Defining and Denying Spiritual Bondages
Pastor Norman E. Curlee, Word Alive Church
Often Christ’s followers are open and eager to embrace and employ so called spiritual terms, traditions and religious fads without requiring or researching the true Biblical basis for such belief or behavior. In the Book of Galatians, the apostle Paul confronts believers who had returned to a “spiritual bondage” in their lives, in which the truth had liberated them. He said, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1 NKJV)
Spiritual bondages are not as many suppose . . . some members of local churches claim that the leadership does not recognize their spiritual giftings and will not allow them to be used by God. These individuals are usually spiritually arrogant, full of pride, and most of the time are looking for a place to promote their “own” agenda.
Spiritual bondages can cause a church or an individual to have a form of godliness but refuse to allow the sculpting and shaping of God’s Holy Spirit to transform their hearts and minds to look more like Jesus Christ. The Corinthian church would be a good example of how spiritual bondages can blind us to our own deception and denial of truth.
Here are a few of the marks of spiritual bondages we witness in the Corinthian church:
Exalting spiritual leadership beyond measure (I Cor. 1:11-13; 3:5-9)
Exalting worldly wisdom above the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2:6-8)
Exalting carnal living above Christ-like character and conduct (1 Cor. 3:1-4)
Refusing to apply church discipline where needed (I Cor. 5:1-8)
Exalting spiritual gifts above love and using them in a prideful and disorderly manner (I Cor. 14).
This is not an exhaustive list of matters that produce spiritual bondages, but we need to give heed to any form of spiritual bondage in our lives or our local fellowships.
How to live in the liberty in which Christ has made us free:
Refuse to go back to traditional practices that make the word of God of none effect.
Develop a discipline of searching the Scriptures for yourself in order to ensure truth is honored.
Hold spiritual leadership accountable for what is being proclaimed out of the pulpit.
Respect but refuse to exalt mankind and titles beyond measure.
Maintain a daily prayer life and an intake of God’s word in order to be sensitive to His voice.
Seek to serve God in whatever capacity that is needed and be faithful and joyful while doing so.
Practice humility in various settings and wait on God’s timing to exalt you in due season.
Spiritual bondages are not God’s will for any of His children. Neither man nor medicine can liberate one from spiritual bondages. Faith in Christ and His power is the only place of victory.