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POWER AGAINST CAPTIVITY

Dr. D. K. Olukoya

Psalm 126: 1 – 4: “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.” Psalm 53: 6: “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.” Psalm 68: 18: “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men: yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.”

The word ‘captivity’ is taken from the word ‘captive’. Somebody who is in captivity is a prisoner, whether the person knows or not. We have so many unconscious prisoners; those who think they are actually enjoying themselves but are prisoners. There are several kinds of captivity that sons of men experience. They are grouped under four major categories:

1. Internal captivity: This is when a person is a prisoner inside, although he may be smiling to people outside. The external may not reflect what is going on internally.

2. External captivity: This is the obvious type. It can be seen that a person is under a form of bondage.

3. Remote control captivity: This is when a person is being controlled by a demonic person who is far away. Satanic people construct dolls or effigies to represent people. Whatever they do to these effigies would be happening to the people anywhere they are. Sometimes they do this by evil summon. They summon the spirit of a person to their demonic meetings and pass a wicked judgment on the person. Some of the people you see all over town, wearing suit and talking grammar are being remotely controlled from their hometowns. That is why a believer should pray that God should bless him or her. Do not say, “I wish I could be driving in that V-boot car like that man.” If the V-boot man is being controlled by remote –controlling powers and God answers your prayer of wanting to be like him, you will come under the manipulation of remote -controlling powers. They would start controlling you the way they are controlling him. If somebody was under a remote -controlling chain and the sword of the Holy Spirit cuts the chain, fresh miracles would bombard him in a dumbfounding way.

4. Personal captivity: This is when somebody who knows that a particular thing will harm him, but still goes back to it. For example, if somebody knows that anytime he goes drinking and smoking, he comes home with a headache, and he still goes to drink, such a person is under personal captivity.

The ability of God to make captivity captive is something that is not clear to so many people. Some people are quick to forget that aspect of God. God has a method, which is not clear to man yet. When you talk about light and darkness, hot and cold, death and life, it takes a lot of effort to go from one extreme to another. In most cases people just give up and learn to live with their conditions but Jesus reverses things. He can make darkness to become light. He can change a bad person to a good person. He makes the dead to come alive. He replaces fear with peace.

UNCONSCIOUS CAPTIVITY

Unfortunately, man sometimes finds himself in helpless situations for which he may not be personally responsible. These are the kinds of people I feel sorry for most. The parents of a certain girl were poor and could not afford to continue her education even though they knew that she was very intelligent. At the age of eight, while she was toping her class, they stopped her education. Then one old man of 42 came along and asked why she was not going to school and they told him that they did not have money for that. He volunteered to sponsor her to school if they would allow her to marry him. So the girl got married at the age of 8 years. At the age of 21, she became converted and found that she was in captivity. She did not get into it by herself. Circumstances and situations got her into it. It is like the case of a girl who was raped by a demonic man of 50 when she was two years old and caused her some injuries. There was also a man who lost both parents when he was six months old and because of the situation, he had to live with five different people in five different homes. He had never experienced parental love. Now as a man, every woman he married ran away because he did not know how to show love to them. His condition had become captivity and he had to look for a way out.

SIGNS OF CAPTIVITY

1. When a person who has a sharp memory discovers all of a sudden, that he now finds it difficult to remember things.
2. When a person who was prosperous suddenly has nothing, that is captivity.
3. When a person who used to be very healthy suddenly becomes sickly.
4. When a woman’s husband suddenly loses interest in her.
5. When you do your best to normalize things but they keep getting worse.

Perhaps, this is your situation, I have good news for you. God is able to reverse your captivity. He can make your enemies to swallow their words. He has done it before, He has been doing it and He can do it again. God knows that many people got themselves into their present situations though ignorance. All our young brothers and sisters who have the opportunity of being taught how to pray in order to receive their God-chosen partners and are not grabbing it should ask the older ones about their experience. If these older ones knew one quarter of what they know now, they would not have made mistakes.

A lot of people saw captivity and out of ignorance went headlong into it. If some sisters had prayed, they would not have ended up with the men they married. Then, they had said, “Love is blind.” Now that the love is beating and harassing them, they are running helter-skelter. But God who is faithful can forgive you for those periods of ignorance. The Bible says that God winks at the time of ignorance. Since He can forgive you, He is able to bring you out of your captivity. The devil dealt with Job but God brought him out of captivity and turned his weeping into joy.

