“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)
You may have heard that the Bible is one comprehensive story of redemption. Once the blood of Jesus has been applied to your life, you are no longer a slave to sin. Romans 8:2 says, “if you have the law of the spirit of life, you are free from the law of sin and death.” Nothing can hinder you. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
For this devotion, we encourage you to read Mark 5. In this chapter we see several instances where peoples’ lives are transformed by the liberating power of Jesus Christ. In the beginning of the chapter we see Jesus deliver a man who was demon possessed. This man had quite a reputation in his town. He was uncontrollable. Nothing could restrain this man from his destructive ways. After Jesus delivered this man, the people of that town “came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. ”(Mark 5:15). People were so afraid that they pleaded with Jesus to leave. The man standing before Jesus was a completely different person.
I wonder how many times we have been like those townspeople who wouldn’t accept someone’s deliverance, and instead still viewed them through the lens of who they once were?
As we are called to walk in the freedom given to us, we are also called to celebrate the freedom of those around us.
After being delivered, the man begged to go with Jesus and the disciples but instead, Jesus told him:
“Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you and how He has had compassion on you. And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him: and all marveled” (Mark 5:19 -20)
I believe that after Jesus sets us free from the shackles of our sin, we too are called to go home to our friends, families, and communities to “tell them what great things the Lord has done” for us and how “He has had compassion” on us.
I admire that so many testimonies in the Bible happen to people who are never identified by name. The testimonies that we read in the Bible are not exclusive to those who lived during those times. If He could do it then, He can do it for you now. Our God is an unchanging God. The promises are unto you. This power is accessible to you! Freedom can be yours today. I can guarantee that if you looked back over your life- you could see that you are currently living in the provision of answered prayers.
So I beg to ask two questions: Who have you told about how the Lord has had compassion on you? And who do you still have yet to tell?
Something I find particularly interesting is that when the man was finally in his right mind, he could have easily been embarrassed about who he once was. He could have allowed shame to isolate him from his community. He could have been intimidated to share his testimony, but the Word tells us that he shared his testimony boldly.
How many of us have found ourselves in that headspace?
At one point we were delivered from addiction, lust, fear, depression... but are we still too scared to declare the things that the Lord has done in our lives?
Your past shouldn't hinder you from spreading the Gospel, but instead it should propel you in testifying of the liberating power you experienced through the Gospel. There must be a response to the freedom we have been given.
In Mark 5, we also see the story of the woman with the issue of blood. The Bible tells us that she had been facing this affliction for twelve years! In verse 26 it says that, “she had spent all that she had and was no better but grew worse.”
Have you ever found yourself in that position? You tried everything you could do to relieve the struggle but nothing worked. You would think at this point that someone would lose all hope of ever getting better, but this woman had one last hope- Jesus.
“When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment, For she said “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction” (Mark 5: 27-29)
Similar to the demon possessed man, she could have allowed the intimidation of those around her to prohibit her from receiving her healing. Once she tells Jesus that she was the one who touched Him, His response is this: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)
Freedom requires faith. I believe too many of us are sitting in unlocked prison cells. It is time to go in peace because we have been freed from the shackles that once captivated us.
Towards the end of Mark 5, we see Jesus resurrect a girl who is presumed to be dead.
“Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her “Talitha cumi” which is translated. “Little girl, I say to you arise,” Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.” (Mark 5 :41-42)
In the reading of this chapter, I am reminded that the Lord always has His hands outstretched to His people. Isaiah 38:20 reminds us that He is ready to save us.
Our freedom isn’t a matter of if He delivers us - but it’s a matter of when we surrender.
Jesus’s disciples were sent by Jesus and given power over unclean spirits. The Bible says that "they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them” (Mark 6:7/Mark 6:12-13)
As the first disciples were meant to share the gospel, so are we called to share the gospel. With this freedom, we’ve been called to tell everyone that “who the Son sets free, is free indeed!” The amplified Bible says it this way:
“So if the Son makes you free, then you are UNQUESTIONABLY free.” (John 8:36 AMP)
Declare to yourself:
Jesus overcame death, hell, and the grave for you! The Lord robed Himself in flesh and was bruised for our iniquities so that we could experience redemption. Jesus has conquered every lie that torments your mind. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Jesus has conquered every fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Whether you or someone you know needs mental deliverance or physical healing, God is able. Even more so- God is willing! Jeremiah 32:27 states, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Of course not! We know the answer to that question is that absolutely nothing is too hard for God. Nothing is too big for God and, likewise, nothing is too small for God. He is in the very details of our lives.
God is not ashamed to be called our Father or for us to be identified as His sons and daughters. God is not surprised by your struggle. He is not intimidated by your pain. Wherever you may find yourself in this journey of your faith, remember that you do not have to walk around carrying the baggage of yesterday’s mistake. We invite you to now take some time to lay every weight, every struggle, and every fear at the feet of Jesus today. We pray you experience the liberty that Jesus has given us by His spirit.
In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. (Psalm 118:5 NLT)
Questions: What has Jesus delivered you from? How can you share your testimony with someone this week? What areas of your life are in need of the liberating power of Jesus?