Recently, our new friend, Harold D’Souza, shared with us his harrowing tale of life as a victim of slave labor for several years. He told us of his perpetrator who lured him into the US under false pretenses and then manipulated him into believing he was unwanted, of no value, and on the precipice of being deported as an illegal. In similar ways, there is a Perpetrator who lures people in with enticing lies and then when they bite, he makes them a slave to his deception, keeping his victims from living in the freedom that is right before them.
1 Peter 5:8 - Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Things to think about:
· The man responsible for Harold’s misery promised him a good job and the American Dream. Instead, he stole his money and his identity.
o Just like Harold’s perpetrator, the Devil is a liar and a thief. He promises the good life. But when someone moves toward him to accept his proposal, he steals their very soul.
· The man coerced Harold into taking a loan and put him hopelessly into debt.
o Satan creates a false sense of a debt that we have committed sins for which there is no recourse except shame and suffering.
· The man forwarded the idea that the authority figures in the US hated immigrants and wanted to punish them with handcuffs, jail, and deportation.
o Satan would have us believe that God doesn’t love us because we are unlovable.
o The truth is God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
· The man threatened Harold’s life many times and said there was no use in fighting him.
o The Devil is a hateful adversary who uses his considerable power to make us cower in fear.
Isaiah 41:10-11 - So do not fear, for
I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
· Harold and his family found their freedom by risking their lives, and believed by faith, that a higher authority could save them.
· They learned that all the years of being called “illegal” was a lie. They were only undocumented, something that could be remedied.
· Harold and his family are now citizens in a new country, with all the rights and privileges of natural born citizens. They went through the prescribed process and now have a new identity, sons and daughters of America.
o The same holds true in the spiritual realm. When we come to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we become citizens of His kingdom, with all the attendant rights and privileges.
o John 1:12 - Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God
· Despite what the Devil may say, we have our documentation found in the new birth and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
o Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
o Ephesians 1:13-14 - In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.