by Kenneth Copeland
All over the world right now freedom is under attack.
The United States and nations standing with her against the forces of terror are continually on alert. They are constantly threatened with violence by those who hate their liberty. They are under assault by hidden foes intent on using all the devilish ingenuity they can muster to bind free nations everywhere and imprison them behind invisible bars of fear.
You know all that as well as I do. But do you know that your personal freedom is under that same kind of vicious attack?
Do you know the devil is working night and day to rob you of your liberty in Jesus? Do you know he is continually assaulting you with threats and lies meant to rob you of God's blessings and put you back in bondage to the evils from which you, as a born-again child of God, have already been freed?
If you don't, it's time you found out. It's time you got wise to the devil's schemes and launched your own "Operation Freedom" on the battlefield of life.
How? By employing the one weapon that Jesus said would guarantee your freedom—the truth.
What Worked for Jesus Will Work for You
"The truth?" you may ask. "That's all I need to be liberated from the bondages of the devil?"
Absolutely. Jesus Himself said so. In John 8, we find Him speaking to a group of new believers. Just moments before, they had put their faith in Him. No doubt they were just like you and me when we first believed on Him—full of enthusiasm and eager to be like the Lord.
They were probably looking at Him thinking, Wow, this Man isn't in bondage to anything! He casts out devils. He heals sickness and disease. He isn't held captive by sin like we've been. I want to be His disciple! I want to be like Him!
But there was one big problem. They didn't have the first idea of how to go about it.
So at that moment, Jesus gave them the information they needed. He gave them the key that would unlock every door for them. He said: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
Have you ever read those verses and wondered how Jesus knew the truth would make those people free?
He knew it because He had proven it in His own life. He had always lived in accordance with the truth of God's Word. Just a few verses earlier He had explained and said, "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things..The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (verses 28-29).
Most Christians don't realize that Jesus had to live by faith and obedience to God's Word just like we do. They make the mistake of thinking that He was able to live free from all the bondages and hindrances of the devil when He walked this earth because He was the Son of God. "Jesus couldn't have sinned" they say. "He couldn't have been sick. He couldn't have been afraid. After all, He was divine. He was God!"
Yes, He was (and is) God.but He also was (and is) man. He could have sinned. Thank God He didn't, but He could have. We know that because the Bible says He "was in all points tempted like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15).
Even though Jesus is God, when He came to earth He laid down the rights, privileges and power that belonged to Him as God and lived as a man. As Philippians 2 says, He "stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity].in that He became like men and was born a human being" (verse 7, The Amplified Bible).
What made and kept Jesus free, what held Him up and made Him strong was not His divine willpower. It wasn't even the fact that Almighty God was His Father. What made Him free was the fact that He walked on the Word of God!
He said what His Father said. He did what His Father told Him to do. He lived on the Father's Word continually, night and day, and that Word kept Him free.
So when those new believers needed to know how they could be His disciples, since a disciple is "one who is like his teacher," Jesus told them to do the same thing He had been doing.
He said, "Keep on listening to Me like I listen to My Father. I'll keep on giving you His words, then you'll know the truth and that truth will make you just as free as I am!"
Heavenly Freedom Here on Earth
Think about that for a moment and let the reality of it hit you.
The Word of God is the Word of freedom! Continuing in that truth is what made Jesus free.and continuing in that truth is what will make you free.
Actually you are already free. You stepped into that freedom the minute you were born again. The instant you believed the truth about Jesus and acted on it by receiving Him as your Lord and Savior, freedom was imparted into your spirit. God Himself made you a new creation. He made you righteous with His own righteousness. He wiped out your sinful past and gave you His own nature. He delivered you out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of the light of His Son. He set you free—freer than you ever dreamed you could be! (See Romans 8:2.)
Most Christians haven't even begun to comprehend the kind of freedom they've been given in Jesus. Some will never experience it until they get to heaven. But we don't have to wait until then to enjoy it. If we'll continue in the Word, we can live in heavenly freedom right here on earth.
"Well, Brother Copeland, I have sickness in my body and I don't know what to do about it."
Go to the Word of God and get the truth about it and it will make you free.
"I'm bound by bad habits and no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to kick them."
Go to the Word of God and get the truth about it. Then continue in that truth and it will make you free.
"But I have real problems! I've been to doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists. I've been counseled by highly trained therapists and even they haven't been able to help me."
Then they're not telling you the truth. All the medicine, psychology and psychiatrics in the world piled into one place cannot do what the Word of God can and will do in your life. The experts in those fields may tell you a lot of natural facts. They may give you a lot of information about your circumstances. They may even be able to provide some temporary help or relief.
But Jesus said it's the Word of God that's the truth (John 17:17). So if they're not giving you the Word, they cannot make you free.
Don't Buy the Lies
Am I saying you should deny or ignore the natural facts and circumstances of life? Not at all. I'm saying if you want to be free, you must face them squarely and change them by faith in the Word of God.
