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Jimmy Evans - The Promise of Total Freedom

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Jimmy Evans - The Promise of Total Freedom
Jimmy Evans - The Promise of Total Freedom

Welcome to "The Overcoming Life". I want to talk to you today about total freedom, being totally free in every area of our lives. It's a promise from Jesus. In John 8:36, Jesus said, "Therefore if the son makes you free, you shall be free indeed". That's what I want to talk about. There's not any area of our lives, not any bondage in our lives, that Jesus wants to remain there. Jesus died and rose again so that we could experience absolute total freedom. But a lot of times, we get a little confused about this issue of freedom because we see it one-dimensionally. We see it from a physical perspective, maybe from a mental perspective or something like that. But in Matthew 22:39, Jesus was talking to the Jewish leaders, and they were asking him what the most important commandment was, and Jesus said this: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength".

Now, that's an interesting response. Jesus talks about 4 areas of our lives. In other words, we're not just a physical person. Bondage is not just physical. We're not just mental people. Bondage is not just mental. Jesus talks about our soul and our spirit, our body, our mind, our soul, that's the seat of our will and emotions, and our spirit. Only born again people have the spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Unless you're born again, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God". So our spirits are dead, Adam and Eve died spiritually when they ate of the forbidden fruit. And all of us are born with a dead spirit until we're born again. But when we're born again, we have a spirit man on the inside of us that communes with God. So Jesus said, "Here's the most important commandment: with your spirit, with your emotions, with your mind, and with your body, you need to love God".

Now, listen, did you know that your mind was made primarily to love God? You're at your very best mentally when you're loving God. Your body was made to love God. Your emotions were made to love God, and your spirit was made to love God. Jesus said if you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbors, you'll love yourself. Jesus said, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets". What that means is love is the interpretive key to the Bible. When you're loving God and loving people, you're doing everything the Bible has to say. That's everything the Bible has to say.

Let me go back to the issue of us being 4-dimensional beings. See, a lot of times, people look at freedom like this. And you say, well, Jesus: "Whom the son sets free is free indeed", and we look at it like this. But it's like this. We are not free until we're free on every level. And I want to say one another thing, too. This is very important to understand freedom. The issue of freedom is not being set free from something: it's being free to love God. So some people say, "Well, I'm in bondage to alcohol", or, "I'm in bondage to tobacco" or to sex or to food or to something like that. And all these bondages now are very, very important. We're talking about total freedom. So God wants to set you totally free. But understand this: the reason for freedom is because bondage keeps us from loving God.

When I was a young believer, at 19 years old was when I got saved. And let me tell you, I think I was in bondage in just about every area of my life. And I couldn't love God or Karen and the people in my life the way that I wanted to. You know, we're all born into a world of sin and pain. We all have a sin nature. And we have an evil enemy who wants to hold us in bondage. But the reason the devil wants to hold us in bondage is to keep us away from God, but the good news is Jesus came to set us totally free. Jesus defeated the devil on the cross. He paid for our sins on the cross. And Jesus has now promised us total freedom. And that's what we're gonna talk about, but we're gonna talk about freedom, full freedom, in our minds, in our bodies, in our emotions, and in our spirits. That's what total freedom means.

Now, I want to talk about the confusion in this area because, see, if freedom takes place on 4 levels, that means bondage takes place on 4 levels. There are some of you watching right now, and maybe you think, "I've got some mental issues. I mean, there are some areas in my mind that are just not free". We're gonna deal with that, ok? "There are some areas in my emotions that aren't free". "There are some areas, you know, of my spirit and my spiritual life", or whatever, "That I think maybe I've got some issues therein". "I've got some issues in different areas of my life". So Jesus wants to set you free so that you can be free to love your husband, your wife, your children, your parents, to love God, to love all the people in your life. But we have to understand that freedom takes place 4-dimensionally. And this is so critical because some people think they have one problem, and they actually have another problem.

