The souls of men may be taken captive in many ways. The world itself has several means to take captive those who have lost their senses to any moral code, taking the souls captive to the carnival of vanity fair. To love the world is their nature and can only be remedied by the message of the cross. The apostle John writes telling his believing flock to forsake the love of the world. “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust in it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  (I John 2:15-17) We abide forever in Christ.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.”

Who abides forever? He who does the will of God. We who are in Christ will love Him. And we have a moral code; His commandments. The Word tells us this in John 15:9-11. “As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”  How can we abide in His love? “If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”   This is our moral code for us that are in Christ. Living according to His moral code will give us a joy that the world cannot give us. “These things I have spoken to you (The Vine speaking to the branches), that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”  Did you get what the Lord has said? The joy He gives us is in its fullness. All of His joy bestowed upon us.

Now, getting back to the captivity of the devil. Why are we captive to the devil? Because of the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden. We are in our fallen image of God under the devil’s domain until we are saved.

The apostle John gives us a distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” But we who are in Christ have an understanding to know him. “And we know that the son of God has come and given us understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. “ (I John 5:19-20}

But all other souls without Christ are subjects of the devil. He is responsible for their captivity and for imparting evil in all that are under his dominion. Paul writes to Timothy of those who are in bondage. “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (II Timothy 2:24-26)

Sadly, those who preach, teach, and counsel are flooded with souls who know Him and are taken captive to do the will of the devil. They have lost their senses and left the moral code of the commandments of God, abiding in Christ, and the will of God; subsequently losing the joy that they once had.

Repent, return to your first love, abide in Christ, and do the will of God and it will be well with your soul.

Where the grace blows,