By Alecia Simersky
Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn…”
Seven years ago, I began a blog and began writing. I didn’t know what I was doing or even why. I just knew that when I sat down and typed out the words on my heart I felt like I was doing what I was made to do. I learned all I could, met lots of other “writers” and even met a few in person.
But what was the purpose of it all?
Many times, the Lord would bring Isaiah 61:1-2 to mind and I would read and study the verse, searching out clues to my God-given purpose. Obviously, (to me) it seemed the Lord had anointed me to use my small little platform to tell others about God. And obviously He knew I knew a little about heartbreak, so maybe my job was to write and help people get free from legalistic viewpoints, fear, and pain that can keep us stuck. I declared, “Send me, God! I’m your person. Let’s set the captives free…yeah!!”
And then I went through a crippling season of depression. One that left me wondering if I would make it out alive. I had never in my life felt so hopeless and alone. The medicine left me a in zombie-like state and I was doing good just getting through each day.
About this time the website, God-sized Dreams that I had helped found and wrote for decided that it was time for our small group of writers to meet and have a weekend to plan and dream. I woke up at dawn and drove myself from Dallas down to Houston. Ignoring the butterflies and the feelings of dread about being with others and having to fake myself through, I fought rush hour and the urge to stay home.
On the second day Gindi, our host, pulled me aside before breakfast. She said, “Alecia in my quiet time this morning I was reading Isaiah 61 and felt like the Lord said this word was for you.”
I couldn’t believe it. There it was again, that verse. What did it mean? What was God trying to tell me?
Could it be that all this time I thought the message was for me to set others free when God was telling me I was the captive?
I spent the rest of the time trying to figure out why. Why did God see me as a prisoner that needed to be set free?
In the years to follow I began to understand. I wanted to love and follow Him with my whole heart, but it was a divided heart. I held onto misconceived notions, anger, unforgiveness and like an onion with it’s many layers He was peeling off one by one all that was keeping me bound.
I put idols before Him and instead of trusting Him with my unknowns I held tightly to what I knew and could control. I told Him I’d do anything for Him but put certain things in a “Do not touch” pile. Do not touch my family, do not touch my health, do not touch my children etc.
I was finding out that when you say anything to God He will take you at your word and the pruning is painful.
I wanted shallow faith that didn’t cost me anything and God wanted me to go deeper. He wanted me to have a faith that could sense a storm coming and prepare for the downpour, not run when the waters rose.
God wants us to be free from anything that will hinder His work and plan in our life. He knows the cost because He paid it. Binding broken hearts, setting captives free, comforting those who mourn…we can only do those for others when we have fully experienced it ourselves.
Today, ask the Lord what is holding you captive. What is keeping you from living in freedom?
Freedom-the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved (dictionary.com)