“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
Sometimes it’s scary to begin to live without the chains that have always entrapped you.
Sometimes it’s scary to walk into freedom that is foreign to you because you’ve always lived as a slave.
Freedom isn’t always a comfort zone, sometimes it’s actually painful.
Sometimes those first steps are harder than any of the steps we’ve taken in abusive, destructive, dark, manipulative, sinful, ashamed, cruel, slave bound lands that we’ve been walking in all our lives.
Sometimes freedom is the bravest thing we’ve ever done, to leave everything we know and allow something else… someone else to change our thinking on all we have ever known.
Some of the thoughts I struggled with back & forth as I approached freedom:
1) I was struggling to take hold of freedom, because the idea in theory sounded liberating but far too good to be true…
2) This may be true for some people but you don’t understand my situation… I’m just kinda stuck. It’s a part of my life and I’m just gonna have to live with that…
3) I KNOW freedom is right there and I know I have to just take a step, but I would rather stick with what I know than risk a series of unknowns that could possibly be even worse…
4) I get an uneasy feeling when I think of my life being changed when I know what I have isn’t great. But I know how to bandage these wounds, and I fear new types of wounds that I may not know exactly how to take care of…
Fear kept me in captivity for 19 years. I learned to believe that I loved being a slave, because every time I tried to leave, a cold wind would come that was foreign to my desert slavery, and I’d immediately go running back. Fear tangled me up and locked me down to the point where I let my slavery scare me into changing most things I had firmly believed, because they became inconvenient to my captivity. That’s the thing God isn’t about captivity. His tune is one of freedom and victory, and it sings loud and clear. It doesn’t fit in a box, it doesn’t stay in chains. It shouts and dances joyfully. Therefore the two don’t coincide.
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
-2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT
Before I knew Jesus I was stuck in my slavery. After I joined in a relationship with Him, He released me of that and slavery became a choice. Six of those years in slavery were purely out of choice, my choices to stick with what I knew, over what the Father was so graciously offering. Everyday He would hold out His hands to me and say, “alright my dear are you ready to be free?” I knew if I reached out and put my hands in His, my chains would break off.
He’s powerful like that! But I didn’t… Sometimes I’d lift up my hands, other days I’d get closer and actually extend them but still not put my hands in His.
There were days where I’d work up the courage and put my hands in His and the chains would break. But I’d cower back and put the chains right back on because I wasn’t ready. Yet He remained so patient with me.
I’ve finally reached the place where I realize that I don’t want to be a coward anymore. I can’t live in slavery and fear, if I want to be the woman Abba is calling me to be.
I say all of this because…
1. I get it, walking away from something that has enslaved you so long can be scary and hard
2. I want to be straightforward and not leave you in a false belief. Even after you leave, it won’t necessarily be easier.
3. Walking more in freedom with Him WILL make it easier, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be times when you long for what you knew.
4. I love you enough to let you know it’s not worth it…these chains, that slavery. Come up with your best reason why your enslavement is better for you, do it I dare you. I sure did, I came up with loads and loads of excuses, make that 19 years of rationalizing all of it. But I promise I would still tell you living that way is only holding you back. You may not always see the effects, but it’s goal is always to keep you away from living freely with God. The way you were made.
5. You don’t have to do it alone, in fact you can’t do it alone. Walking away some days takes friends carrying you in the right direction speaking truths to remind you of who He is, and who that makes you by inheritance. FREE.
“For if you keep following, lusting, thirsting after the very thing God wants to uproot out of you, you will continue to be lost, deprived, thirsty. You will miss the opportunity to fully know God, to feel God, to be healed by God, to hear God.” – Andrea Williams