On the night of 14 April 2014, a group of militants attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria. They broke into the school, pretending to be guards, and told the girls to get out and come with them. A large number of students were taken away in trucks, possibly into the Konduga area of the Sambisa Forest where Boko Haram were known to have fortified camps. Houses in Chibok were also burnt down in the incident.
According to reports around 330 girls were kidnapped, 50 have so far escaped and around 280 still missing. The kidnapped students are being forced into Islam and into marriage with members of Boko Haram. Many of the students were taken to the neighbouring countries of Chad and Cameroon, with sightings reported of the students crossing borders with the militants. The Chibok children are now lost to the world trapped in a new slavery.
Apostle Paul writing to the church at Colossae describes the follower of Christ as one who had previously been living in a hostage situation like the Chibok chidren :
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)
Before the Colossians became followers of Jesus they were under the dominion or power of darkness. Matthew Henry explains the multifaceted nature of this “dominion” : "[God] has saved us from the dominion of sin, which is darkness (1 John. 1:6), from the dominion of Satan, who is the prince of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), and from the damnation of hell, which is utter darkness (Matthew. 25:30)"
This deliverance that all true followers of Jesus have experienced is not merely cosmetic. It is the ultimate rescue operation. The word delivered in Colossians 1:13 essentially means deliverance from danger. The danger is the terror and penalty of living under enslavement to Satanic powers.
Before we became followers of Jesus all our lives worshipped Satan. We worshipped the “god of this world” and followed after the “prince of the power of the air” that is at work in all the children of disobedience. Like hostages suffering from Stockholm syndrome we honoured Satan and his demons with sin and all kinds of shameful deeds of darkness.
Then God intervened. Apostle Paul says Jesus came to give us “redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. Redemption means a release brought about by the payment of a ransom or price. Jesus purchased, ransomed and delivered us for God. We are no longer held in Satan’s grip like the Chibok girls. Jesus has paid our ransom through his precious blood and set us free!
But who was demanding the ransom? Where was it paid? The ransom of Jesus’ blood was paid to God! It was not paid to Satan. You see the biggest danger we faced in the dark domain was not so much Satan’s brutal control, as bad as that is, rather it is the wrath and judgement of God. We were lost in our eternal state of damnation facing a righteous and angry God against us.
This point here must not be missed. It is not Satan’s power that keeps sinners in the domain of darkness and separated from God. It is the holiness and righteousness of God. We need rescue from darkness not because Satan is powerful but because God is holy. Being in darkness is the due penalty for our sins borne on our account through the sin of our ancestor Adam reflected in our current corrupt sinful nature.
All human beings are like a man seating on ticking bomb about to explode with no rescuer in sight. We cannot deliver ourselves from the guilt and penalty of sin! But then enters Jesus the heavenly champion. He lives a sinless life, dies a brutal and shameful death on the cross and rises victoriously to life from the dead. And now he has rescued all who follow him from death, sin, hell and Satan!
This is good news for all true followers ofJesus. Satan has lost his grip on our lives. Lucifer may cause us trouble from time to time, but he can't harm us. We are held secure! And no we can say that we are more conquerors in Jesus Christ! It also means no more worry about family curses, ancestral spirits and witchcraft. It means no more need for “deliverance ministries”. True deliverance is found in the blood of Christ. Every true church is a deliverance church because it points us to the deliverer Jesus.
But this truth is also a challenge to us. Jesus rescuing us from Satan means that Satan now hates all true children of God because our lives proclaims his defeat for all eternity. We are now in Satan's eyes the "one who got away". Satan is desperate to have us back. He knows that he can't, so he now unleashes everything he has got to entangle us in sin and render us useless for God’s work.
When we succumb to his overtures, we are embracing something from which God has rescued us from. Sinning against God is therefore a longing to go back to the old life of captivity. Imagine if those 50 Chibok girls that got away from Boko Haram decided to join the other 280 that are still kidnapped. It would be foolish. And that is exactly what sin is!
If we are honest we are all very susceptible to this foolish pull of darkness all over our lives. There’s a deep craving inside of us that longs for darkness even when God has already rescued us from the domain of darkness! No matter how long we have followed our Lord Jesus. This is why our lives are filled with many harmful addictions and blatant disobedience!
When I look at my life I have to admit it. There times when I miss the old life when sin was present. I want to go back to my dark past. I want to go back to what I foolishly regard as freedom. I too easily forget that I have been rescued! I want to sin. It is the sinful nature that draws me back to Satan's captivity.
What do we do I do in those moments when darkness is so alluring? Repent and cry out to Him! O Lord, save me from my wretchedness, help me in those times when my heart desires the darkness! When I raise my fist against you! Help me to have a heart that lives the true freedom that you have already given me in Jesus! Amen!
That is the essence of my daily prayer!
That is the essence of my daily prayer!
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013