4) STEP 4: Restoration of Vision
“And recovery of sight to the blind…” (Luke 4:18)
Jesus added this “little tidbit” in as it’s not in the original prophecy of Isaiah, so it’s obviously worth exploring.
When I initially visualised this, I imagined a woman (or man), who’d been held captive so long that the dark dungeon they were held in had impaired their vision.
The term “vision” here is twofold. Though free, the woman’s vision is still suffering from her captivity. She can’t see like she should. The damage to her physical sight is indicative of the greater damage to her spiritual sight.
Just like in the enslavement of Africans brought to America, people may not have been physically blinded, but their mental and spiritual visions were impaired. The diabolical teachings of a one Willie Lynch ensured that not only would one generation of slaves be “visually impaired,” but that this impairment would be perpetuated down through the generations. Ladies and gentlemen, he succeeded. Even today, over a hundred years after slavery was abolished, the African-American people as a whole still struggle with the impairments put on us by Willie Lynch. But if you think he was dangerous, Satan and his dark kingdom are much worse. But God.
The Bible says,
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV)
Therefore we need vision (revelation), to live and not only live, but thrive. Otherwise, like a newly freed slave, we’ll cast off restraint (Proverbs 29:19 NKJV).
And finally, vision, godly vision or revelation enables us to run with what He’s called us to do.
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)
This is one time you can actually do what Oprah says and not contradict the Word of God: “run on!”
5) STEP 5: Walking out of Captivity
“And the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” (v. 1)
Jesus can proclaim your liberty ‘til He’s blue in the face, but if you choose to remain in your prison–after ALL He’s already done for you, there’s nothing much He can do. But aren’t you glad He gave you the power to renew your mind??
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Not only do we know how to avoid strongholds (and cast them down), but we know how to refresh our minds after dealing with them.
I heard someone once say that homosexuality is such a hard deliverance to attain because people do truly receive their deliverance, but the thought patterns are still in place. The lust is still there. The same sex attraction is still there. The habits of hanging with certain people, doing certain things, and watching certain things are all still there. In short, there minds haven’t been renewed. So the wind up leaving the door open to the enemy to return with seven demons worse than homosexuality (God knows who those would be!) and the state of that person is seven times worse than before! Jesus put it this way:
[Demonic Occupation] “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. [Deliverance] But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils….When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ [Mind Not Renewed, Not Filled with God’s Word & Spirit] And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. [Demonic Re-Possession] Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:21, 22, 24-26 emphasis mine)
We usually address this passage as two specific passages, but they’re just Part One and Part Two. We don’t want Part Two, so we have to make up our newly saved minds, sanctify them (set them apart for God and His use), and choose to walk out of the enemy’s strongholds. The devil is indeed a strongman. And he does have numerous strongmen working for him, sure. But God!!
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4)
6) STEP 6: The Proclamation of Jubilee (Freedom, Debts Repaid)
“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” (v. 2)
As Bishop Tudor Bismark would say, this is jubilee language! Every time we talk about an acceptable or favoured year of the Lord, we’re talking about the year of Jubilee. Mr. Brown would say, “this a celebrate!!” And it is!!
And really, jubilee is logical because after one has been set free, it would follow that whatever debt originally caused you to be imprisoned has been repaid, and ‘twas favour that selected and released you. Moses broke it down this way:
“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 25:10-17)
This is the time where you are not only made free, but all your family and friends with you! You can have whatever was taken, sold, etc. returned to you, you have provision, you are able to buy back what was yours–on sale!!–and you are free from oppression in the name of God!
In the Old Testament, if the thief was found, he had to pay double for what he stole (Exodus 22:7). Job was an excellent example of this (Job 42:10-17). In Proverbs, the thief had to pay sevenfold! (See Proverbs 6:31.) And we know that Jesus came to counter the ultimate thief as well!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
If you’re in debt, yet have become a tither, cheerful giver, and overall good steward of what God has given you financially, this is where you shout!
Stay tuned for Part III…!