The devil can get a foothold in each of our lives in many different ways. It does not matter your age, your race, your living conditions, or your income: he will at some point, and in some way, attempt to become the king of your life.
Last week we met with a man named Daniel who has suffered from being an alcoholic for about 10 years. This man has lost his wife, his job, tens of thousands of dollars, and most importantly his dignity and self-respect. One of the main things that stuck out to us was what he said when asked why he began to drink in the first place:
“When I was younger, I never felt like I fit in and all I wanted to do was fit in. Alcohol seemed to help me do this.”
In Daniel’s life, Satan made him feel different, left out, and alone. By doing this, he separated Daniel from people that could love, care, and support him but also discipline him when he needed it.
With many people we work with, the devil has made a way to leave an empty spot in their life. They are then choosing to fill this emptiness with something else, something of this world. This creates a foothold that the devil gets on their life and refuses to let go. Whether this is drugs, alcohol, women, or money, nothing will fulfill what only Christ can fill. Our hope is that by surrounding Daniel with Christ-following community and support he can begin to feel God release the hold that the devil has had on him.
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. George Washington
Usually when we hear the word liberty, we think of the Lady that stands tall on the shore of New York City. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been able to see a different kind of liberty. The kind not defined by the government or a statue, but the kind of liberty that frees us from control, interference and oppression from our thoughts, our emotions, and our feelings.
When there is something buried deep inside of us that we will not allow to come out, we begin to become a prisoner to that thought or emotion. As a prisoner to something, you will never beat it nor will you overcome it. When we attempt to fight it alone, it will just continue to isolate us and beat us down. The only way to overcome something we are struggling with is to open up to others about that exact thing that we are ultimately ashamed of.
We have seen over and over again the shame and regret piled up in our friends lives and the last thing they want to do is to open up about it. Please pray for these people with broken lives, that their hearts will be open to us. May they finally be able to feel the liberty that a new life with Christ brings!
Everyone has a great role to play as a part of the body of Christ. And the best thing about these roles is that one is not more important than the other. We have a great opportunity to experience this every week.
One of the coolest parts about serving with us on a Sunday is that there is a place for everyone to be exactly who Jesus created them to be. For example, some people are naturally great at starting conversations with others and engaging all types of people. Others were made to serve behind the scenes and are the reasons the meal gets out quickly every Sunday. Next we have our people that stand on the sidelines and are in prayer consistently over the conversations that are being had and over the people in the line. We also have our “trash man” who serves the ministry and the building owners every single week by making sure their property is clean after a hundred people eat in their parking lot. There are even more roles to be played at our downtown meal than listed and we are grateful to have people ready and willing to serve in each of them.
Meet us any Sunday at 2:30pm at the Shades Mountain Baptist Student Building and we’ll head downtown together and serve those in need here in our city.
Where could God use your strengths?
One of the biggest struggles we face is breaking free from the things of this world that are holding us back. We, just like Paul, do not understand ourselves as we do what we don’t want to do (Romans 7:15).
We meet with people on a daily basis who are in this same position. Many of them have a desire to do what is good but they cannot carry it out. This can be a result of many different things such as a drug or alcohol addiction, a life pattern of suffering, mental illness or circumstances beyond their control. In almost all of these situations we see people that are left hopeless and with no where to turn.
Sadly, what most people do not realize is that WE will never be able to break ourselves free from the sin that weighs us down. It is only by the power of the cross that Jesus broke every chain so that we may live a life free from the bondage of sin. May we be able to show this freedom to others in hopes that they will no longer rely on their own strength for freedom, but on the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The lyrics to this song perfectly explain what we want all people to see, that there is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.