Words by our Priest-in-Charge:
Freedom is a choice
“Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendour, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion.” Isaiah 52:1-2, NIV
We all want a life without bondage and fear. We know that Jesus has done all that is necessary for us to be freed from bondages. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us. But we need to choose freedom.
“ The Christian life is all based on what Jesus has done for us at the Cross. There is nothing that we can do to win our salvation or to achieve righteousness. He has done it all for us. However, there is a part that we need to play in appropriating each aspect of the Cross for ourselves. Some Christians wait for everything to fall into their lap and become passive in their faith, and then they wonder why God appears not to be at work in their lives!
In today’s verses from Isaiah, Zion is exhorted to wake up and become active in various ways. As God’s people we could also take on the challenge of these words. First of all we need to clothe ourselves with strength, recognising that our strength comes from the Lord and that we need to do everything through His power and not our own. Then the command is to put on garments of splendour. There are many references to spiritual garments in the Bible – garments of salvation, a garment of praise, a robe of righteousness, royal robes. Jesus provides these for us, but we need to remove our filthy rags and receive our new garments by faith, putting them on and wearing them. It can be an important part of our healing to consciously step out of the old cloaks of despair, failure and wounding, and to put on the new clean garments which Jesus has provided for us.
The last part of the reference exhorts us to free ourselves from the chains that bind us. Only Jesus can free us from captivity to the enemy and his power over our lives. Only Jesus can break the chains of slavery to fear, addiction and other bondages in our lives. But we then have to walk free from the chains and not allow ourselves to come under the yoke of slavery again.
Perhaps God is exhorting some of you today to “Rise up” and to “Shake off the dust” of past failures, bondages, despair and hopelessness, to walk in the freedom that Jesus has won for you, and to clothe yourselves with the garments of salvation that Jesus has for you.”
Adopted from Seeds of the Kingdom, a devotional from the Ellel Ministries International