By DR. DAN ERICKSON
Recently I had surgery to rehabilitate a “frozen” shoulder that had extremely limited mobility and was a source of constant pain. It looked fine on the outside, but under the knife the root problems were exposed. The surgery was a success, but the work is not over. Now it’s my turn. I have to follow the doctor’s orders and do my physical therapy and exercises or the symptoms will return.
Is your life frozen, broken or damaged? If so, are you willing to do what it takes to find freedom? The more we are willing to face our pain, past, sin and addictions, the greater is our ability to find freedom.
I have met so many frozen, broken and damaged people who really are genuine followers of Christ. Yet they continue to live in a pattern haunted by their past, pain, sin and addiction. They are stuck in a rut, crying out in pain and finding no relief. All of their artificial solutions bring only frustration and despair. They will live and die but never experience true freedom. They will never enjoy their God-given potential or realize their destiny.
Let me define a rut this way: It is a grave with the ends knocked out. When your pain or past lives in the present, it will always rob you of your future.
Here is what I have discovered in my years of coaching people. They are not willing to pay the price it takes to move out of the rut into freedom. Jesus spoke directly to the people in his day, knowing they had been in captivity under the Roman Empire all of their lives. However, most of Jesus’ audience did not realize that their ultimate captivity was more internal than external. Zealots were trying to find freedom by changing their circumstances (overthrowing the Roman Empire), but Christ offered them a freedom that could be experienced in the midst of their condition. This freedom is found in a “who” and not in a “what.” Release is found in Jesus Christ. And if we are willing, he will help us through our struggles. He won’t leave us alone, dependent on the strength of our own will.
In a verse beloved by many, John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they [you] may have life and have it abundantly.” God has our best interests in mind. We can experience his freedom when we submit our lives to him.
The choice is ours: freedom or captivity. Freedom is assured in Christ Jesus, so wouldn’t it be great to experience it, not just in Heaven, but today, tomorrow and the rest of our days? The Apostle John shared this promise with us: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world … For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.”
Choose freedom today and imagine the possibilities!
Dr. Dan Erickson is the chief servant leader of People Matter Ministries. He is the author of “Finding Your Greater Yes!” and “God Loves Do-Overs.” He blogs at http://greateryes.blogspot.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.