Spirits In the House: When the Church Is a Battleground

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage begins with the forty-ninth verse of the twelfth chapter and continues through to the seventeenth verse of the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament book. “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division; For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:49-53).

            “And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the office, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite” (Luke 12:54-59).

            “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they sufferes such things? I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were siners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none; but it down; why cumbereth it the fround? And he answering said unto hi, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well; a nd if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down” (Luke 13:1-9).

            “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoice for all the glorious things that were done by him” (Luke 13:10-17).

            “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throne thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:43-48).

            “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. IN these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place” (John 5:1-13).

            EIGHTEEN YEARS BOUND BY SATAN! TWELVE YEARS PLAGUED WITH BLOOD! TWELVE YEARS UNCLEAN, EIGHTEEN YEARS BOUND! JESUS DOESN’T CARE HOW LONG YOU’VE BEEN BOUND! JESUS DOESN’T CARE HOW LONG YOU’VE HAD YOUR INFIRMITY! ! JESUS DOESN’T CARE HOW LONG YOU’VE BEEN UNCLEAN! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find a tremendous amount of language being presented here surrounding the words Jesus spoke unto His disciples and followers at this particular time. What’s more, is that you will find an incredible amount of language here in this portion of Scripture regarding the Last Days—and not only the Last Days, but also the tremendous need to both be ready and prepared, as well as watchful and prayerful. We cannot have a discussion and dialogue concerning the Last Days without and apart from recognizing that when it comes to the New Testament, Jesus was the first one to speak concerning the Last Days. It is absolutely impossible to read the New Testament and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and undeniable reality that Jesus the Christ was indeed and was in fact one who recognized the dark and dangerous days which were ahead—not only for the apostles and for the early Church under the tyranny and dominion of the Roman Empire, but also concerning that last and final generation that will exist within the earth during the days of the great tribulation just before the final wrath of the living God is executed and poured out upon the face of the whole earth. There are those who would like to speak of the Last Days solely based on the words which the apostle Paul wrote, or the words which the apostle John wrote, or even based on the words which the apostle Peter, and James wrote, however, it is absolutely necessary that we understand the undeniable truth that Jesus was indeed and was in fact the first one in the New Testament to bring forth and present a powerful understanding concerning the Last Days.

            With this being said, however, I feel compelled to begin at the end of the portion and passage of Scripture for today, for there is something truly unique and powerful within this passage of Scripture. If you begin reading with and from the tenth verse of the thirteenth chapter you will find Jesus once more teaching in the synagogue—and not only once more teaching in the synagogue, but also teaching on the sabbath day. You cannot read the four gospel narratives without and apart from recognizing and understanding Jesus’ direct connection to the sabbath days—and not only to the sabbath days, but also to the synagogues which were present within the land and region of Galilee. The four gospel narratives are entirely and altogether filled with narratives and accounts of Jesus present within the synagogues and how He taught the people regularly on the sabbath as was His custom. Even as early as the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke we find Jesus teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath day and not only reading from the words of the prophet Isaiah, but also providing a brief commentary on those verses by declaring and speaking of the fulfillment of the prophet’s words before them during those days. The four gospel narratives are absolutely and incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about them, for time and time again you will find Jesus present within the synagogues on the sabbath day as He would teach all those who would gather themselves together in the midst of the synagogue. What is incredibly unique and powerful when thinking about Jesus’ presence in the synagogues on the Sabbath day, and His teaching on the sabbath day is that more often than not His presence in the synagogue was directly linked and directly connected to more than just His teaching the people. Upon reading the four gospel narratives written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus you will find that almost on the regular—when Scripture mentions Jesus teaching in the synagogues on the sabbath day—there is also a need that was present within the synagogue. Particularly and especially within the Synoptic gospel narratives you will find accounts of Jesus teaching in the synagogues on the sabbath day, and directly linked to His teaching on the sabbath day was not only a confrontation of religion, but also ministry unto the need that was presented unto and before Him.

            What makes the words found in this particular portion of Scripture so incredibly unique and powerful when you think about it is that here we find Jesus once more teaching in one of the synagogues—undoubtedly one of the synagogues within the land and region of Galilee. On this particular day, however, there was something much greater than simply the narrative of Jesus teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath day. The beloved physician Luke writes that Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath, and how, “behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself up.” As I read these words I cannot help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the language that is contained within it, for not only do we find one who was in need here within the synagogue, but we also find one who had been in a place and position of need for eighteen years. If and as you read the four gospel narratives you will find certain and specific instances where the gospel authors not only reveal the need that was present within the lives of certain individuals, but they also take the time to describe how long that particular individual was in need. On this particular occasion we find one of the few accounts within the gospel narratives when we not only learn of one who was in need, but we also learn of how long this particular woman was in need. The beloved physician Luke makes it perfectly and abundantly clear when presenting us with this particular event within the life and ministry of Jesus that this woman had a spirit of infirmity—and not only that she had a spirit of infirmity, but that she had that spirit of infirmity for eighteen years.

