If someone ties our hands and feet and locks us in a closet we would know we were bound.  This would be a physical experience absent of doubt.  Yes, it would adversely impact us emotionally and spiritually, but we would not need someone else to explain what just happened.  The why of the situation may need explaining later.  My point here is that sometimes our bondage is obvious, but on the other hand, sometimes it’s not.  We all have unresolved bondage to some degree.

What are some of those unseen things that work as bondage in our lives; those hidden things that influence our decision making, our life experiences, our emotions, our relationships, our future.

Any time after the point of conception, we are vulnerable to wounding which is a form of bondage and negative influence.  Rejection by one or both parents to our existence causes wounding.  This wounding introduces love hunger into the new life.  Parents usually do not realize the damage they do to their children because most parents do not understand the reality of our spiritual life.  This is true of Christian parents as well.  Love hunger is a powerful force that demands satisfaction.  It is unrelenting and insatiable, driving our attitudes and life decisions until it is satisfied.  Our love hunger must be healed by turning to Father God.  His love is the ONLY love that can completely satisfy our love hunger because He designed us that way.  Every human being lives with love hunger until they experience Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a personal, intimate, life-giving, loving relationship.  Knowing about Father’s love is not the same as experiencing Father’s love, just like believing there is a God and calling yourself a Christian is not the same as being born again and actually becoming a child of God.

Bondage can come into our lives through the influence of others.  Lies and deception can be planted by parents and other key people, and we believe this is truth.  Lies and deception always bring negative consequences and we suffer for it.  An extreme example of this is to consider terrorists today.  They are willing to die for what they have been taught to be the truth.  Even though they have been lied to, the lies carry the power of truth to the point of death.  What lies have we been taught?  How do they adversely impact our lives?  What have we missed that God has planned for us because we have been lied to and deceived?  Only God has the truth that makes the fullness of life available as He designed it.

What is the source of our bondage?  Has someone abused or bullied us in our life time?  Abuse or bullying result in wounding that must be healed.  Only God can do that.  However, abuse also usually results in other bondage that comes by our own response to the abuse.  For example, we can make vows as a result of the abuse.  This determination of heart (the vow) is binding in the Spirit realm and will adversely impact our life, usually in future relationships until it is repented of and broken.  Even what seemed to be good vows can bring unintended negative consequences.  The land of “I will never” or “I will always” is a dangerous place to go without the leadership of the Holy Spirit to help us avoid bondage.

Abuse or other relationship wounding can lead us into the trap of being judgmental and critical of other people.  The Bible warns us against this practice because of its negative consequences.  God requires us to forgive those who hurt us.  He wouldn’t require it if He didn’t give us the grace necessary to accomplish it.  If we have made vows and judgments, that is our sin.  We must repent and that means to turn away from that practice not just say, ‘I’m sorry.’  Ask God’s help and His strength to avoid falling into these traps again.  We must repent, renounce and break the power of the vows and judgments we have made.  Release the other people involved into God’s hands and you speak a blessing over them.

Here is one example of healing prayer.  With a trusted prayer partner, go before the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to take the wounded person back to the wounding experience.  This can be painful at first, but press in and on.  When the person is in the Spirit and sees the situation, they must forgive the others involved who hurt them.  Then ask Jesus to come into the experience, bring healing to the wounded one and re-write the end of the story.  His love applied to these wounding situations brings dramatic release and freedom and increase our depth of forgiveness to others.  Some religious people believe and teach that this type of spiritual inner healing is not from God.  Can you see the bondage of that lie?  It traps wounded people in their woundedness even though Father has made provision for our healing.  A lie can keep us separated from this expression of His love for us.  What a tragedy for many people.

Tragic experience can also be wounding and may require healing.  Storms, fire, flood, accidents of all kinds, being violently attacked, getting lost (especially as a child), near drowning and so on are examples of the many possibilities that exist which require the healing power of Jesus.  His invitation into these wounding situations can bring wonderful freedom from bondage we may not know is there.

Religion can also bring bondage.  We see evidence of it on the news almost daily.  I mentioned terrorists earlier.  Their motivation is usually religion.  Sadly, we Christians may think we are immune from religious bondage.  Not so.  Our religious bondage is evidenced by the fact that we as God’s kids are separated into many different groups.  What separates us?  I do not believe Father wants His kids separated.  Therefore, this responsibility falls on us.  Generation after generation, we perpetuate the lies and deceptions that we have been taught that set us apart from each other.  We have a tendency to find a belief that makes us feel comfortable and we settle there.  That is a tragedy.  We will never reach our full potential in God by striving for our personal comfort.  Our life in God is supposed to be a miraculous existence that transcends the physical, emotional reality of this world.  When we are born again, our spiritual reality is unleashed and God’s power and plan are available to us, to walk in the spiritual realm.  Religion can dampen and even control the depth of our life in God.  We should be focused on developing our personal, intimate relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit and receive His instructions for what we are to do in HIS plan for our life.  Religion has a way of derailing that focus to performance for God and serving the organized church.  For many of us who are performance orientated because of our love hunger, this can become a major trap and hindrance in developing our relationship with God.  For many of us, religion has become idolatry.  Man can control religion, but we cannot control God, though we may try.  Relationship with God must be our first priority.  Out of our developing relationship with Him, He will tell us what to do and when to do it.  Sometimes His instruction will go against our flesh or reason or common sense.  That is the stretch!  Out of our comfort zone and into the Spirit realm where Father is and where we should be.

