I would throw out an opinion that we ARE slaves, each of us. Something keeps us as attached to our securities as a tree finds itself attached to the ground. The question is, though, who or what is keeping us restrained?
Recently, as our small group finished Breathe, a study by Priscilla Shirer, I threw out the question,
In what area(s) of your life do you struggle with the fear of not having or being enough?
In other words, who or what is ruling you?
The answers had much to tell:
- Feeling the need to be in control
- Anxiety that I might not have enough to eat
- Distress that I'm not enough as a wife
- Stressed that I 'm not enough as a mom
- Worrying that I don't have enough time
- Troubled that I won't have enough money
And so we work hard to assure ourselves that we have worth and somehow we can make it all work out. But we're never quite sure we really will.
Personally, time is my taskmaster. Somehow I feel enslaved by the need to "get stuff done," which leaves me feeling overwhelmed and unable to step beyond my "to do" list. There are times, at the end of the day, when I ponder why I didn't make that phone call to someone in need, or why I didn't volunteer to take that meal to one with a new baby. If it's not on my list, it doesn't get included. I love spontaneous people, and I love to be called to join in someone's immediate fun, but I can't usually break free to be the instigator of last minute escapades.
The truth is, something looms more powerful and terrifying than any on that list. What could be so formidable that we hang on tightly to control, to time, to money, to feeling good enough?
My first thought calls FEAR our intimidating foe. It tells us that it is all up to us. If we don't get it right, then it won't get done. We fear that at the end of the day we'll be failures.
But... I think it's even more than fear.
I would venture a guess that a more powerful ruler over our hearts is a lack of BELIEF that God is who he says he is. A lack of TRUST reigns. Will He come through? Will He be enough to enable me to be the best mom or wife possible? Will He accomplish through me all that needs to be done in my day. Is it really all up to me? We continue fearful and intimidated.
Many of us know this, have known it for years, yet we are still afraid, still unable to trust God to be who He says He is. What are we to do? What is the bottom line? What will move us from being shaky in faith, fearful and untrusting into faith filled confident women of God?
Here are a few ideas:
- Be aware of what lie tries to push you around, then be determined to stop letting it control you.
- Pray for the ability to change.
- Talk with someone about it. Perhaps ask them to come alongside you to encourage you in your desire to do things differently.
- Look for a story or scripture verse to mediate on that will inspire you.
- Practice trusting God. Find faith moment by moment.
- When you find yourself afraid, ask for faith. Then trust God. Don't ask for faith and then allow yourself to continue in fear.
Just don't stay the same. Don't continue to be enslaved by a cruel taskmaster that makes you miserable, keeps you busy and is relentless in its high expectations.
As much as we hate the idea of being a slave, many of us are servants to the lies that laugh in the face of God and keep us from the freedom Christ came to secure for us.
In Galatians 5:1 Paul encourages us: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
What will it take for us to take our stand against the lies that enslave us?