“…Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring to you …” Exodus 14:13
Bound by chains, I have been walking heavily through the desert for thirty-five years. I have gone through trial after trial, battle after battle, and after each one I’ve learned to trust God more and more, yet I was still in chains.
I’ve been through times where I’ve had to trust that God would provide me with food, I tithed my last penny with FEAR and begged God to bless it, God came through but I still willingly wore my chains.
I’ve doubted God when he was silent. When it felt like he had forgotten me I doubted that he even existed at one point in my life- yet he showed up right when I needed him, right on time! And I still kept on my chains.
I watched God heal my body multiple times, once when I couldn’t walk and was in a wheel chair, once when I was almost put in ICU for pneumonia because the antibiotics weren’t working…. yet, I still carried my chains.
I was abused physically and mentally, I was broken and felt ashamed and lost my family … I watched God put me back together, restore my brokenness, and give me back what was lost 6 fold… but I put my chains on every day!
I was in a deep dark depression for years, and struggled with extreme anxiety to the point I couldn’t leave my bedroom…. I watched God give me my life back…. but I still wore the chains.
I watched our family outgrow our home, and our finances did not increase! We needed a bigger home at the same payment… I watched God give us a home that was over two times the size of our small home for one hundred dollars more! Yet…I still wore my chains.
There is so much bondage that we deal with on a daily basis. I believe that the root cause of all bondage begins with fear. Whether your chains are from something you feel ashamed of, scared of, addicted to, all of that begins with one little seed of fear.
The spirit of fear is paralyzing! It confines, restricts, darkens, and limits your abilities that God has given you! My entire life I have lived with some form of fear, it was rooted in me at a very early age and for thirty-five years I have battled this demon, over and over again, until finally God brought me deliverance!
I had the kind of fear that would shake you to the core! Sheer Panic! With every situation, every confrontation, every bump in the road… I was in my chains begging God to do something, waiting for the next bad thing to happen, waiting for that ONE TIME that God doesn’t come through! Not wanting to be blind sided, I would always play “what if!” What if God doesn’t hear me? What if God doesn’t come through? What if I’m homeless, what if I die, what If I have nothing? Worry would take over my thoughts, my dreams, my body! I would shake, couldn’t breathe, my heart would pound, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t function! Wake up gasping and pray myself back to sleep! This demon was eating away at my life one circumstance after another, after another and I just sat there and continued to feed it!
What I didn’t realize was that God had given ME the power to be delivered from this! I say I was walking through the desert because it reminds me of when the Israelites were in the desert. For over 400 years the Israelites were slaves in egypt, then God lead them into the desert and delivered them from slavery- yet they still wore their chains! They complained of misery, no food, no water…. yet God came through. They worshiped idols, thought God had left them, and even wanted to go back to Egypt at one point! But God came through…yet they continued to wear their chains! They allowed their fear of the past to haunt them, their fear gave them doubt, their fear enslaved them even when they were already delivered from slavery!
These past few months I went through so much! I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of trials, one right after another that hit us! One in particular- with our rental home- had me completely horrified! This particular situation drained every penny we had saved for Christmas this year, every penny in our emergency fund, and was a possibility that we would have to pay every paycheck we received the next month as well. As we worked hard to restore the house, 10-12 hour days while pregnant and my husband doing what he could with his back condition, we prayed!! As I took a break from painting, crying from exhaustion and missing my kids, I was on my knees in that house praying! As I opened up the bank account and my heart sank to my stomach, I prayed! I though of Job, how no matter what- he KNEW God would come through! He lost everything but still knew God was faithful! And I hung onto Job! I KNEW if we did lose everything- God would still be faithful! If God didn’t come through like I asked- it was for my own good! And the more I told myself these things, the more those chains began to loosen, the more the weight began to fall, the more I began to see the promised land was right in front of me all along!
God was right on time, we got new tenants, didn’t have to use every pay check the next month, every bill got paid, our kids were fed, and fear was conquered! It still likes to try to come back. “What if you don’t have Christmas this year for the kids?” “What if you can’t give them what they want?” “What if, what if, what if” I used to reply to these questions with “I know God will supply BUT-if he doesn’t…” now… I say “What if ….. BUT God WILL supply- he has a plan !!”
God’s plan is perfect, we have to stop allowing fear to keep us from fully trusting the Lord and take the power back we have given it! Stop feeding our fear and start trusting God without any hesitation, without any doubt, without any “what if’s.” Until you can pull off the chains you will continue to go through the same trials over and over again! Until we learn to have unwavering faith we will be stagnant in the desert. God has given each of us the power of deliverance through faith in Jesus Christ.