Jesus Wants Freedom For Us
For a long time, I was unknowingly stuck in a cycle of shame that stunted some growth. I love this statement from Jesus, asking straightaway for deliverance, because it’s an example to us of how to pray when we encounter our flesh and our sinful desires. And if you’re anything like me, you encounter that flesh more often than you’d like.
The shame that had me stuck came before I had ever asked for the Lord to deliver me. It showed up as soon as I realized I was being tempted. As soon as I had to face the tendency in me to do something I shouldn’t do, say something I shouldn’t say, think something I shouldn’t think. And it was a paralyzing shame. It whispered that I was unworthy of the grace of God. It taunted me, dangling my imperfection in front of me.
But I can dismantle that shame if I look to Jesus. If I see that the Word tells me that He encountered all of the temptation I might ever deal with, yet He didn’t sin. He found a way out. And God used Him not in spite of the temptation but because of His reaction to it. His example in the wilderness was not to put His head down in shame, but it was to face the enemy straight on, using the truth of God’s Word to dismantle the temptation. That is what deliverance looks like. He showed us that we have the tool we need — the truth of God.
If you’re stuck today in shame, let me tell you that this is not what Jesus wants for you. If you have faced your flesh or your temptation and wanted to hide it away, let me tell you what I remind myself of — shame is like mold; it grows in the dark (that’s not mine, but I’m lending it here to you). Jesus showed us that we don’t have to cower. We don’t have to shake in the shadows. We don’t (and shouldn’t) pretend that we aren’t tempted.
Jesus wants freedom for us. He gave His life for it. And He taught us how to pray and ask the Lord for it — boldly, outright, with honesty. Lord, deliver us from the things we get caught in. Lord, give us a way out. Lord, thank you for going before us and showing us how to use Your Word against a weaker enemy.
Think it over:
When you encounter a temptation this week, practice the simple prayer Jesus showed us to pray — deliver me, Lord. And then walk firmly in that deliverance.