When you ascended to the heights, you led the crowd of captives…

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“When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives.” Psalm 68:18a NLT

“Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.” Ephesians 4:9-10 NLT

A crowd of captives. Could anything be more descriptive of our world today? Captives of love lost. Captives of money. Captives of shame. Captives of hatred and jealousy. Captives of past hurt and pain. Captives of mental illness and depression. A world of captives, longing to be set free. And we look for freedom here or there, or everywhere, but yet freedom seems so elusive and difficult to be found.

Aren’t we thankful that in scripture it tells us God is aware of the captives? That we are not down here destined to suffer alone, but that God sees the hurting and those held captive by sin?

In fact, He doesn’t just see captives, He came down to rescue them. To rescue us.

Isn’t it a miracle that the same God who embodies perfection also came down into the depths of depraved humanity?

What a gift.

Who does that? Who cares enough to dive into our individual pools of misery and not only see us drowning there, but rescue us and take us home?

Christ does. He is the only one who cares enough, and yet also has the power to rescue.

I am captived by these verses from Psalms and Ephesians. It floors me that God directly addresses those of us who at times feel, or have felt, like perisoners in our own skin. Because not everyone gets the prison of depression, or of past abuse, or anxiety, or shame. But to know that God gets it, and cared enough to post it in scripture for us to read, well it shows a God who not only cares deeply about us, but who gently lifts us out of shame and pens words just to let us know He cares.

Jesus, you lead the captives home. You come down and are not afraid to dive into our pain. You pick us up and take us even higher into Your heavelnly splendor. You surround us with Your presence so that we may sing songs of joy. You heal us and send us out into the world to proclaim freedom. You lead the train of captives all the way out of Isreal , out of the desert, and into the sweetness of Your glory. Not because we desrve it, but because you are love.

You care enough to go the long way, and do do the hard things. You are the only one who can stand the rigorous haul of mending a heart that has been broken. You are the only healer of the broken. You are the only resuce. The only one who surrounds us with Your love. You adore us and give us the ability to praise an adore You. And You set us free.

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get
tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1 NLT

And we are free indeed. Thank you Lord for our freedom…please empower us to grasp it a bit deeper, wider, and a bit further today.

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