Today, we’re wrapping up the “Learning to Walk in Freedom” series. If you click on that link to read the series, make sure you scroll to the very end to start, as the posts are in reverse order.
What have we covered so far in “Learning to Walk in Freedom“?
Intro: What is Freedom?
1. Spend Time with the Freedom Giver
2. Spend Time with Freedom Seekers
4. Understand Grace
5. Think Like a Free Person
This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it intended to be a list of “the keys” to walking in freedom. These are simply some truths that have helped me and others as we desire to walk in the fullness of all that Jesus died to give us.
We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to walk in freedom. Whatever it takes! If you struggle with pornography, put a filter on your computer, or install Covenant Eyes or a similar software, which reports all the sites you view to one or two accountability people in your life.
Can’t think of anyone to hold you accountable? Then disconnect the Internet at your house or on your phone. Go to the library to check your e-mail.
You’re probably thinking, “Now, that’s just unrealistic.” Remember, we lived for centuries without e-mail, and even as recently as 10 or 15 years ago, it was something only a few people could access from their homes. Some people still don’t have email! Shocking, I know 🙂
Some people I know can’t even watch secular TV or listen to secular music because the themes are triggers for them.
I’m talking about taking drastic measures! If you’re not willing to do whatever it takes, then you don’t really want freedom in your life.
That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth.
At an Exodus conference, I heard a speaker share that she made a list of 20 people she could call if she was having a “Moment of Maybe” as described in “Act like a Free Person, Part 2“. She wrote it in order of how well she knew these people, 1 being her closest friend and 20 being a good acquaintance. One day during such a moment, she called through the entire list. No one answered. She started calling through the list again. #14 picked up. She said, “I’m calling because I’m struggling with temptation right now and just needed to tell someone. Could you ask me tomorrow if I need good choices for the rest of the day?” She didn’t need to go into details, but she needed to reach out and be honest with someone.
I know a grown man who would give his car keys to his dad or his accountability partner and would have to tell them where he wanted to go and basically ask them permission to use his own car. Why? Because he struggled with acting out sexually. He took drastic measures!
I remember being at an event with an ex-girlfriend who made it very clear that she would like to “get back together”. As soon as I got home, I called a friend and let her know what happened, lest I be tempted to do anything. It was like 1 or 2 in the morning, but I didn’t care. My relationship with God was just more important.
You may be thinking, “That’s fine for you, Brenna, but you don’t know how dirty and ugly my struggles are.” Please don’t tell me that you can’t tell anyone, that no one would understand, or that you’re too embarrassed or ashamed of your struggles to bring accountability into your life. Those things may feel true to you, but you are in essence saying that you are unwilling to do what God says is necessary for walking in freedom.
I do get it. Not only did I struggle with same-sex attraction for years, I had an eating disorder where I was addicted to laxatives (talk about gross) and I self-injured. I cut myself with anything I could get my hands on, and when I decided that was just not acceptable, I punched things, punched myself and banged my head against walls.
Talk about ugly!
But I came to the point where I just didn’t care what anyone thought about me. I could not live this way anymore – my desire for experiencing freedom in my life began to outweigh any shame or embarrassment I felt. I was tired of struggling. And I became more disgusted by the sin in my life than I was concerned about what anyone thought about me.
Ultimately, it only matters what Jesus thinks about me and how I present myself to Him today and on judgment day.
Are we willing to do Hebrews 12, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Free people do whatever it takes to become free and remain free. Whatever it takes. Jesus did whatever it took. He gave up everything.
It’s OK to not quite be there yet. When I started to recover from my eating disorder, I prayed, “God, help me want to recover.” The reality was I knew that recovery would be difficult and lengthy, that I would gain weight, and that I would have to deal with all the pain and hurt I was avoiding by abusing my body. I didn’t want that. Who in their earthly selves would? So I prayed, “God, help me to want recovery. Help me desire You.”
God gave His only Son for you, for your freedom. Tasting freedom will eventually be so much more satisfying than a life of bondage.
God wants us to experience freedom, the freedom that is available to all of us through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
Pray this with me.
God, you know where my heart is today. You know the doubts and the fears and the struggles. Help me desire freedom. Give me the willingness to do whatever it takes to follow You and to experience all You have for me. Help me recognize the lies and replace them with truth. Forgive me for not relying on Your grace, but instead relying on my own strength and effort. Forgive me for my unwillingness to take drastic measures, for making excuses, for hiding from You and Your healing and love. I need You. Your Word say when I am weak, You are strong and that in Your strength, I can do all things. I need You. I desperately need You. Be Lord of my life today and every day. In Jesus’ mighty, powerful, holy name, I pray. Amen.