The bondage of Soul Ties is the direct cause that many people, even those who profess faith in Christ, continually struggle with inner compulsions that are seemingly uncontrollable. Whenever the compulsions have their way, we lose heart and feel like giving up. Worse yet, we may feel that God has some negative opinion of us too.
Today is the third article in our series on Breaking Soul Ties. Click the title to read the first blog in the series, "Conformers Need Only Apply" or the second blog in the series, "Call It What It Is." Today, for those who are ready to make a change, but seem to lack the power to do so, it's time to start charting a course toward freedom. This is a brave step because old thoughts, patterns of thought, beliefs, habits, intellect, etc. need to be deconstructed to make way for new. You would think that it would be easy to say goodbye to things that would seek to destroy you, but no... not at all for most people. The very thing we loathe at times is the very thing that has become so familiar, so ingrained into our identity, that we simply can't stomach saying goodbye. But, if freedom will be the new theme of our life, we must.
Phase Two: Charting Freedom's Course
Step One: Tell Someone and Enlist Them
Previously it was noted that you cannot do this alone. Now is the time to get help. If you are really ready for change then commit it to a person. Find a trusted friend, tell them you have the desire to be free from your old destructive soul ties. Ask them if they will be willing to walk the path with you. Tell them if you are afraid, have any apprehensions, or other concerns. Committing your inner desire out loud to another person is your first act of intention toward freedom. This will be especially difficult if you've had trouble trusting others because of abuse. In the end, take the risk to trust. Fear the results of continuing old patterns more.
Step Two: Tell Jesus
The prayer of submission and surrender from a heart-posture of openness is necessary. It cannot be stated clearly enough that this is about HIS power, not willpower. You simply cannot do this alone. Jesus cannot do His work in you without your willingness, but you will never be free without His power. Psalm 32:1-7 will be your guide for this set of steps:
"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"— and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." (Psalms 32:1-7 NIV)
Pray and trust... confess and repent... surrender and submit... and learn the rhythms of prayer and trust as a new daily habit.
Step Three: The Written Action Plan
The act of putting pen to paper is powerful because it acknowledges a level of intention to be free that has not yet been explored. You may think, "why do I need to do this?" Until now you have thought deeply about your freedom, but your thoughts have not set you free. In fact, your thoughts only likely condemn you over and over. Stating your intentions intentionally is one key to getting started. It's one thing to think "I've got to do something about this habit," or "I wish this abuse would end." When you begin to write down your intentions intentionally it's to say "Here's what I intend to do about this habit," and/or "Here's how this abuse will stop." The written action plan details the map toward change. We are all different in terms of experiences, but here are some suggestions to get started.
This phase is about steps to freedom. Jesus is more powerful than your chains and He loves you far too much to leave you in them. Tomorrow the discussion continues as we uncovering awareness of what lies ahead. May you be blessed as you seek Jesus for freedom.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.