            I feel compelled to begin this particular writing by highlighting and underscoring the tremendous truth and reality surrounding this particular woman, for not only do we learn that she had a spirit of infirmity, and not only do we learn that she was bowed together and could no wise lift herself up, but we also learn that she had this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. Oh please do not miss and lose sight of that which is presented before and unto us in this particular portion and passage of Scripture, for it forces us to be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that not only was this woman held captive and bound by this spirit of infirmity, but so also was she bound with and by this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs highlight, underscore and pay close attention to the words which are found within this portion of Scripture, for it is one thing to learn that this woman had a spirit of infirmity within her physical body, however, it is something else entirely and altogether different to learn and discover that this woman had this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. The beloved physician Luke paints the picture of this woman having a spirit of infirmity, but he also paints the picture of this woman having this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, as well as what this spirit of infirmity had indeed produced within her physical body. This spirit of infirmity which was present within the life and physical body of this woman had bowed her over and had prevented her from being able to lift herself up. Regardless of how much she tried and attempted to lift herself up she was entirely and altogether unable to do so because of the spirit of infirmity. Oh pause for a moment and think about what life must have been like for this woman during those eighteen years, for she would spend pretty much the same length of time as it takes for a child to be born and grow up and make it all the way to the graduation of high school. When we think of eighteen years we tend to think of a child being born, that child growing up and going to elementary school, junior high, high school and eventually graduating from high school. When you think about eighteen years I would like to ask you to think about it with that type of understanding—the understanding of the same length of time that would exist from the time a child is born until that child graduates high school.

            Scripture makes it perfectly clear when reading these words that this woman had a spirit of infirmity and that she did indeed and did in fact have this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. What Scripture does not present unto and before us in this particular passage is how this woman came to experience this spirit of infirmity. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder what it was like when this spirit of infirmity first manifested itself within the physical body of this woman. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder how old this woman was when this spirit of infirmity came upon her physical body—and not only as it came upon her physical body, but also caused her to be bowed over. Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder if this bowing over was not something that did not happen altogether at once, but was a gradual progression over this eighteen year period of time. Is it possible that when this spirit of infirmity first came upon this woman’s physical body she was indeed able to lift herself up and stand upright, and that as time progressed this spirit of infirmity would in fact cause this woman to slowly but surely be bowed over? When and as I read the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture I find myself wondering if this woman was in fact aware of that moment in time when the spirit of infirmity first came upon her physical body, and when it began wreaking havoc within and upon her body. Is it possible that this woman remembered that moment when this spirit of infirmity had indeed and had in fact come upon her physical body and began to wreak havoc within and upon her physical body?

            The more I read the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that this woman at one point in her life experienced this spirit of infirmity come upon her body. It would be as a direct result of this spirit of infirmity coming upon this woman’s physical body that it would begin to slowly but surely cause her physical appearance to be altered and changed. As time would progress this woman would begin to experience changes within her physical body, as she would eventually and ultimately be bowed together and was completely and utterly unable to lift herself up. I can’t help but think about and wonder what it was like for this woman to be bound and held captive by this spirit of infirmity—and not only be bound and captive by this spirit of infirmity, but to be bound and captive by this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. I wonder what life was like for this woman during those eighteen years, as over those eighteen years this spirit of infirmity had wreaked havoc upon her physical body by bowing her together and preventing her from lifting herself up. What makes this passage all the more interesting when you think about and consider it is that it is the first time when we read this language of “a spirit of infirmity” mentioned within the gospels. Within and throughout the four gospel narratives we find and encounter the authors writing of those who were bound by leprosy, those who were blind, those who were deaf, those who were mute, those who were crippled, those who were sick with the palsy, those who were oppressed, tormented and possessed by unclean spirits, and the like. This is the first time when any of the gospel authors actually write and use the language of “a spirit of infirmity” when speaking of the lives of those whom they chose to write about within the gospel narratives.

            I am absolutely and entirely gripped when I read the words found in this portion of Scripture, for the very beginning of the text seems to present us with a tremendous picture of this spirit of infirmity—and not only its presence within the life of this woman, but also this spirit of infirmity and what it had done, wrought and produced within her physical body. This spirit of infirmity which was present upon her physical body had completely and entirely wreaked havoc upon her body, and I would dare say that over this eighteen year period of time caused her to be bowed together and prevent her from being able to lift herself up. Oh the more I read the Scripture—particularly the gospel narratives and accounts of the lives of those individuals Jesus touched and brought healing, cleansing and restoration—the more I can’t help but wonder about the back story surrounding many of these lives. Time and time again within the gospel narratives we read about the individual, we read about the need which was present within the lives of those individuals, and we read about Jesus’ entrance and arrival into their lives as He would bring healing, cleansing, deliverance and restoration unto them. More often than not, however, we aren’t given the back story and the language surrounding what the lives of these individuals were like during this period of their lives. There are countless examples found within the four gospel narratives concerning the lives of those individuals whom Jesus touched and brought healing, cleansing, restoration and deliverance unto, however, in most cases we aren’t given any back story surrounding the lives and needs of those individuals. With this being said, however, there are a couple of instances and occurrences when we are given a small glimpse of what life was like for certain individuals leading up to that moment in time when they would encounter the person and presence of Jesus the Christ. What makes this all the more intriguing and interesting when you take the time to consider it is when you consider the fact that it seems to be directly linked and directly connected to what we find in this particular narrative—and not only this narrative, but also the narrative of the man who sat in one of the porches around the pool at Bethesda, as well as the woman who had the issue of blood.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering these three narratives—the narrative of this woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, the narrative of the woman who had the issue of blood for eighteen years, as well as the narrative of the man at the pool of Bethesda who was crippled for thirty-eight years—and encounter a certain degree and measure of the backstory surrounding their lives. Upon reading the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the physician Luke we find this woman had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, how this woman was bowed together and could no wise lift herself up, and it’s not until after Jesus had brought healing and wholeness to her physical body that we learn an addition detail surrounding this woman—namely, that this woman was a daughter of Abraham whom Satan had bound these eighteen years. Within this particular passage of Scripture we not only find that this woman had a spirit of infirmity, and we not only find that she had this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, but we find Jesus Himself describing and declaring that this woman had been bound by Satan for eighteen years. Oh it is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading these words how we initially learn and discover that this woman had a spirit of infirmity, and how this woman had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and how during and over those eighteen years it was Satan himself who had bound and held her captive. Oh stop and think about how incredibly astonishing and remarkable this truly is, for this particular passage of Scripture not only speaks of this woman having a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, but Jesus Himself would declare that Satan had bound and held this woman captive for eighteen years. For this woman, it was more than simply having a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, but it was about Satan holding her captive, and essentially holding her hostage for eighteen years.

