It breaks my heart when I realize how many times I simply just chose to be in slavery, stuck in a prison, yet I put myself there. I wanted to list a few of the things that I was a slave to at one point in my life a few times ago:
1. The Prison of Exercise
I was once the girl who *had* to exercise or I didn't feel complete. I had to exercise usually to "burn more", to "lose more", not realizing that I was setting myself up for failure every time. It had to be forced, and secluded from my family for it to count ~ because then I wouldn't be interrupted and could finish. NEVER did I realize that maybe, just maybe those interruptions were from God, and that He was trying to show me that spending time with my little ones was far more important then the hamster race on the treadmill. When I finally quit the gym back in July, I felt relief! Now... I can look back and realize that was the best choice for not only me, but my family. I realize had I been "stuck in the prison of 24 hour fitness" I would struggle with my schedule more then I already did when I was adjusting to working a full time week.
Now I am free. Free to jump, hula hoop, run, crawl, crab walk with my kids in class. ALL of which are fantastic and fun when you are accompanied by 15 three year olds. ~ Smile ~ I also am free to say "Hey, let's go to the park and walk" to my own kids, which means they get to have a break in the chores, homework, or whatever may be trying to occupy their time. We are out in God's great earth enjoying LIFE!
2. The Prison of Self Mutilation
While you may have a harsh visual of self mutilation, it can happen so slick, so sly that it is often over looked. Taking laxatives because you gave in to your "naughty foods list" is self mutilation. Denying your body out of "self absorption" is self mutilation. Negative self talk is self mutilation. Taking time away from the Father to build yourself up one way or another is self mutation.
I am thankful to be free from that. Sure, every now and then a negative thought would come up, but these are little battles. I would much rather NOT worry about any thing I put in my mouth, and focus completely on Him and being a faithful servant. Sounds kind of crazy I know, but I spent 2/3 of my day worrying about what I ate, what I would eat, what I couldn't eat, what I shshouldn't eat and what I really wanted to eat. THAT was the deepest and darkest prison cell I know of. Now, I watch the amounts of what I eat, and am thankful for being able to enjoy ALL of God's goodness! Now.. I am enjoying LIFE!
3. The prison of "friendly" Competition
Yep. I am putting it out there, for all to read. Some of you have expressed the feelings of all these "challenge" we have joined, started, created, whether we joined them publicly or they were private ones we gave our self. I even STARTED a challenge, and then towards the end it was just too much. I realized I was completely consumed by it. After that I have stayed away. I tried doing my own personal challenges, and did miserable there. UNTIL.... I read of someone losing more weight then I. THEN the ugly face of not wanting to be left behind took over. I was NOT going to weigh more then someone I know. (Now I do, but it is all pure vanity.)
Now? I am allowing God to move me, mold me, make me into who He originally created within me. Guess what?! I can now celebrate with you when you lose, instead of being greedy and jealous. Now, I praise God for what He is doing in YOUR life, not just my own. If I didn't do this, I would fall into that prison again. I am honored to go before God in your victory and give Him the due praise He deserves. I feel LIFE being shared, and enjoyed.
Too many of us put ourselves in many prisons. Often we transfer our self from one prison to another in the name of "healthy". We allow God to work in one part of our health journey, but do not invite Him into another. We often do not realize that when we give God control in one area, that Satan will use another area to get our focus off of Him, and back onto our self where unfortunately he then can twist and turn so many lies, and then we lose focus completely. I am honored to know that there are more of us who are allowing God to be God in our lives, in our appetites. But now, it's time for us to move forward, and allow God to be God in every single area of our lives. By that I mean in what we eat, how we move (and how often), when we say NO to other commitments to spend more time with Him, how we deal with our children and spouses in these same areas, etc...
It's time to give back your prison keys ~ and in fact give them to God. Ask Him to help you to see what prison you may have locked yourself in and how to get out. Now, don't be like a three year old, and ask for the keys back after you give them away. Instead, allow God to keep them, and deal with you in each of these areas. I have FAITH that God will move mightily if you let Him!
Love in Christ,
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30