For those of you who don’t know, I live with 2 men (my father and my brother). From time to time, living with guys requires a bit of compromise on my part. For instance, we eat more beef and less seafood than I would prefer. Things aren’t always as “neat and tidy” as I’d like them. Every once in awhile, compromise means that I give up control of the television remote and let them watch something they prefer. (Not that we compromise on our standards of purity---my brother and I are both committed to avoiding programs or movies with sexually explicit content or magic and witchcraft. Instead, when I say compromise I mean not complaining when we watch a western or a spy show.)
A few weeks ago, I made one of these compromises. Knowing that my brother really wanted to watch a particular show, I went along and gave him the remote. (Big of me, isn’t it?) Before long, I found myself really enjoying the show about a female spy during the WWII era.
Then I saw a scene that really stood out in my mind. They were introducing a new character---another female spy---although this time she was an enemy spy from Russia. In an effort to tell her story, they started with a flashback to her childhood as a little girl growing up in a Russian training camp.
The “orphanage” was a horrible place where the young girls were treated cruelly in an effort to desensitize them in preparation for their future life as assassins. Every day these young girls were abused and taught to abuse. One of the ways the Russians controlled the girls was by handcuffing them to their beds every night before they fell asleep.
Fast forward 20 years, and the little girl in the orphanage is now a grown woman---an enemy spy living undercover in America. Yet, even though she’s living on the other side of the planet, in the land of freedom, every night before she goes to bed this woman still handcuffs herself to the bed before she falls asleep.
That’s where the episode ended.
Of course, that’s when my mind started working overtime as I thought, “Why would she still do that? No one is making her sleep in chains anymore. She’s in America now. She could do anything she wanted. Potentially, she could even defect to America, help the “good guys” and turn her whole life around. Why is she choosing to live in chains?”
Then my heart became sad as I realized that what I’d just seen on television is a common practice in the lives of women---Christian and non-Christian---all over the world.
True, they may not actually chain themselves to their bed post every night, but in a very real sense, too many women choose to live in the bondage and chains of their past even though Christ has paid the price for them to be free and live in freedom.
Just like this fictitious character, it doesn’t have to be this way. Through Jesus Christ, we could have total and complete freedom from everything that wants to hold us captive.
Jesus wants to heal the pain and the damage inside of your mind, soul, and spirit, and He wants to deliver you from any sin, bondage, or generational iniquities from your past that are controlling your present and seeking to destroy your future. He wants to set you free from your chains so that you never have to live in that bondage again.
All of us, no matter who we are, have souls that are damaged in one way or another. For better or for worse, the circumstances and people in our lives affect our souls, our self-images, our minds, and our views of life.
Many women are carrying the scars from damage their souls received when they were little girls or teenagers.
Other women’s souls were wounded in bad relationships.
Some have experienced disappointments or heartaches.
Others made choices that were wrong and caused damage to their own souls.
No matter how we acquired the damage, the damage accumulates and affects who we are. Eventually, the damage to our mind, soul and personality keeps us from the purposes God designed for us. That’s why Jesus wants to heal the damage in your mind and soul from your past.
He wants to help you overcome the unforgiveness and bitterness that are destroying you—not because He thinks the other person was right—but because He knows these things are killing your soul and He wants you to be free.
Jesus wants to set you free from your tendency toward accepting abuse or allowing yourself to be treated badly.
He wants to deliver you from your hot temper or your anger issues.
He wants to begin the process of changing you and making you into a holy, healthy woman capable of being all God intended you to be.
I know some people hear this and say, “Why can’t God love me the way I am?”
Well, the answer is that God does love you the way you are. In fact, He loves you too much to let you stay that way.
Honestly, what parent could look at a child with a broken arm and a dislocated leg, crying and in pain and say, “Oh honey, I accept you just the way you are, I’m not going to do anything to try to help you.”? That’s not love! That’s cruel!
A loving parent would help their child and take them to the doctor. They would do everything they could to help the child heal, be free from pain, and be able to live life normally. That’s love!
Recently, I went through a back injury. When I went into the doctor’s office, I didn’t want him to say, “Hey, Adessa, don’t worry about it. I like you just the way you are so I’m not going to realign your spine so you can stand up straight.” Truthfully, that’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to make the pain stop!
That’s what Jesus wants to do for every woman who comes to Him with a broken heart, damaged mind, or wounded spirit. He wants to bring healing, health, and wholeness.
Isaiah 53 says it this way, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” This promise doesn’t just apply to physical healing, but it applies to healing in our minds, souls, and emotions.
Along with healing you and delivering you, Jesus wants to teach you to live a new way. As Jesus heals your heart and mind, and as you spend time with Him in prayer and Bible reading, you will begin to learn how to live in God’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit will lead and guide you and teach you how God’s kingdom principles can be applied to each and every area of your life. When you commit yourself to living by God’s ways, you, too, will experience change.
Every day, the Holy Spirit will help you apply God’s principles to your life. If you choose to obey God’s principles, you will start to see that your life is different. You, yourself will change. With every hurt you allow God to heal and every choice you make to follow God’s ways rather than sinful ways, you will be one step closer to becoming the strong, capable, spiritually-healthy woman God designed you to be.
That is the heart of all women’s ministry: Jesus loves women. He loves them so much that He wants to offer them a place in His kingdom.
For each of His daughters, God has a unique plan and purpose. When He looks at you, He sees beyond what other people see, and He sees into your heart.
He knew you from the time you were a baby inside of your mom. He watched you grow up. He laughed when you laughed and He cried when you cried. He knows every circumstance or person you’ve ever encountered in life. He’s seen you win great victories and overcome difficult obstacles just to get to where you are today.
He knows the choices you’ve made—good and bad. He knows all about the sins that are in your life, the pain that is in your heart, and the damage that is in your soul. If we’re honest, we know that even the most religious, perfect-appearing woman among us has struggles and issues inside. Jesus knows everything about you and He still loves you.
Today, He is reaching out to you saying, “Come to Me and accept the help I want to give you. Because of what I did at Calvary I can give you forgiveness for your sins. Because of the blood I shed, I can offer you healing for your body, soul, mind, and spirit and deliverance from all the sins and generational iniquities that hold you captive. Please, come to Me and let Me help you. Let Me change you. Allow Me the opportunity to heal your soul.
Yes, it may hurt. Yes, it may not always be easy, but what healing is? Would you really avoid going to a doctor with a broken arm just because it might hurt having the arm put in a cast? No, you wouldn’t. I’m the same way. Trust Me. Everything I do is for your good.
I want to offer you a new life, free from all the things that are holding you captive. As I am healing each issue, I will be right there walking beside you, holding you and making you healthy again.
Please, allow Me offer you a new life and a new hope. I know what I have planned for you. I know what I designed you to be. I want you to be a strong, productive, capable woman that I can use in My Kingdom.”
That is the heart of Jesus reaching out to each one of us, offering us the hope of a new life of freedom and spiritual health in Him. As we come to Him, submitting our lives completely to Him, He offers us hope for salvation, hope for a new life, and hope for eternity. More than a momentary change, Jesus offers us the whole package: freedom from the past, change in the present, and a hope for the future.
You don't have to live in the chains of your past for one day longer. Today, you can accept Jesus' offer and start your journey toward freedom. You don't have to be the woman you've always been. In Jesus, there is freedom to live a whole new life---free from the bondage of the past with an opportunity to have a bright, new, abudant future.
The choice rests with you: Will you allow Christ to do what's necessary in your heart to break the chains in your life?
There is power in Jesus' name and His blood to set every captive free. The only question that remains is “Do you want to be free?”