Are you living a life that is held captive by something or are you living a life that is captivated by Someone?
What’s the difference you say?
To be captive by someone means to be “a prisonermade or held prisoner especially in war to attract and hold the attention or interest of as by beauty or excellence
If you are familiar with the Old Testament, there were laws set in place by God that the Israelite’s were to follow. These laws served an important purpose in their lives as God’s people were able to focus on serving Yahweh (God the Father). There were covenants made between God and His people (all throughout the book of Genesis); the 10 Commandments given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20); a variety of Festivals honoring God (Exodus 23); sacrificial offerings for forgiveness of sin and for celebration (the book of Leviticus); and other laws that were given to the Levitical priests (the book of Numbers and Deuteronomy).
So. Many. Lists.
In the New Testament, Jesus came with the express purpose of teaching us directly about the Father and the grace & mercy He was offering. Jesus wants to reconcile and redeem ALL of the people back to relationship with God the Father. However, it just seemed “too incomprehensible” to the Jewish leaders of the day to believe that everything they had been doing for centuries, were no longer needed. Jesus wanted to shed light on the fact that the Jewish people were living as captives to an old set of laws that didn’t need to be practiced anymore. Why?
Jesus coming to earth as a man AND at the SAME TIME as part of the Trinity, and eventually fulfilling prophecy of being crucified and risen again, we mind-blowing! By each miracle, by each teaching, by each healing ~ and ultimately by His Resurrection, Jesus made the absolute and FINAL sacrifice for us. With that fulfillment of Old Testament promised prophecy, the old laws that governed the Jewish people (and all people for that matter) were finished.
The gap was forever bridged by the cross.
The throne room of grace was opened for everyone to enter into and sit at the feet of the Father. The Holy Spirit was made available to live in us and be our Intercessor.
But habits can be hard to break.
There are so many amazing truths that have come to fruition by the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we can move from being captive to the old laws, to being captivated by the beauty, grace, and mercy of the Lord. HIS ways are meant to be attractive to us, to hold our attention so that we can live a full and complete life. Hear me when I also say that these promises of the Lord do not mean we will be exempt from troubles. If I could sit across from you at one of my favorite coffee shops, I would listen to you as you poured out your heart and hope to encourage you not to lose hope…to not lose faith in God’s goodness.
At bible study today, one of the women in my group shared a powerful image with us. We were talking about having faith and peace in our lives, the kind that only can come from strength in the Lord. She held her coffee cup up and squeezed it just a bit. She likened that motion as to what we do when we are holding “the cup” (whatever circumstance we find ourselves in) that God has given us but then we start gripping it, squeezing it as we try to take back that situation and bring it under our own control. We have to learn to be content in the place we are at…easy or difficult…it is a place of God’s design.
No need to just take my word for it ~ read the promise from God in His Living Word in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” I think I hear a Hallelujah from somebody out there!
My encouragement to you today as you read this, is that you make that full transition to become CAPTIVATED by the immense peace and beauty of our Lord Jesus. When we allow our entire mental, emotional, and spiritual attention to be focused on Him, we will be able to be confident on the road ahead. We can have faith that as we follow Him, He will not disappoint.
*All verses found at: https://www.biblegateway.com