For Freedom's Sake
My childhood of abuse is a well documented story (you can view a small video here) but today's thought is more of a proclamation than a post. I will be co-speaking October 27 with Tom Zahradnik, a close friend of mine (follow him here and here) at a men's event. Tom and I share a heart to see men set free to become all they are meant to be. We'll be sharing our testimony and challenging men to confront the issues in their live that are hindering following hard after the Father. Will you pray for us and the men that will be there that night? And if you are a man reading this and would like to talk further about being set free from the past, just drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love the opportunity to help and encourage you in any way I can. Bless ya!
"Never regret anything you have been through, because only with those trials will you become a better person the next day." - Crystal Hunt
It takes a strong man to forgive the pain and abuse you walked through. This toughness involves a decision…a powerful, life changing decision. This choice concentrates on what we can give rather than what we can dish out (like judgment or punishment). When we forgive we go on a salvage operation...it is a rescue mission for our souls. It means we confront our past and let nothing dominate us except God’s will for our life. It means we make a stand and believe what Gods says is true.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
Confronting our past is not an easy gig. It takes guts…it takes courage…it takes a man willing to make some hard choices. Maybe you don’t believe you have what it takes to make those choices. Maybe you have never heard those words…but I’m here to tell you that you DO have what it takes…you ARE the man. Father God is calling you to freedom, to a way of living that is so radically different from the one you merely exist in today. Yes this life involves surrender, it does require sacrifice but if you will be honest with yourself today you will see you have already surrendered to something. You have surrendered to something less than God’s best for your life. You have sacrificed dreams, plans and desires because you have refused to believe you could be free.
Let’s be brave men…let’s make tough choices…lets decide to be free. Past abuse does not have to define us. What our fathers failed to do or say doesn’t have to be the final word of our manhood. God is calling us to become sons…His sons. God’s words, His view of who we are defines us…this is the heart of God…to be our Father.
I refuse to describe myself as a victim of abuse…why? Because I am a set free son of God! My painful past does not or will not dominate who I am. Its way beyond “forgiving and forgetting”…way beyond “time heals all wounds”…its freedom! Because I forgave my father I can view my past without the pain or shame attached to those memories. I walked through a dark, horrible time; the enemy wanted it to be a killing field for my life. The enemy wanted me to give myself to this identity and for a while I did, I allowed to corrupt my view. When I forgave my dad, when I choose freedom, when I took a stand…I began to win back my identity. That was a hard choice but a necessary one for freedom to take root and grow.
I desperately needed (still do) a Savior, someone to rescue me…and my future. When I think of the near death experiences and the attempts to derail my life, I shudder inside. Forgiveness has enabled me to live the life God has intended for me, it’s so much more than being “saved” it’s a calling to become someone. I can become the husband, the father, the brother, the son and the man I was designed to be…because I’m forgiven.
The Father rescued me with the gift of forgiveness…He can rescue you too.