We are as free as we allow ourselves to be!!!!

I would like to begin with an object lesson – person with luggage – This is a picture of us. Some of us carry a lot of stuff and some of us carry a little!!

Our scripture that I would like to start with is found in: 

Hebrews 12:1 (TLB) 

Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up, and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.

There are two things I would like us to see from this verse:

  1. That we all have a race to run!!

1 Corinthians 9:24-27(NIV) 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

  1. This says that we all have a purpose; God’s got something for us to do!
  2.  God is not interested in how you started – but in how you finish!
  • In order for us to run the race the best that we can, we need to lay aside, strip off, throw off all things – not some things!

Did you know that any athlete that trains for a specific sport doesn’t just train to get but also to lose. What I mean by this is that a person training to run a certain type of race, football, golf, baseball, whatever, doesn’t train to be faster etc. but also loses wrong thinking, bad technique.

I believe that it is God’s heart that you be completely free of all things that hold you back!!

I am sorry that you have been hurt in your past, I am sorry that you have been rejected, abused in various types of ways, I am sorry that you suffer from being abandoned in your childhood!! But God loves you too much to allow you to live with it all your life, to stay the same!!!!

We have developed a way of coping with our wounds, so as to bury the pain and try to move on – but it never works and we want to serve God even though.  

What I would like to talk to you about for just a few minutes is the issue of DENIAL!

Denial is a false system of beliefs that are not based on reality, it is a self protecting form of behavior that keeps us from honestly facing the truth!!

I believe that all that PT has been teaching us, prepared and spontaneous, is leading us as a church to be used in a very special way, and I believe that this is the next step to you as an individual and as a church to really be used by Him!!!

He wants to set you free!!!!!!

Tell me if any of these statements sound familiar:

– “Can’t we stop talking about it? Talking only makes it worse.”

–  “If we don’t talk about it, it will go away”

–  “Honey, let’s pretend that it really didn’t happen”

–  “If I tell him or her that it hurts me when he or she says that, I’m afraid he or she will leave me.”

–  “It really doesn’t hurt when he or she does that; I’m fine.”

Can you see that FEAR is the motivator?  

Jer. 6:14(TLB) says “You can’t heal a wound by saying it is not there.”

I would like to go through 6 things that denial does in your life.

  1. Denial disables our feelings

2 Peter 2:19 (NIV)  

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

The basic test of freedom is not what I am free to do but what I am free not to do.

We find freedom to feel our true feelings when we find Christ and step out of denial.

A relationship – I am free to talk and I am free not to talk.

  • Denial causes a loss of energy

1 John 4:18 (NIV) 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

A major side effect of denial is anxiety.  Anxiety causes us to waste precious energy dealing with our past hurts and the fear of the future. Worrying about the past and dreading the future makes us unable to live and enjoy God’s plans

for us in the present. 

Psalm 146:7b-8a (TLB) 

He frees the prisoners … He lifts the burdens from those bent down beneath their loads.

  • Denial negates growth

Psalm 107:13-14 (TLB)

Then they cried to the Lord in their troubles, and He rescued them!  14 He led them from the darkness and shadow of death and snapped their chains.

We are as sick as our secrets – remember the object lesson

Psalm 119:130 (NKJV)

The entrance of Your words brings light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Just like the athlete, we must also be willing to lose some things in order to grow, like weeds in a garden.

  • Denial isolates from God 

1 John 1:5-7a (NIV) 

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another …

A great example is Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 where they hid from God and made excuses for their sin, instead of being honest and truthful.

  • Denial alienates us from our relationships

Ephesians 4:25 (TLB)

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.

Fear says “If they really knew me …”

It is better to tell an ugly truth than a beautiful lie!

  • Denial lengthens the pain 

Jeremiah 30:17a (TLB)

I will give you back your health again and heal your wounds.

The cost gets greater with time in denial; it does not get better with time.

John 8:31-32 (NIV) 

To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.  32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”