Ephesians 4

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." (v. 8)

When death comes to a mortal soul, one can apply this phrase, and realize that the Lord has “lead captivity captive”. He has set the captive free! You see, we are captives to the flesh, souls trapped in a weak body of flesh, and subject to its rules. Death sets the spirit free, and no longer are we confined to a body, and to temporal restrictions of this life, but we are free to transcend the boundaries of another world, and bask in the joy of the spirit. The application is clear, though the verse is speaking of another occasion.

Some feel “trapped” in a relationship, and wish to be “free” from it, but many times, in these cases, freedom is merely a state of mind. In death, we truly are set free, and eternal life is not a state of mind, but a reality that we can all enjoy. Death then becomes a friend, and not an enemy. Yes, our soul is set free in death; free to enter the realm of Heaven and enjoy its beauties and bliss. To the flesh death is an enemy (1 Cor. 15: 26), but to the spirit it is a friend. Yes, as a captive to this body of flesh, I long to be free; free from the turmoil of life; free from the evil that follows every man; free from the confinements of a temporal body in a secular and temporal world, and most of all, free from the temptations of sin. I almost envy those that go on before, although I do not wish to leave my family either. The thought is bittersweet. On the one hand, I wish to soar the clouds and dwell forevermore with the Lord, and on the other hand, I long to remain here with friends and loved ones. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. One day, the Lord will set our spirits’ free, and He will take us home, to His home, forevermore to dwell with Him, but meanwhile, we are captive to the flesh, and sin. It is a dilemma we must endure.

It is a blessing though that while we must remain here, and await that glorious day of the fulfillment of our redemption, that the Lord gives gifts unto men. We have special “prizes” all wrapped up in the sweetness of grace, and the Lord gives them to us so that we might endure our stay here, and to help us as we dwell in our bodies of flesh. We use them, of course, for the glory of God, but we long, deep inside, to see Him face-to-face, in Heavenly realm. God is so good to care for us so richly while we endure the world we were put in. He has made our stay here somewhat pleasant by granting us these gifts of grace.

No comments: