Freedom is a powerful word, it is a phrase that prisoners hear know the power it contains, it’s a word that addicts hear and rejoice in its power, Freedom is release from something that has held you captive, that has bound you up in such a way that you were unable to experience in life, the good things God has for you, so to that end going to start this off with a classic, with a verse that sums up what God desires for your life, and in my family, and in my walk it is a staple:
Jeremiah 29 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Powerful verse, we have the promise it gives – and yet we live a life that has us bound up in chains, that has us living a lie that the devil whispers that says your not good enough, you have fallen so far that you will never get back up again, that God has the key to your chains and He’s holding you here – all quite simply, lies.
In my own life I have let things hold me back, my own chains have held me back from the blessings that God has for my life, and has taken me down roads I should not of traveled, and yet I made justifications as we do in sin of why something is “okay”. Tomorrow we’ll do this, or God will forgive me of that, we find excuses to stay in the bondage we are in, and yet until looking back you never realize that sad truth, as in your hindsight you can look back and ask quite simply
Why did I desire to stay there?
So today I ask the question, what’s the thing in your life that steals your joy, that takes your hope, that makes you believe your happy in the moment, but after that fleeting moment is done, your joy, hope, and excitement are gone? It may be something small, it may be something larger than life – you may feel the size that it appears to you is impossible to escape, and yet I know from my own life – you need to be prepared to fight for your freedom, you need to be prepared to exert some effort and make a step in that direction because once you unlock the chains binding your feet and decide to move forward, God can strenghten you as you move forward – a great example of God adding to our own efforts I think is summed up quite well in this clip:
Simba is out numbered, he is not some place safe, he is outside the will of his father (elephant grave yards are a no-go for a king’s kid!) and yet doesn’t just sit back and let the hyenas attack, he puts his head up and GROWLS! That effort was enough to hold off death, to move away from just giving up, and then Mufasa steps in and adds his ROAR to his young son’s growl and takes the evil by surprise because no longer is a small cub the thing its facing… a KING has stepped up to the plate to defend his family.
God’s not wanting you to lay down and die. He doesn’t want you to give up on your life, but sometimes that means stepping outside of something we have become comfortable in, and that is not easy. It’s not easy to confess our sins, and yet we have been called to do it:
James 5 (NIV)
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Sadly the modern church does not always abide by this, I know where people have come forward about a sin in their life, be it gambling, pornography, spending, cutting, abuse, drugs, you name it – and the church does not do as it should, instead of hearing the confession and saying “Brother/Sister you have traveled a road of hurt, sadness and being alone – let me pray for you and come along side you!” they instead are told they are not worthy to serve our God. Now this isn’t every church, but this is some of the sad stories that exist where in weakness they found the strength to come forward and God’s people fell short.
Are you dealing with something today? Your Past? Your Present? That stronghold in your life of an addiction, of hurt, of unforgiveness, of regret – and your thinking “How do I take a step?” and as that step gains fear to stop you – fear of the things I said above that in some way your failure, your sin, your past will taint your future truth needs to be heard here today:
John 8 (NIV)
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Truth brings freedom and release, but sometimes it means to take that step towards speaking the truth – and you know what? If someone reacts poorly, keep moving. God is not about tearing you down for your past, you’ve been living in a prison long enough, even if the sin occured yesterday and you confess it to someone today, a DAY is longer than God ever desires for you to be held captive by your sin, by your past, He desires you to be free – You are a child of the king and He has good plans for YOU His Child!
Do you feel you have no more strength to fight? That one step forward feel like lifting massive weights? Are you still so angry at yourself? Angry at God? Are you afraid of what will happen? Are you unsure of what comes next? A step. A single step, if your growl is down to a whimper, whimper your heart out! Let that cry out to God be audible, put in that effort, and ask that one more time and in your weakness, in your boldness to say to God “Papa, I need you now!” even in that weak cry He will hear you and know He will like Mufasa come strengthen that whimper and help to restore your ROAR!
2 Corinthians 12 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
The world tells us weakness is bad, but here we see that when we are WEAK, God can do the most with His power in us! Today ask God to rattle your chains, ask Him to shake those things that are binding you and holding you back from the life that he would have for you! For God isn’t a God of sickness, or hate, or anger, or addiction, or hurt, or anything like that – He is a God of Life! Today if you need that freedom ask Him for it, if your beaten down, if your unsure how to proceed, let out your whimper, and He will hear it, but when He comes offering you forgiveness, gives you peace, accept it. You deserve forgiveness, for no sin is too great that His sacrifice on the cross can’t cover it, He’s paid your debt – have freedom today!
If you are dealing with something and need prayer, ask! Leave a comment below or on Facebook, or privately via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) fight for your freedom today! Shake off those chains and leave the prison you have been stuck in for far too long!