Have you ever felt like you are in a prison of emotion? Has someone or something imprisoned you to the point that you could hardly breathe? Is there any way to get free???
A few months back at a men’s meeting at our church, one of my pastors spoke on obstacles to freedom. That pastor’s name is Drew King and he oversees a ministry at our church called Breakthrough. It is a powerful ministry to help people overcome and work through any parts of their life where they do not feel free from (ie addiction, stress, abuse, loss, etc…). It is a ministry that has brought so many people comfort, peace, and the knowledge of God’s plan to handle the most difficult times in their lives. Thanks, Pastor Drew for the inspiration for this post as I try and relate it to freedom and divorce.
There are 4 main obstacles to freedom:
Pride, Unbelief, Willful Disobedience, and Prayerlessness. Let’s take them one at a time.
So many times, people think more of themselves than they should. Gifts, talents, blessings, and relationships end up being all about them and what they did or have. Nobody raise their hand, but if we are honest, we all are too prideful at times.
SO, let me get this straight….you showed up just like every other human offspring, naked and crying with only the body, spirit, and soul given to you by your creator. So you started out with absolutely nothing except that with what you were blessed with from God.
When did you finally realize that it was only because of you that your bank account looks like it does, you married that trophy wife, or have bumper sticker worthy kids?
It is ok to be proud of accomplishments. Having a kid on American Idol or in Harvard is awesome. Being able to have all the toys like a CEO is a lot of fun, but be real about it.
God has given you the ability, brains, desire, dreams, talents, drive, and everything you need to be all He created you to be. Realize that it is actually because of His ultimate gift of life that has allowed you to be that doctor, mom, or business owner. Remember, you laid on your back kicking and screaming, soiling Pampers, and being helpless just like everyone else.
Proverbs 16:18 (NASB) “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”
James 4:6 (NASB) ” …God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Most people reading this blog have experienced the destruction of their marriage. If that is you, take a minute and consider the possibility that your pride has been a part of the problem.
It is very easy to slip into unbelief. Circumstances and situations that happen to us cause us to reevaluate our belief systems.
When life turns ugly or bad things happen, we try to come up with reasons why. Pain and struggle must have a cause and it does, Disappointment must have a starting point, and again I say, yes. Those reasons and causes are worth discovering so that you will gain knowledge and can heal, but that should not be an excuse to discard our beliefs, unless they are wrong beliefs!!
It is in these times that serious reflection on the things we believe in is healthy. It allows us to see where we have drifted away from what is good and drifted towards those things that have aided in the destruction of what we are dealing with now.
What are your beliefs or belief system founded upon? Whether you learned it as a child from your parents or had an experience that established them, are the beliefs the problem? Is what you are believing in the issue? Is the real problem that you walked away from those beliefs and chose to move down a path that brought forth the hurt and pain you are experiencing now?
For you to move forward through your healing process, you need stability and a CORRECT belief system. Holding firm in it will be a pillar to your future.
John 3:16 (NASB) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
1 John 5:4-5 (The Message) “Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.”
When your belief system is one that gives life and purpose to you, you can trust in that firm foundation. It will give you the answers to the questions you need to move on.
Man, this one is going to sting!!!
(Do I really need to address this?!?)
This is the obvious one, right? I screwed up….yeah, whatever….I prayed and asked for forgiveness, so we can move on…..or can we?
It is hard for me to make you feel any better when I point out the obvious. So I won’t. You know what you have done or continue to do that is not right. That is not my job here.
People feel that they can continue doing the wrong things and get the right results.
Ignorance is not disobedience.
If you are unaware of the destruction brought on by doing the wrong things, you WILL learn because of ignorance. When you are aware of consequences for doing the wrong things, AND CONTINUE TO DO SO, you are living a life of willful disobedience.
You can never be free until you come to grips with what you are doing wrong. I could list 100 things, and I am sure we have all done a lot of them. I will be the first to tell you I did so many things wrong, and none of them had to do with adultery or another woman. I refused to communicate. I let things happen instead of dealing with the situation and bring resolution. I never challenged actions that were unhealthy. I was ignorant.
When I realized the consequences of my actions, I had a choice to continue down that road (now disobedience) or be willing to surrender and change so that I could heal and move on.
Proverbs 9:6 (NASB) “Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 2:10-11 (NASB) “For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you.”
When you refuse disobedience and decide to walk in the freedom you deserve, the consequences are peace and understanding.
Really, prayerlessness is nothing more than lack of fellowship. It is just a refusal to allow a relationship with God to have life through choking off communication.
Does God really need you to pray? Doesn’t He already know what you need, how you feel, and what you are going to pray when you get around to it?
Of course He does? So why bother?
Fellowship……He wants you…..time with you…..
As a parent, do you long for that time with your children? Does your heart leap for joy when little Johnny runs up to you and throws his arms around your neck just to be near you?
It is through prayer that we learn to get our eyes off of ourselves and our issues and towards God and his desires for you. When we humble ourselves and just come close to God, it changes everything!!!
Phillippians 4:6 (NASB) “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB) “pray without ceasing;”
In the simple act of saying a prayer, you are acknowledging God, humbling yourself, and allowing the One who created you to be in fellowship with you.
Stay tuned, and pass this along to someone who needs to get out of their prison “shell”.