Breaking Bad – A Devotion

Breaking Bad

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NLT)

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.

 

I am only human. The natural response to overwhelming circumstances and the agony of defeat. It is our fallback position in failure to claim our humanity as a handicap. I do it all the time. The problem is that I am not “only human”. I am a Child of God. No longer captive to the empty philosophies of human thinking and random reasoning, I can live in total freedom from bondage and captivity. Do not visualize a penitentiary or prison somewhere with long rows of cells, endless bars and guards walking back and forth. This is not the kind of thing that I am talking about. It is the compulsion that Christians have to revert to their old life but claim a new one. We are promised a brand new life. However, insanely choose to continue to think and act the same way. Albert Einstein defined it this way, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Welcome to the life of the frustrated Christian! It’s time we learned to start breaking the bad things off our life caused by rebellious thoughts and teach our mind to follow Christ out of bondage and captivity to be set free indeed.

John 8:35-36 (NLT)

A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

 

We are the Sons and Daughters of God. Think about that for a minute. If your son or daughter was in some kind of captivity, you would move heaven and hell to set them free especially if they were wrongly accused. You my friend have been officially exonerated. You are free to live in the promises, blessings, successes, and prosperity of God. Are you? Deliverance is not just the act of salvation but the consumption of one’s freedom. We are not slaves set free from a cell, but Children of a Loving Father waiting to welcome us home and right all the injustices against us. But I did all those horrible things before I was saved…okay. So what? The grace of Jesus Christ wiped all that away when His Blood carried every single sin as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) As far as God the Father is concerned, there is no record of sin in our life. We hold on to guilt and shame rather than righteousness. When we decide to break this bad habit, we will begin to embrace our salvation and the freedom that we have to never live in bondage again.

Proverbs 5:21-23(NLT)

For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

 

Every Sunday morning in worship services, people give their heart to Jesus Christ with the best of intentions. They are going to change their life for the better. They will make better choices. Do better things. Think better thoughts. Hang out with better people. They will do better. Well, I hate to be a dream crusher here, but we just cannot live up to God’s Glorious Standard no matter how hard we try.  We cannot do better or we already would have. No, salvation is the first step in deliverance as we give our LIFE to Jesus so He will set us free. Doctrine tells us to “do”. But the Word of God says, “Follow me.” God keeps His Eyes on us constantly. It is not His Intention to beat us down with every wrong move because we do not make bad choices as we walk under the covering of righteousness. Jesus Christ has put His Righteousness on us like a covering so that God only sees it when we enter His Presence. Our sin has been washed away. How many times do we take our sin and splash it through the Blood but never release it in the flow? Sin is the bondage. Sin is failure to trust the Lord more than we trust us. Doubt is the summation of every sin that we have because we put something in the place of what the Lord has for our life and believe that we cannot live without it. There are many bondages due to lack of trust. Anything that you currently are subject to that is less than God’s Very Best is not His Will for your life. But until you let it go, He cannot give you what He has. We must open the door that which binds us in sin and walk in freedom. Worry and stress are bondage in their own right and imply that the Hand of God runs short and the Blood of Jesus is not enough.

Isaiah 61:1-3(NLT)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

 

Flying home from a conference yesterday, I read a popular women’s magazine. Towards the back was a submission about the holidays, just a one-page essay. It’s funny how God plants Himself in our life in the smallest places. He speaks through some of the craziest things. The article was called “Ode to Joy”. Naturally, the word “joy” caught my eye. But as I read it, I realized joy and peace was the writer’s mission not profound possession. After a recent marital separation, the thought of the holidays was overwhelming. She talks about trying to get into the holiday spirit in the midst of unthinkable circumstances. When disaster strikes and the tiny Christmas tree filled with ornaments come crashing to the ground, she breaks:

“My 10-year-old son, Chase, walked in and his eyes widened and filled with tears. I wiped my own tears, plastered on a smile and said, “Everything’s fine! Everything is just fine!” And with that – “everything’s just fine” – something shifted and I was able to see clearly what I was doing on the floor and to my family. I was trying to un-break broken things. I was trying to force my family and my life backward. Back to the “perfect family” box that I’d built…”

Sitting arm to arm in an overcrowded airplane tears began to sting the back of my eyes, as I completely related to this woman. After three years of constant cancer treatment including most of this year, it will be our first Christmas without chemotherapy. Praise God! Another child has flown from the nest, and now she and her husband will visit on Christmas. But I miss the tousled hair and one-eye open little girl who bounced up saying, “Is it Christmas yet?” Our family has been shaken to the core starting with a son spending a year overseas fighting our country just over four years ago, to fighting cancer for the last three to another leaving home. There is no rest for the weary so to speak. Talk about some radical shifts. My life is not as I thought it would be. Oh, my marriage is intact and maybe yours is as well, but perhaps things did not turn out as you thought that they would. My birth mother passed away in the midst of all the chaos of our year. It is difficult to mourn the loss of someone who you lost as a child to addiction. But nevertheless, it is a terrible tragedy to realize that is the end of the story. Everything is not the way I thought that it would be. My inclination over the last three years is to try to keep things as “normal” as possible. Now I am on the floor with my author friend in the realization that I am trying to “un-break broken things.” The Lord is working to deliver me. He wants me to walk in the Light of His Love following His Way to the freedom secured just for me as a Daughter of the King. Am I the one holding the cell door shut in my quest to have a normal life? Am I trying to force my life backwards? This is a good word for somebody today, but if it is only for me so be it and indulge me, please. God cannot create new life where old life exists. Our old life must go away for everything to be made new. It is up to me to decide if I want to be free to live in the blessings and promises reserved for His Children or if I choose to put back together things that He has already broken off my life.

Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

 

I am bound (no pun intended) and determined to break bad off my life and keep it that way. As people, we are comfortable with the Law, doctrine and anything that carefully outlines the details and tells us what to do. However, when we are set free without restriction into something completely new it can be very overwhelming. The need for “normal” is a human one. The need for the “supernatural” is a spiritual one. God has given us His Spirit not only to identify us but so we can identify and recognize Him. Only those who know the Lord beyond a quick prayer and occasional acknowledgement will have the courage and strength to break the ropes of sin that tie us to the past and to the way things used to be. The faith that I have found in the last three years is the result of exponential growth. Not because I did anything spectacular but in my brokenness, I went to my Father. He filled every void left behind. When modern medicine could not heal our son, we could do nothing else but trust the Lord. We have the ability to do this every day and in every season not just the difficult ones.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life…”

 

You will never have the power to free your life from sin. People cannot make up for their own indiscretions and shortcomings. Therefore, we cannot free ourselves. We need Jesus. We choose whether we want to live or die. This includes whether we walk in freedom or choose to die in bondage. To choose life means that we will love the Lord, obey Him, and commit our life firmly to Him. Forget the “to-do” list, just love Jesus. Walk with Him today. Tell Him your fears, doubts, worries, needs, desires and dreams. Let Him know that you trust Him by leaving them all at His Feet. Those who do will be free to live their new life! You do not have to do anything at all just walk in the freedom paved in His Love! Stop trying to “do” so much. Choose to be a Child of God, live in His Presence, walk in His Way, submit your life to His Will and watch Him come to your rescue! Jesus breaks bad off our life and turns every detail into something good!

Isaiah 10:27 (NLT)

In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.

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