Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Setting Captives Free

Last night, Chad and I were talking with Kathi . . . a woman who has recently been born again and I have the joy of discipling (and I get the privilege of baptizing her in January!).  Chad was talking to her about spiritual growth . . . that you grow the most when you are giving away what you are learning.  The goal isn't to just consume as much as possible, but to be teaching to others all that you are receiving.  To be a disciplemaker.  He explained that even though she might not feel ready, the Great Commission is for her, now.  Then he said these words . . .

You are to be setting captives free.

Chad went on talking, but I wasn't listening.  Those words struck me and my mind raced down that path. 

What if I was going about my business one day, let's say going to the park, and all of a sudden I see two women being held captive.  I mean like shackles on their hands and feet, can't get out, kind of captivity.  Slaves.  One women is screaming for help, begging to be freed from this bondage.  The other woman isn't fighting.  She's been brainwashed into thinking that things are fine, that she chose these chains, that this life is good.

No matter what they say and whether they see it or not, I know that this slavery is horrible, painful, unjust, and evil. 

My heart would be in my throat.  My mind would race.

How can I free them?  What can I do to save them?

And if all of a sudden I saw the way, the way to set them free, would I not take it?  Would my compassion and sense of justice and the small amount of courage in me not move me to action? 

If you are like me, the thought of being a part of freeing someone from slavery is scary, but exciting.  To witness a life being changed, being pulled out of oppression, chains being broken . . . how amazing would that be?  To travel the world and free those in bondage, allowing them the chance for freedom and new life.  To see the oppressor punished, unable to put chains on another person ever again.  To see physical wounds from imprisonment, labor, or torture heal, as well as the emotional and spiritual wounds.

I don't know too many people who would say no to that privilege.

But, then again, I actually say no almost every day.  

Romans 6 clearly states that before we are born again, we are slaves to sin.  This is the state of people I interact with every day.  Slaves.  Some may realize the pit they are in and might be screaming for help.  Others may be deceived into thinking they are free, they are their own Master, they serve no one.  It is a lie straight from the one who holds the chains.

And I do have the Way, the Way to set them free.  I obviously can't save them myself, but I know exactly Who can.

How could I not share it?  Doesn't my compassion and sense of justice and the small amount of courage in me not move me to action? 

What in the world could stop me?  Am I that hateful?  Do I really have that little of love towards people?  Do I realize the gift I've been given?  Am I like the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18?  Is my fear so great to stop me?  Fear of what? 

Do I realize that this very thing is the mission the Church was given by Jesus in Matthew 28?   

Have I forgotten that this is the very thing that is to characterize my life.  

I finally tuned back in to Chad and Kathi's conversation, but my mind and heart have still been wrestling with this.

How could I get so excited at the thought of rescuing someone from physical captivity, but be so apathetic and fearful at times about sharing the Rescuer with someone in spiritual bondage to sin?

I'm not proud of this.  I so wish I could say that I am always looking and ready to share the Hope that I have, the fact that I've been rescued.  But I'm not.  And that is not living worthy of the calling I've received.

I want to just let myself go, to fall unhindered into the mission I've been given.  But there are obviously things holding me back.  I want to figure out what they are and cut them loose.

I want to set captives free.


  1. Thank you Cole. These thoughts have been rolling around in my head lately since I read Isaiah 58 last week, where he orders us to "break every yoke." I have been praying about HOW to do that. I know that prayer and being prepared are a big part of that!
    So glad you shared!

  2. Thank you so much for being transparent and sharing this with others. I struggle with this and have allowed apathy and selfishness to rule my life and dictate my actions. I want to change, and at the same time, I'm scared of how that would affect my life and what I would need to sacrifice. Please share if the Lord gives you more insight on setting the captives free. I'd love to hear what He continues to teach you.