M2C – Week 1 – I’m Empowered
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
“Marcus couldn’t remember a time when his chains did not rub his wrists and ankles raw. And yet one day a messenger stood before him with good news. News he couldn’t believe: “The truth will set you free.” Marcus didn’t understand how, but with simple faith he followed and the chains were broken. The messenger guided Marcus to his new home and introduced him to the king who had set them free.” By Joni Eareckson-Tada from the book called, On the Wings of the West Wind.
Joni continues with the story with Marcus knowing he is free but finds himself back to where he came, feeling as if he once again was a slave. It isn’t until later he realizes it was he himself who was allowing himself to be treated as a slave, but that he really was no longer truly a slave to his old life or his old master… he was free… free at last.
We, too, were bought from our slavery of this world. (1 Corinthians 7:23 “You were bought for a price…”) How easily we forget and walk as if we still live by only our fleshly desires, slaves to our old patterns and ragged life. Groves from our past life are worn thick in our thought patterns and habits. Thankfully we don’t have to be stuck there, for we are free. (John 8:36 “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free”)
Many days I feel a slave to my desires of the flesh, my thoughts, and my cravings. I misunderstand my desires of my heart and my cravings are to be towards my Lord Jesus, not to food, approval, or worldly love. I am free to say “no” to that dessert, it doesn’t own me. I am free to say “no” to commitments that aren’t in God’s will for me, so I can focus on what God has planned for me instead. I am free to seek the Lord with all my heart, mind, body, and soul – for he too yearns for me to come near to him.
In reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to Crave, I found myself relating to her emotions, frustrations, and struggles.
“I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Good was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness”. Page29
It was me… Although this same food I craved for the moment satisfied for the moment, in the long run it left me feeling trapped, frustrated, and my voice in my head screamed, “Failure!” Although, I found myself once again acting as if I was a slave to my cravings, a slave to my choices I, like Marcus in Joni’s book, must live the life I was given – I’m free. I’m free to walk by the Spirit and not give in to my flesh. I’m free to make choices that are healthy, free to stand up to my past groves and patterns I’ve worn for years and say, “NO MORE!”
Galatians 5:22-24 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.”
Lysa choose to use her cravings for food as a prompting to pray. She choose to fight her fleshly patterns to create new groves in her road she’d now fall into… this is a great idea and something I too will grab onto! I’d better get knee pads; I may find myself on my knees… a lot!!! But I am EMPOWERED by the Spirit, by my redeemer, by my Lord to overcome what is in the world.