Imprisonment in the mind
This world is filled with sufferings and issues that we see every day. Especially in our own lives we can see these issues plaguing our own minds in the form of depression or anxiety. Today we call it mental health issues, but it is more than that. It is an attack on our minds and wants to imprison us to fear. We all desire freedom and be loosed from the heaviness that depression and anxiety carry. However, depression and anxiety war against freedom. Which side are we going to let win?
The first step in approaching this conflict is understanding where we place our identity. Has fear or anxious thoughts crept in as an established place of who we are? Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey.” Are we presenting ourselves to depression or anxiety? Our speech and the words that come out of our mouth carry weight. No longer can we come into agreement in these areas. “Well, I am just anxious person.” “I’ve just learned to deal with it.” This is presenting ourselves as slaves to anxiety in which we will inevitably obey.
Let’s walk through Exodus chapter 14 starting in verses 10-12. And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” The Lord was trying to bring them out of their slavery, but fear took over and they doubted the process he was trying to take them through that would lead them to the promised land. He was trying to deliver them, but they thought it would have been easier to suffer in Egypt than be uncomfortable in a journey that would lead to freedom.
Sometimes it feels easier to cope with our given circumstance instead of walking in the freedom God wants for our lives. Walking in freedom and fullness in Christ sometimes is a daily walk and it can be difficult, but it is worth it to walk in our true identity in Christ.
Your oppression is not your identity
Sometimes we can get in this mindset that we are too far gone or that people could not understand what we are going through. In the book of John, the scene is being set to where Jesus is saying that He is about to die and leave. Jesus was the disciples’ hope of a Savior who would save them. He is about to leave, and the weight of the world is literally on Jesus’ shoulders. Yet, Jesus says to His disciples in John 14:1 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” The instruction from Jesus was simply to not be anxious. The situation was the most extreme, but God would not say it if it was not possible. So, in circumstances where we feel fear and anxiety creep within us, we can rest assured that we were not meant to carry anxiety and Jesus has seen and carried it all to the cross. Jesus commanded us to be not anxious. It does not matter what circumstance or scenario we are in, it is possible through Jesus.
Now, if we start making our oppression our identity, a spirit can start to take root and influence over our lives. “Well, I’m just an anxious person.” “I just can’t help it.” “It’s too hard, I can’t stop the sin cycle.” This is presenting ourselves to sin and making it a part of our identity. Colossians 2:9-10 – “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him.” Some verses say you have been brought to fulness. What if we presented ourselves as slaves to righteousness. We are not anxious, our identity is not slave to sin, and we are whole in Christ. Romans 6:19 – “For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as sales of righteousness for holiness.”
Deliverance can be a journey, but the Lord delivers us and brings freedom in the place of identity in Him. Psalm 34:4-5 “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.” Psalms 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.” It may be a journey, but the Lord is our deliver and Savior. He wants us to be free for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.