Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Smashing tapes of the past

John 10:10 (NCV) A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness.

A few years back, our church spent a few weeks listening to a sermon series our Senior Pastor entitled “Hostage.” The entire series was eye opening about the "things" in our lives (past and present) that we allow to hold us "hostage." Of all the sermons in that series, it was the last one "Ransomed from Lies" that left a last impression on me. 

The service opened with a powerful worship set then went into a video clip. This video had no spoken words but as the images moved across the screen and the music played in the background, I was quickly drawn into the story by the words displayed on the screen. It was a powerful story about being held hostage.

In the video, someone had come to pay the debt of the hostage. When the person went to tell the hostage he was free to go, the hostage declined. He had been there for too long. What once drove him mad, had  become comfortable. “No thank you” responds the hostage as he shuts the door. He chooses to remain captive by the "false security" of the four prison walls. What a compelling video.
As a follow up to this video, a point was made in the sermon that we sometimes hold ourselves hostage. We accept Christ as our Savior and in so doing he sets us free from the sin that has held us “hostage” for so long. So why is it so hard for us to walk away from the chains of that sin? It’s because of the battle that is going on in our mind. 

You know what I’m taking about don’t you? Those tapes that play over and over again in our head. 

Perhaps the tape playing is something you were told when you were a child…
“You’re not good enough." 
"You’re not pretty enough." 
"Why can’t you be more like your brother / sister?” 
"What's wrong with you!"

Perhaps it’s the friend that said 
“Come on! It’s only one, what can it hurt?” 

It can also be those friends encouraging you to do “what’s best for you” even when it doesn’t line up with the truth of God’s word. 

Perhaps it's even someone close to you telling you "you can't do anything right." 

In our minds, we think those words are the absolute truth for some reason, and we allow ourselves to be defined by them.
No matter what old tape we have playing in the back of our minds, we have to ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to break the tape. Our pastor said something that day that has stuck with me all this time. “When we decide to live a life that is good and pleasing to God and we ask him for forgiveness, He hits the DELETE button on those past sins.” 

That morning, I imagined God with a huge sledge hammer. He was dropping it down on all the past tapes of my life smashing them to bits. That brought about such healing in me.
I think we all have to get to a place where we move out of our comfort zone and trust God...completely. He wants to give us an abundant life...not keep us chained and listening to the tapes of our past. 

What tapes are you still listening to? Perhaps today is the day you need to see God's sledge hammer smashing them to bits. See yourself laying the old tapes down and walking the FREEDOM Christ died to give you. 

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