"I feel paralyzed."
These words slipped out of my mouth as I sat across the table from one of the influential women who have poured into my life. That was the only word that expressed the lacking of power, courage, and hope I felt when in a certain situation. And as I contemplated how I was going to deal with being faced with a situation like the one we were talking about, that was all I could feel. Paralyzed. I was captivated by that feeling. Powerless.
I imagine you know a bit of what it feels like to be held captive by a feeling. Maybe it is fear. Or hopelessness. Maybe it is anger or bitterness. Regardless, at some point in time I am sure each and every one of us has felt what it is like to unable to move around a feeling we have felt about a situation or person. And the problem is, most times how we feel influences our actions. Or lack of action.
I feel like getting to have a relationship with Jesus has never ending discoveries. I am always learning something new. And what He has shown me recently is that I am no longer a slave to sin. I am empowered through Him to choose not to sin. And it doesn't mean I don't sin. But that I don't have to be trapped by it. I don't have to be stuck in it. I don't have to choose it. But the question is why? Why am I free? How am I free? Are these just words that are like a big, abstract idea that I can know but not practice?
I don't think so.
Back when Jesus was on earth, He spoke these words, "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free... Most assuredly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:31-36). The truth is that Jesus has redeemed me. He has bought me and brought me into His kingdom (Colossians 1:13). And He says that if He makes me free, which He has, I will be free indeed.
I get the idea that Jesus isn't just for big, impractical ideas that sound nice. His word is truth. And it's real. And powerful. If He says I am free, I am free. INDEED.
It says in Romans we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to Christ. And that sin no longer has power over us. No dominion. No rule. No authority (Romans 6:11-14). But instead we are alive in Christ... Because He now lives in us. The all-powerful God who made the heavens and earth. Who formed us out of the dust of the earth and crafted us in His image. The One who sustains each day. The One who perfectly covers all sins when we believe on Him. He is alive in us (Galatians 2:20).
He is in me. And the verse which I was given in the conversation before mentioned- when I cried out that I was paralyzed and unable to move- was 2 Timothy 1:7.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind (self-discipline)."
I am not longer a slave to fear. I am no longer a captive. I have been set free. I have Jesus living in me. And His power and love live in me. Giving me new life. He has given me the ability, through His power, to say no to sin. To say I will not be trapped. I will not be ruled. I don't have to submit to the chains of fear, worry, anger, and bitterness. I do not have to submit to lies. The chains which I allow to hold me so often... they don't have to stay on. Because Jesus has set me free.
So if you feel trapped, lost, or hopeless... turn to Him and ask Him to show you just how free you are. He says if we lack wisdom to ask Him. So ask (James 1:5). He is a good Father and gives us what we need.
Let Him whisper the words "Courage, dear heart. You are free in Me. You can be BOLD in Me. For I am with you."