            BOUND BY SATAN FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS! HELD HOSTAGE BY THE DEVIL FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS! THE DEVIL PLAYS FOR KEEPS! If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s that when the devil takes someone captive, and when the devil binds someone—regardless of how he actually binds them—he essentially plays for keeps. If and when the devil lays hold of someone and takes them captive he does so without any intention and/or desire of ever releasing them. As I read the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture I can’t help but think about the fact that had Jesus not showed up in this synagogue on this particular day, and had this woman not been present in the midst of the synagogue, it might very well have been possible that Satan would have kept this woman bound and held her captive beyond these eighteen years. I can’t help but think about and consider that were it not for Jesus showing up on this particular day and being willing to bring healing, wholeness and restoration into this woman’s physical body, Satan would have continued to hold this woman captive and hostage by this spirit of infirmity. The simple fact that this woman had this spirit of infirmity, and the fact that Jesus described this woman as having been bound by Satan for eighteen years suggests that when Satan takes someone captive, and when Satan takes someone hostage he has absolutely no intention of every releasing them from that prison. One of the greatest truths we must needs recognize and understand when seeking to understand the activity and presence of Satan in the earth—and not only in the earth, but also within the lives of men and women who walk upon and move within it—is that when Satan takes someone captive he does so without ever having any desire or intention of allowing them to be set free and to be delivered. This narrative of the woman who had the spirit of infirmity is about so much more than her having this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, but it was also about her being bound by Satan for those eighteen years. Oh stop and think about the fact that not only did this woman have this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, but Jesus takes it a step further and suggests that even more than this woman having a spirit of infirmity, it was actually Satan who had this woman—and not only had this woman, but who also bound this woman for eighteen years.

            BOUND EIGHTEEN YEARS BY THE DEVIL! HELD HOSTAGE BY THE DEVIL FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS! HELD PRISONER BY THE DEVIL FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS! Oh the more I think about and consider this particular narrative the more I find myself being absolutely and entirely gripped with the fact that when we read of how Satan had bound this woman for eighteen years, he had absolutely no desire, no intention, and no reason or motive to release her. It was Luke who initially speaks of and describes this woman as having a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and yet it was Jesus who when speaking unto the ruler of the synagogue emphatically declared that this woman had been bound by Satan for eighteen years. WE dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely undeniable reality that when Satan takes someone captive, and when Satan takes someone prisoner, he always plays for keeps. Satan has never, nor will he ever take someone captive and take someone prisoner without having absolutely every desire and intention of holding those people captive and prisoners for as long as he possibly can. As it pertains to this particular woman and her life we find that Satan had bound her for eighteen years before Jesus would show up and offer to bring deliverance, wholeness and restoration unto and within her physical body. Satan had been successful in binding this woman for eighteen years, and there is not a doubt in my mind that he would have held her in bondage beyond those eighteen years were it not for Jesus showing up. What’s more, is that were it not for Jesus showing up in this synagogue on this particular Sabbath, and were it not for Jesus being willing to heal on the Sabbath, thus disregarding the traditions of the elders, the chief priests, the rulers of the synagogues, the scribes, the Pharisees and the religious community, this woman might very well have remained bound and captive by Satan for another eighteen years.

            Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how long Satan would and could have held this woman captive and bound her were it not for Jesus showing up on this particular Sabbath in this particular synagogue. We are given absolutely no clue, no insight and no indication as to how long Satan would have continued to hold this woman hostage and hold her captive by and with this spirit of infirmity, and yet there is something incredibly powerful about Jesus showing up on this particular sabbath day in this particular synagogue that is truly and utterly astonishing. What’s more, is that not only did Jesus show up in this particular synagogue, and not only did Jesus show up on this particular Sabbath, but Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to disregard the rules and the traditions of the religious system to bring deliverance unto this woman. Oh stop and think about how absolutely incredible this truly is when you consider the fact that Jesus was willing to entirely and altogether disregard the traditions of the elders and the traditions of the religious system during those days that He might bring healing, deliverance and restoration unto and within the life of this woman. Were it not for Jesus being willing to entirely and altogether disregard the rules and traditions of religion during those days this woman might not have experienced deliverance from Satan who had bound her those eighteen years, and might not have experienced healing of and from that spirit of infirmity. Oh it is truly something remarkable when you read these words and think about the fact that Jesus was willing to completely disregard the rules and traditions of the sabbath to bring deliverance, restoration and healing into the life and physical body of this woman. On this particular Sabbath Jesus did more than simply bring healing unto this woman and within her physical body, for Jesus would also deliver and set her free from the bondage of Satan—the bondage of Satan which was present within her life for eighteen years.

