The Journey To Freedom Part 1

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We usually start a journey with a destination in mind. However, some journeys only have a starting point. For instance, in the process of evacuating from New Orleans because Hurricane Katrina turned the city into a lake, I got on a bus to God knew where. I only knew that I was escaping a bad situation. Anywhere else was better than where I was. I knew if I could just get away from where I was, I could negotiate my circumstances better to get to where I really needed to be.

A journey from a sinful lifestyle means a journey away from a bad situation. The final destination may be unknown at the time of departure. But if we can just escape the cycle of sin, we’ll can to negotiate our circumstances in order to get to a better place in life.

Of course, the journey away frightens many of us. We fear the unknown, finding safety in our familiar surroundings even if we know our situation is bad. If you are a bad decisions have finally caught up with you and you want a change I want to offer you a few words of encouragement. I would like to show you how God’s word can encourage you on the journey away.

Think of God’s word as a big road map. Because it gives guidance that crosses time, cultures, and gender, the Bible’s content can be applied to many different situations. God already knows we fear the unknown. He knows that the spiritual life is a mystery to us but He longs to take us on a journey. God spends a large portion of His communication with us telling us about people who set out on journeys to unknown places.

There’s a young lady in the Bible whose name is Ruth. She develops a relationship with God because she made a decision to leave her familiar surroundings and take a journey away. In contrast, Orpah, Ruth’s sister-in-law, had the same opportunity but she decided to go back to “her people and her gods.” (Ruth 1:15) In other words she missed out because of the influence of people in her life and things she valued incorrectly. We have the same problems but label them differently. For instance, we let our girlfriends convince us to do the wrong things. Or we make “gods” of our name brand clothes that we cannot afford so we let a man buy things for us even if he doesn’t treat us right. Ruth decided to leave her people and her gods behind. She took a giant leap of faith into the unknown and left her “familiar.”

In order to prepare for the journey away, think about what keeps you captive. Which people in your life discourage you? What things or comforts do you hold tightly but need to let go? The journey away takes making a decision first—making the decision to leave your familiar surroundings, to sometimes endure emotional distress and go somewhere you have never been before.

Next time we’ll talk about your mysterious destination. It’s worth the countercultural journey.

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