Mike’ s a guy who lived in the sin spiral for years. At twenty-two he was a pilot and while laying over in a hotel he stumbled across porn on the TV. One look and he was hooked. He was a professing believer but longed for layovers where he entered a secret fantasy world. He hid this from his wife, his friends, and his Bible study group.
What you saw on Sunday morning was not what lurked behind closed doors when he was by himself. Finally his secret life began to consume, crush, and overtake him. The downward spin went from porn to sex chatting to adultery.
After his first marriage blew up, he remarried but he was still bound to lust. He continued to watch porn, sex chat on the Internet, and was involved with sinful relationships…he was also bound to booze and food. His wife knew that he was in deep weeds and went to a pastor and cried out for help.
The pastor shared the gospel with Mike over several months and stated that God made provision for sinners like him in the blood of Jesus Christ. In January 1999, Mike found forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ and God radically changed his heart. Since then he was set completely free from all forms of habitual sin, by the glorious grace of God.
The Mike I am talking about is Mike Cleveland who is the founder and president of Setting Captives Free. It’s a non-denominational ministry which teaches the biblical principles of freedom found in Jesus Christ. The year after Mike was set free, he wrote a course that you can interact with to help people understand the biblical principles in finding freedom in Jesus Christ from the bondage of sin. He put the course on the Internet and he had over eight hundred hits on the first day.
I can across Setting Captives Free a number of years ago when it was recommended by John Piper’s ministry, Desiring God, and I thought whenever I have the opportunity to recommend it, I would. I have mentioned it from the pulpit, in Sunday School classes, and in one-on one scenarios because I believe that many Christians live in bondage but fear and shame cause them to deal with their demons on their own, in the dark, and very few are victorious. Many get into the sin-confess-sin-confess lifestyle and never find freedom but there is hope in Jesus Christ.
Setting Captives Free offers various sixty day courses. They have tracks for those who struggle with gambling, alcohol, gluttony, sexual sin, depression, anorexia and bulimia and other bondages. It helps people deal with their issues biblically.
I have had the privilege of serving in two churches as pastor and I know some of the issues. I know some of the downward vortexes that people are in but Christ has come to set us free. Mike Cleveland’s journey wasn’t an easy one, but by God’s amazing grace, he was rescued.
Maybe you have someone in your sphere of friends…or someone in your family…maybe even someone in your own household. It might even be the person that stares back at you in the mirror every morning. You want help but don’t know where to go.
Many times people do what they’ve always done and get the same results that they always have. God’s Word often calls us to do what we don’t want to do to become the people that we’ve always wanted to be.
I encourage you, if this describes you, go to Setting Captives Free on-line. Visit their website. You have absolutely nothing to lose. And maybe you’re not a struggler but you find yourself in a place of helping others. You may be a pastor, a small group leader, or a person who is active in your church that wants to help people but you don’t have the tools. Please, check out Setting Captives Free. You’ll be glad you did. Cut and paste their address: http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com. Jesus came to set captives free!
[61:1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
(Isaiah 61:1 ESV)