Erika Wulser - Captive and freedom - Brisbane Convention, Queensland, Australia - 2017

There are many stories to tell in the world, but there is no story like the story of Jesus. Jesus was speaking in Luke 4:18-19, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath appointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” That is the gospel. We were just singing that Jesus came down from heaven and gave us a sweet release. In Australia, you’re very free and you can speak what you want, and you can move as much as you want and there is a certain sort of freedom. I think every place in the world including Australia, we do not realise how easy we can be a captive to different things.

There was a man in the Old Testament who came to my mind and he was captive to an experience he did not choose himself. That was Job and he was a man that was really tried and tested in many difficult and different ways. He also had some very good friends and his good friends came to visit him and they tried to help him. We sometimes can have good friends who want to help us when we are captive of something. Those friends tried to speak to Job and encourage him, and the youngest man he just said a little sentenced to Job and that was, “Look up to heaven.” I do not feel we are able to help anyone for the need of their soul and we don’t have the medicine to help and the only one that can help is the one that came down from above. Jesus can help anyone and everyone and He can encourage them and it is good to look up to the one that can help and the one that has got the power.

A few weeks ago, I went to a pharmacy to check out and look at some medicine. There was a lot of medicine there and quite expensive medicine and when I looked at the medicine and I saw that its date had expired. It is like these things on earth - there are some things that will help us for a little while and it comes a time when they are expired. There is one kind of medicine for every kind of sickness and that is Christ and it will never ever expire. Christ is one who can help in every situation and everything we are captive to. I often feel captive in my thoughts and in my feelings and because of happenings, I feel captive towards another person and I do not feel free to move because I feel captive. There is a remedy and Jesus came to make each one free from every sort of captivity. When we are captive, it is impossible to loosen ourselves and maybe we can get free from a bad habit and we can break the habit and no one can get completely free themselves from the captivity of sin, and we do need Jesus and He is the one that came from above.

In Luke 19, Jesus sent His two disciples and told them that they would find a colt and, "You will loosen it and bring it to Me." If anyone ask what you are doing, just tell them the Lord hast need of him. The two disciples went and I do not know how many knots they had to untie to loosen the colt. Sometimes, there are a lot of knots to untie to be completely free. God sends His servants to loosen our knots and that is the gospel, and God will loosen knots that we ourselves will never be able to loosen. It is nothing special and Jesus just sent two disciples and it was very simple and they just untied the knots. How thankful we should be that God sent two disciples to untie our own knots through the gospel and to bring the message of Christ just to look up to heaven. A teacher told me a long time ago I was a hopeless case and it was not encouraging to me when I was studying, but God is not like that. He gives us hope and there is hope for you and for me. There is hope because Jesus paid such a high price to allow us to go free.

Perhaps I will tell you something that happened many years ago in Switzerland. There was a lady who was married, she had children, a beautiful home and a wonderful husband and some very good friends and everything was wonderful. No lack and no need and everything was perfect and everything was going very fine and she did not realise she was captive, she was captive to the everyday life. She was captive to her own contentment. She was 45 years old and she had a stroke she was paralysed down the left side and it was lame. She was in hospital and she knew nothing anymore and had no idea and she had to learn everything from the beginning again. She was learning and it was a very long and slow process. She did not realise she was captive and a husband had a nice home and nice children. He said, "I cannot go on with a handicapped wife." So while she was in hospital, he divorced her and now she lost her health and she had lost her husband and she lost her children and she lost her home. She was in the hospital trying to recover and she had absolutely nothing.

She came to a rehab centre and there was one of our professing friends and he went there every year for some therapy and he saw this lady in her need. Here was this lady down and cast out and not very nice looking as her face was disfigured and he told her about the hope he had and the one that made him free. She started to have some meetings with some women preachers and while that was happening and her sadness continued and her husband married her very best friend, so she lost absolutely everything. We can lose everything here on earth and for this lady, it was a very hard road in front of her, but she found God and she got free and she was not a captive anymore. I had the privilege to go to the meetings with her when I was working there in her field. One day, do you know what she told me? She could walk with the help of medical instruments and very slowly and it made everything very difficult. She said, "You know, I am the happiest person on earth. I have found God. I have freedom from sin." She said she had everything and that impressed me very much.

You may have seen some pictures of Switzerland and we used to have some flowerpots outside the windows and they were pretty nice and the house looked very nice. She said, "Before, I was like the beautiful flowers and I had everything that was perfect. God came down and shook me. He took the flowers away." She said that she still had her sick body but that she had freedom of spirit and she had everything. She remained true and faithful until she passed away. God did not heal her body and sometimes we hear of some who offer healing to the body and God has not promised to heal the body and God has promised to give us freedom and to heal the heart and the soul. Freedom from sin, freedom from hatred, freedom from unforgiveness and we can get freedom from anything but we cannot get freedom from the sickness of the body. This lady was very free in her spirit, but she was still captive in her body and that is what the gospel does.

Jesus was captive in many ways and people despised Him, they lied to Hm. And then Jesus went to the cross and when He was hanging there, He was the freest man on earth. There was not one grain of hardness, hatred or unforgiveness. He was 100% free. He was captive to the body on the cross and He died for you and for me.

Some time ago when we were travelling in Georgia, we saw a donkey tied to a bush and that is what they do when they are not using them and this donkey was so tangled up, he could not move to the right or to the left. I thought, "If you just looked in the right direction, you could be free again." There is not one person in this world that in one way or another are not captive. They could be captive of sickness and they could be captive of old age and there are so many things we could be captive of and there is nothing that can free us from our captivity. We may feel captive here today and we may feel we can barely move to the right or to the left and we can be free if we just do what the servant told Job and that was to look up.

I was very thankful to read in the Bible again many messages about freedom. There was this lady Abigail in the Old Testament with Nabal. Her husband was called a fool and it is not very easy to live with a person who is a fool. That did not worry her as she was following the King of kings and that was David and she knew all about David and she knew he was on the run from Saul. Her husband knew nothing about David and asked who was he and he preferred to run away. You could say she was in captivity with her husband and she could not leave him, but she had the freedom to look and turn in the right direction. I am not married and I could say my human nature could be like this man also, and I should not be feeding this fool and I should be looking to the King who one day will be the King of kings. We should be free and that no captivity to hard that God cannot get us away from. The servants are one that God sends with His word and when we listen to the gospel, it will free all the knots and we can become the freest people in the whole world in spite of being captive to health issues or whatever it may be and we can be the freest people in our spirit if we just allow God to work with us and may that be our portion.