Bind and Loose

Matthew 16: 19

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

When it comes to spiritual warfare, I wonder if any verse has given people more trouble than this one. Jesus gives us freedom, power and authority. We just need to understand how to use the tools he has given us.

You have probably heard a lot of discussion about binding and loosing. People have spent a lot of time and prayer binding the devil. The prayer ends up sounding something like this, “Devil, I bind you in the name of Jesus.” I don’t have a problem with that prayer but today I want to show you a much more practical and even more effective way to put this verse into practice in your life.

Binding and loosing has as much to do with lifestyle actions and words as it does prayer. In truth, I think it has more to do with our everyday, real-world life than our prayer life. Allow me to demonstrate this with a very simple illustration. Almost every day we are presented with choices about how we use our mouths. We live in a culture which treats lying as permissible. Our Father, on the other hand, has made it abundantly clear that He does not accept lying. In fact, two of the ten commandments have to do with telling the truth. Truth is a big deal to Him and we are even told that Jesus is the truth (John 14: 6). We also have been taught that Satan is the father of lies (John 8: 44). So, with that as the back drop, let’s consider a hypothetical Christian. We’ll call him HC. If HC tells a lie, would you suppose he has bound or loosed the devil? That’s a pretty easy question, isn’t it? We can pray until we are blue faced, binding the devil up and down but if we, like HC, turn around and choose lies over truth, we have effectively chosen the devil over Jesus. Do you see that? Jesus is the truth; Satan is the father of lies. We make a choice when we elevate falsehood and deception rather than valuing the truth.

Okay, let’s look at another example. If HC sits down tonight and sends a check to a ministry, what forces has he loosed? Which has he bound? Perhaps today at work HC has the opportunity to show kindness. We know that our Father is kindness. So, if HC expresses kindness, what will he loose?

Prayer is a good thing, of course but your life is your testimony before Christ. If your words and acts reveal Christ in you, then you automatically hinder the machinations of the devil. When we are self-centered, self-absorbed, unkind, and show no value for truth, then we loose and empower the forces of those values and bind the forces of good.

It really is simple and easy to bind and loose the forces of good or evil when you understand these illustrations. Spiritual warfare does not have to be difficult or weird. We just pattern our lives after Jesus and that gives strength to the ministering spirits. Acting and speaking like people of the world rather than as people of The Spirit, empowers the forces that seek to wreak havoc in our lives. It confounds and frustrates our prayer lives such that it makes our prayers of little effect. Like HC, we pray for one outcome but then we fuel the engine of the opposite. It’s like pulling for one team to win yet giving the opposing team every advantage. Old HC will find that if he will clean up his mouth and put on the personality traits of God, life will go much better and he won’t have to worry so much about binding and loosing.  It will be automatic.