Recently I was listening to an evangelist talking about churches being locked down in the spiritual realm, devoid of power. Immediately I thought, this can happen when souls are locked down. My husband works as an officer in county jail, and when an inmate refuses orders or gets into trouble, they are put on “lockdown.”
Lock-down is a state of isolation and restricted access. When our souls are locked-down we are isolated from those who can help us on our journey. A locked down soul restricts the access of the Holy Spirit because of stress, fear, and anxiety that encamps around the person. Walls have been built around that individual and walls can be hindrances or forms of protection to whatever is on either side.
When Jesus took up His cross and rose from the dead, He left us with power and authority. While Satan thought Jesus’ death would be the beginning of his reign of terror on earth, he was mistaken. The death and resurrection served to make a spectacle out of the Enemy of our souls and empower the children of God.
"The Spirit of the LORD [is] upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to [the] poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to [the] captives And recovery of sight to [the] blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; - Luk 4:18 NKJV
Jesus sets captives free and heals the broken hearted. He gives sight to those who were once blind and delivers the oppressed. He gives abundant life to the weary and burdened and causes them to rest. (Matt 11:28) The possibilities of abundant life in Christ Jesus are unlimited, yet most Christ followers are severely hindered in their lives, even limping in their walk.
Because the soul is entangled with this world, it is unable to soar freely with the Spirit of God.
There is enormous freedom in a life that cast their cares on God, knowing He cares for them (1Pe 5:7). Jesus said, in this life, we would have trouble but that we shouldn’t be concerned because He has overcome the world (Jn 16:33). Sadly, we are often more concerned about the cares of this world such as what we should eat, drink, wear, or live. These concerns cause the word of God to fall away. When we read “cast your cares on Him because He cares for you,” we are hearing the Father’s heart on how not to be anxious or fearful. This statement means that God is well aware of our concerns and our tendency to focus on them without Him but wants us to invite Him into every area of our lives.
I love the parable of the sower and the seed. After Jesus shared this parable with the people, He later explained it to the disciples.
14-15 “The farmer plants the Word. Some people are like the seed that falls on the hardened soil of the road. No sooner do they hear the Word than Satan snatches away what has been planted in them. 16-17 And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. 18-19 The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it. 20 But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.” Message Translation
Many times, fear and anxiety result in a soul being locked down, caged, and in bondage. This caged soul leaves no room for the word to take root because the focus is on the concerns of the person and not the freedom the gospel can bring.
As children of God, we are supposed to be able to hear His voice, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” - John 10:27 Yet if we heard God we would live our lives differently. Many times, we can’t hear Him because our souls are chained to the past. The pain of rejection, abuse, abandonment, addiction, death, and divorce are just a few of the things that can put our souls in a cage and lock down our ability to run this race with joy and faithfulness. Life hurts, and it leaves us wounded. Some people are exhausted from carrying their past pains around. It takes work and trust in the Lord and a willingness to read His word with application to receive healing. Ask Holy Spirit to help reveal to you the condition of your heart and invite the Lord to come into those places and release your soul.
Heavenly Father, I admit my exhaustion and neediness has yet to improve for I haven’t cast my cares upon You as Your word tells me to do. Today I repent of my sins of independence and self-focus, and I turn my heart towards Your direction. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I’m here in need of rest and the new life and new creation You said I would be. Help me apply the living, breathing, and active word of God to my life so that it may root out all soulish coping skills and route out all demonic spirits employed against my freedom. I renounce the cares of this world as soul rulers and choose to trust You to rule my soul. I trust You with all that concerns my family and me and am confident that You will see us through anything that should come our way. In Jesus name, Amen.