The celebration of Independence Day by our nation each year ushers in a time of rest, enjoyment, great food and even greater displays of fireworks. All across the land you can witness the elaborate display of our independence. But in life, we have another kind of independence that carries with it even more blessings and rights than our national independence.
I call it spiritual independence.
If you have named the name of Christ as your only Lord and Savior, you have declared independence from the rule of sin and Satan over your life. You have been set free. As Colossians 1:13 tells us, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
Having declared spiritual independence from the rule of Satan, though, you may be wondering why you are still in a fight. You may be curious why it often feels you are still in a battle. Just like America didn’t secure her freedom simply by asking or declaring it to be so, Satan is not about to let you go without putting up his opposition.
Satan knows that when and if he lets you out from under his influence, you become too dangerous to his agenda. Instead of him telling you what to do,you will be telling him what you are going to do. That doesn’t sit well with Satan at all. Even though you have been legally set free from the reign of sin in your life, Satan does not want you to beexperientially set free.
It’s one thing to have a status of freedom; it’s another thing entirely to experience it.
My hope for you, dear friend, is that you will be brought into the full realization and experience ofYOUR spiritual freedom. Jesus Christ, through the apostle John, wrote a message to the seven churches of Asia Minor where He addresses your freedom in a number of ways. Now, before we dive in, I want to point out that throughout the book of Revelation, the number SEVEN comes up regularly. We read there are:
- Seven churches (1:4, 11, 20)
- Seven golden lampstands (1:12-13, 20; 2:1)
- Seven stars (1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1)
- Seven spirits (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6)
- Seven lamps (4:5)
- Seven seals (5:1, 5)
- Seven horns (5:6)
These are just a few of the mentions of seven in Revelation. There are many more. The number seven in the Bible is the number of completeness and fullness. When the number SEVEN is used, it often means things have reached their full expression. It is also the number often used to signify perfection. When we see Jesus writing to these SEVEN churches, we can infer that He wants them to be complete, fulfilled and not lacking. Therefore, He gives each of the SEVEN churches specific areas in which to improve. In a sense, He is saying to them, “If you strive in each of these areas, you will have overcome completely.”
Even though each church has its own uniqueness, problems, pressures and burdens—the message is actually very much the same to all. This is why even though each of us comes to this study and teaching series with different needs and issues—some may be emotional, others physical, circumstantial, financial, career-based and more—the solution rests in the same concept.
While the specificity of everyone’s situation will need to be addressed differently, the overarching solution lies in one approach. We read it several times in these passages in Revelation:
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2:7)
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2:11)
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2:17)
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (2:29)
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (3:6)
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (3:13)
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (3:22)
SEVEN times Christ says the same exact thing, “He who has an ear, let him hear.” Every one of His messages—although each is to a different group of people who have a different set of problems—boils down to the same common solution.
This implies that it is possible to have an ear and not hear. It is possible to get the audio and watch the video and still not get the truth. He is saying that whoever has the capacity to receive the data ought to take heed to it. Because the hearing with the ear has as its goal the heeding of the truth.
All of us have things we need to overcome. These are challenges, circumstances, emotions, habits or situations that are holding us down. But guess what? God not only wants you to overcome life’s scenarios, He has provided the way for you to do just that. Isn’t it time you experienced your complete spiritual victory and freedom?