It's Time to Come Out!
As you are taking the time to read this blog, take a few moments and reflect on your life. Are you living your life for you, or another person, situation or circumstance? Are you a people pleaser or a God pleaser? Did you ever stop to think that we can allow people, places or things to keep us in bondage? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines bondage as “the state of being a slave.” In other words, we can allow ourselves to become what others want us to be. We can allow someone else to rob us of our freedom to live OUR life. Sometimes we make choices, or there are situations out of our control, that will result in our bondage. Maybe our marriages are on the brink of divorce. Maybe we don’t have the best relationships with our children. Maybe there are financial concerns in trying to make ends meet every month. All of these situations can keep us in bondage. I would like to go a step further. Sometimes, the people that we allow to keep us in bondage, are afraid to deal with their own issues, so they pull us in. Because we’re not prepared (see my last blog), we let the problems of others, become our problems. We cannot do what God has called us to, if we cannot let go of the baggage. It’s time to come out!
If you think about a slave, it is not just the physical tasks that kept them in bondage, it was mental bondage as well. They were treated almost inhumane. They were mistreated and demoralized mentally. There lives were miserable and they were made to feel as if they had no one but their taskmasters to depend on for survival. Hence, the Israelites. “The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them” (Exodus 1:13-14 NASB). Along comes Moses to save the day. God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of bondage. But what if your Moses hasn’t arrived yet? God used Moses for the time that He needed him, but what if God has already equipped us with what we need to get out? Let’s take a closer look at this. The following are some basic criteria to help you get out:
YOU HAVE TO WANT TO GET OUT. I have learned in my experiences that people will do what they want to do, when they want to do it and who they want to do it with. This includes getting out! There is no sense in asking God to help you if you don’t want to do what it takes to get out. If you are in a situation that you know you should not be in, or your faced with situations and circumstances that keep you worried and frustrated, you have a choice. You can let it consume you, or you can let the power of the Holy Spirit within you, consume IT. Maybe there is a relationship you need to end. You may even have to change jobs. You may have to cut friends and family off. You need to have a whatever it takes attitude for the cause of Christ!
PREPARE FOR PERSECUTION. Everyone will not like your new attitude. Everyone will not like your new way of doing things. I mentioned earlier about some people you may have to let go of, but with your new-found determination, they make actually leave on their own! They won’t be able to handle the God in you! Everyone may not love God the way you do. Some will actually be jealous because you are embracing a peace that passes all understanding. You will be mocked, ridiculed, talked about, looked down upon, lonely, mistreated and misunderstood. Are you woman enough to take the heat? One of the elders from my church talked about being a warrior. God is looking for strong women to be warriors for Him. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB). Persecution will come. Be prepared.
WHEN YOU COME OUT, STAY OUT! Quit trying to go back to the very thing you asked God to bring you out of. This is important to note on this journey because the enemy knows what he needs to do to get you off focus. He wants to pull you back in! If you are single and trying to remain celibate, he will put Mr. Handsome right in front of you at your weakest moment! If you have decided to put yourself on a budget to get out of debt, you may find yourself staring at the perfect pair of shoes, the perfect purse, or the perfect outfit just when you paid off a credit card! You’ve decided to lose weight, but every time you turn around, there is a pie, some cookies, cakes, cupcakes, all of your favorite foods to bring you back in! There will be a LOT of distractions when you are trying to stay out. I capitalized the word LOT because there is a character in the book of Genesis whose name is Lot. Lot lived in Sodom, a city that God was going to destroy because of its sinful condition. Lot and his wife were instructed to leave and not look back. “When they had brought them outside, one said, ‘Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and to not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away” (Genesis 19:17 NASB). Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Becoming a pillar of salt allowed Lot’s wife not to walk into her destiny. Why did she look back? Was she more comfortable staying with what she was more familiar with? Was she afraid of the unknown? We may never know the real reason why she looked back, but regardless, her choice to look back robbed her of her future!
Ladies, evaluate your life. What do you need to let go of? What do you need to run away from? What changes do you need to make for you? God is calling you to move forward! Don’t look back! It’s time to come out!
Forever hoping for you,