Break Free! Freedom over Bondage

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My last post was about a dream I had where God revealed to me that my cigarette smoking was the thing in my life that was hindering me in my walk with Him. I heard that for me, smoking is my choosing the world over Him. I was repentant and determined to be done with cigarettes forever, so I thought.

For the first nine days, I did not smoke, and my cravings were surprisingly mild enough that when one came on, I could brush it off and keep going about my day. I have spoken to former smokers, who described the first week as the worst and most challenging part of quitting. I was on day nine. I should have been home-free, and that is what I thought. I was cocky. I thought I got this under control. What a mistake!

Day 10 was no different than the other days; I got up for work, drank my coffee, and started working. Well, a thought came into my mind to try a cigarette. I quickly rebuked that thought and went on about my business. During my break, I grabbed a cigarette, confident that the taste of it would automatically be disgusting to me, and I would know for sure that is it forever. I had a few puffs and threw it out in disgust. I was disgusted, not with the taste, but with myself; I quickly repented.

Now, I know y’all are probably asking yourselves, where did she even get a cigarette? Didn’t she say she threw them all out after her dream? Yes, I did, but that is a story for another time. Just know; that I did not lie about throwing them out. And I did not buy any.

Anyway, fast forward to now…

I am still smoking, going back and forth. Feeling disgusted but still smoking, crying out to the Lord, but still smoking, trying to deny myself but still smoking, condemning myself, and still smoking. I mean, I could probably be cited for pollution for all the packs I threw in the woods.

I failed the test.

It has been a month since my last post. The reason for that is shame and condemnation. I have been beating myself up. God got me through the first nine days with barely any cravings; I messed it up on day 10.

It was me, all me. It is like a parent teaching their child to ride a bike. We are excited and shaky, but because we know someone is on the back side holding the bike steady while we pedal, we gain confidence. While not even knowing; they have let go, we are still going until we look back and see they have taken their hands off. It is that moment our confidence fades; we are no longer steady; and we fall. That is how I feel.

I know God has not taken his hands off. I have taken my eyes off the road to FREEDOM!

In the Bible, the book of Hebrews is for those resistant to change. As my minister explained, it was written for the Jews struggling to move from the old covenant to the new covenant.

Change is one of those things that we either embrace or resist. We embrace it because we are ready and are looking forward to something new, or we resist it because we are afraid of what is new. With change comes choice. How we choose will ultimately reveal if we are embracing or resisting. There is a price to pay if we resist God. Resistance equals bondage and bondage/sin leads to death.

I have struggled to move from bondage to freedom. It sounds so crazy when I look at the words on the screen, but it is the cold-hard truth. Resisting change, I took my eyes off God and his promise. I ran back to bondage. Afraid of what freedom can bring, I stopped pedaling.

Stand fast therefore; in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galations 5:1 NKJV

Instead of keeping my eyes on God, I veered left and got lost in the sauce. Now, I am fighting to get back on the road to freedom. I am choosing life and not death, freedom and not bondage, spirit and not my flesh, and once again Jesus! I choose Jesus!

I need help! I need an accountability partner, someone rooted in Christ Jesus who can encourage me, pray with me, and even rebuke me when necessary. I cannot fight alone. Alone is where the enemy wants me so he can overtake me every time. I refuse to keep being silent and trying to fight through this all on my own. We are not meant to fight sin alone.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrew 10:24-25

Freedom over bondage! Jesus came to set us free, and it is time I embrace my freedom and allow God to truly and completely transform me. I am nervous but excited to meet this new Tanya. She may even be able to sing without sounding like a wounded animal. I may have gone too far with the singing but, I am excited to meet ex-smoker Tanya.

I have attempted to write this post for weeks now without success, but I am so glad that today I got the strength to push through because writing this post is where I got an understanding of my actions. When God said I am choosing the world over Him, I thought that’s a bit extreme but it’s God, and He said what He said.

As I took the time to sit and write this post is when it all came together. Because of Jesus, I am free. I was bound by sin until I accepted Jesus into my heart as my Lord and savior, and I became free. Choosing the world over God is in essence, continuing in bondage when your chains have been broken; the gate is wide open, but you refuse to leave the dark, deep pit of bondage. You can see the sunshine, green grass, and goodness over there, but you prefer to stay where you are because you listened to those people who said, “the grass ain’t always greener on the other side.” Now you are too scared to find out for yourself. Why are you listening to them anyway; they did not even use proper English. Lord Have Mercy! The grass is always greener with Jesus because the reward is life!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23 NKJV

Friends, what can I say? I am imperfect in every way. Sometimes I fall, but I will not stay there. I can get back up and try again. So, this is my confession and decree that I will not give up. Freedom over bondage! Do not let the enemy silence you.

If you are struggling with sin and you need an accountability partner, I am willing. Reach out, don’t suffer in silence. Tell the enemy to get behind you and remind him that you already have the victory in Christ Jesus.

Peace and Blessings

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