Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Story Of My Life: Freedom

Previous installments in the Story of My Life series: Roots, Salvation, Answered Prayer, and Bumps in The Road

I left off the story in Portland, where my walk with God was vastly improving, but something was still missing. After a year in Portland, I decided to move back home. I planned to find a job and live in the Bay area, but God had other plans. I found a job here, which I couldn't pass on after 3 months of unemployment. Which I'm so glad about, because God had great plans for me.

I discovered that blogging might not just be a hobby, but something God wanted for me. From me. As a result, I signed up for the Relevant Conference in faith, not knowing how God wouldmeet me there. At the conference, He showed me that I needed to return to my first love, and put Him first in my life, in a way that I hadn't in a long long time. I didn't know how, but I knew He would show me. And He did. There was a book there at the conference called Praying God's Word, by Beth Moore. It was not available for purchase, but I couldn't wait to get home and buy it, because I knew I had to read it. I didn't know how or why, but I knew it was important.

When I got home I practically drove from the airport to the bible book store to get the book. Basically, the book is a guide for how to turn scriptures into prayers, in order to overcome sin and be transformed by God's Word. As I read it, I could literally feel the transformation in my soul. It was like chains were falling off, and my heart was finally free.

The thing that people don’t like to talk about much in church is that just as real as our God is, who loves us and is always on our side, we also have a very real enemy who wants to do anything he can to destroy us. When we come to Christ, we are set free. We are no longer slaves to sin. And there is nothing the enemy can do about that freedom, he has no power over our God. So what he does instead is exactly what he is best at doing – he lies to us. As Beth Moore describes it, we are standing in our jail cells, and the doors have been flung wide open by Jesus, but our enemy is like the jailer who stands there whispering all the reasons we still belong in the cell. And too often, we listen to him. I did, for too long. But nothing can quiet the enemy like the Word of God.

The book is separated into areas that the enemy keeps us captive, or "strongholds." Idolatry, unbelief, pride, addiction, guilt, unforgiveness, depression, etc. There is an intro into each section, and then a list of scriptures which have been turned into prayers. You can pray through one section, or all of them, as needed.

What I discovered, as I prayed through the sections on idolatry an unbelief, was that I had always believed in God, but I didn't always believe God. Who He says He is, who He says I am, the things that He promises in His Word. And as I prayed through those things, and claimed them as truth, I was set free. Free to love Him fully, with abandon. Free to be loved by Him, and trust that I am safe in His hands. Free to live the life that I always wanted.

I'm sure at this point some of you are thinking that I'm strange. That's ok. (I am, actually, but that's beside the point.) I know what separation from God feels like, and I know what intimacy with Him feels like. And I know which one I choose. So it doesn't really matter to me what other people think. It matters to me that I share my story, so that if anyone is struggling with similar things, they can be encouraged that freedom is just a prayer away.

There is one more exciting piece of this story, which I will share in the next post. I just like to leave you guys hanging. :) Thanks for being with me on this crazy journey.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me!

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Traci Michele said...

I think you are awesome! It was so great to room with you @ Relevant!

I'd LOVE to read that book.

Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

Jenna said...

I'm always interested in books so that may be one I decide to pick up and read.

Thanks for sharing this with your readers. Like I said, I'm always interested in people's religious paths and how and why they choose to be there.

Miel Abeille said...

It's divine intervention at its finest -- this post hit home, and it was posted on my birthday. I think that means something!

I'm doing well & hope you are, too!

Linda Z said...

It's so awesome to hear how God is leading you back to intimacy with Himself. Beth's books are always so awesome that way! I'm working my way back to intimacy once again, too. Starting to blog again so I don't forget where I've been and where I'm going. :)