Slavery: according to www.dictionary.com slavery is described as:
1. The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household.
a. The practice of owning slaves.
b. A mode of production in which slaves constitute the principal work force.
3. The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence.
4. A condition of hard work and subjection: wage slavery.
And according to the thesaurus on the same site, these are some of the words that go along with slavery:
bullwork, captivity, chains, constraint, drudge, drudgery, enslavement, enthrallment, feudalism, grind, helotry, indenture, labor, menial labor, moil, peonage, restraint, serfdom, serfhood, servitude, subjection, subjugation, thrall, thralldom, toil, vassalage, work, bondage, committal, confinement, constraint, custody, durance, duress, enslavement, enthrallment, entombment, impoundment, imprisonment, incarceration, internment, jail, limbo, restraint, serfdom, servitude, subjection, thralldom, vassalage.
As you can see, slavery is not a very nice thing. The people of Israel knew all too well what slavery was when they were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. What started out as good, with Joseph being the 2nd in charge in Egypt, soon turned into something terrible and forceful when a bad pharaoh took over.
Many people today are slaves. Maybe not in the way of having a master to answer to like the African American people were used to not so long ago, but in other ways. Some people are slaves to alcohol, gambling, sex, drugs, cigarettes, money, people who control them, their past and so on. Many people wonder if they will ever break free of what is holding on to them, and I have the answer, if they are willing to do the work.
Yes, there is freedom for prisoners and slaves, regardless of what you are enslaved to. There are many books out there you can read that will lead you in the right direction to get you started. One that comes to the top of my mind is Neil Anderson’s THE BONDAGE BREAKER. Two other books that would be good to help you set boundaries so you do not become slaves to others’ control include Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When To Say No To Take Control of Your Life, and Safe People, both by Dr’s Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
The Bible also has much to say about slavery or bondage. Read these verses and YOU decide what they are saying to you. Normally, I would tell you, but I think when you are working at breaking free from slavery to whatever or whomever it is, you need to do some of the thinking for yourself.
Acts 13:17 - "The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them prosper in Egypt. Then he powerfully led them out of their slavery. NLT
Romans 6:19 - I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. NIV
Romans 7:14 - The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master.
Galatians 5:1 - So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. NLT
Hebrews 2:14-16 - 14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. NIV
When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He set us free from the yoke or burden of slavery/bondage. We don’t have to carry our burdens around. He said to lay them at His feet and He would deal with them. However, many of us CHOOSE to continue to carry around our burdens. There is something in them that we are holding onto. And we cannot be truly and completely free unless we let go of ALL of what burdens us.
Remember the Israelites who were in bondage/slavery for 400 years? When they came out of Egypt, they came with everything there was in Egypt. God’s plan was to harden Pharaoh’s heart so much that he wanted the slaves gone and anything they wanted to take to go with them. Pharaoh lost everything in the end because the children of Israel trusted God, even over 400 years of brutal slavery. And when they were set free, they came out with gold, silver, livestock, clothing and joy. They came out with more than they could have ever imagined. And their joy was overwhelming! Take a look at the following Scriptures that give a brief history of their lives in Egypt:
Exodus 1:14 - They made their lives bitter with hard labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labour the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.
Exodus 2:23 - During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
Exodus 6:6 - "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
Now when it comes to us, who are living in the years of 2000 and up, God is telling us we can also be set free with joyful jubilation.
John 8:31-34 - 31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin.
Jesus was trying to explain to the people that though they were not in bondage to any person, they could be in bondage to sin. Sin can mean a multitude of things ranging from adultery, murder, rape, lying, stealing and so on. If we are doing any of these things, we are enslaved or in bondage to them. They are our masters. And the Bible clearly states that you can only have ONE true master.
Matthew 6:24 says "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (In this case, money can also be replaced with whatever it is that is controlling you – gambling, food, sex, crime, lying, smoking, drugs, alcohol, another person, and so on.)
Romans 8:15 says For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
All we need to do is cry out to God and ask Him to remove our chains of bondage and slavery and He will gladly set us free.
Galatians 4:3-6 - 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
If we have accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord, we no longer have to be in bondage to whatever has its hold on us.
We are commanded, who are believers in Christ, to no longer be in bondage to the various elements of the world. Galatians 5:1 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
1 Corinthians 7:20-22 - 20Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. 21Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24 - 23"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (What this means is that even though we are now Christians and are free from sin and have already been forgiven of EVERY sin we have or will ever commit, it does not give us free license to go out and do what we want. We are to be wise with the freedom God has given us so that we ourselves don’t stumble and so that we do not cause others to stumble as well.)
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
2 Corinthians 3:17 - 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Therefore, if we are disciples or children of God, and He truly lives in our hearts, we are FREE. What is so hard to understand about that? It seems to be that a lot of people, myself included, have trouble with this little thing. When Jesus dwells within us, we are already free. So why are we still slaves or in bondage? Because we CHOOSE to be. Yes, we choose to remain in bondage for one reason or another.
We can be free if we so choose. But sometimes we are comfortable in our bondage or slavery. Sometimes change can seem like a scary thing and therefore we stay stuck in our bondage and suffering.
Galatians 5:1 tells us that we have been set free from all burdens, bondages and sins the very moment we accepted Jesus as our Saviour. He tells us NOT to go back to that kind of life: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Ephesians 3:12 tells us that since we have become Heirs of God, we can go boldly before the throne of God. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. This means that we can approach Him without fear or trembling and ask Him to take away the things that hold us back and keep us in bondage. We are FREE people. Take advantage of it!!!
If you are in bondage to anything, including those things I have listed in this article, please say this simple prayer BELIEVING that God can and will do it. For the Bible says if we ask for anything in prayer, believing that we will receive it, it will be done.
Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Matthew 21:22 - If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
So, what have we learned? We have learned that people everywhere are in bondage. Whether it is bondage to their past of abuse, bondage to drugs, smokes, liquor, sex, control, food, lies, money, things, exercising, and the list goes on, we CAN be set free if we TRULY WANT to be set free. All it takes is this simple little prayer:
Precious Father, I come to you boldly before the Throne of God through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You already know Father, that I am in bondage to ____________. Father God, I want to be free. As Your Word says, if I ask for anything and I believe that it will happen, You will make it happen. I am asking right now Father that You free me from the bonds of ___________. I believe that when Jesus died, He set me free from all chains of bondage and slavery. I believe You will do this and I thank You in advance for the answer that is already on its way. I praise You for granting freedom to Your people. I love You and I praise You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.