RECEIVING POWER AGAINST CAPTIVITY

You must learn the lesson that God wants you to learn in your present situation. God would not give you power against captivity until you have learnt these lessons. This is to ensure that you do not go back into captivity again and He does not want you to lose what He has helped you to restore. You may be in a particular situation, which is not making you happy, perhaps the lesson God wants you to learn is that of patience. The Bible says that some people, by faith and patience won the promises (Hebrews 10: 36). If some people were more patient, their marriages would still have been steady now. May be that is what God wanted them to learn.

Perhaps, it could be anger. If God wants to take you somewhere and He sees that your anger is bad, He would wait for you to remove the anger because if you get there you will cause more problem for yourself. Perhaps your own is fornication. You roam around with all sorts of men and women. Your friends hail you for your immoral exploits and you think you have achieved something. In case you do not know, you have only got yourself an express ticket to hell fire. God could be waiting for you to repent of that. Maybe your own is alcohol, God is waiting for you to throw your bottle of alcohol away and forget about it completely. God is waiting for a time when somebody will say, “Serve us beer,” and you will say, “No, we no longer serve beer in this house because the Bible says woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink. If you enjoy ‘woe’ may God have mercy on you because ‘woe’ means serious calamity. Maybe your own is fighting. You are always fighting; in the market, in the bus and in the house, and in the evenings you will carry the Bible and God is saying, “When will this one stop fighting so that I can make progress in her life or his life.” Maybe yours is abortion. You have aborted all God’s prophets and they are making noise at the throne of God saying, “Lord, will you allow this dirty woman to continue to kill your prophets? Require our blood from her hand,” and you are busy saying, “It is not my fault.” God is not asking whether it is your fault or not. All He wants is repentance.

Maybe it is idol- worship that God wants you to forsake. Many people have exalted many things above God. Maybe your own is nagging. You are always complaining about your husband or your wife at home. Maybe God wants you to get out of evil associations. For example, the school of disrespect and dirtiness, bad companies, demonic associations, etc. God waited for Job to learn his lessons. It was after Job had learnt his lesson that God made his captivity captive. You may say what lessons did Job learn?

Job learnt some lessons:

1. He learnt that evil should not be given any chance.
2. He learnt that it was wrong to blame God for what the devil has done.
3. Job also learnt that devil was behind all his sufferings and not God.
4. He learnt that he should not have cursed himself.
5. He learnt that he should have prayed for his friends.

From your present problem, what lessons have you learnt? As soon as Job learnt these lessons, God said he was ready. He was cursing himself and saying all kinds of things. But when God bombarded him with questions such as: When I laid the foundation of the earth where were you? Declare it if you have knowledge. He would not answer. He asked him more questions. Then it got to a point where Job said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” So if you are cursing your mother, or cursing the day you were born because of your situation, you need to repent.

A person who refuses to learn from his school of captivity is a failure. There are generally seven signs with which to recognize those in the school of failure.

  1. They are always neutral over spiritual things. For example, they do not take spiritual holiness seriously.

  2. They go to church when they feel like it and when it is most convenient.

  3. They look at the inconsistencies and fault of others. They find faults and criticize others and ignore their own faults.

  4. They unite with worldly things like clubs and fraternities. I am sorry for anyone who has his name in the register of worldly clubs but do not have it in the Book of Life. When some chronic lodge members and chronic herbalists die, you see some funny pastors performing burial rites for their corpse. I am afraid the judgment of God would be hard.

  5. They run around with carnal Christians and make friend with unbelievers.

  6. They make immorality their food.

  7. They do not learn lessons from their friends and they repeat their mistakes.

Another principle of making captivity captive is the fact that nothing good comes easy. Ask all the spiritual giants how they became giants and they would tell you terrible stories, which would shake your legs. Most good things are difficult to obtain but the land of opposition is a land of opportunity. Before the parents of Samson could deliver him it took them some time. His mother was banned from drinking wine and alcohol and some other things. The parents of John the Baptist had the same experience. Today, we are enjoying the benefits of salvation but it was not an easy thing for Jesus to do. Imagine the man who stood by the woman at the well and said, “I am the living water. If I give you my water you will never thirst.” And the woman said, “If you have that kind of water give me also so that I don’t come here to fetch water any more.” Imagine the man who said that, coming to the cross to say, “I thirst, give me water.” Trials will lead to success. People will ridicule you but it is part of the show. People usually criticize the man at the front not the man at the back. Even on the cross, Jesus was still being criticized. Maybe you have criticized your parents and asked them to leave you alone as you have your life to live and that you are a modern person and now you are having problems. May God have mercy on you. Do you know what they did to you when you were eight days old? Now they see how you are going and have realized that it was as a result of what they did. They are advising you on the basis of that and you are asking them to get lost, no problem. You will only be long in captivity. Nothing good comes easy. When you have a battle to fight, violence is required. The Bible says that right from the time of John the Baptist, the kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent take it by force.

