Exodus 20:1, 2 And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
God delivered His people from Egypt, the house of bondage or the house of slaves, where they had been enslaved for 490 years. As a result of being enslaved for that length of time, they had a bondage or slavery mentality. God brought them out of slavery to set them free, but their bondage mentality came with them and caused them to be unable to walk into the freedom that He had planned for them. It took them forty years wandering around in the wilderness until all those who had been age 20 and above, that knew slavery as a lifestyle, had died. Only the generation after them were able to go into the promised land because they were not ingrained with a slavery mentality.
This brings back to my remembrance the old saying, “you can take a person out of the world, but you can't take the world out of the person.” Many times we are limited in our ability to receive God's best for us because of the past, of which we continue to hold within our grasp. A person cannot walk a straight line with their head turned around looking behind them. They will walk off course every time. So it is for us when we continue to allow our past mistakes and failures to determine our future successes. We must walk free of the past in order to fully embrace the good future that God has for us.
Numbers 11:4-6 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; “but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
The children of Israel had brought some of their past with them on their trip to the promised land. They were known as the “mixed multitude”. These folks were either non-Israelites who had joined them as they left Egypt or they were Israelites who simply allowed their own sensual appetites to govern their thoughts and actions. Either way, they caused them to yield to their intense cravings for what they had left behind in Egypt.
It always amazes me that when a person is in the midst of bondage they can't wait to get out of it, but after being set free the memories that seem to surface are never remembered as being as bad as they were when they experienced them. The familiarity of slavery always tries to pull us back into it. The pain is waiting for us to come back, but in order to be free you must want freedom more than staying the same and getting the same results.
Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.
As distasteful as this verse seems to be, it is true that if a person does not truly want to be free, he will always go back to his former lifestyle, no matter how bad it was. The first requisite to being set free is that you must truly want to be free. Intense cravings, whether it be for food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, physical or mental control, or whatever other bondage you may have been under will always try to pull you back into those things. It is at that moment that you must yield to God's power to overcome so that you can stay free.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Jesus died to set us free from all bondage. There is not one thing that you will encounter in your life that He didn't die for to release you into a better life. He told His disciples in John 8:36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” The freedom is ours; He paid the price for each one of us to walk in freedom from sin, sickness and disease, and poverty and lack. Once you have received Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord, you have the power within you to walk free from the past. But a person does not walk in the freedom unless they believe and receive God's power to walk free of it.
Romans 8:1, 2 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
You walk free from the law of sin and death through the power of the Spirit working in you as you live in relationship with Christ Jesus. It is a “walking out” of all that He did for you that He is now working in you. This is a daily progression that happens as you depend on the Holy Spirit to free you from the “intense cravings” that comes from the past bondage. If you yield to the cravings you will submit yourself, once again, to the bondage.
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or obedience leading to righteousness.
When you give in to the cravings you once again put yourselves under that bondage. But when you yield to the Holy Spirit to work in you, the power to resist, you have then submitted yourself unto righteousness and that gives you the freedom that you desire.
Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
There is power in living by the Spirit! It is the power to walk free of sinful cravings that lead us into bondage to the flesh and desires that can never fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts. God has provided the way of escape through the power of His Spirit within us to walk free of the desires that pull us back into bondage. James says in the book of James 1:13, 14:
Let no one say when he is tempted “I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
God is not the author of temptation. The temptations that we have come from within us; they are the culmination of things that we have desired that are bad for us. When you think longingly about something you develop an appetite for it. If you think about how good the thing was that you have left behind you will find yourself having difficulty overcoming the desire to have it in your life again.
1 Corinthian 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
God knows exactly how much temptation you can withstand. He has provided the way of escape for you in each one of them. When you are tempted through cravings of things that you have left behind, pray and ask God to show you the way of escape. Ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit that lives within you. Put time between you and the temptation to allow you to re-group, take stock of where you are and what your options are in the situation. Draw on the power of the Holy Spirit to make decisions that are in your best interest and not fueled by feelings and emotions. If you will do your part, God definitely will do His. He will deliver you if you ask Him to.
What is it that you are struggling with today? Do you have intense cravings for things that have kept you in bondage? Do you need to be set free from the desires of the flesh that can never be satisfied?
Father, I come before You today to thank You for the power of Your Spirit to deliver people and set them free from bondage and addictions. Father, I pray this morning for those who are struggling to be free and stay free from their pasts. I bring them before You and ask You to break the power of whatever it is that is keeping them from their freedom. I bind any evil spirits that would try to hold them in its grip right now in the Name of Jesus Christ. I command every evil assignment that has been arrayed against them to be canceled in Jesus' Name. Father, I ask You to set them free right now in the Name of Jesus and I thank You for doing that. I ask You to strengthen them, Lord, and show them how to resist the temptations that will try to come back to lure them into bondage again. Thank You, Father, for Your delivering power in their lives. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.