“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)

We’re told of a paralytic man who laid on the side of the Pool of Bethesda, hoping that one day he would be the first person in the pool when the angel of the Lord came and stirred it. Apparently, the first one to get in would be healed. For thirty-eight years he tried to be first in, but someone always reached it before him. One day Jesus approached him and asked what seems to be a silly question, “Do you want to get well?” The man replied that someone always beats him into the pool and he has no one who will help him. Imagine that, nearly four decades of attempts with no prize, just failure! But Jesus said, “Get up and walk!” and the man instantly picked up his mat and went home after 38 years. Imagine the shock waves of those who once knew him! But the story does not end there. The religious police were not impressed that he was carrying his mat on the Sabbath and made a big deal about it (John 5).

On another occasion a paralyzed boy couldn’t get to Jesus because of the crowd! Religious people got in the way of his friends who were carrying him to see Jesus. But ultimately, though men, specifically religious ones, blocked their attempts, these persistent friends found a way by digging a hole in the roof. Imagine that, they destroyed someone’s roof for the love of their friend. After lowering him down, Jesus saw “their faith” and healed him. And the crazy thing was, once this boy was healed he walked right through the thick crowd! The crowd that nearly prevented his healing opened up and let him walk right out (Mark 2).

Both these true stories illustrate how religion wants to trap and prevent people from the power of Jesus’ healing. Such healing is so needed today! Religion is a twisted, perverted, grace preventing system that keeps people from freedom in Christ and all the benefits that Jesus brings! Stop letting men get in your way from your healing, or your destiny in Jesus! Jesus promised His truth would set you free!

Ask God to show you every place that you are in bondage, or being hindered by religion, or a religious spirit that is keeping you from stepping into the life God has created you for. Pray that anything and everything that is blocking your way from healing and from the freedom Jesus desires for you would be removed, or that He would show you an alternative route to your destiny! Pray for anyone else you know who needs healing, or freedom for this religious bondage. Pray for a fresh anointing and a new level of faith for healing in your church. Ask God to expose the religious spirit operating at your church, and that your pastor would have courage and faith to do what needs to be done to get rid of it. Pray that across our city healing would increase, and that the religious spirit would no longer find Athens as a place to operate!