Seven Steps on the Road to Freedom

I wish I could remember where this was taken,
Probably somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains.
I’m going to be brutally honest: I do things knowing full well I'm sinning. I’ll attempt to justify my behavior as I’m doing it, knowing there’s no justification. There are times I don’t even fight the temptation, I just cave immediately. God doesn’t like that. I've been trying to change my ways, but the harder I try, the worse I act! I don't have all the answers, but I am taking steps in the right direction.  Some of them are not easy steps...well, not until I start walking.

Salvation:  When I know in my heart I am not where I should be, I remember I must yield to Him. Repent. Let Him mold me into a vessel worthy to receive all He wrote in His book for me. (Psalm 139:16) I must learn to trust in the cleansing power of His blood and His grace for the change that escapes me.

Prayer time:  I try to not give Him only the last worn-out ten minutes of my day. I’m not saying I don’t give Him those minutes, I just don’t let that be the only time I give Him.

Bible reading:  Even if it’s just a few verses that truly speak to me, I read every day.  This is Part B of prayer time. (If you think you're too busy, start making the effort and you will find the time.)  We need to be good stewards of the time He gives us. Get up earlier, give up a lunch hour to Him, put the phone down, don’t watch that TV show…

Watch my intake:  Television…is there anything but garbage on prime time?  No, and there's not much good on social media, either.  When I realize what I'm doing, I stop singing along with songs that promote sin.  I try to be more conscious of what I'm actually listening to (I do not listen to a lot of secular music).  I must remember that if I wouldn’t do with Jesus in front of me, I should not do it with the Holy Spirit inside of me.  (Sometimes those songs get in my head and won't leave!)

Forgiveness: As long as I am watching my intake, I must also deal with the out-takes.  I choose to give people who hurt me to God, along with all the anger and bitterness that attaches so easily to unforgiveness. Which do I want:  Freedom or revenge? Freedom is infinitely sweeter. The best revenge I can have is to be free from all the chains that have me bound, including the angry space I give them in my head and heart. Who the Son sets free is free indeed.  He can’t put freedom in my hand if I am grasping unforgiveness. I choose to let it go!  (Sometimes repeatedly, but I do it.)

Change my focus: I have to stop looking around at the turmoil of the world in which we live.  (Scrolling through the internet can leave me anxious)  I will lift up my head! (Luke 21:28)  I will make my headnoise a “No Negativity” zone.  I'll combat fear with my favorite memorized scriptures, and replace murmuring and complaining the same way.  (Complaining is really hard to give up!)  I can't have peace or a merry heart when I allow negativity to rule my thoughts.  (I don't mean to say that I will bury my head in the sand and not be aware of what's happening in the world.)
Meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, things with virtue, and anything praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
Help others: I'm not a social person...reaching out to strangers or folks I don't know well is really difficult.   But I will endeavor to help when I see the need and can be of aid.  God sees the simple things we do like opening doors, picking up an item in the store that was dropped by someone else and left to be stepped on, and taking my items back where they belong if I change my mind.  Giving money anonymously to a struggling co-worker would be a wonderful blessing to them, checking on  an elderly neighbor regularly…

Outward actions do not change my heart.
God does that.
And I trust Him.

Roaring Forks, Gatlinburg, TN



  1. There's another step or two, apparently, when it comes to eating. You know, since I do all of these...and still had that chocolate cake yesterday. Not being funny about this...ain't free yet.

    1. I'm having a difficult time not letting the eating issue be my focus, the thing I think about more than anything else. Not getting on the scale, or if I do, not letting what it says bother me. I catch the obsession quicker now, and change my focus, but I can't deny it is an issue.

      I think it may be that along with all the other choices I make, I will have to make the really hard choice to not overeat, and it's easier to do that when I stay away from sugar (another choice). I didn't specifically address eating the post because, to me, getting to a place where God is my focus, where my thoughts are more disciplined, my self-nature a little more disciplined...then wanting to please God will be my nature, and not being a glutton will be a product of my devotion to the One who saves me. It's His grace, not my willpower.

      I am working on the things in the post because I want to be closer to God; more like Jesus (a rather lofty goal for me...I am soooo not where I need to be!). The most important things I can do is repent immediately when I's messing up, pray more, stay in the Word.

      Right now, my thoughts are all over the place. I am going to have to start writing/learning about renewing the mind.

    2. when *I'm* messing up lol (I'm southern, but not quite that southern!)

  2. Haha "I's" haha. You know, I'm finding that I'm really not focusing, obsessing about weight loss or food (Part of that is the magic of chemo) BUT When sudden craving hits, I cave in to it. Some could say that an occasional, or even nightly, indulgence isn't that big of a deal--and maybe for them it is not, BUT for me it is dangerous. I have diabetes. Glucose over 300 is a bad thing. Soooo, even tho I'm not obsessing as I was when on a calorie counting diet, for instance, I am still sinning with food. I really do faithfully observe the things you list in this post...and I really do sin with my mouth. Just grieves me. Sometimes I's just sick over it. lol

    1. I's know what you mean! ha

      I've been known to give him those last ten minutes of the day...I've really tried to change that lately...spending most lunch hours in my car with my Bible and Jesus. I fight the same battle day after day, and I don't know why. I hear about "breakthrough" in church circles. I'm awaiting mine!

      There's a lot I don't understand. Today in my car, I was telling myself that this was a stupid post, after all. Wondering why I posted it...I'm really struggling with everything I try to write lately. Anyway, I was opening my Bible to read and I had a clear thought: Psalm 37. Turned there, read this:

      3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
      Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
      4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
      And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
      5 Commit[a] your way to the Lord,
      Trust also in Him,
      And He shall bring it to pass.
      6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
      And your justice as the noonday.

      I was encouraged.

      Even so...I'm still struggling about writing, and the struggle is real.

      I meant to email you and ask if you were back on the chemo today? Was praying about those side effects.

    2. Not a stupid post. I liked it and it was well-written with excellent points made. (Don't know why they aren't enough for me to have freedom. If you find that out, email me.) I started back on chemo Friday. So, I'm Day#44 of 14. Not too sick. I appreciate your prayers; they're helping!

    3. Oh! Psalm 37 is one of my favorite psalms!

    4. I like these steps. They really are "easy" to incorporate into our life too. I'm doing a 40 day devotional from Jennifer Kennedy Dean called "Altar'd." It is interesting. You might want to check it out.


    5. Mine, too! It touches me in so many ways.

    6. Thanks, Betty...I will check her out. Oddly enough...or Godly enough, my pastor has been doing a series on Altars...


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