Do you feel limited? Do you feel confined? Do you feel like you are in bondage? Are there barriers and bands in your life that need to be broken? Do you fall in and out of favour? Somebody loves you today and tomorrow, you get there and he says, “Get out, I don’t want to see you again.” Do you experience powerlessness? Do you notice that what used to take five minutes of praying now takes five days? Do you notice that your spiritual gifts are fast disappearing? Are you busy looking for a job without success? You are praying, believing that your prayers would bring answer but no solution and the devil is even tempting you to go back to the world. Do you pretend about your problems? You have occasionally thought about yourself and said, “Well the best thing is to give up.” You need to repent.

Some people are too scared to commit fornication physically but the thing has completely gripped their hearts. They just cannot stop their hearts from thinking fornication. You look at your life and it is like even your own parents have lost interest in you and people are gossiping about you and laughing at you. You have gone for countless counseling and the result seems to have yielded nothing. The devil keeps singing to your ear that you are a failure, or you notice that you experience hindrance in anything you want to do. You have been coming to the house of God for years, yet nothing is happening or you are a sister and you have turned yourself into an emergency cook because you want a husband. These are all signs of bondage. Many people have ladders through which evil spirits come into their lives. If such people decide to pray with aggression and violence and take to heart what this message is saying, freedom is sure. Why? “Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever.”

That voice that said, “Let there be light and there was light, only has to say to you, “Today, be free,” and there will be freedom. He does not have to say more. One of the most outstanding scriptures is found in Psalm 78: 40 - 42. It says, “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.” The Israelites had got so used to bondage that they limited God. When you blame God or other people for your circumstances, the barrier remains in place. Your position as a believer is this, others may but not you. It may be happening to others but not you because your case is different. Can you imagine that as powerful as God is, you and I can limit Him in our lives? That is what that scripture is saying. It says, “They turned back and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Has it ever occurred to you that you might be the one limiting God in your life? You may wonder how possible it is for you to hinder God when He has all the powers. God did not create us like robots or lifeless equipment. He created us with a soul and we can choose what we want.

HOW YOU CAN LIMIT GOD

1. By forgetting what God has done for you: If you forget what He has done for you, you cannot overcome the captivity in your life because you have limited God’s ability to work for you. Remember your position before and your situation now. Remember the victories God has won for you. To forget is to plan for present and future failure. The Lord gave food to the Israelites without a bakery. He gave them water without a well, electricity without machines, health without medicines, clothes and shoes that never got worn out for forty years. But they hindered God in their lives. Some are afraid that the enemy would start running after them now that they have given their lives to God. Some are saying that since they testified to what God did in their lives, problem has started. The devil uses things like that to shut people’s mouth because he does not want them to get out. That way, people limit God.

2. Turning back on the day of battle: Proverbs 24: 10 says, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Turning back on the day of battle is limiting God. Psalm 78: 9-12 says, “The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law. And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.” Turning back on the day of battle is limiting God. When you say, “I am fed up,” you limit God because the angel bringing your miracle could be standing at the door but because you would not see beyond your nose, you are busy saying negative things. Once you do that, you are turning God away. When you go back to your old ways, you limit God’s power. When you try herbalists because answer to your prayer seems delayed, you are limiting God. Know that since the devil is the one putting diseases on people, he has some power to remove some diseases in order to convince people that he has power. He would remove tuberculosis and replace it with Aids.

