Most of us have experienced the folly of investing our hopes for fulfillment in this life alone. So we understand when we see women everywhere who are desperately clinging to their desires for earthly happiness, striving to obtain one more thing.
Worldly happiness is usually defined as having all our earthly desires met. And since there is an ever-increasing number of things we can desire, this striving leads to bondage—an insatiable, desperate seeking after more and more.
Most women would say that having someone to love them tops the list of their desires. I believe that so much of what we observe today as unsuitable behavior among women is just a display of desperate longing for a lasting assurance that deep down they are loved for who they are.
Generally, without love and without God, women succumb to a kind of desperation. And desperate women will do desperate things--often engaging in addictive, compulsive behaviors to fill their emptiness.
You would think that when a woman knows she's loved by God, every bondage would be broken. However, Paul tells us that once set free, we must guard against being imprisoned again (see Gal. 5:1).
To yield ourselves to the control of the Spirit of God is to know freedom. To surrender control to the world, the flesh or the devil is to enter into bondage.
The Scriptures tell us David found places of safety when he was fleeing for his life by hiding in the strongholds of the countryside. There among the hills and caverns, he was protected from his enemies (see 1 Sam. 23:14,19,29). In a different place, metaphorically, he refers to God as his stronghold, his refuge, who delivers him from His pursuers (see 2 Sam. 22:3).
But the apostle Paul declared that the spiritual weapons we have at our disposal enable us to "demolish strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4). This is different.
In the Old Testament references, the Hebrew term that is translated "stronghold" is used to denote a physical place of security or as a metaphor for divine protection. But in Paul's reference in the New Testament, the term refers to a fortress built of sin, pride and disobedience. The latter doesn't represent protection but confinement.
In our cover story, "Freedom in Christ" (pg. 12), Beth Moore addresses our ongoing struggle to walk in the liberty for which Christ made us free. In an instant, any one of us could be driven by desperate circumstances to allow ourselves to become bound once again.
Our only antidote for soulish desperation is reckless passion for God.
We need not fear letting go of anything that imprisons or enslaves us. What the enemy offers us as a refuge is really bondage. But God desperately loves women and all He offers us is freedom. *