YOU CAN BE FREE!         
Luke 13:10 17

The miracle offers hope to those who are bound. You may be among those that Satan has bound, and not be
aware of it. Let's look at this lady who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years to see if you might be like her.

We know so little about the woman, but there are indications that she was a good woman. In spite of her
physical affliction, she was in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. All of us know people who are kept from the
place of worship by much smaller problems. The affliction that came upon her had not only affected her
physically, she could not straighten up, but it was bound to effect her in every way. It had a drastic affect upon
her appearance. But in spite of all this, she was still in her place on the Sabbath day. Furthermore, Jesus
referred to her as a "daughter of Abraham". This may be understood as an indication of her character. There is
no indication of immorality or iniquity in her character.

Her problem had been with her eighteen years. This indicates that her case would have been well known. This
was not a case of someone being released from something that no one knew they had. I wonder if it may not
also indicate that the problem had a definite beginning. Could this be a hint that the problem was directly related
to some incident in her life that took place eighteen years earlier? I am inclined to believe that it does. This is
usually the case.

Her healing came unexpectedly and unsought. She was in her usual place on the Sabbath day, and Jesus saw
her. When He saw the bondage under which she lived, He called her to Himself, and spoke the word of
deliverance. It caused her to be free from the "spirit of an infirmity" and to be filled with joyful praise to God. But
it caused the leaders of the synagogue to be incensed that Jesus would heal someone on the Sabbath day.
This gave Jesus opportunity to emphasize the true meaning of the Sabbath day.

My concern is about what we could learn from this incident. What can we learn about the things that bind us,
and about finding freedom from this bondage?

The "spirit of infirmity" that binds the woman is attributed to Satan. We are not to understand that this woman
was demon possessed, but was rather demon bound. A demon spirit is able to cause a condition that brings
about a physical disability. This does not necessarily mean that the demon caused the crippling condition in her
back. Modern science has revealed to us that we are so physically made that what affects the inner spirit of the
person can cause physical problems. The physical problem was probably very real, and open to medical
diagnosis, but the root cause was in what the demon spirit was able to do in the inner spirit and mind of the
woman. The enemy still possesses this power. While he may not be able to move in and take possession of your
life, he can cause things to happen in you that will profoundly affect every area of your life.

There may be a hint here about the method of the enemy. It is his method to take advantage of the things that
happen in our lives, and to work through them to bring us into bondage. There are many things that could have
happened in the life of this woman that gave the enemy the opportunity to bring about her bondage. As a
pastoral counselor, I have observed this binding and destructive work of Satan first hand many times. Let me
just cite some examples.

He will use guilt. Unresolved guilt gives to the enemy an opportunity to bind your life. He is such an effective
accuser of the brethren that he will never allow you to forget about what you have done. He will use it to deface
your own sense of self-worth, and to release in you all kinds of negative forces. I remember standing at the
bedside of a dear man some years ago who was being physically and spiritually destroyed with guilt. He had
allowed an immoral relationship to develop between himself and his mother in law. He knew it to be wrong. He
had been convinced by the evil one that it was an unforgivable sin. It had so eaten away at him that he was now
at the point of death. To be sure he had severe physical problems, but the inner spirit of guilt with which he lived
was such that it prevented the medical attention he was receiving from doing him any good. He was bound by
this guilt.

I saw a dear friend literally destroyed by unresolved guilt that result¬ed from the Second World War. He could
never get free from the guilt that he felt. Satan was able to take advantage of his participation in the war to bind

He will use parental rejection. Obviously, we have no choice in the parents that we receive when we enter the
world. Yet they are so critical to our emotional and spiritual development. Modern studies have uncovered a
direct relationship between the acceptance a person experiences as a child and their later spiritual development
as a person. The enemy has a way of taking advantage of poor parenting to bind the person. Some of you are
as bound tonight by things that happened in your early childhood as was the dear woman of our text. Satan has
used those experiences to erode your own sense of self-worth, to bind your own capacity to receive and to give

He will use sexual abuse. If the enemy can find a person who has been abused sexually as a child, he has a real
opportunity. Through the years, I have counseled so many adults, especially women, who are bound because of
abuse they experienced as a child. They are so bound that they cannot be the fulfilled person that God desires
for them to be. Their relationship with their husbands, with their children, and with themselves is affected
negatively. They are bound.

He will use bitterness over some injustice. Paul recognized this danger. He wrote, "In your anger do not sin. Do
not let the sun go down while you are angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (Ephesians 4:26) I could
spend hours citing case histories to demonstrate this. Any time you are apparently wronged or mistreated, you
can expect the enemy to be present to advocate bitterness and a spirit of revenge. He knows that if he can get
you to make a home for bitterness and resentment, and unresolved anger, he will be well on the way to
destroying you physically and emotionally and spiritually. Bondage will be the result.

This obviously is not exhaustive. You just should not underestimate the power or the intention of the enemy. If
he cannot destroy you, he still wants to bind you to keep you from being the person God wants you to be. And
probably to some degree, he has succeeded with almost every one of us. But his basic method is to take
advantage of the things that happen to us in life, things over which we have no control sometimes.

This is the focus in our text. It is upon the work of the Savior, not the work of the enemy. When we consider what
Jesus did, it gives us reason for hope. We can be free from all that binds us.

The Savior looses with a Word. He spoke to the woman, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." His word
was an expression of the will of God. God does not will that His children be bound by a spirit of infirmity. Now we
need to be clear! We are not making a general statement that covers all cases of illness and sickness. We are
speaking specifically to those cases of illness and bondage that have come to us because Satan has found a
foothold in our lives. It is not the will of God that you be afflicted and bound by the enemy. He wills your freedom
and fullness of life. The Word of Jesus gave expression to this will. It still does! Can you grab hold of the truth
that God wills your freedom from all that binds you?

The word was also a release to the power of God.  God always releases
His power through a word. This is the reason that we are most likely to
experience the freedom that God desires for us by the hearing of His word.
There is an expression, a release of the power of God through His word.

As an aside, let me affirm my conviction that many people experience this today without understanding it fully. I
am convinced that there are many people healed in some of the healing meetings in our day in spite of some of
the false ideas that are set forth about divine healing. There are people who hear the Word and receive it. They
are people like this daughter of Abraham.

The Savior also looses with a touch. Why the touch? It must have been an expression of love and affirmation.
This is one reason that I believe her affliction was directly related to some incident in her life. When Jesus
touched her, it has His expression of acceptance and approval. That can be so important in cases like this.
They have been convinced by the enemy of their unworthiness and their hopelessness. It is such an important
thing when they are touched!

Jesus has not changed. He is still the Savior who offers freedom. He does not desire for you to be found,
afflicted, or limited by the things that have happened to you in the past. His purpose for your life is still very
much present.

Obviously, freedom was not imposed on the woman. She welcomed it. She responded to the word and touch of
Jesus in faith. If you will respond to this Word of our Lord, to the offer of His love and life, you too can be free.
Let me encourage you to do it right now.