DAY 3: LOOSING THE BONDS OF WICKEDNESS
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)
Isaiah 58:6 pinpoints four specific results God wants from His chosen fast: 1) to loose the bonds of wickedness; 2) to undo the heavy burdens; 3) to let the oppressed go free; and 4) that you break every yoke. Today we will look specifically at the first one, “to loose the bonds of wickedness.”
God makes a clear statement that His fast should result in loosing bonds of wickedness in one’s life. A bond is something that binds or hinders someone from being free. This refers to spiritual bondage, and people who are so bound are unable to free themselves without outside assistance, no matter how hard they try. Are you aware of any bond of wickedness in your life? “Wickedness” here may mean attitudes of pride and self-will, not necessarily sins of the flesh.
We are good at seeing such bonds in our nation, society, and even in the larger Church. We will see later in Isaiah 58 how God will use individuals like you and me to help loose those bonds of cultural and national sins. But there is a vitally important first step. We must personally be set free from the bonds of wickedness in our lives—both those we are aware of and those we don’t know are there.
In Matthew, chapter 7, Jesus said we easily see the speck in another person’s eye, yet have a plank in our own eye. He also said we should first remove the plank from our own eye, and then we can see to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. In Psalm 139:23-24 David writes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…and see if there is any wicked way in me.”
There may be bonds of wickedness in our own lives that we are not aware of. If King David asked God to search his heart, and Jesus said His disciples must remove planks from their eyes before trying to help others, such cleansing action no doubt applies to us today. Part of self-humbling is to submit ourselves to God, asking Him to search us fully to reveal bonds of wickedness. Only when such “blind spots” are revealed can we take action to become free.
In your seeking God time today:
- Offer God your entire heart. Ask Him to search it completely and to reveal today, and as you read these devotionals, bonds of wickedness in your life that you are not aware of.
- Search your own heart, and write down any bonds of wickedness in your prayer journal that the Lord shows you. Tell Him you want to “turn from…wicked ways” (2 Chron. 7:14). Leave room to write down areas that God will show you in the future.
- Address the issue of “bonds of wickedness” without becoming too introspective. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide you and to show you truth. This is very important to avoid self-condemnation.
- Ask God to break these bonds that He shows you today and during these days.