            The more I read and consider the words which are presented before and unto us in this particular portion of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that Jesus did so much more for this woman than heal her physical body and restore it to its original and intended design, purpose and function as ordained and appointed by the living God. It was the beloved physician Luke who wrote how this woman had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and yet it was when Jesus spoke to the ruler of the synagogue after he had healed this woman that He would go on to describe and declare how this woman had been bound by Satan for eighteen years. Thus, the words and language which Jesus speaks unto and uses to address the ruler of the synagogue suggests that on this particular Sabbath He did so much more than bring healing and restoration, for on this particular Sabbath He actually brought deliverance from the bondage of Satan. It was Jesus Himself who spoke of Satan having bound this woman for eighteen years, and it is this language that suggests and speaks to the fact that on this particular Sabbath in this particular synagogue Jesus disregarded the rules and the traditions of the elders and of the religious system that He might bring deliverance into the physical body and life of this woman. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of what is presented before us in this particular passage of Scripture, for it highlights and underscores the fact that this woman was bound by Satan for eighteen years, and how Jesus showed up on this particular Sabbath day and completely, entirely and utterly delivered her from that bondage. Oh how absolutely incredible it truly is to read the words found in this portion of Scripture and consider the fact that Jesus showed up in this synagogue on this particular Sabbath that He might bring healing, restoration and deliverance for this particular woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years.

            When we speak about Satan having bound this woman for eighteen years we must needs recognize and understand that Satan has never and will never bound someone with the intention and desire of setting them free and delivering them. Perhaps the greatest example of this is that which is found in the Old Testament book of Exodus. It is in the Old Testament book of Exodus we find the children of Israel being enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh in the land of Egypt as he appointed cruel and oppressive task masters over them. Scripture reveals that the children of Israel were in bondage in the land of Egypt for more than four-hundred years, which suggests and speaks to the fact that Pharoah had absolutely no interest, nor any desire of releasing and setting the children of Israel free. Even when you read of the dialogue that would take place the LORD and Moses you will find the LORD revealing how He would harden Pharaoh’s heart that he would not let the children of Israel go. It would be this hardening of the heart of Pharaoh coupled and partnered together with the judgments and plagues the LORD would bring upon the Egyptians and the land of Egypt that would ultimately result in the children of Israel being delivered and set free from their bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt. It is with this being said, however, that we must needs recognize and understand that Pharaoh had absolutely no desire, nor any interest, nor any intention of releasing and setting the children of Israel free from their bondage, slavery and oppression within the land of Egypt. Time and time again Moses would come unto Pharaoh together with his brother Aaron with the staff of God in his hand and demand that Pharaoh let the children of Israel go, and time and time again Pharaoh would deny Moses his request. Scripture makes it entirely and altogether clear that were it not for the LORD hearing the cries of anguish and despair from the children of Israel the cruel oppression of their task masters, and were it not for the LORD raising up and sending Moses back into the land of Egypt to confront Pharaoh, the Egyptians might very well have continued to hold the children of Israel captive as slaves in the midst of the land of Egypt.

            Within the Old Testament we find and discover that the children of Israel were slaves within the land of Egypt for more than four hundred years, and Pharaoh had absolutely no desire, nor any intention of releasing, delivering and setting the children of Israel free. Even when Moses would show up and perform the signs which the LORD showed him in the wilderness at Horeb, the heart of Pharaoh was hardened as the magicians of Egypt were able to replicate the same signs Moses performed in the presence and sight of Pharaoh. It would be at that particular point in time the LORD would speak unto and reveal to Moses that He would begin to unleash His judgments and His plagues within and upon the land of Egypt, and that He would raise up His strong right arm and His strong hand against and upon the land of Egypt. Through a series of ten plagues and judgments the LORD would not only humble and cripple the land of Egypt, but would also humble and cripple Pharaoh—and so much so that after the tenth and final plague which was the death of the firstborn within and throughout the land of Egypt, Pharaoh would order and demand Moses take the children of Israel together with their wives, their children, their livestock and their possession and depart from the land of Egypt. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that were it not for the strong arm of the LORD being raised and lifted up against the land of Egypt the children of Israel might not have been delivered and set free from their bondage and oppression. The sole reason the children of Israel were delivered and set free from their bondage and oppression was not merely because Moses showed up, nor even because Moses demanded of Pharaoh that he let the children of Israel go. The sole reason the children of Israel were delivered and set free from their bondage and oppression was because the LORD heard their cries of anguish, despair and desperation, and because the LORD purposed and intended on delivering them from their slavery, bondage and oppression. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this, for it took the strong right arm of the LORD being raised and lifted up against the land of Egypt and against Pharaoh to bring the children of Israel out from their bondage, oppression and slavery.

            It is absolutely necessary that we pay close and careful attention to what is found within the Old Testament, for just as the Egyptians had absolutely no desire nor any intention of allowing the children of Israel to go free and be delivered from their slavery, their bondage and oppression, so also does Satan have absolutely no desire, nor any interest and intention of allowing the people of God whom he has bound to go free. When I read the narrative of this woman and how she had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and how Jesus would describe Satan has having bound this woman for eighteen years, I can’t help but see an incredibly strong and powerful picture of Satan and how when he takes someone captive, and when he bind someone, he does so without any interest or intention of releasing them and setting them free. If we are to truly understand the activity of Satan within the earth and within the lives of those we encounter and come in contact with—even when we speak of his activity within our own hearts and lives—we must needs recognize and understand that Satan plays for keeps. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this incredible reality, for there is not a doubt in my mind that since Satan had successfully bound and held this woman captive and hostage for eighteen years, he would have undoubtedly held her captive for another eighteen years. What makes this all the more intriguing and captivating when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that Jesus showed up in this particular synagogue on this particular sabbath with a strong right hand, and essentially forced Satan to give up that which he had bound for eighteen years. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—stop and consider just how absolutely incredible this particular truth truly is, for when Jesus showed up on this particular Sabbath He completely and utterly disregarded the rules and traditions of the religious system that he might force the hand of Satan and cause him to let this woman go from her bondage.

