Key Verses for the Week – John 8:31-37 and Ephesians 6:11-13
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. John 8:31-17
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:11-13
Guiding Image for Trek #7 – Sword
Perhaps the most dangerous person in the world is a person who has been fully and completely set free in every area of life in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. They are dangerous because their life will look radically different from everyone else’s and that will make people wary and uncomfortable. They are dangerous because they cannot be bullied or influenced by the normal things that manipulate other people. They are dangerous because when people come in contact with them they are challenged and changed. And they are dangerous because they are used by God to do the miraculous in a world of mediocrity.
It is just this kind of dangerous life to which we have been called as stewards set free. In this freedom we become an agent of change and that will not often be met with enthusiasm. When we are in bondage we are also in denial, not believing that there really is a greater life that God has for us. When we encounter a person who bears witness to that new life, it can be deeply disturbing and even repugnant. But in our spirit we know that the life they are living is life for which our soul yearns. And the enemy knows it, too. For that reason, the image for this final session is a sword. It is not ours to wield, but it is an image of the power of the Holy Spirit going before us piercing hearts, opening spirits, and holding at bay the powers of darkness that so desperately want to enslave the people of God. The 7th Key is the one we give away. It promises freedom and joy to those who will accept it, but it will be given and accepted in the context of spiritual battle. We dare not enter it lightly, but we also dare not recoil from it. Our call this week is to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit as we submit ourselves to be used by the Spirit as an agent of freedom in a world of bondage. Welcome to the Journey!
Main Theme for Trek #7 – Now that six chains have fallen, what will you do with your newfound freedom? You can be used by God to set other people free. That is the seventh key, it is the one you give away. And in doing so you will enter the greatest battle of your life. But be of good cheer, for the one in whose name we battle has already overcome the world.
Dear Lord, I confess that I have not always lived my life with the mindset of a warrior. By neglecting the spiritual battle I am in, I have often been ill-equipped and unprepared for the work to which you’ve called me. I acknowledge today that I have been set free and I claim that freedom as a gift from you day-by-day. As I experience the liberation and joy that comes from that newfound freedom, I pray that you would use me to be an agent of freedom for the people I encounter. I don’t know what that might look like, and I find it amazing that you could use me in this way. So I come humbly but confidently to be used by you in this incredible work. Continue to set me free each day. Give me a vision for the work that you would do in my life. Open my heart to the people you bring across my path each day, and use me, Lord, to set other people free. You have given me this precious key. Let me live my life giving it away with joy. In the name of the one who has set us free indeed, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.