Have you ever felt as though you needed to work yourself out of bondage?
I spent a very large portion of my life trying to work my way out of strongholds. What I did was make it worse. The harder I tried to get out, the more entangled I became. Each day that went by, my shame only increased.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t set myself free…
Yes, it was my responsibility to make wise decisions, but I could not set myself free.
This is when the Lord reminded me of this scripture:
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
I realized I was not seeking Him first.
I was actually seeking freedom from a stronghold first.
There is a big difference.
I knew He was telling me to stop trying so hard and to stop digging for the root of what my problem was. He wanted me to focus on Him, not how to be set free.
It seemed like it wouldn’t work. If I gave up, wouldn’t I fall harder and deeper into the sin I was trying so hard to stay out of? That’s what I feared would happen.
That’s not what happened at all!
When I gave up trying to work myself out of the mess I made, and I put my focus on Jesus (stepping out to trust Him in a way I never knew before) this is when I started to experience freedom.
This is when I began to realize there is a huge difference between abstaining from sin and walking in true freedom.
I had been putting all of my focus on staying away from pornography and the sexual scenarios I used to fantasize about often.
That is not freedom.
I didn’t start to experience true freedom until I let go of trying to control every single second of my thought life, putting my focus on Jesus. I stopped putting all of my prayer focus on what I wanted to change, and I started putting my prayer focus on Him.
My prayers changed from “Please set me free!” to “I want to know You more.”
This is where I started to develop the intimacy with Him I had always heard about but never experienced. This is the place where my heart started healing. This is when I started to discover who He made me to be.
This is where I found freedom.
This is where many chains broke off of me – even chains I had for so long that I didn’t even realize I had. (Those places where I had originally thought, “This is just who I am.”)
He set me free, and He can do the same for you! It doesn’t matter how long you have been held captive.
Don’t give up. Keep going. Seek Him! Seek Him with everything you have. You will not only find freedom and healing, but you will find the intimacy you have been wanting your whole life.
There is nothing better.