5 Deadly Consequences of Remaining in Spiritual Slavery

One of the most challenging assignments in transformational ministry is the process of equipping people to live as sons and daughters, free from the bondage of spiritual slavery.  

Even though Jesus Christ provided a way for us to be the Father’s sons, many Christians still tolerate a lifestyle of spiritual slavery. It keeps them from apprehending everything that is available through our inheritance.

There is a world of difference between living as a slave and living out of sonship.  

Still Living in Spiritual Slavery

There are those who say yes and receive their invitation into sonship, which transforms every facet of their life. Their new identity becomes the dominant perspective in how they do life.  At the same time, there are still masses of believers who are content to remain in the bondage of living as slaves.

I believe the biggest problem is that many are still living as slaves but do not realize it.

But when you truly shed off the mindset and identity of slavery, it changes everything. Your whole life becomes transformed when you begin to ask, “How would a dearly love son (or daughter) of God approach this situation? What would it look like if I was fully confident in who I am as a son?”

The blessing of living in sonship is limitless. But many don’t engage the invitation into sonship, because doing so would mean facing broken patterns and allowing God to heal tendencies that seek to pull you into spiritual slavery.

The long term consequences of remaining in spiritual slavery are many, but here are five key areas that manifest when we don’t step up to receive the sonship that is available to us.

1. Spiritual slaves isolate themselves from help.

It is one thing to feel lonely. It is a whole different world to live isolated.

Because a spiritual slave learns to live in survival mode, it can be easy to withdraw from helpful relationships and become an island to yourself.

There becomes an inner vow that says, “I don’t need other people.” It’s backed up by a belief that says, “People will not be there for me,” “no one cares” or “I will have to do life all on my own.”

Many spiritual slaves can come across as self-reliant, but there is an unhealthy isolation underneath it all, keeping them from experiencing vulnerable connection and help from those who can bless.

The problem with remaining in spiritual slavery, is that even when you do end up asking for help and input in relationships, it can end up swinging into a codependent format. Your deep needs will call for someone to be a source of your happiness and well being. Slavery keeps us from knowing how to have healthy relationships. We either swing into isolated independence or some form of codependence.

Sons and daughters, on the other hand, are not rebelliously independent nor are they codependent. They have learned to live interdependently. They bring a healthy self to others, where they contribute to other people’s lives and are able to receive contributions from others when it is available. They have cultivated a healthy humility allowing them to be able learn from others, but are also ready to lead the way when need be. A good son knows when to ask for help and he knows when to give it out. He is secure enough to know when to operate in each dimension.

2. Spiritual slaves resist authority by default.

One of the greatest ways you can see spiritual slavery in someone is how they handle authority.

Some live under the pressured hand of an unhealthy leader their whole life, while others walk away from the damage, yet never heal.

Everyone has their undesirable experiences with an authority figure that went wrong. But if you listen to the voice of slavery, those hurts will form a bitter perspective of authority figures for the rest of your life.

Spiritual slaves do not have a healthy view of authority, often because authority figures have misrepresented God in their life. When this happens, spiritual slavery will drive you to live separated from connection and healthy relationship with authority.

3. Spiritual slaves make continual unwise  decisions.

Because a spiritual slave has learned to do life on his own, it opens him up to making unwise decisions. Slaves live accountable only to themselves. Without the proper input from mentors and close friends, they can repeatedly make poor decisions that are foolish and damaging to themselves and those around them.

Without input from someone who sharpens us, we will only go so far as our predecessors, if even that far.

Wisdom involves the heavenly ways of God’s thinking, applied in the right setting and timing for greatest effectiveness. The book of Proverbs is a treasure chest of wisdom, teaching us how to embrace what God thinks and learn how to apply His ways effectively in our lives. If you notice, a lot of this wisdom is based on the instruction of a father and mother.

Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding. Proverbs 4:1

When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.” Proverbs 4:3-4

Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, is credited as one of the wisest men in history. Much of his wisdom is birthed from the inheritance he received through his father and mother’s instruction, as he wrote about it in his writings. If we do not receive the knowledge of our fathers, as Solomon did, we will wander in slavery and experience the mindset of a fool.

Living in foolishness, slaves make choices for the here and now and gravitate towards instant remedies, rather than big picture choices that release an inheritance. Knee-jerk decisions and quick fixes are made, versus making stable and wise decisions that add life for the long haul.

Slaves leave nothing for the next generation. On the other hand, sons understand the bigger picture and make decisions for long-term benefit. They understand the power of inheritance, which involves the sowing of wise decisions, which not only bless them in the long run, but leaves an inheritance for their children.

4. Spiritual slaves remain immature

One of the top agendas of heaven over your life is the maturity God is seeking to build inside of you. He is seeking to develop who you are and how you do life by maturing your heart and character.

Spiritual slaves do not receive the invitation to mature, so they keep going around the same mountain over and over again, never making the progress that is available to them.

The only way we can mature in sonship is by allowing ourselves to become sharpened by key relationships.

Foolishness trains a slave to remain immature, unable to move from their child-like ways, preventing them from becoming a man or woman of God.

Paul mentioned in Galatians that a child is no different from a slave, until he makes the transition into sonship. (Galatians 4:1)

Slaves may know about the Father, but they still have not made the transition into becoming a grown son.

Paul even stated in 1 Corinthians 13:11 that when he became a man, he “put away childish” things. A slave is still in many ways living immaturely. He or she may have a family, a full time job or even a ministry, but inside there still resides a great deal of immaturity and foolishness.

Spiritual slaves lack course correction, because they don’t have relationships that sharpen them. Therefore, they become unable to welcome what healthy correction can be. I’m not talking about being yelled at or harshly controlled in the name of “correction.” I’m mostly talking of the value of relationships where you can sharpen each other and encourage the greater potential.

But with a spiritual slave, there are a lot of “don’t go there” subjects. Because they have cultivated a standard to themselves, slaves are not used to being corrected. If they are, it was only from taskmasters who yelled at them and put harsh demands on them. We cannot, however, omit the truth that God is a Father who corrects His children. Without proper correction, God says that you are not even His child, but an illegitimate child; an outsider (Hebrews 12:6-11).

A son, on the other hand, cultivates healthy relationships with those who can bring correction into his life. He welcomes the correction, even if it hurts at times, because it will bring the long term fruit of righteousness in his life.

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. Proverbs 29:17

5. Spiritual slaves reproduce spiritual slaves.

You may want to teach and equip spiritual sons and daughters. But if you are still remaining in spiritual slavery, then you will continue to produce slave minded people all around. That is because you don’t replicate what you want, you replicate who you are.

To change what you reproduce, you must transform who you are.

The only way we can move into sonship producing is for leaders to start living like fathers. But you cannot be a father unless you first learn to live as a son.

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