It is the Easter season and a time to mark the remembrance of our Lord Jesus and the sacrifice that he made on the cross. You probably find it strange that I chose to title this post snakes and ladders. It is a cool title but is significant to our discussion. Like the game, the Snake takes you down to the bottom while the Ladder leads you to the top. Unlike the snake that is one continuous object, the ladder has different rungs.
While thinking of a post for the first week of April my focus was on Easter. I was praying about all the things Jesus had delivered me from and surprisingly they all began with an ‘S’ (like Snake). There are definitely other words but my prayer was in the line of: “Thank you Lord for delivering me from sin, from shame, from sickness, from stagnation…”
Sin: Sin has so many definitions and so many attributes. When you cannot exactly qualify something, you look at the characteristics. Sin is anything anti-God. We were all sinners before Christ died. Christ rising from the dead has delivered us from the stronghold of the nature that is anti-God and has made us alive, thus giving us power by the spirit to rule over this nature. We are still in the world with all its imperfections, but the word teaches us that: ‘For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!’ Romans 5:8. We bear the full armor of Christ and with the power of righteousness we can resist temptation and get up when we fall.
Shame: Every time I think of sin, it is associated with shame. I remember Sonnie Badu’s Oghene doh, a song he performed with his daughter, thanking God for setting us free from sin and shame. I thank God every day because he does not associate me with my shortcoming. Instead, I am reminded of who I am in him and the victory I possess over sin and shame. Sin for us is a choice because it is no longer in our nature to do it unless we decide to and that is the reason why we feel bad. When I think of the times I have fallen as a child of God, guilt is followed by shame and fear because I know I have the power to resist. However, I also remember Anthony Brown’s version of “No Condemnation” in direct reference to ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ Romans 8:1
Slavery: Romans 8:2 follows on to say, ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ To be set free from something signifies that there was once bondage or captivity. When you are a slave to something no matter what you do, you are owned and even if you escape you are still a fugitive. Christ bought our freedom and with the most expensive wages any man could offer- his blood. The bible says who the son sets free is free indeed yet because of lack of knowledge most people are still living as slaves. It is like a madman still living in his house. He has everything. He can be clothed and be fed, but he is still mentally caged no matter what happens to him. And again, to be free is a choice. As there are lawful captives there are also unlawful captives. Unlawful captives are those oppressed for nothing they have done wrong but find themselves in that situation because of ignorance. But remember Romans 8:2, you need to know that there is a new law that has set you free from every other law that the enemy may have over you.
Sickness: The word of God states clearly in Isaiah 53:6 ‘But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed’. Two things signify wholeness in this scripture: 1) well-being and 2) healed. We are entitled to live well and live long. To be well in your being signifies totality and wholeness in every area. It does not mean that we won’t fall sick, it does not mean that we won’t have thorns, it does not mean that we won’t have flaws but in all this, it is for good and in all this, we are still perfect in the sight of God. It also balls down to the fact we have the authority to declare wholeness over our lives. Isaiah 3:10 says ‘Tell the righteous it will be well with them…”
Stagnation: Stagnation can be physical, mental or spiritual. Paul explains spiritual stagnation this way: ‘Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to reteach you the basic principles of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food!’ in Hebrews 5:12. The knowledge of Christ teaches us that we ought to grow, that we ought to prosper and all this has been freely given to us. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2Peter 1:3. Everything God created, was designed to grow and to multiply. if this is not the case, then that thing is dead. But in Christ we have life, we have it abundantly and we are moved from glory to glory.
At the end of the day, it is the knowledge of who God is and who we are in him that gives us victory. If you do not know God then living in ignorance will keep you bound under the things that you have already been delivered from.
It amazed me how all these points started with ‘S’ and all the antonyms had completely different letters (just like the rungs of the ladder). For me that signifies liberty. Moving from ‘S’ to P (prosperity), to V (victory), to H (health), to W (wealth), to D (dominion), to F (freedom)- to any other letter is like moving from one point to an open door with endless possibilities. God is showing us that he has so much in store for us and the way to receive it is to accept his Son Jesus Christ who gave his life for us…
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.