Day 8 – Free to Change

Over the years I have known many Christians who sincerely longed for change in their lives. Through prayer, some received the freedom we hoped for, but others just couldn’t seem to get free from addiction and destructive habits. Even in my own life there have been times when I felt stuck and unable to move forward no matter how hard I tried.

If the Lord came to set us free, why is it often difficult for us to live empowered lives? Power for transformation is available to us through Christ, but it is sometimes difficult for our hearts to receive it. For us to be physically, mentally, and emotionally free, we must first be free spiritually.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me . . . to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. (Isa. 61:1 NIV)

Spiritual bondage is a topic that’s not often mentioned in the church. Some Christians don’t even believe there is a demonic realm! The word demon is mentioned eighty-two times in the Bible and over a third of Jesus’ ministry dealt with issues caused by demonic spirits. No, there’s not a demon under every bush, but demonic forces can hinder us from living free and fruitful lives.

When we invite Jesus into our hearts, we are protected from evil through the blood He shed for us on the cross. This doesn’t mean that evil can’t affect the believer, but it does mean that nothing happens to us without God’s permission. On the other hand, we can open doors to demonic influence of our own free will without realizing what we are doing. Satan gains authority in our lives through unrepentant sin, unforgiveness, involvement in the occult, believing lies, and even through the sins of our ancestors. For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, I highly recommend the book The Steps to Freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson. In this book, Anderson explains how even believers can fall into bondage and provides strategies to find freedom.

Many people I pray with have spiritual struggles that prevent them from resolving a physical or emotional problem. This certainly doesn’t mean that sick people are afflicted because they have sinned. But when I see patterns of physical, emotional, and spiritual affliction that cause a person to be oppressed, I begin to ask questions about that person’s past.

I have learned that spiritual bondage can be caused by something completely unintentional. For example, most people don’t realize that seemingly innocent dabbling in witchcraft or the occult is extremely dangerous. Even reading your horoscope or having your fortune told is spiritually risky.

Once I met a woman who suffered from multiple ailments and was in a wheelchair. I could not understand why she didn’t want prayer and even avoided me. Later I discovered she had been involved in a satanic cult earlier in her life. As a result, demonic oppression caused her to be in torment physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Unfortunately, instead of being thankful that freedom and healing was available to her, she was bitter toward God and chose to stay in bondage.

Spiritual oppression is not usually hard to spot, and if the one who is oppressed is willing, it’s absolutely possible to be freed. The believer simply needs to ask the Lord for the keys to freedom. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit will reveal how the enemy gained power over us and how to kick him out! As we confess our sins and forgive those who have sinned against us, the blood of Christ covers our sin and completely sets us free. The key to freedom is having a humble heart! So many people I pray for don’t experience God’s abundant life because they are unwilling to receive it.

Finally, in cases where there are multiple areas of bondage or deep wounding from the past, it may be necessary to seek guidance from someone trained in prayer ministry. There is no shame in asking for help, but there is shame and loss in not seeking help. The Lord desires us to be free from addictions, destructive lifestyles, depression, and oppression. Today, let’s ask God to set us free from anything that keeps us from being completely made whole!

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Lord, I want to be free to love You with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Please reveal to me anything I have done to hurt You or someone else. Show me anything I have done to injure myself, knowingly or unknowingly. Please forgive me for my sins as I confess and renounce them. Set me free from all bondage to Satan and the demonic realm. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

  • Why are many Christians afraid to talk about the influence of the demonic realm in our lives?
  • If we have fallen into spiritual bondage, does that mean we are no longer responsible for sinful behavior?
  • Ask the Lord to show you any area of your life that is not completely submitted to Him. Is there anyone from the past whom you have not forgiven? Ask for God’s forgiveness and the grace to forgive others.