You see, facts are neither truths nor lies. They are simply temporary conditions. Truth is what God says about those conditions. Lies are what the devil says about them.
If continuing in the truth of what God says about natural conditions and circumstances will make you free, then continuing in the lies the devil tells you about them will keep you bound, won't it?
Certainly it will. That's why the devil lies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No wonder Jesus called the devil the father of lies! (John 8:44)
Lies are the weapons of terror the devil uses to threaten and intimidate you. They're the prison bars he uses to lock you up in sin, sickness, sorrow and lack—the very things from which Jesus has set you free!
When sickness attacks us, the devil lies to us and says, You might as well just go to bed.You're not going to get healed this time.This sickness is just your cross to bear...God wants to use it to teach you something.
When we encounter financial needs, the devil lies and says, The money you need isn't going to come in time.You're never going to find a better job.You've always been poor and you'll always be poor.But that's OK, poverty is just God's way of keeping you humble.
When we're in trouble and need deliverance, the devil lies to us and says, God won't help you out of this situation.After all, it's your own fault.He's just going to leave you in it to teach you a lesson.
The devil will go on and on telling us junk like that. But the truth of God's Word proves it's all a deception. It tells us plainly that Jesus didn't come to leave us sick, poor and sad. He said: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19).
That's what Jesus was doing during His earthly ministry and since He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) that's what He is doing today!
Tell the Truth About It
One person who truly grasped this revelation was my mother. She was a true prayer warrior who loved God and was just plain brutal toward the devil. People knew that when she ministered to them, she would tell them the truth and it would make them free. So when she had a Monday night prayer group at her house, people just flocked to it.
One evening, I was coming up her front walk after one of those Bible studies and I overheard a couple of Baptist preachers talking as they came out the front door. One of them turned to the other and said, "In all the years I've been in ministry, I've never had much sympathy for the devil," he said. "But after that woman got through with him, I kind of felt sorry for him, didn't you?"
I always laugh when I think of it because that's just the way my mother was. She was rough on the devil.
I remember one man she prayed for who probably thought (at least for a few minutes) she was pretty rough on people too. He was a young pastor named Jimmy Hester and when he first started coming to my mother's Bible study, he was concerned about his health. Although he was a young man, most of the men in his family including his father and grandfather had died young of heart disease and Jimmy was already showing signs of it.
After the Bible study, Jimmy went to my mother for prayer and began to tell her the problem. "My grandfather died of heart trouble. My father died of heart trouble," he said. "Now I have high blood pressure and heart trouble myself."
"I thought you said you were a preacher!" exclaimed my mother.
"I am," said Jimmy.
"Then tell me the truth about that," she demanded.
"I just told you the truth. My grandfather died of heart trouble. My father died of heart trouble. Now I have high blood pressure and heart trouble myself."
What Does the Bible Say?
At that point, my mother literally boxed his ears! She grabbed them with both hands and began shaking his head from side to side.
"Tell me the truth about it!" she said.
"I told you the truth about it!" he answered in exasperation.
"Do you have any idea what Isaiah 53 says? Do you have any idea what I Peter 2:24 says?" she asked (all the while still shaking his head by the ears). "They say that by Jesus' stripes you were healed!"
Jimmy stood there, stunned, as the revelation hit him. Later he said to me, "People had told me I wasn't going to live very long. My doctors had given me bad reports. But your mother got through to me with the truth and suddenly I realized I had been believing the lies of the devil. It hit me so hard, I just walked out in a daze.
"Kenneth, your mother saw the spirit of death on me. She knew she had to change my thinking quickly or I was going to die."
Once Jimmy got hold of that truth he didn't let it go. He started attending my mother's Bible study regularly and growing in faith. His blood pressure began to settle down. His health began to improve. Why? Because he continued in the truth and that truth made him free.
I talked to him years later on his 60th birthday. He'd just had a physical and his doctor had told him he was in perfect health with the heart of a 16-year-old. The last I heard, Jimmy was still out preaching the gospel all over the world.
It's Your Choice
That's a good story, isn't it? It's an inspiring story. But it's Jimmy Hester's story. The question is, what's your story going to be?
Now that you know your freedom is under attack, now that you know the thief has come to steal, kill and destroy the abundant life Jesus has given you, what are you going to do?
It's your choice. You can believe the lies of the devil, take the facts at face value and end up imprisoned in sin, sickness, sorrow and lack. Or you can dig into the Word of God, build your faith, take a stand on the truth and launch your own "Operation Freedom."
You can keep your ear tuned to the words of the Master and live just like He did. You can conquer sin, cast out devils, heal the sick and have every need met according to God's riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Sure, there will be battles along the way. There will be challenges to face and overcome. But if you continue in God's Word (the Perfect Law of Liberty), you will end up being a real disciple of Jesus because you will know the truth and the truth will make you free!