Saturday, August 10, 2013

Same Bondage, Different Yoke

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, 
and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
Galatians 5:1
(KJV)


Bondage is a powerful spirit.
It is not easily broken.
It starts out small and doesn't announce its appearance or identity.
Usually, by the time you realize you are ensnared in its clutches,
it has the upper hand....and then some.

It doesn't operate alone, but with the assistance of a few select accomplices.
At the top of its list of most faithful and loyal assistants, is the spirit of fear.
The two work well together, without friction, and in perfect accord.
In fact, in all of their years of partnership, working side-by-side,
they have never had a disagreement.
Where bondage goes, fear is sure to follow.

Confusion and doubt are right on the heels of fear.
And let's not forget paralyzing hopelessness...which leads to complete indifference and apathy.
There is deep inside the numbed senses an awareness that something is horribly wrong,
but any emotion to motivate the possibility of making a change
is quickly suppressed and snuffed out the minute it appears.
There is an overwhelming inability to move a muscle in the slightest direction of freedom.

So, we remain trapped...a captive in a prison without bars.

I haven't mentioned it in a while, but I am still in the Potter's house...
being remade, re-molded, renewed, and most importantly, restored.

The other day, He spoke on the subject of bondage,
here on the wheel.

"Child, I want you to remain free.
I want you to be aware...to stay alert.
Don't become entangled again...with any yoke of bondage.
There are different brands of bondage.
Different types of yokes.
I have delivered you.
I have made you free...given you liberty.
Satan would like nothing more than to offer you another yoke.
He wants to enslave you by another means....
by using an alternate brand of bondage.
Stand fast in your liberty.
He cannot enslave you without your consent.
I have set you completely free.
I have delivered you....entirely and wholly.
Now, it is up to you....through My strength....to stay that way.
Bondage is a cruel taskmaster.
No matter which brand of yoke satan decides to use.
When you are delivered from one form of captivity, 
he will try his utmost to replace it with something else....
something that is nothing more than a different brand of yoke.
He will lure you in...and before you know it, 
the ropes will be tighter than ever before...
if you allow it.
Once you give your consent,
the one who attaches the yoke has control."

As Jesus spoke to my heart, my mind raced...backwards
to various binding elements in my life...
various situations...
and the way His miraculous power has set me free.
How He has brought me to where I am today.
This land is new territory for me.
I am not used to being free.
Liberty couldn't feel sweeter...than it does right now.
The path ahead...following Jesus....couldn't be more clear...
or more void of interference.


It is wonderful to be free.

I hate to admit it, but I stayed in and under bondage for so long...
satan had the unfortunate opportunity of inflicting some pretty intense damage,
and he took full advantage of that opportunity.
A lot of healing has needed to take place.
I am still in the healing mode.
But, God is absolutely faithful.

The balm of Gilead never expires...never runs out.
Praise His name!

I think once you have lived so long in enslavement,
you tend to hardly know how to act...
once you walk the unfamiliar path of freedom's road.
It is like you are so used to being bound,
you find it strange to walk free....
you even feel guilty about enjoying life...
and you are extremely vulnerable to walking back into bondage...
into the clutches of a new and untested form....
into the powers of a yoke of a different brand.

He continued,
"Child, there are many brands of yokes,
but every one of them operate under the same spirit of bondage.
The enemy of your soul does not care how he does it.
Just so he sees you cowered down...enslaved....unhappy.
The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy.
To steal your joy, your happiness, your peace, your freedom in Me.
To kill your spirit, your enthusiasm, your zeal and passion for Me and My work.
To destroy your liberty, this bliss of walking free, every bit of the deliverance
wherewith I have set you free.
I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.
You must continue to choose the life I have given you.
Don't ever succumb to any yoke...except Mine.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.
It brings continual rest to the soul.
For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Being and remaining yoked to Me 
equates to walking in total freedom."

Satan recognizes an area of weakness when he sees one.
He knows what has been successful in luring us into enslavement in the past.
He is like a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour...
by whatever under-handed, conniving means necessary.
If victory is won in one area of bondage, 
he has many alternate yokes up his sleeve.
His objective is to keep us bound...
whatever it takes,
however he has to do it.

He likes to pounce when we're weak.
We are always at our weakest point,
when we feel the most confident.
Because in those moments, we rely upon ourselves.
Self is a very undependable source of strength.
The moment we become a bit too cocky and self-assured,
the instant we begin to toy with the idea that we are capable of maintaining liberty on our own,
satan is on it like a hungry shark who has just picked up on a trail of blood.
He kicks his scheming plans of recapture into overdrive,
and he enlists whatever recruits he finds available to execute his diabolical scheme.

One of his most effective binding yokes comes in the form of other people.
If he can get us under the binding, oppressive spirit of manrule,
he is excessively pleased with himself.
Because he knows and realizes the amazing strength of the power of this unyielding yoke.

The spirit of manrule is a spirit that will not be satisfied.
No matter what we do, it will demand more.
Regardless of how hard we try to please, it is never enough.
Each time we bow down, the whip will strike harder,
until we are completely and entirely spent and broken to bits....
until we are robbed of every ounce of inward joy....
until we are emotionally, physically, and worst of all, spiritually drained.