            WOMAN, THOU ART LOOSED FROM THINE INFIRMITY! I am completely and entirely captivated and gripped with and by the words found in this particular portion of Scripture, for the words which we find her not only seem to suggest that Jesus delivered and set this woman free from the spirit of infirmity, but also from the bondage of Satan. Scripture does not provide any insight into what might have taken place behind the scenes in the unseen and spiritual realm, and we are left to wonder what it looked like in the spiritual and supernatural realm on this particular sabbath as the spirit of infirmity was indeed bound within this woman’s life. There is not a doubt in my mind that this spirit of infirmity which had bound this woman these eighteen years was itself bound by the eternal and living Word which was made flesh, and was forced to loose its grip and let this woman go. I am absolutely convinced that when Jesus declared and spoke unto the woman and declared unto her how she was loosed from her infirmity He was doing more than speaking unto her. I can’t help but read the words found in this particular portion of Scripture and think about the fact that when Jesus spoke unto this woman and emphatically declared unto her that she was loosed from her infirmity, He was also speaking to that spirit of infirmity which had bound her those eighteen years. The words Jesus spoke unto the woman on this particular occasion were more than simply a declaration unto her that she was loosed from her infirmity, but it was also a declaration unto the spirit of infirmity itself that this woman was loosed from its grip and loosed from its bondage. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like for this spirit of infirmity to hear the emphatic declaration of Jesus as He spoke unto this woman and declared she was loosed from her infirmity. I can’t help but wonder what it was like for all of hell itself to hear Jesus emphatically declare unto this woman that she was and had been loosed from this spirit of infirmity and from this bondage. What was it like for Satan himself when and as he heard Jesus speak and declare the words unto this woman that she was loosed from her infirmity? Oh I would imagine the words and declaration Jesus spoke unto this woman on this particular occasion would have sent shock waves throughout the unseen and spiritual realm, and would have caused all of hell to not only shudder, but also to be angered and outraged at Jesus as He had delivered another one whom they had held prisoner, and whom they had held captive and hostage.

            I absolutely love the words found in this passage of Scripture, for this passage reveals and demonstrates how although Satan did indeed and did in fact bind this woman for eighteen years, there would come a point in time when Jesus Himself would show up and would deliver and loose this woman from the spirit of infirmity which was present within the physical body of this woman. Jesus Himself would show up on this particular Sabbath in this particular synagogue and would deliver this woman from the bondage which this spirit of infirmity, and which Satan himself had held her captive with and by. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to just how truly significant this narrative is. That which we find here in this passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ showing up on this particular Sabbath, in this particular synagogue, and completely disregarding the rules and traditions of the religious system that He might bring deliverance and healing unto this woman. With this being, I can’t help but think about the fact that these rules and traditions which were put in place and which had been established by the elders of the people were more than simply that which was designed to produce adherence and obedience within the hearts of the people. The more I think about and consider this particular reality the more I am convinced that these rules and traditions of the elders—these rules and traditions of religion and the religious system—were also designed to keep men and women in bondage, and hold men and women captive in their oppression. There is not a doubt in my mind that there was a tremendous bondage that surrounded the rules and traditions of the elders, as those rules and traditions would be appealed to when Jesus would show up on the Sabbath and bring healing unto those who were in desperate need.

            THE BONDAGE OF THE TRADITIONS OF THE ELDERS! THE PRISON OF TRADITIONS! THE PRISON OF RULES! I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found here in this portion of Scripture—and not only the words which are found here, but also the words which are found in the various other gospel narratives concerning the life and ministry of Jesus—and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that the rules and traditions of the elders were indeed put in place to produce something more than adherence and obedience to those rules and traditions, but were put in place to accomplish and carry out a more sinister agenda. There is not a doubt in my mind that the rules and traditions which the scribes, the chief priests, the elders, the Pharisees, and the rulers of the synagogues protested were violated by Jesus were indeed put in place by the spirit of religion to keep men and women captive and bound by that which Satan had indeed bound them with and by. On this particular occasion we learn and discover that Satan had bound this woman eighteen years with and by this spirit of infirmity, however, there are other instances and occurrences when Jesus would show up on the sabbath day and would bring healing, deliverance, freedom, cleansing, wholeness and restoration, and would completely and utterly disregard the rules and traditions of the Sabbath. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this, for I am absolutely and completely convinced that the rules and traditions which the elders adhered to and which the Pharisees and the rulers of the synagogues protested were put in place by those who were influenced by the spirit of religion, as the spirit of religion sought to do more than simply keep men and women bound by hypocrisy and legalism, but also keep men and women bound by whatever infirmity and whatever illness and sickness was present within their physical body. Not only this, but we find Jesus doing more than simply healing on the Sabbath day, for we also find Jesus casting out unclean and evil spirits on the Sabbath days—and not only on the Sabbath days, but also in the synagogues which were present in the land of Galilee.