Now, let me talk about this in the area of our emotions. Let me begin with depression. Now, depression is an epidemic. There are many, many people on very powerful drugs because of depression. There are many people that feel trapped in depression. There are many people who kill themselves because of chronic overwhelming depression. I'm not talking about just having a down day. I'm talking about, you know, you're really, really under this blanket of depression and life seems hopeless. You go to a psychiatrist/psychologist, and I'm not at all criticizing them, but they basically have one tool in their tool chest, and that is cognitive therapy. They're trained to help you in the area of your thinking. That's what they do.

So, you know, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So when you go to a psychiatrist or a psychologist, you say, "Well, I'm dealing with depression", they're naturally going to try to help you in your thinking. That's what they're there to do. You go to a doctor, a physical doctor, an internist or whatever, your general doctor, they see things from a physical perspective. And many times, a psychiatrist and doctors because of their limit, their ability to deal with depression, they'll give you medicine, sometimes very powerful medicine that has a lot of really bad side effects to it. You go to a pastor.

You know, again, great people. And pastors are wonderful and important, but many times, they see it from a spiritual perspective, and they want to explain everything spiritually, ok? So I'm saying, you're not going to be free until you're free in the correct area. And let me talk about bondage for just a minute. Let me go back to the issue of depression, ok? Some people think when they're depressed that they have an emotional problem. You do not have an emotional problem if you're depressed.

Now, there are different reasons for depression. Sometimes there's biochemical depression, which is you've got a chemical problem in your body, and maybe you do need some kind of a medicine to heal you, not to mask the symptoms. But maybe you need some medicine. Sometimes it can relate to our thinking or things like that. But I want to show you some scriptures, and I want to help you to understand the issue of depression first of all and where it really comes from. This is Isaiah 61, and this is a scripture, now, that talks about the seat, the root of depression. And many times, we don't see this.

But this is Isaiah 61. This is an Old Testament scripture talking about the ministry of Jesus Christ. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord", means the year of jubilee, when everybody goes free, "And the day of vengeance of our God", punishing the devil. "To comfort all who mourn. To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes", literally means a headdress for ashes, "The oil of joy for mourning", listen to this one, "The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified".

Now, remember, we're a body, a mind, emotions, and a spirit, ok? So people who are depressed would say, "I've got an emotional problem. My emotions are depressed". Actually, you have a spiritual problem. See, you can't be free until you deal with your freedom in the correct area. Most depression, I believe, is demonic. It is a spirit of heaviness. The Bible says that Jesus came to proclaim the year of freedom to all of us, to seek vengeance on the devil, to defeat him, that's what Jesus did. He came to destroy the works of the devil, that he could give us a garment of praise to defeat a spirit of heaviness.

Let me explain depression to you. Many people who are depressed have had something bad happen to them. Maybe in their recent past, or maybe it was back in their childhood, they were abused, or maybe they've been rejected, or maybe they went bankrupt, or maybe something happened. And there's an evil devil who hates us, and he uses every opportunity that he can to try to invade our lives with some kind of a demonic bondage. In the area of depression, and the reason he's so successful is we don't know that it's him. We think this is our emotion, but the Bible calls it "A spirit of heaviness". God has given us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, ok?

So let me help you understand this. So something bad happens to you. What makes the devil so dangerous is stealth. He took the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden because he's stealthy. He doesn't want us to know that it's him, because we could defeat him. We're Christians: we have authority over the devil. So he just wants to come very stealthily and implant upon us a spirit, a demonic spirit, of depression, negativity, overwhelming hopelessness, all of these messages that are coming from a demonic spirit that we think are our emotions, so we stay in that state, or maybe we take medication that masks the symptoms. I'm all for medicine that heals. I'm not for medicine that puts us in more bondage or masks the symptoms, ok?

So we're on this medication or whatever, but understand this: it's a demonic spirit, and it came through trauma: it came through disappointment: it came through whatever the devil could use, an opening that the devil could use. And then all these messages began to be implanted from that spirit. And so it says, Jesus gives us a garment of praise to defeat the spirit of heaviness. What does that mean? Well, one of the classic symptoms of depression is you just think about yourself all the time. You're the center of the universe, and you're just sitting around, thinking about yourself, but did you know that God created us to praise him? That's the chief occupation we have for all of eternity, if you'll read your Bible, that we praise God. We were created to love God and to praise him.

