A man was walking the grounds of a circus, observing the animals. As he approached the elephants he was confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by a single rope tied to their leg. Obviously the elephants could break the rope and walk away, but oddly, they did not.
He motioned to a trainer nearby and asked him why such a magnificent and strong creature made no attempt to break away? How could it be that such a small rope could restrain such a large and strong creature?
“When they are young we use a similar size rope to tie them and because they are small they cannot break away. As they grow, they are conditioned to think that the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The trainer answered.
I wonder, if the man had cut the rope, would the elephant walk away to freedom? If he had cut the rope at the stake, but left it on the elephant’s ankles, would the elephant still believe that he was bound to the stake? Or, what if he cut the rope from his ankles? Would the elephant then know he was free? Or would he stay, because it is what he knows? Would he stay because “this is the way it has always been”?
How many of us are like that elephant?
How many are held captive to the ropes of the past?
How many have learned to adapt to the ropes; perhaps even embraced the ropes?
Sure does sound silly, doesn’t it? Imagine the tragic comedy it is when we choose to hold on to the things that keep us so bound up, rather than walk in complete freedom.
There is a phenomenon called Stockholm syndrome. It is a strong emotional tie that is formed between two people where one abuses, threatens, harasses, intimidates, or beats the other. It is suggested that the bonding is the victims coping mechanism, in response to the trauma of being a victim.
As strange as it seems that a majestic creature like the elephant stays chained to a small rope, it is even stranger that a victim should form a bond with a person (or thing/addiction/mind-set) who has taken their freedom away and abused them. Yet, this is what happens, in the spiritual.
We begin to identify with the chains of bondage because we do not know our identity.
We identify to labels. Don’t believe me, ask someone who they are and they will probably tell you their job title; you know, the one word title that describes what we do (or where we have been).
There is ONE who can cut those ropes of bondage from you and give you freedom.
John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
I put emphases on the “if” because it is important that you understand something. It IS Gods will that you be free. He has made all provision for your freedom, through His Son, Jesus. His gift of salvation is free. He will never force it on you. He will also never deny you should you choose to accept the free gift of salvation, freedom. When you accept His Son, you have accepted all that comes with being an heir.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”
What does this mean?
I am going to break this down for you in very plain language.
If you have Christ, you are no longer a victim! You are more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthen you. You are to be conformed into His image, you are dead to your past and you are alive in Christ who gives you the hope and the promise of eternal life. You have received forgiveness and you are to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged you, abused you, hurt you and to yourself. Unforgiveness will keep you tied to your past and to your old mindsets. You are no longer a whore hopping from bed to bed, relationship to relationship, you are sanctified, you are pure and you are to offer yourself up as a living sacrifice to the One who has set you free. You are no longer an addict, an alcoholic, an angry person, an inferior person, a victim, an abuser, a fearful person, a selfish person or a self-preserved person. You are not a fortress within yourself.
Your freedom has been purchased at a very high cost. You are to no longer play in the pig pen with the pigs, you are washed clean with the blood of Jesus. Your future is secure and you are to break ties with the past. You cannot hold onto the past while looking to the future.
That tie that held you for so long is no longer there. That phantom feeling you get of the rope on your ankles is a lie and you must recognize that.
I am not suggesting that this is always easy, because sure enough there will be times when it seems that all hell will break loose on you. But, free people always have a choice. You can choose to believe the lie and risk becoming bound again, or you can choose to believe Gods promise.
Jesus said if you abide in His Word, you are His disciples and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin and a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
Many of us have had painful past. Many of us have been victims of people and/or circumstance that was beyond our control. But that is not what defines us. The past is not where we find our identity. Our identity is found in Jesus.
What is it that holds you back? What do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive?
Confession and repentance is the first step to freedom. Repentance means to no longer return to the rope (sin) that has held you. You turn away from it. You cling to Jesus. You allow Him to bring healing. You do not self-medicate with un-holy relationships or addictions. To many this may seem impossible, to step out of the comfort zone and break old habits, but Jesus said that what is impossible for man is possible with God.
As a free person, you have a choice. You can choose to believe Him or not to believe Him.
God is faithful, He cares for you and He loves you. There is nothing that can separate you from His love. He wants you to acknowledge and walk in the freedom that He has given you. He wants this more than you.
Are you weary? Are you tired of the merry-go-round of emotions? God says come up here. Learn to see through His eyes.
Kick that elephant out of your living room and divorce your past. You have no more relationship with your past. You are a new creation. A holy nation, a royal priesthood, an heir with Christ, a child of the Most High God. Walk in it!
Be Free & Stay Free