It is like an addiction.
It demands.
It commands.
It must be served.
It is without pity.
If you dare to buck its orders, the consequences are severe,
unsparingly painful,
and entirely void of mercy.

Addiction is a heavy, oppressive, relentless yoke....
no matter what form it takes.
It is a powerful form of bondage.
It cracks a violent whip over the life and soul of the one imprisoned in its clutches.
It becomes an undesired attachment....
like a heavy, cumbersome ball and chain.
following and tagging along....everywhere we go.

If freedom from one addiction is attained,
another will soon be offered.

It's all bondage...just different yokes.

How goes it with you, my friend?
Any restrictive yokes pulling you down
or addictions you cannot break?

Christ wants to set you free.
He has the power.
No matter how tightly bound you are
or how cruel your taskmaster
or how long you've been enslaved.

Light is shining today into the darkest dungeon of your despair.
Like the angel sent to rescue Peter from the shackles of prison,
the Spirit of God has been sent to rescue you.
To lead you out...through the iron bars.....past the prison guards....
beyond the impenetrable gate.
He holds the key...to unlock every binding door.

All you have to do is offer Him the permission.
Once you consent, He will do the rest.

Believe me.
Trust me.
I know.
I've been there.
Maybe not in the same form as you.
Maybe so.
It really doesn't matter,
because it's all the same....
whatever form it takes.

Bondage is bondage.

Reach out to the waiting, loving, anxious-to-help arms of our loving Lord.
Come with your shackles....still attached.
Fall at His feet...dragging ball and chain behind.
As you kneel, before His cross,
you will find the most amazing response.
However tightly-wound,
the most possessive, unrelenting yoke of bondage,
will crumble.
 Melt away.
Off of you.
And out of sight.

You will be free!
Free indeed!
Unbound.
Unyoked.
Delivered.

Because of Him and His sacrifice on the cross,
the gate is standing wide open.


As you walk through to freedom, you will stand...light, unencumbered, brand-new.
Glory to God!

Once you are free,
don't ever forget where He brought you from.
Don't ever let go of His nail-scarred hand.
Freedom is precious.
Priceless.

The most important element in standing fast in the liberty Christ gives,
is to trust in His strength...not our own.
To lean hard on Him, not upon ourselves.

The second most important thing we need to do is to stay on guard.
Continually.
All the time.
To be quick to identify the plots of satan.
To realize the instant he tries to slip on a new brand of yoke.
To refuse the lure.
To stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.
To maintain a resolute determination to remain free.
Whatever it takes,
regardless who or who does not understand or approve.
Don't yield.
Do what you have to do to mind God.
Stay away from temptation's ground.
Don't allow yourself to remain on forbidden territory.
The tide is strong.
The pull is powerful.
Sometimes it means turning away...
and running in the opposite direction...
the minute the red flag appears...
no matter how many times you need to.
Your freedom in Christ is just that important.
Walking in His liberty is just that necessary.

Do what you must do....to stand fast....
in His strength...
not your own.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; 
for I am meek and lowly in heart: 
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Matthew 11:28-30
Bring your yokes of bondage, and lay them at Jesus' feet.


He offers His yoke in return...
a yoke that will set you free and bring rest to your bondage-weary soul.
It's an exchange you definitely want to make...
a sure way to never becoming entangled again.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post............good stuff. Gentle Joy

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! So happy to meet you. God bless, Cheryl

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  2. Fabulous post! This is something I think we can all relate to.

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    1. Yes, who among us can say that we have never become entangled. God is SO faithful and so good! Thanks so much for stopping by, Lisa. So happy to see you here today! Love, Cheryl

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  3. Our Lord does not give up on us and he is always ready to untangle and rework us to become His image. I am so thankful that His "YOKE" is easy and His Burden is light. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

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    1. Yes, praise His name! His yoke IS easy...when we resign our will to His and stop fighting Him and allow ourselves to follow His lead, it is a wonderful life. He is so faithful and so good! Thank you, Hazel. I appreciate you stopping by today and thank you for the link-up! Love, Cheryl

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  4. Thanks for this post. I am thanking God that you could speak from your heart.

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    1. Thank you so much, Shiloh! So happy you stopped by today. I am going over to your blog right now. :)

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  5. Beautiful Cheryl. Stand fast in the liberty!!

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    1. Yes, ma'am! Thank you so much for stopping by today, Nannette! It is always so good to hear from you or see that you've been here! Love, Cheryl

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  6. This is beautiful. I am so thankful that He has set me free.

    So glad you linked up at Thought-Provoking Thursday! :)

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    1. Yes, praise God to be free!!! So happy you stopped by today, Lyli! Thank you for the wonderful link-up! Love, Cheryl

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  7. "He cannot enslave you without your consent." This is a great reminder. Too often I allow Satan to enslave me - giving my consent.

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean. We can become enslaved by so many of his tactics. But, thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord! Thank you so much for stopping by, Tamara! Love and blessings to you, Cheryl

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  8. We are not in bondage if we rely on Christ to be our victor! What a beautiful reminder! Thanks for linking up with the Faith and Fellowship blog hop!

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    1. Thanks for the link-up!! Have a blessed day in Him! Love, Cheryl

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