            This reality of the rules and traditions which were in place by the religious system and establishment during the days and times of Jesus are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about them, for I am absolutely and completely convinced that behind these rules and traditions which appeared on the surface there was something much darker and much more sinister that was in place. There is not a doubt in my mind that the rules and traditions which were put in place by the religious leaders had their root and their foundation in the spiritual and unseen realm. More specifically, I would dare say that the rules and traditions which were put in place—especially regarding the sabbath day—were put in place by religion as a means of crippling, handicapping and keeping in bondage men and women during those days. The simple fact that Jesus completely and utterly ignored the rules and traditions of the sabbath and brought healing, deliverance, freedom, cleansing and restoration on the sabbath suggests that He was incredibly desirous of delivering and setting people free from that which they were held in bondage too. I absolutely love that Jesus was willing to bring healing on the sabbath, that Jesus was willing to bring deliverance on the sabbath, and that Jesus was willing to bring restoration on the sabbath, for by and through this He demonstrated that He was unwilling to allow these rules and traditions to keep and prevent Him from delivering men and women from that which held and kept them bound. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it is absolutely and incredibly powerful when you think about and consider that Jesus’ statement and declaration that He was Lord over the Sabbath not only suggests and speaks that He was Lord over that which was written in the Law of Moses, but He was also Lord over those rules and those traditions which were put in place by religious leaders who were influenced by the religious spirits.

            The more I read the four gospel narratives the more I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that Jesus’ blatant disregard for the rules and traditions surrounding the sabbath—rules which were put in place by the religious system and establishment—and not only Jesus’ disregard for those rules and traditions, but the responses of the Pharisees and rulers of the synagogue when Jesus healed suggests that those rules were designed and intended to keep and hold men in bondage, in oppression, in captivity,  and as slaves. What makes the narrative of this woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years so incredibly unique and powerful is when you think about the fact that not only did Jesus deliver her out of the bondage of Satan which he held over her for eighteen years, but Jesus also delivered her from the bondage of religion itself. When Jesus healed and delivered this woman—not only did He do so as He delivered her from the bondage and oppression of Satan, but He also delivered her in spite of and in the midst of the rules and traditions which were in place regarding the Sabbath. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible this reality truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that what Jesus did on this Sabbath was more than simply heal and restore this woman’s body. That which Jesus did on the sabbath day in this synagogue was deliver this woman from the bondage and oppression of Satan which had been present within her life for eighteen years, as well as deliver her from and in the midst of the rules and traditions which the religious system and establishment had put in place. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that the rules and traditions—specifically regarding the sabbath day—were designed and intended by the religious spirits behind the religious establishment to keep men and women captive and bound by and with their infirmities. The simple fact that this ruler of the synagogue was indignant with Jesus for healing on the sabbath suggests that the religious system and the religious spirit behind the system saw Jesus as doing more than just delivering on the sabbath, but also delivering in spite of the rules and traditions which were put in place.

            This reality and concept of the rules and traditions surrounding the Sabbath days must be entirely and altogether understood when thinking about that which Jesus did for this woman, for not only did Jesus deliver this woman from the bondage and oppression of Satan which had been present in her life for eighteen years, but Jesus also exercised authority and dominion over the religious spirit which would have worked in tandem to keep this woman bound. There is not a doubt in my mind that this woman would and could have been bound on two different fronts—the first front being her being bound by Satan and this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and bound on a second front by the religious spirit who sought to keep healing from taking place on the sabbath day. If the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning our not wrestling against flesh and blood are indeed and are in fact true then what we must naturally and logically assume when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture is that it wasn’t merely the ruler of the synagogue that was angry and offended with Jesus, but it was the religious spirit behind the ruler that was so angered and outraged. I firmly believe that each and every time Jesus healed on the Sabbath day He so angered and infuriated the religious spirits which were present during those days—a reality which is evidenced and manifested by and through the responses and reactions of the Pharisees, the rulers of the synagogues, and those who might have been present during those days. I am absolutely and completely convinced when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture that what we see being evidenced and manifested within the life and response of this ruler of the synagogue is a powerful demonstration that religion and the religious spirit itself desires and seeks to keep men and women bound by Satan and has absolutely no interest or desire in watching men and women go free, be healed, be delivered, and be restored.

            I so love and appreciate what is found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus and how He not only exercised authority over this spirit of infirmity, but Jesus also exercised authority over the spirit of religion. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for on this particular sabbath Jesus waged war on two different fronts. On this particular sabbath Jesus waged war on the front of delivering and setting this woman free from the spirit of infirmity which had bound her for eighteen years, and Jesus waged war on the front of exercising authority over the religious spirit. Jesus could very well have chosen not to heal on the sabbath, however, there is no indication from the text that He might have encountered this woman outside of the synagogue. I believe that this woman needed to be in this particular synagogue on this particular sabbath and at this particular time that she might encounter Jesus, for it was at this particular time Jesus would deliver her from the spirit of infirmity which had bound her these eighteen long years. When Jesus entered into the synagogue on this particular occasion He undoubtedly entered to teach as He had done on countless other occasions, however, there is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus entered into the synagogue to wage an unseen war against two different spirits. What’s more, is that I would even dare say that Jesus entered into the synagogue on this particular day to wage war against Satan himself, for it was Jesus who referenced this woman having been bound by Satan these eighteen years. Oh stop and consider the fact that Jesus would not only enter into the synagogue, but would also enter the synagogue on the sabbath day—not only to teach, but also to wage war against and upon Satan himself. WAGING WAR IN THE HOUSE! WAGING WAR IN THE CHURCH! WAGING WAR IN THE PLACE OF WORSHIP! Oh how truly incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus entered into this particular synagogue on this particular sabbath war to wage war against Satan—and not only to wage war against and upon Satan, but also to wage war against the spirit of infirmity, as well as the spirit of religion.