Several years ago, a woman came to one of our meetings and told me that her husband died of Aids and that she was afraid that she might die of the same thing. I told her she would not die but live whether her husband had Aids or not because the blood of Jesus is stronger than Aids. She praised God and started worshipping God. Then one day, a miserable counsellor told her to go and do a medical check up if that was what killed her husband and stop talking about faith. Unfortunately, she heeded the evil counsel and was not coming to services regularly again. She went for the test and the result read positive. Immediately she collected that result, life lost all meaning to her and she began to lose weight, this was somebody who was living well. I never saw her again until I heard that she was dead. Never limit God’s power. It is when the battle becomes tough that the tough people get going. Losing the battle is losing the war. There will be no Moses without a Pharaoh. There is no Elijah without Ahab. There is no Esther without Haman, and no David without Saul. So you cannot have a distinction without sitting for any exam. You cannot become an army general by sleeping on your bed. No enemy, no victory. No enemy, no throne, no battle, no crown. So giving up is like disobeying God. You do not know how long God has travelled. It may just be one more blow that you need and your breakthrough will come. But you refused to give that blow and wonder why the captivity is keeping long. Or are you like the children of Ephraim? The Bible says that they were armed and they counted bows but on the day of battle, they ran. Adversity is a breeding ground for miracle. The land of opportunity is the land of opposition. Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey but right in the midst of the land, were giants. God may be waiting for you to grow up to the level where you can maintain your breakthrough. When you lose contact with God, you book an appointment with the devil. There is no triumph without trial.

Do not allow fear to turn you back. When you fear that a problem will overcome you, you limit God. Thou shall not be afraid. Fear is a spiritual cancer and must go. It is the opposite of faith. Anybody fearful is useless to God. If you exercise fear that a problem will overcome you, it will be so. The Bible says that the fearful ones will go to hell fire like the fornicators. Are you afraid that a sickness will kill you? Have you started reading about the sickness to know more about it? Are you bothered that you will not be able to pay your children’s school fees? Are you afraid that you will lose your husband so you are monitoring him around? Are you worried that something that a sharp dreamer saw about you will come to pass? Are you afraid that you will never come to the top? These are ways of limiting God.

3. Following other gods: Despite the many wonderful things God did for the Israelites, they turned against Him forgetting that He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). Everybody is worshipping something. If you do not worship the true God, you are an idol worshipper. An idol is anything that is exalted above God. Idol worshippers include those who say, “My job does not allow me to come for fellowship.” Many people, these days, are worshipping the god of their belly. Such people are not interested in anything that does not have to do with food. Giving God’s glory to something else is idolatry. Stubbornness is idolatry. Some have turned sex to their idol. That is all they talk about. In their rooms, you see calendars of naked women, and all kinds of obscene pictures. For some people, it is sport. During football matches, they forget about fellowship. They abandon the house of God for what they call soccer. Sometime ago, some believers were crying because a particular team lost a match but never in their lives have they cried for a sinner to repent. Some actually fasted for that team to win but they have never fasted that their pastors who are in the lodge society should get out.

Some people have made education their idol. They forget that the arm of flesh will fail them. The last time I went to pray for somebody at a Psychiatric hospital, I did not like what I saw. A lady had just been brought down from England. She had her lipstick below her lips. So what was the use of her master’s degree certificate?

When you bow down to worship an image, whether the image is Mary, Diana or Venus, you are an idol worshipper. The Bible did not say you should be bowing down for Mary. She was a sinner like all of us and she knew that she needed the Holy Spirit that was why she gathered at the upper room to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the other disciples. God became angry with the Israelites for forsaking the tabernacle of the Lord.

What is the focus of your own life? What is the most important thing in your life? What do you spend your money on? How do you spend your time? Are you willing to give up those things separating you from God?

HOW TO OVERCOME CAPTIVITY

1. Do not give up.
2. Remember what God has done for you and be grateful to Him.
3. Remove fear.
4. Reject every idol.
5. Fill your life with the words of God.
6. Confess His words.
7. Know for sure that the enemies of man cannot be begged to leave him alone. What they understand is absolute defeat. You cannot appeal to the devil. Jesus crushed the head of the serpent.

PRAYER POINTS

1. I remove myself from every remote -controlling power contrary to the will of God, in the name of Jesus.
2. I decree freedom into every area of captivity in my life, in Jesus’ name.
3. You captivity, I command you to be captive, in Jesus’ name.
4. Captivity, release me, in Jesus’ name.
5. Anything in my life that the power of captivity is using against me, come out by fire, in the name of Jesus.
6. I break and loose myself from every bondage of slavery, in the name of Jesus.
7. I terminate every journey into captivity, in the name of Jesus.