Listen, the Bible says that God inhabits the praises of his people. So anywhere praise for God is going up, the presence of God is there. Guess what. The devil can't minister in an atmosphere where God is present. So when we take up a garment of praise, it means, "By faith, I am declaring God is worthy, God is great, God is greater than my circumstances. He's above everything. My God is powerful. My God is faithful". Well, why is that important? Because it gets my eyes off myself and puts my eyes on God. And it says, "Garment of praise". God gives us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. What does that mean? It means you have to put it on. When you wake up in the morning, you don't have things on, you know? Or maybe your pajamas. But you have to put on your clothes. Every day, I've got to wake up, and I've got to make a decision to praise God. I'm not going to live this day thinking about myself. I'm not going to live this day listening to a bunch of negative messages telling me that it's hopeless.

As long as there's a God in heaven, there's hope for every person. There's hope for you. I'm telling you that right now. And some of you are under this spirit, this blanket of heaviness. I'm saying to you, it is not your emotions. It's a demonic spirit that came into your life through some trauma, and many of you know exactly the trauma of where it came from. And these negative messages, those are not your thoughts: those are demonic thoughts. You need to begin to praise God. You need to get your eyes off of yourself and off of your circumstances and begin to praise God. And what the Bible says is Jesus came to give us a garment of praise to defeat a spirit of heaviness. Freedom is 4-dimensional. Your emotions may be affected by the spirit, but it's not the root. The root's spiritual. You have to deal with it as a spirit.

Demonic fear is this debilitating, chronic fear that just hangs on to us. It's a spirit. And again, the devil comes through stealth. It may be through trauma. It may have been through your parents divorcing. It may have been through, you know, being in a car accident or an illness or something like that. But somehow this fear grips your life, and it keeps you from doing what God has called you to do. That fear is there to keep you from God. It is there to keep you from your Promised Land, to acting by faith and doing what God wants you to do.

So some people would say, "I'm just a fearful person". I'm saying, "No, you're not. You are not a fearful person. The day you were born, you had no fear, no bad fear in you", not any. It comes after we're born as we go through life, and the devil comes stealthily and uses circumstances in our life to implant a spirit of fear. I dealt with this for most of my life, a demon spirit of fear. And I always thought it was my emotion. I just thought, "Well, I'm fearful". And then I woke up one day, and I read 2 Timothy 1:7, and I thought, "This is not from God. God would never give me something like this. This is from the devil".

And here's what I began to do: when these thoughts of fear and these feelings of fear, it's a feeling, but it's not rooted in your emotions. It's demonic. When this feeling comes to you, "In the name of Jesus, I bind you, spirit of fear". You have to see this as another being. This fear is not you. It is a separate entity from you, and you'll never be free from fear until you understand this is a demonic entity. You're not demonic. You're not demon-possessed. You just have a demonic spirit that's trying to hang on you and to implant messages and feelings to keep you from doing what God wants you to do, and you've got to rise up and take authority over it and say, "I bind you in the name of Jesus".

You have all authority. Luke 10. Jesus said, "I give you authority over serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means harm you" if you use the authority. You got to use the authority. And it doesn't matter if you've been saved for 10 minutes or 10 years. You are a child of God, and you have authority over the devil. But, again, the confusion in this issue of freedom is many people think it's their emotions. No, it's not. It's a demon spirit.

Let me give you another example: chronic anger and bitterness. Ephesians 4, "Be angry, don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil". The word there for devil is "Diabolos". And here's what some people would say, "Well, I'm just an angry person. I'm bitter and I'm angry", and whatever. No, all of us can get angry, and all of us can be unforgiving. But did you realize what this is saying is "Be angry"? Nothing wrong with anger. God gets angry. You know, Jesus cleansed the temple twice. Be angry: don't sin. Don't justify bad behavior because you're angry, and don't go to bed on it. Don't let that anger become long-term. You need to forgive: you need to resolve it, ok, or you will give a foothold to diabolos.