            I sit here thinking about and considering the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the absolutely awesome and undeniable truth that Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to bring healing to this woman, for by healing this woman He would directly assault the spirit of infirmity, He would directly assault the spirit of religion, and He would directly assault the kingdom of Satan. We would not typically think that Jesus would enter into the synagogue and wage war against the kingdom of darkness and against the kingdom of Satan, however, even earlier on in the gospel narratives we find Jesus entering into the synagogues in Galilee and delivering one from an unclean spirit, cleansing another of leprosy, and restoring the withered hand of another. You cannot read the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the fact that there were times when Jesus would enter into the house—not solely and not necessarily to teach, but rather to wage war against the unseen spiritual and supernatural forces that were wreaking havoc within and upon the lives of men. There is not a doubt in my mind that there were occasions when Jesus entered into the synagogues of Galilee to do more than simply teach, but rather to actively engage in warfare, conflict and battle with those evil and unclean spirits which sought to keep men and women captive and bound. In fact, there was one particular sabbath when there would be a man who was possessed, oppressed and tormented by an unclean spirit, and Jesus would not only command this spirit to be quiet, but He would also command the unclean spirit to come out of this man and let him go. Pause and consider the fact that on one occasion Jesus delivered a man from an unclean spirit which had tormented and oppressed him, and on this particular occasion Jesus would deliver this woman who was bound by a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years.

            SPIRITS IN THE HOUSE! SPIRITS IN THE SYNAGOGUE! As I think about and consider this particular reality I can’t help but be brought face to face with the fact that while it is true that we might gather together in the house of the living God to worship together with others, it is also very much true that there might be spirits which are present in our midst within the houses of worship we gather together within. If and as you read the gospel narratives you will be brought face to face with the fact that there were times when Jesus entered into the synagogues within Galilee, and it was there in the synagogues within Galilee when He would encounter evil and unclean spirits. This is actually something worth thinking about and considering, for it suggests to us that it is possible to enter into the house of worship and there being more than simply flesh and blood present within the house. We would like to think that when we gather together and worship the LORD with others that it is only flesh and blood present in the midst of the synagogues, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. I am absolutely and completely convinced there are times—perhaps countless times—when we enter into the house of worship in which we gather together with others, and there are unseen spiritual and supernatural forces which are present. I firmly believe that there are times when we gather together and enter into the house of the LORD to worship together with others, and there are unseen spirits which are present among us. With this being said, I would dare say that there are perhaps countless times when you aren’t aware of the tremendous spiritual battle that is present in the midst of the church building and even during those times we gather together to worship the LORD. I am absolutely and completely convinced that just as there were spirits present in the synagogues during the days and times of Jesus—the account of the man who was possessed by the unclean spirit, and the account of this woman who was possessed with the spirit of infirmity—so also is it possible for there to be spirits present within the church buildings, churches and houses of worship in which we gather together with others.

            We would be incredibly naïve to think and consider that just because it’s called a “church” and just because men and women gather together to worship the LORD there aren’t spirits present among us. We would like to think that the only spirit that is present among us in the houses of worship and churches we gather together in is the Holy Spirit, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case. It was in the synagogue in Nazareth Jesus read the words of the prophet Isaiah which referenced the Spirit of the LORD being upon Him and anointing Him to preach, and we know and understand that Jesus returned to Galilee full of the Holy Spirit, however, when we find Jesus in Capernaum we find more than simply the Holy Spirit present. It is there in the synagogue in Capernaum that we also find an unclean spirit present among those who had gathered together—an unclean spirit that had possessed, tormented and oppressed one who was among them. In all reality, it is quite interesting when you read the gospel narratives and see how there were times when it wasn’t just Jesus who was present in the synagogues, and it wasn’t just the Holy Spirit that was present in the synagogues, and it wasn’t just flesh and blood that was present in the synagogues, but there were also unseen and unclean spirits which were present. It was in the synagogue in Capernaum Jesus cast and drove out the unclean spirit which tormented and oppressed this particular man. In the synagogue which is mentioned here in this particular passage we find Jesus in another synagogue on the sabbath and how there was more than just flesh and blood there, but there was a spirit of infirmity—one which had been present for eighteen years in the life of this particular woman who was a daughter of Abraham.

            WHEN THE CHURCH IS A BATTLEFIELD! WHEN THE HOUSE IS A BATTLEGROUND! The more I read and consider this particular passage the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and tremendous reality that more often than not the synagogues were more than simply places of teaching and preaching. I am convinced that there were times when the synagogues were indeed and were in fact battlegrounds and those places where very real spiritual warfare was engaged in by the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot read the gospel narratives and not encounter the fact that there was a very real warfare and conflict that existed within the synagogues with the religious spirits present during those days, as well as unclean spirits, and now a spirit of infirmity. We would like to think that houses of worship and churches cannot be and are not places of intense spiritual warfare and conflict, and yet the gospel narratives prove and demonstrate this to be entirely and altogether false. We dare not and must not think and believe for one moment that even though it’s called a church, and even though it’s a house of worship that it’s not also a battleground and a place where there is intense spiritual warfare and conflict. It is absolutely and entirely naïve of us to think and consider that the houses in which we gather together cannot be places of warfare and conflict as we find ourselves contending with unseen and unclean spiritual forces present among us. We ought not think that the only spirit that can be present among us in the house of worship is the Holy Spirit, and that we also cannot and will not encounter unclean and unseen spirits which seek to keep men and women bound and captive. These narratives which are found in the four gospel accounts prove and demonstrate that there can be teaching and preaching which takes place in the house of worship, and there can even be the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and yet there are still spirits which need to be confronted and contended with. These gospel narratives force us to confront that it is entirely and altogether possible for the houses of worship in which we gather together with one another to be warzones and battlegrounds where real spiritual warfare, conflict and battle takes place. Jesus profoundly demonstrated that houses of worship can indeed be houses of warfare as spiritual warfare, conflict and battle can indeed take place within them—warfare and conflict which needs to be addressed and confronted.

