely, the seven deadly sins. And rightfully so! Scripture is filled with references that ensure us the freedom that God longs to restore us to is a freedom from the bondage of sin.
Before Christ was even born an angel appeared to Joseph and proclaimed, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21). St. Paul later affirmed, “For freedom Christ has set us free…” (Galatians 5:1). Finally, Christ himself undeniably declared, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34).
We have engaged our enemy directly in this battle over sin, relying upon a renewed relationship with Christ, a recommitted daily prayer life and God’s superabundant grace. A new foundation has been laid, one built on virtues, that will help us to not only avoid and counteract the effects of sin, but also empower us to overcome the proclivity towards these sins. It’s a battle between gravity and grace, the flesh and the spirit. Half of the battle is simply in knowing that you are in one with a defined plan of attack already in place. Thanks be to God for the progress we have made thus far!
That being said, there exists outside sources of bondage as well. Sometimes there can be things well below the surface that have caused us intense pain or inflicted deep-seated wounds. The pain is so gripping that many of our sins or addictions become a manifestation of our attempts to cope. We try to escape reality for a moment to ease the pain, numb the senses and release the tension, even periodically choosing a counterfeit good that offers us momentary satisfaction rather than having to stare reality in the face and struggle through the process of healing and freedom. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we habitually choose our known bondage rather than walk the journey to freedom. A deeper cycle of sin may ultimately develop which ends up causing even stronger chains of bondage and more painful, penetrating wounds. Quite disconcerting, to say the least.
So, what are these sources of bondage? As countless and unfortunate realities of a fallen world, they were typically caused by sin (ours or someone else’s) and in turn, have the power to cause us to give into sin. Let’s name just a few, and as they are named see if any strike you personally. Notice if any of these causes you to cringe. I encourage you to offer a quick prayer before you work through this list. God may desire to reveal something you are unaware of.
“Come Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier! Shine light on the deepest and darkest areas in my life. Bring into light that which is hidden so that it may be burned away in the fire of your love. Amen.”
Take a moment and read the following list slowly, pausing between each one:
Spirits of Bondage: • Spirit of Fear • Spirit of Rejection • Spirit of Failure • Spirit of Sadness • Spirit of Loneliness • Spirit of a Poor Self-Image • Spirit of Fatherlessness (An Orphan Spirit) • Spirit of Never Feeling Loved or Unworthy of Love • Spirit of Shame • Spirit of Guilt • Spirit of Apathy • Spirit of Distrust • Spirit of Doubt • Spirit of Skepticism • Spirit of Regret • Spirit of Weakness • Spirit of Uselessness • Spirit of Never Measuring Up • Spirit of Hopelessness
Do you personally identify with any of these? Oftentimes something from our past has precipitated one of these deep wounds– a broken family, a parent leaving, physical or emotional abuse, sexual sin, and so on. In his infinite goodness and mercy, the Lord longs to shine his light through your deepest wounds and deliver you. The Divine Physician has come to heal the sick and broken-hearted.
For additional reading and an even deeper dive into deliverance from these or other spirits of bondage, check out “Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance from Evil Spirits” by Neal Lazano.
For today, I would simply like for us to speak with the power and authority of Christ over each spirit of bondage we’ve considered. Again, be attentive to the revealing power of the Holy Spirit as you pray:
In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of fear. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of rejection. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of failure. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of sadness. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of loneliness. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of a poor self-image. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of fatherlessness. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of never feeling loved or unworthy of love. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of shame. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of guilt. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of apathy. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of distrust. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of doubt. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of skepticism. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of regret. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of weakness. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of uselessness. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of never measuring up. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of hopelessness.
In the name of Jesus, I renounce any and all evil spirits. Rather, I choose the Spirit of God to surround me, protect me, sanctify me, heal me, cast out my sins, remember them no more and blot them out. I choose the Spirit of God to animate me, illuminate me, burn away any doubt, fear or distraction, bring me joy, help me trust, increase my faith, restore my hope, and to fill and overwhelm me with divine love.
In the name of Jesus, I claim his victory as mine! I claim his Father as mine! I claim his freedom over the wickedness and snares of the devil! In the name of Jesus, I claim freedom. Amen!area
Be humble but be bold; Christ has won the victory. We cannot boast on our own but can boast of the power of the Crucified and Risen One. It’s up to us to believe it, claim it and take back what is rightfully ours. The power of his infinite love destroyed death itself once and for all. Love has conquered the grave, an eternal, everlasting triumph over death!