In our relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit our bondage will be revealed.  Those things that hinder our full potential in God will be brought to the surface so that we can see them, deal with them, and receive our healing and freedom to move on toward our full potential as a child of the Most High God!

Bondage is negative power.  Our decisions and our choices are influenced many times in the wrong direction.  Are we brave enough to ask Holy Spirit to reveal our bondage?  Then are we brave enough to go to God and properly deal with it?

As we learn more about our hidden bondage and receive our healing we will begin to recognize that our bondage can be seen in our priorities, choices and attitudes.  In addition, we will begin to see bondage all around us in other people.  For example, have you ever known someone who is self-centered?  How about someone who is angry, fearful, jealous, covetous, a bully, lustful, etc.  The list is long.  These negative attributes are usually evidence of bondage or wounding.  Have you ever seen the evidence of shame in a person?  How about someone who is withdrawn and does not interact well with other people?  Many people have been hurt so badly they have spiritually withdrawn from life.  They may seem to function OK, but they are hiding behind a wall of self-protection.  This is self-inflicted bondage.  Have you ever known someone who is never satisfied with life, never satisfied with their job or their location or the time or season in which they were born?  They are always looking somewhere else or for something else to find satisfaction.  This also can be evidence of wounding which by now you realize equals bondage.

All these examples of wounding and bondage are evidence of love hunger.  Life’s needs unmet in the physical, emotional and spiritual arenas leave us love hungry.  God designed us with needs that must be met in order that we flourish and rise to fulfill our destiny in Him.  He has made provision for our complete healing and full recovery from all sin against us as well as complete forgiveness and release from our self-inflicted bondage from our own sin.  He forgot nothing.  He made provision for EVERYTHING for our life and our eternity.

If I hurt or abuse another person, that wounding is bondage to them until they receive healing.  At the same time, I enter into bondage by my sin and will remain in that bondage until I repent and enter the healing process.

When we reject God, we are in bondage.  When we reject His ways, His instruction, His warnings, His priorities, His plan we are in bondage.  This applies to everyone including born again Christians.  Have you noticed that being a born again child of God does not make you perfect?  Have you noticed that we can still lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, remain self-centered and do most anything the world does?  This is evidence of bondage, wounding and love hunger.  Unresolved spiritual issues will not go away without God’s intervention.  His provision applied to our bondage will bring new life, new opportunities, new attitudes, new choices, new direction, new provision and new life experience.

One major area of bondage the Body of Christ must get free of is religion.  This is a major, unidentified bondage in many Christians.  In fact, this concept may be offensive to some; and if that is the case, I would suspect that the offense is evidence of religious bondage.  The following phrase just popped up:  “The bondage of religious poppycock is widespread by the whims of mankind to control their own destiny!”  I realize that this is a challenging subject.  After all, how could God possibly disagree with what we do at church?  Why not ask Him?  Courage may be required when He answers.  Let me give you a personal example.  When Father began to deal with our religion, He told Gerri and I He didn’t want our tithe any longer.  He said, “I don’t want your 10%.  I want 100%.”  We said, “OK.  How do we do that?”  He said, “You give when I tell you to give, where I tell you to give and how much I tell you to give.”  We said, “Yes, Father.”  We continue to live that way years later.  He is in control of our giving and we do not question or keep track, we simply obey with gladness.  As we have shared this testimony with others, some have been offended and challenged that this could be God.  God forbid that He might want us to give more than our 10% or give it someplace other than our church.  If you can’t trust Father with your giving, who can you trust?  Perhaps the problem is one of control.  You control your giving and you are OK, but giving God control of your giving may leave you insecure.  After all, He might ask you to give more than you think you can afford.   You might not have enough left to meet your own needs. Goodness!  You might have to trust Father to provide extra for you.  Oh no!

Once you begin to understand the many aspects of wounding and bondage, the more visible they will become.  This understanding gives us more power to resist being judgmental and critical of peoples’ failures, but it also has the potential to open doors to offer help to other people who are bound and don’t know what to do about it.  I believe we are all called to ministry to help others.  Just remember this:  be prepared for rejection and don’t take it personally.  Some people will be offended by the truth and liberty that you offer.  We must offer to others every gift Father gives us.

I bless you with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to discern His truth; to propel you forward into greater depth of personal relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit; to transcend the habits of flesh and move to greater realization of your spiritual existence.  Newness of life is Father’s free gift by the blood of Jesus to all who will receive Him and give up control of their worldly existence in exchange for Heaven now.