John 8:32 – You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Recently, while reading in Numbers, I came across a section that reminded me so much of the struggle that is faced every single day by the women of Jacob’s Well Ministries and Recovery Center. It is a battle, to say the least, to continue to stand when the giants in life seem so daunting compared to the allure of the Promised Land which is right on the horizon. The land itself is so incredibly beautiful, yet so many of the women sabatoge it and listen to the bad reports coming from the scouts on the battlefield instead of listening to the Spirit of God. They choose to go back to the wilderness.
Numbers 13:27-28 (NIV) – The gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.”
So many women walk across the threshold and see the fruit immediately. They see the promise as if it has already happened, then come the reports, then a few bad decisions, and the next thing you know, they are back out the door and back on the wrong side of the battlefield.
Numbers 14:1-4 (NIV) – That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
There is a woman at Jacob’s Well as I type this who did just that. She listened to the wrong report, made a decision that cost her, and fled out the door and back into the waiting arms of the enemy. She refused to cut the head off her giant that stood in the way of her Promised Land and she was gone in an instant. This was last year. After racking up five felony charges, countless rapes, a beating and pistol whipping which left her nearly dead, and a lifetime of regret, shame and guilt, she graced the threshold of Jacob’s Well once again, barely breathing, not able to hold her head up for one second. She had chosen to go back to Egypt, as many do on a weekly basis, and it cost her more oil in her alabaster jar. Here is what she wrote as she made a concious decision to face the giants in her life head on. Needless to say, the enemy is mad, and he has lost his power over her life that she is reclaiming through Christ!
I do what I want to do because I want to do it. I don’t work hard because I don’t want to. I don’t care to talk about what I want. If I want to talk about someone in the program, I do because it’ss what I want to do. It’s always about what Alisa wants to do. I want people to like me because it gets me what I want, so I become whoever they want me to be in order to aquire their approval. I act like their friend and let them confide in me then the moment I see an opportunity for personal gain I turn on them. I know weaknesses when I see them in people and I use it to my advantage. I know that in their desire to have a friend in me that I can get them to let me get away with whatever I want and that I can get what I want from them. Everything I do is for personal gain and I’ll take from whomever and whatever stands in between me and what I want. I do not submit to authority and I’m not open to receive your advice. The evil I am capable of is inconceivable. I got manipulation down to a science and can use it to get just about whatever I want from pretty much whoever I want. There is so much darkness in me that I barely have any remorse for my actions and almost no empathy for others. For a long time I lied to myself by thinking I was a very good person and blaming everyone else for every bad decision I made. Now I’m blown away by the truth and I realize now that what I’ve been hiding is that I actually hate myself. I’ve finally realized the truth and you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Now that I see this, I am going to change. I don’t want to stay on the path to self destruction or drag others down with me.
That, folks, is deliverance!! That is truth and truth is costly. Truth means war!! She did something afraid and that is now propelling her past the popular opinion of the world and into doing what God has called her to do. She is no longer following the path of practicality, but is listening to and obeying God, no longer wandering in an aimless and fruitless desert. She is recalling God’s glorious promises and no longer slipping into doubt! Christ alone is setting her free!
Romans 7:14-25 (NIV) – We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
What truth are you refusing to see? How raw are YOU willing to get? How long are you going to stay in the desert listening to bad reports and begging to go back to your oppression? Get real, get honest before the Lord, and allow Him to do a mighty work in transforming your mind!