Familiar Bondage

Familiar Bondage

I would rather go back to what is familiar, even if it is bondage…

Exodus 16:1-4a and John 3:16,

And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of Egypt. And the whole congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into the wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you….”

When the trials of the children of Israel were too hard for them to bear, they wanted to go back to what was familiar: bondage in Egypt. They wanted to be in control; they felt safe knowing what to expect.

How many of us can relate to wanting to go back to the dysfunctional relationships or sins of our past because there is comfort in knowing what to expect? Change is hard because it’s unfamiliar, and there is no safety or comfort in it. But God doesn’t want us to stay in our dysfunction. He wants us healed. He came to set us free from our bondage to sin. He wants us to trust Him completely with every area of our lives.

God provided the children of Israel with bread that literally dropped out of the sky. He called it Manna, “Bread from Heaven.” If God did that for them, don’t you think He can help you too? I think the answer is Yes!!!

What is the spiritual factor to consider when I want to be in control, instead of God being in control?

I am saying to God, “I don’t trust You. I don’t believe You are good. I don’t believe You care about me.”

So, what is the sin I am committing when I don’t trust God? The sin of unbelief.

Definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 and 11:6: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Let me ask you, what are you still trying to control and refuse to release into God’s hands?

I learned at a very young age to take control of every area of my life; that, unfortunately, was not a good thing. A 12-year-old is not mature enough to take on such a responsibility. I controlled my voice but I did not use it. I controlled how I performed in school, sports, and in anything I set my mind to do by practicing until I could do something perfectly. When I was older, I controlled my weight by taking speed and diet pills and exercising excessively. I controlled what others perceived about me by wearing a mask to hide my true feelings and identity. It wasn’t until I felt safe to let God in that I was able to relinquish control to Him. By spending time in His Word, I began to understand the heart of God and discovered how much He loves us and wants us to be set free from our pasts, so we can live the abundant lives He came to give us. It’s by relinquishing control to God that we are set free. There is beauty in surrender.

Why are you not trusting God to help you in this area? What are you afraid of?

Relinquishing control was not a comfortable thing for me because I didn’t trust others not to hurt me. I became very self-sufficient and proficient in all I did. I had a huge wall around my heart that no one was going to penetrate, not even God. I grew up with a distorted view of God. I thought He was angry with me and would punish me if I was out of line, which is what I heard and saw as a child. Church was dark; people there spoke in another language, and the atmosphere was not warm and welcoming. So I associated these attributes with God. I felt He was dark, harsh, and unloving, which could not be further from the truth. I was fearful about trusting God because I was afraid of being hurt again. I didn’t know God’s heart toward me. When I got saved in 1994 and came across this verse from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life,” I started believing that God does love me. And once I received His love into my heart and believed that He died for me on the cross, I started trusting Him more with my heart. But it was a long process. I am so grateful today for His love. That truth changed my life forever.

I had everything under control, so I thought, until my life and health started spiraling out of control. I couldn’t afford stuff anymore and my health was failing, my marriage was on the brink of divorce, and I didn’t know what to do. I was plagued with suicidal thoughts because I just couldn’t deal with my depression and self-loathing anymore, due to the sins from my past. This was not a life; it was a prison. I was just surviving because I needed someone to take my pain away, someone I could trust to love and accept me for who I was. Did such a person exist?

Dear One,

I want you to know that there is such a person who loves and accepts you for who you are. His name is Jesus, and He is the only one who will love you right where you are. He will never hurt you or force you to do something against your will. He is kind, loving, dependable, faithful, merciful, and forgiving. Jesus is your Savior and friend. Why not relinquish control of your life to God? Honestly, what do you have to lose at this point?

You are loved,

Toni

 

What is the spiritual factor to consider when I want to be in control instead of God being in control?

I am saying to God, “I don’t trust You (God). I don’t believe You (He) are good. I don’t believe You care about me.” So, what is the sin I am committing when I don’t trust God? The sin of unbelief.

Definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 and 11:6: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Our Heavenly Father’s Heart

Our Heavenly Father’s Heart

Abuse Recovery Support Group

Our Heavenly Father’s Heart

Luke 15:11-24, Jeremiah 31:3b-c, Luke 15:10, 2 Corinthians 5:21a, Ephesians 2:1b, Luke 15:10, Revelation 7:9, Romans 8:15b-c, Revelation 19:9, and Romans 8:35

Luke 15:11-24

Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal (wasteful) living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

Some have called this, “The Running Father,” instead of, “The Prodigal Son,” because it’s the actions of the father in these scriptures that gives a glimpse into the very heart of God, our heavenly Father towards us, His children. I can imagine every day the father looking to the horizon for a glimpse of his son returning home. And every day, losing hope that he would return. Then one day, he spots his son and is filled with compassion for him. He girds up his loins (takes his robe from back to front between his legs and tucks into his belt) and runs to his son. During Biblical times a man of his stature in the community would not do such a thing in public, but he didn’t care what others thought. I read that the son could have been banned from the town or humiliated publicly, because he dishonored his father and their town with his sinful actions. This was another possible reason why the father ran to his son, he wanted to protect him from the humiliation and judgement of others.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the prodigal son. Didn’t we run away from the homes that God had given us in part due to the dysfunction, and/or we wanted to explore the world and live our lives our own way? All the while our heavenly Father is watching and looking for us to return home to Him. How it must have broken His heart to see the destructive ungodly choices we made. And yet, He loves us with an everlasting love; He yearns for us to come home to Him. (Jeremiah 31:3b-c) The angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10)

God sent His Son to die for us so we could be set free from the judgment we deserved because of all our sins. I love the correlation between the prodigal son’s father and our heavenly Father. Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21a) and was naked and beaten, was crucified, and died for us. He was humiliated and tortured for me and you. When I think what Jesus did on the cross for me, I am overwhelmed with gratitude because I know I didn’t deserve it, but I humbly receive this precious gift of salvation that cost God the most precious thing He had, His Son.

Lastly, we too were once dead in our trespasses and sins against God, (Ephesians 2:1b) but when we confessed our sins, like the prodigal son, we were welcomed into the family of God. There was a celebration in heaven the day you received Christ as your Savior. (Luke 15:10) God has clothed you in a beautiful white robe (Revelation 7:9) and put a ring on your finger and has adopted you into His Holy Family (Romans 8:15b-c). One day we will all be together for the great feast in heaven, the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus!!

Thank you, Father for the gift of adoption into your family. I am no longer an orphan, a stranger, an outcast, I am yours forever.

Note* To you precious ones who did not have a good earthly father, it is hard to think of God as a good heavenly Father. Please know that God’s heart broke when he saw the abuse and neglect you received by the hand of your earthly father. God is not like your earthly father; He is kind, gentle, pure, holy, faithful, and He loves you with an everlasting love. Nothing can separate you from the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35)

Questions:

What was/or is your relationship with your earthly father?

Do you see God as a good and kind Father? If not, please explain.

You are loved,
Toni

 

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