The word for devil there means "Slanderer". It means you go to bed mad at your spouse: you go to bed mad at your parents: you go to bed mad at your friend, and the devil will come, and he begins to use that unresolved anger to implant bitterness, offense, to try to interpret motives: "These people are evil: they're against you". We become paranoid, and you say, "I'm just kind of a paranoid person, and I'm just bitter and angry and all"... No, actually, you're not. There's a demon spirit. When you went to bed angry, the devil came and counseled you and implanted thoughts within your mind to entrap bitterness and unforgiveness within you to keep you from loving God and loving other people.

Remember, bondage is not just there to hold you in bondage. It's there to keep you from God. Freedom opens the prison door and lets us go back to love God and love other people. I go back to when I was just saved. I mean, I had anger issues: I had fear: I had not depression but, certainly, I had sometimes hopelessness or a feeling of discouragement. But I had all these things, and because of that, it was hard for me to love God, you know? I feared God in a wrong way. I thought God was against me. I thought that God didn't love me, and now I know that that's a lie. I've certainly dealt with the issue of bitterness and unresolved issues of my past. I didn't know that I was supposed to, I didn't know it was wrong to hate, and so I hated a lot of people. But when I began to forgive, when I began to take authority over fear, my life changed. And here's what changed. I could love God. I could love my wife. I could love my children. And I could live in the freedom of not having to do the things that I did before. See, when you're in bondage, you have to...

See, Jesus, everything in the Kingdom of God we do by choice. There's no such thing as being addicted to reading your Bible. There's no such thing as being addicted to worship because there's nothing addictive in the Kingdom of God because Jesus doesn't want you to do anything because you have to. Jesus wants you to do everything by choice. Everything. There's no value to it if you have to do it. But Satan wants you to have to do it. Satan wants you to have to have an outburst of anger, have to drink, have to smoke, have to, you know, do all these things so that you're living your life in bondage and you're not free to love God. I want you to know that Jesus made you a promise, and the promise is "Whom the son sets free is free indeed", body, soul, mind, and spirit. Every single area of your life can be set free by the power of God.

This is what I've experienced. It's what my wife Karen's experienced. We have ministered this to many other people. And the hope today, and I want to pray a prayer with you right now, but the hope today is this, that we've uncovered some issues maybe that you're experiencing that you thought were your emotions but now you realize: "You know something? I went through some trauma, and since I went through that trauma, I have had some depression. I have had, you know, fear. I have had bitterness and anger, and I realize that this is the reason it's so hard for me to pray, it's so hard for me to worship God, it's so hard for me to love people and trust people, because of these issues". Well, you're about to be set free right now. Let me pray for you. And we're going to take authority over the devil in these areas of your life, and we're going to proclaim total freedom.

Father, in Jesus' name, I pray for my friend watching right now. And we take authority. Jesus, you said that you gave us total authority over all the power of the devil. I take authority over depression in Jesus' name. Every person depressed right now, we bind that spirit of depression, and we take up a garment of praise. We put on praise right now. We make up our minds, we're not gonna sit around thinking about ourselves and talking about our problems. We're going to think about you, and we're gonna praise you. We've put on a garment of praise, and we've taken authority over a spirit of heaviness. I pray right now, and I bind this spirit of fear, this demonic spirit that comes to lie to us about who we are, who God is, about our future, about everything in our lives.

We take authority over you demon, spirit of fear, and we declare that we're people of faith. We are world changers, that we're giant-killers, that we're mountain-movers. That's who God made us to be, and we're not gonna live our lives hiding from everything that we fear. We're going to live our lives doing the will of God, by faith. And, Lord, right now we take authority over this diabolos, this demon spirit, that comes in through our unresolved anger and emotions and lies to us about people and tries to hold us in the bondage of bitterness. We forgive everyone who's hurt us right now, and we take authority over this demon spirit of anger and bitterness, and we cast you out right now. And we declare that we're free. We are free to live our lives the way that we should, and we're free to love God the way that we want to. Lord, thank you for coming to set us free. And we declare right now that we are free indeed.

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