“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV
During our last visit, we talked about staying free and how difficult that can prove to be at times. My favorite Bible teacher, Beth Moore, defines captivity in her Bible study “Breaking Free” like this, “A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God planned for her.” When you look at captivity with that concept in mind, it becomes easier to believe that there are things that bind us.
Every person’s life and experiences are different. I think that is one of the reasons God tells us in His Word to “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. The Amplified Bible says it like this, “…work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). Assuming that Christ is your very own Savior, you must then remember, you and God must plot the course for your freedom trail. Here is a glimpse of mine.
For me, my first steps to freedom came with the realization that I must change. Me, myself and I must become emotionally healthy. I could no longer remain in the state I was in. I was responsible for making the change. I could no longer wait on anyone else in my life to change first or even change at all. As the old song goes “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
Along with the understanding that I must change, I knew that I was not going to be able to change on my own. If I could have accomplished that, I wouldn’t be where I was. All of my best efforts could not change me. All of my co-dependent behaviors, my over-eating, my feelings of wanting to control, my living with fear and anxiety, and with boundaries that could be moved easily by those I love must begin to change. Yet, I felt helpless to change Satan continued to remind me, “You’ve tried this before and you couldn’t do it. Don’t even try now. You will just disappoint yourself and God.” I felt defeated in so many areas of my life. What must I do differently? Where is the missing link for me? I needed help!
There are times in our lives that we need another godly set of eyes to help us see our selves and our situation in a different light. As my mom has said many times, “sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees”. Do you have godly counsel in your life? A pastor, professional counselor, Sunday School teacher, a friend (one that will be willing to speak the truth in love) or an older Christian mentor to help guide you through the trees? One of my own godly counselors, Gil, helped me see that we Christians are how God carries out His plan. He uses us to love, admonish, counsel, direct and protect each other. In Ephesians 4, Paul tells us that we are all one body (all Christians). Verse 16 says, “Under His direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does it’s own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing full of love.” Proverbs is full of verses encouraging us to accept good counsel. Take the time to look at a few, 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 19:20 and 24:6.
The decision to seek help was the first step for me. I have wandered off the trail a few times. I can still handle situations in my life the “old way”. I do know this, I’m farther down the road than I was and I am much quicker to get back on when I see I took the wrong exit. Where are you on your freedom trail? Did you just get on or did you take the wrong exit and and now need to return to the path? Maybe you’ve been traveling awhile and see yourself getting stronger each day. Wherever you find yourself, remember, every step brings you nearer to the abundant life God has planned for you.
Until we visit again,