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A Path To Freedom - Part One

Good Morning Everyone! 

Heavenly Father, 

We give thanks for all that You have done for us and continue to do for us through the gift of your Holy Spirit. When we invited Your Son Jesus into our hearts, You accepted us into Your family, to spend eternity with You.
Lord, we pray for those who are still lost, unsure of what to believe in this world of chaos and confusion, Lead us to lead others, that they may come to know the unconditional love, unsurpassable peace, unexplainable joy we have found in You.
Help us always to extend the love and patience, as we have received from You, freely and with grace, mercy and forgiveness.

In Jesus' Name we ask and pray
Amen 

I don't know about you, but when I first began my life on my own, I felt like a new car just leaving the showroom floor!
I had all my plans mapped out, knew exactly how I was going to accomplish them and nobody could tell me any different. 

I couldn't understand, how all of these people, who had obviously lived so much longer than I, couldn't have this all figured out!
How could they not know, just how easy this all was going to be!

How many of you know what I'm talking about? 

Then life happens!
Can I get a witness?

Suddenly, my well orchestrated plans began to slowly unravel..

Now at first, I was able to quickly, spring into action, put things back into place and resume life.
 

However, over time, as life continues to bring you its generous helpings of bumps, bruises, scratches, and dings, life can literally wear you out!
Your life seems to be going nowhere, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted.
  
We are all different, with different experiences, been through situations that have left emotional scars and pain.
Yet, we all share the same common desire: A need for peace of mind, and some sense of stability and security.

The purpose of this message, is to get our lives back on track and get us back into a new condition again:  

Anyone on board?
Great!

This what I call a spiritual restoration project:  
Restoring spiritual and emotional freedom!

The scripture says in Luke 4:17, "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

How many of you have even been bruised?
Okay, all of you..

Well, if you have ever been severely bruised, you're left feeling stiff, sore and hurting on the inside.

Church, there are people all around us today that have many internal bruises.
They are often hidden from most of the world, especially those closest to us.
These bruises that are the result of verbal abuse, emotional or even physical abuse.

People say things to you that hurt and people say things about you!
Things, that when it gets back to you it can bruise you emotionally.

Have you ever been let down by somebody you trusted?
That can definitely leave a big bruise on the soul.

Jesus said that he would set at liberty them that are bruised.
Now, what this means, is that we are really not completely free.
Because we have unhealed bruises in our lives.

If you have ever been mistreated and you feel like you got the short end of the stick, that probably left a bruise. Anyone who has ever found out that they have been cheated on by their spouse has been bruised. These types of wounds can also lead to frustration, anger, bitterness, resentment and hate.

These emotions make the pain even worse, they become like internal toxins that literally begin to destroy us, from the inside out!

I once heard a story, about a man who wanted to relax and take his usual Sunday afternoon nap.
But the only problem was, that he had a little boy. A little boy who wanted to play!

Now the day, in all his wisdom, came up with a solution to resolve this issue.
Dad looked in the newspaper and found a picture of a globe. He cut the picture out and tore it up into little pieces. He then told his boy that he wanted to play a game with him.

He said, “son, this picture I just tore up is a puzzle, and I want you to put it back together.”
Dad thought it would take him about an hour and he could take his nap.

Much to his disappointment, after about 15 minutes later the boy woke up dad and said,
“I put the picture back together, I’m done!” Dad somewhat puzzled, asked his son, 
“How did you do that so quickly.” The boy said, “I just flipped the picture over and there was a picture of a man and I just put the man back together and when I did, the whole world came together.”

That is what we are wanting to do with this new series on the path to freedom:
When we work on the inside, our hearts and minds, we will see the whole world differently!

When the emotions of our soul are bruised, it has a way of causing everything to seem negative to us. Why? Because our internal filter hasn’t been altered/changed, and after a while creates blockages and the Spirit of God can’t flow freely in us.  

We need Spiritual freedom.
Say that with me,
We need Spiritual Freedom!

"In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
2 Timothy 2:25-26

Now notice the word recover and the word snare.
Satan has snares or traps that get us to leave us stranded.
These are things that bruise, bind, and hurt us.
A sinful life will do that.

I don't know about you, but I am so thankful that Jesus Christ came to set us free!

When we come into the kingdom, we come in with a lot of bruises.
We all need continual maintenance to stay fresh.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you only needed to change your car's oil once for the entire time you owned it? As nice as that sounds, we all know that is just not reality.

So, Jesus wants to work on us, on a regular basis, to keep us in "spiritual good shape."
To recover means to get better, to get out of the trap and snare.

"For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him;
I hid and was angry, And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.

I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him,
And restore comforts to him And to his mourners."

Isaiah 57:17-18

What He is saying that He is not happy with sin and with man choosing his own path. That even can make God upset.
However, God says He will heal him, lead him, and restore comforts.

God is telling you, that if you have ever been hurt, that He wants to heal you. 
For some, you don’t have to look back very far to remember being hurt.

How many of us here, can remember when we were the one who hurt somebody.
Don’t we all hate being the one who hurt somebody.
We ask ourselves, “Why did I do that?”
Often, hurt comes unintentionally, nevertheless, it still hurts!

Sometimes we do things, that we know we should not do and we even say to ourselves, “I am not supposed to do that! I won’t do that!" We know its wrong, and yet we do it anyway. 

Do you know why you did it anyway?
Because you wanted to!

The scripture tells us that all have sinned.  
Every single one of us have blown it!
We've all made mistakes.

