When I was in college, my heart was held captive by a love of Christ. I was a bona fide Jesus freak, letting my flag fly wild. If there was a way to show, live, or talk about my faith, I was ON IT. I even changed my declared major to Youth and Family Ministry, eventually receiving that degree and entering the field of ministry.
The summer of my junior year I followed a clear call to work at a Bible camp as a counselor. The only way to explain it is that God led me. That’s it. That’s the only thing that could have possibly happened, as I’d never heard of the camp before one late-night Internet search brought it onto my screen, yet I felt a soul-level connection and trembling that I only feel when God’s on the move.
My school offered a camp fair, gathering together staff from dozens of Christian camps in our cafeteria, and giving the opportunity to meet and greet while searching for summer jobs. I met the director of that Internet-stumbled-upon camp at the fair, and interviewed right then and there.
During my interview, there was a chance the director thought I was a little bit loony. He asked what it meant to me to be a contender for the Lord, and I told him it was like being a Powerpuff Girl.
I told him that contending for Jesus was like being a pint-sized, fictional, superhero. Who can fly. And is named Bubbles.
My new friend looked at me with wide eyes as I explained that while we may be tiny, we can fight big when God is on our side. We can embrace who we are supposed to become when we accept the freedom God’s love brings. And we can only fully live into ourselves once we accept who God is, and who He says we are.
Throughout Scripture, there are dozens of references to the word ‘freedom’. Many of these refer to the treatment of slaves and servants, with various prophets and people of God proclaiming their freedom.
Slavery is still a hugely underrepresented issue today, with thousands quietly held in captivity and bondage. If your heart breaks with these women, men, and children, there are several organizations working for the freedom to which each of God’s people are entitled. Check out the International Justice Mission, Trades of Hope, and A21 (just to name a few.)
While not anywhere near the entanglement of modern day slavery, there is definitely a culture of enslavement right here in the free world.
We are bound, all right. Maybe with proverbial chains, but nonetheless these shackles are our reality:
Low self worth.
Expectations, especially of who we are vs. who we ought to be.
Too many ‘yeses’ and not enough white space on our calendars.
Keeping up with the Joneses, and that ever present ‘grass is greener’ syndrome that rears ugly while scrolling through Instagram.
These servant masters are what hold us back and pin us down. At times it can seem impossible to break free of that which entangles us, of that which Satan intends to use to isolate and separate us from the love of family, friends, God. Trapped in areas that pull us under, we can be screaming for help without saying a word.
The chains of our own enslavement may be invisible, but they rattle loud in the quiet spaces of our hearts.
The thing is, Jesus knew these chains would be our doom. God knew that sometimes self-imposed slavery would come our way. So He thought ahead, and made us warriors. That’s right — you (yes, YOU) are a warrior of the Lord. Did you know that our God provides us an unbreakable, impenetrable, hefty armor?
And in chapter 6 of Ephesians, God tells us to suit up.
He provides us a shield of faith to fend off evil and painful blows. He gives us a belt of truth, a breastplate of righteousness, and a helmet of salvation to guard our reputation, our hearts, our eternity. And maybe the most potent of all our armor, He offers us the sword of the Spirit, which is His Word.
Once we’re suited up in our armor? The sky’s the limit, because God is on our side. We are free to live with Him, for Him, because of His love. We can soar like one of those Powerpuff Girls, fighting for what’s right and for the love that’s rightly ours.
Because only in fighting for freedom in Christ are we truly set free from that which enslaves us.
Let’s fill our closets with the apparel He’s given. It’s custom made for each of us, free for the taking, fits beautifully and — best of all — comes with an eternal guarantee.
So suit up, girls. Let your inner Powerpuff Girl free and become who you were always meant to be. Fight the fight, and live into the love that comes alongside the battle.
P.S. I totally got that camp job (ended up working there for several summers), and you better believe my nickname was Bubbles.