Friday, July 1, 2016

Breaking Every Bond

A person in bondage used to mean slavery.  The bond was anything that took away their freedom.  God cares about people who are enslaved. This post is about breaking the bonds that enslave us spiritually.

Here’s how it works.  God calls people who are already free. They come together as a church to gather those who are enslaved. They take the message to the east and the west, to the north and the south any way that they can.  

Everyone who comes together must be obedient as best they can and exercise faith. In Sabbath-day worship, God pours out his Spirit upon them. This strengthens them to do the work that will break the bond. Worshiping together and feeling God’s Spirit begins to weaken the bond but it is not enough.

Everyone has to go out into the towns and villages around where they live and preach repentance. This will bring more people into the fellowship of the saints who need to be freed. But more importantly, the message of repentance inspires those that teach it to use it. The process of repentance breaks bonds.

Satan seeks to destroy people by enslaving them and taking away their choices. People who begin to choose to obey God’s laws begin to evict Satan from their lives. The truth is that it is very hard for an enslaved person to keep God’s laws. The Sabbath-day worship provides the momentum needed to enable people to do just that.

Through a combination of all these things, together with the protection of the vulnerable who are making changes, will break every bond (in time). In the meantime, all of us must visit the poor, the needy, and the fatherless and do all in our power to alleviate their suffering. Organizing such visits so that everyone visits between 1-5 families sure makes it easier to cover a lot of ground.

The freedom that God has planned for us is not possible if we keep ourselves aloof from the church. Because freedom comes with time. The church offers us protection but it also gives us a way to help others break their bonds of slavery. How can I expect to only be the recipient of God’s gift of freedom? First I must serve, by teaching the process to others, alleviating their suffering and living in obedience to the laws that are prerequisite to freedom.  Then I will be set free myself.

The process of becoming free happens on an individual level and among people working together in the same community.  The church may be global, but the work is done as a small scale. How can I be free just by being part of a global organization? I have to work among my congregation and those that live in towns and villages around me. I have to worship on the Sabbath to strengthen others. If my community is too large, the poor and needy might get lost and forgotten. The breaking of bonds requires that the poor and the needy be found and assisted. The message of repentance has to be taught (not by someone else — but by me and not just at church but in one-on-one interactions).

If I attend church and find that the majority of the congregation is not free but actually enslaved in some way, I will not be surprised. This is what a congregation should look like.  The members should be talking about the baby steps that are making them more free every day. If everyone is listening to one person and no one even knows who the poor and the needy are in the congregation than the process of breaking bonds has not been organized or begun.

I believe that the bonds Satan uses to enslave us include:
unforgiven hurts
dependance on welfare
mental illness
and many other things.

If you have been enslaved by any of these things you will know how important one-on-one interactions and the protection of community are in recovery. I hope that this post helps explain why and how the church also plays an important role in recovery. This post doesn’t spend much time on the process of repentance but that is the one-on-one relationship with God that ultimately frees us. I just want to emphasize that God is not going to free us just to see us fall back into a deeper pit.  He loves us too much to free us in an unprotected environment where Satan can exploit our vulnerabilities. If you are surprised that God has not freed you yet, maybe you haven’t thought about how loving it is of him to wait until you are in a safe place before he cuts your bonds.

The source for the idea behind this post is D&C 44

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