            If there is one thing I absolutely love about the narrative of this woman whom Jesus delivered from this spirit of infirmity, as well as from the spirit of religion which would have kept her bound, it’s that Jesus does not care how long you have been bound or captive. We know that the woman with the issue of blood was unclean for twelve years and that she wrestled with that condition in her physical body for more than a decade. We know that the crippled man who was at the pool of Bethesda was in that condition for thirty eight years. If you take the combined total of eighteen years, twelve years and thirty-eight years you will find a combined total of almost seventy years—seventy years which was the total number of time the children of Israel were captive and exiled in the land of the Chaldeans. Please note that I am in no way saying the two are linked in any way shape or form, however, what I am saying, and what I will say is that Jesus cares absolutely nothing about how long Satan might have kept you bound. Jesus cares absolutely nothing for how long you might have been unclean and how long you might have had an issue within your physical body—or even your spiritual person. Jesus does not care how long you have been crippled and how long you might have been waiting for your turn and for that moment in your life when things can hopefully turn around. It didn’t matter that this woman was bound by Satan for eighteen years, for when Jesus showed up in the synagogue on this particular Sabbath He not only delivered her from this spirit of infirmity, but also delivered her from the spirit of religion which would have held her in bondage even longer to this spirit of infirmity. When Jesus showed up at the pool of Bethesda He did not care how long this man had been crippled, and He did not care that it had been almost four decades of waiting for that time to come when he could finally be healed and made whole—a time which he might very well have thought would have never come.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw our attention to the absolutely awesome and wonderful reality that Jesus doesn’t care how long you have been in your present condition, or even how long you have felt completely and utterly hopeless. The physician Luke writes how the woman with the issue of blood had spent everything she had on physicians hoping they would be able to cure her, and instead of growing better she actually grew worse. Jesus cares absolutely nothing for how long you’ve been in your present condition, nor even how dire, hopeless, or discouraging it has and has been for you. Perhaps one of the greatest truths found within the four gospel narratives is that when Jesus shows up it doesn’t matter how long you have been in your present condition, for Jesus can not only turn back the clock, but Jesus can also undo what has been present in your life for years. Oh I absolutely love the fact that with these three examples we are not talking days, weeks, or even months, but are actually talking in years. What’s more, is that we aren’t even talking in years, but are talking about at least a minimum of ten years—essentially a full decade. Each of these individuals experienced a minimum of ten years and one decade with their issue and condition, and yet when Jesus shows up He is able to completely and utterly undo what has been done and what has taken place over a ten year span of time. I absolutely love that Jesus was able to turn back the clock on the woman with the issue of blood who suffered from that issue for just over a decade. In the case of this woman whom Satan had bound with a spirit of infirmity Jesus was able to undo what had taken place over a period of time just under two decades. What’s more, is when we think about and consider the narrative of the man at the pool of Bethesda we find that Jesus was able to heal him after spending just shy of four decades in that condition. How absolutely wonderful, remarkable and incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that it didn’t matter if it was just over a decade, just under two decades, or just under four decades, for Jesus could show up and completely undo everything that had taken place during that period of time.

Perhaps you are reading these words and you are one who has suffered from something for an extended period of time. Perhaps you’re reading these words and you have suffered from an addiction of some sorts, and have been for years. Perhaps you’re someone who has battled with depression and anxiety, and have been for years. Perhaps you are someone who has struggled with some illness or sickness within your physical body, and you have struggled with it for years with absolutely no hope or relief. What I find so absolutely remarkable and captivating within these portions of Scripture is that they bring us face to face with a Jesus who can show up—and not only show up, but show up after an extended period of time—and completely and utterly turn back the clock and undo the damage that has been done over years. I absolutely love that Jesus can indeed and can in fact show up after an extended period of time—perhaps even after more than a decade has passed—and can completely and utterly undo everything that has taken place within your life. This narrative is found and expressed within the Old Testament as the LORD God Almighty showed up in the land of Egypt after more than four hundred years of slavery and bondage to bring forth deliverance and freedom. What’s more, is that the living and eternal God would show up after seventy years of captivity and exile and bring the people of Israel and Judah out of the land of the Chaldeans. How absolutely remarkable and stunning it is to think and consider that the LORD God Almighty would and could show up after forty three decades of slavery, bondage and oppression and deliver the children of Israel, and how He could show up after seven decades of captivity and exile and bring His people back into the land. If there is one thing I would love to leave you with today it’s the ability our Lord truly has to show up at any point in time within your life—regardless of how long that time has been for you—and not only turn back the clock, but also completely and entirely undo the damage, devastation and destruction that has been done. Oh that we would not only recognize our Lord’s ability to do this, but also that we would put our faith, our trust and our confidence in His ability to do this within our lives, and takes great delight and pleasure in doing so.

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