“Hey look, I want to live for God, but something keeps pulling me back. When I take one step forward, I’m pulled back two steps.” These words were from a young man I reached out to while pastoring in Sunrise, Florida.
The Will is Weakened
He had lived a life of sin and went away from God for so long that it seemed impossible for him to take a firm step. He wanted to follow Jesus, but he just couldn’t overcome the force pulling him back.
Repeated falling away from God’s ways puts a person on a steep path toward more sin. It’s some sort of spiritual bondage that seems impossible to break. The person’s will is weakened and cannot take a firm step in the right direction.
The book of Hosea says that these people experience a “spirit of whoredom” that keeps people bound and pulls them away from God (Hos 5:4).This “spirit” keeps the person going in the opposite direction when God’s Spirit calls them. The person may have the desire, but it will seem like an impossible task to turn to God.
How can we help such a person? Maybe you are in such a trap and need to be free.
Steps to Freedom
Take ownership of all your sinful actions. Acknowledge you have sinned and done what is against God and his word. This opens up the channel for the Holy Spirit to begin his work in your life. Until you acknowledge and take ownership of your sinful behavior, there is little hope of freedom.
Confess every sin to God. Tell him you are sorry for your sins. Ask him for forgiveness. He will wash you clean with the power of the cross through the blood of Jesus. Then by faith, receive the forgiveness he gives you.
By an act of your will, decide to walk away from sinful behaviors. Note that our first two steps honestly and earnestly taken before God will begin to break the bondages in your life. This important step toward freedom will allow you to make such an important decision. It’s a 360 degree turn away from your old lifestyle to God’s ways.
Write down this decision and keep it in a prominent place as a “milestone,” a constant reminder. You may want to keep it on your desk, wallet, or phone. Find a place where you will repeatedly look throughout the day. The old desires will continue to haunt you, but remember to yield to God’s Spirit and to his promptings.
I wish you well on your way toward freedom from everything that holds you back.
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