There I was, married to a beautiful wife with three amazing children. My work was meaningful and resources were abundant. From the outside looking in I was blessed beyond measure. And yet, I was seething with anger and clamoring for control. Beyond my joyful facade in front of others, I was miserable because something was missing.
I woke up everyday on a mission to “make it to the top.” My performance driven mentality negatively infected my family. I’d created a toxic environment that was goal driven at the expense of enjoying our relationships. Everything had to be done my way, because in my mind, when I was in control I could protect myself from future pain. Sadly, I was so focused on the destination that I was missing the journey.
Now, I realize I was trying to earn affirmation through accomplishments. So the more insignificant I felt, the harder the hamster spun the wheel. Beneath the surface there was a silent simmer of anger. Like the Hulk, always ready and willing to react to any threat of rejection, dishonor or injustice. I lived guarded, because the streets that I grew up on would chew you up and spit you out if you were weak. So I’d adopted a hardened heart. The problem with a hardened heart is that in the Kingdom of God, our weakness opens the door for His strength to freely flow within us.When God’s strength flows within us, we’re empowered to become the best version of ourselves.
By God’s grace I started to realize this fear-led existence was ruining my marriage and distancing me from those I loved most. I wasn’t fulfilled in my family, because there was emptiness within me. God was drawing me into a journey to freedom.
My journey to freedom took off when I read books like:
- Freedom From Your Past by Jimmy Evans
- Think Differently, Live Differently by Bob Hamp
One night, I couldn’t sleep while wrestling with the concept of identity. Having learned that freedom isn’t about what you don’t do anymore; But freedom is when you can become the person you were made by God to be!
At around 2 am I sat on my living room couch and my attention was drawn to my baby picture on a shelf in my living room. In the picture I was around 3 years old and smiling while holding a balloon in my lap.
God asked me, “what do you see?” while looking at the boy with the balloon picture. After thinking for a while I replied, “innocence; fearlessness; he wasn’t trying hard because he was safe; he had nothing to prove and he wasn’t worried.”
Almost instantaneously there was an awareness that my description of the boy were God’s thoughts of me as a man. I starting balling because the smiling boy with the balloon was still in there. In a moment in God’s presence, there was no doubt that I was His choice, a family member of Heaven and chosen as His son. I could live fearlessly before The Father. I could unclench my fist and let my guard down. By surrendering, my hands would be freed up to love my family because I’m filled with the unconditional love of The Father…Freedom.
What happened to that little boy?
- I’d been exposed to painful traumatic experiences that led to our three greatest fears: the fear of rejection, fear of failure and the fear of death.
- I subconsciously blamed myself for the past and constantly worked to be the solution for the pain.
- I became my own insufficient source of salvation and safety. Using work, accompaniments, sinful habits and vices to make me feel “free.” As long as we try to save ourselves, we’re not seeking The Savior first.
- That all changed when I realized my Heavenly Father wanted me to surrender the lies I’d believed in exchange for His Truth about me.
God wants you to enjoy life as a theme park where you hold his hand and enjoy walking with him while taking in the experience. The rides aren’t what matter. It’s the adventure of him fathering you on the journey that makes life sweeter. Seeing yourself through the eyes of your loving Father makes the work much lighter, the yoke easy and burden of your purpose light. In order for that to happen you must:
- GET FREE FROM THE YOU YOU WERE BORN TO BE, TO BECOME THE ONE YOU WERE CREATED TO BE—Bob Hamp
- How do we do this? We seek first His presence through worship that engages in dialogue with our Heavenly Dad.
- We fight to exchange any thought of our identity that’s contrary to God’s truth about us.
2 Corinthians 3:16–18 (ESV) 16“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
You become what you behold with your Heavenly Father.
- When that photo jumped off the shelf and I had that conversation with God, I was transformed from glory to glory. It wasn’t something I did for God it was something He delivered to me.
- Meditate on and process the picture of truth that God reveals to you. That’s who you are. That’s where the spiritual warfare is and where you must win the battle for your identity.
Freedom is not born from what you do, but rather what The Spirit of The Lord does. It is not what you get by trying really hard to “not do” something. It comes from vulnerability and beholding God with unveiled faces. True freedom is when you’re transformed into the image of the Father as you behold Him and become what you were meant to be.
To begin your journey towards freedom, click this link to (21 Day Inner Healing Journey by Jimmy Evans)