Say that with me,
We've Made Mistakes!

We have all been hurt and we have all hurt others! 
Yes, I'm sorry, but even you! 

In this new series, "The Path To Freedom", I'm going to talk about how to overcome these hurts and begin to heal.

I will address overcoming habits, hang-ups and hurts.
And I know some of you are probably saying, 

“Yeah, I don't need this series, because I already have it all together.” 
Well, before you come to that conclusion, at least consider the following list of things that many of the rest of us need to address:

What about things like;

Overworking

Overspending
Anger and rage
Insecurities
Perfectionism
The need to control everything

How about things like;

Procrastination

Overeating
Under eating

Oh and also,
Fear, grief, and anxiety

Codependency
Sexual addictions
Destructive relationships
Alcohol and drugs
Guilt, divorce, gambling, abuse, hypochondria!

But before we get into all of these things, that we, dare I say all, have at least a few of these boxes checked..
We first, need to realize… 

If you want to recover out of the snare of the devil, the first thing you and I have to do is to realize 
"I am not God!"

Say that with me,
I AM NOT GOD!

Guys, I know you may think your Adonis to your spouse, but I assure you, you are not God!

Do you want to know the biggest difference between you and God?
He never thinks He is you!

You have to say, I admit that I am powerless to stop on my own.
Our pride, however, doesn’t want to go to God for help!

Guys, many of us don't want to admit we need help from anyone!
Am I right?

But let me tell you this:
Without God's help, we will remain stuck.

Three aspects to the road to recovery are:

The cause
The consequences
And the cure

So let's start at the beginning....

The cause: the reason I have these hang-ups is my sin nature. We all have the inherent nature to do the wrong thing!

Paul says it this way,
"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me."
Romans 7:15-20

Can anybody relate to what Paul just said?
Why do I do what I do when I hurt somebody?
When I snap and speak sharply to somebody?
When I overeat?
When I over react..?

When we indulge in these behaviors, we hurt ourselves the most!

We live in a society that tells us that guys are supposed to be so tough!
Our culture teaches us that we don’t need anybody to help us.

Our culture sends us the continual message that in order to be awesome you must be able to stand alone.

Okay, I'll admit, that is the John Wayne and Rambo mentality, but it's not the Biblical way.

The Biblical way is to seek for God’s help and that is not standing alone! 

For men it is especially hard for us to break our male ego and really say,
"I’m really not God. I’m really not the master of my own destiny.”
It can be hard to say, “I really do need help.”

So what Paul was talking about is that the cause is the sin nature. It is the sin nature that causes us to do wrong, and we all have this common problem.

Why is there so much chaos in Sudan? Sinful Nature.
Its very simple, yet very difficult at the same time.

Simple in that we know what the answer is, difficult, because we have to align our own emotions to the thoughts of God and humble ourselves before Him on a regular basis.

Knowing what to do is the easy part, but it's actually doing it that becomes hard for most of us.

The first step to obtaining freedom is understanding the cause, which is our sinful nature.
It’s the deep seeded desire to be in the place of God and be in control of our own lives.

Even the thought of giving up control is scary for most people, yet freedom begins in total surrender to Jesus Christ.

I don’t want anybody telling me what is right and wrong!
I want to call my own shots and make my own rules.
I am the king in my own castle.
I want to be my own boss, and live my own way….
If it feels good to me, I will do it.

Is there anyone here who can relate to any of that?….
Perhaps this was the attitude that some of you had before you knew Jesus!

You see, the more insecure a person is, the more control they want….
And the more out of control things get, it heightens their sense of insecurities.
The more insecure you are, the more you want to control yourself, other people, your environment, and you are driven to play god.

The problem with this is that is leads to many bruises, in both your own life and in the lives of others…..
And sadly especially those whom you love.

But it didn't start with you...
It started in the Garden of Eden…. Adam and Eve, they had this same problem….
God put them in total paradise…now, think about it….
They are in Paradise, a perfect environment...and they want to start controlling it!

God’s says, all of the trillions of acres on this planet are all for you, but this one small little tree over here, and that tree keep your hands off.

And they said, ‘I want to have some control around here!”
Adam and Eve wanted to play God……they took it upon themselves to try and take control!

In order to be successful in life, we have to confess to ourselves over and over again, 
“You’re not God, you’re not God, you’re not God.”

And no matter how much we have to crucify the human will that wants to rise up and rob us of our submission and ultimately our blessing, it is worth being right with our Maker.

The key is to get your hands off the wheel, don’t sweat it, don’t react to it, just give it to Him and He will deal with it.

I am going to give each of us a piece of excellent advise:

Let God be God!

I mean, how do we play God anyway?
By denying our humanity and by trying to control everything for selfish reasons.
By not admitting the fact that we need God, we set ourselves up for failure.

Love is seeing past the faults of each other. When we give God control, we will love like He loves.

Why is it that we work so hard to control our image?
We really care a lot about what people think of us.
The more a person is in your life, the more you will care what they think about you.

In closing....

It's hard for us sometimes to get close to people because we are afraid that they are going to see us for who we really are so we put on our best for each other. We want to make sure that people will like who they see. We want to be accepted and popular. We deny our weaknesses and our feeling: I’m not worried, I’m not angry, I’m not afraid….
And we put up a fake front because we want to control what other people think about us.

Jesus took a totally different approach, and it's an approach that still works today:
It's in Philippians 2:3-15

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Light Bearers

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."

Well, we'll stop there until the next time we meet...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
 

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen

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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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