My roommate told me this morning that 12 Years a Slave won the Oscar. I saw the movie about a month ago. It was a difficult movie to watch on many levels, but it was a story that touched the heart.
There was one specific part of the movie that I continued to replay over and over again in my mind. I wasn’t sure why this part of the story had caught my attention. Then, I began to see why it was important to me. It revealed the way the enemy often enslaves us.
The main character, Solomon- a free man, had been taking a walk in the park. He was called over, by an acquaintance, to meet two men. The two men were looking for a skilled fiddler to join them at a circus in Washington, DC. The two men enticed Solomon with a good salary and playing the fiddle which gave him great pleasure. In the beginning, everything seemed wonderful. Then one night at dinner his two companions spiked his drink with a drug. The next day when Solomon woke up he was in chains – his freedom stolen from him.
I can’t even begin to fathom the pain, anger, or fear that Solomon must have been feeling when he realized that his days as a free man had been stolen from him. He’d done nothing wrong to deserve his plight.
The part of his story that I can relate to is that part that happened right before he was enslaved. I can think of quite a few times that I started out on adventure that seemed wonderful, but in the end led me to be enslaved. I became an alcoholic after giving in to peer pressure to have my first alcoholic drink. I was promised that it would be a fun time. I figured one drink wouldn’t hurt. Well, unfortunately for me who has a long genetic line of alcoholics on both sides of my family, having one drink did hurt me. In fact, I became a slave to alcohol for years.
I had the same thing happen when it came to binge eating. I was going through a time of my life when I was really struggling with depression. One day, I decided to indulge in a whole bag of chocolate cookies. The sugar rush seemed to chase away my depression…for a little while at least. So, the next time I was feeling the hint of deep depression coming I indulged in food. Once again I had a sense of feeling wonderful for a brief time. This eating pattern led to my being caught in a vicious cycle of binge eating for a number of years. I kept trying to self-medicate by using food to take away the pain in my heart.
The enemy likes to entice us into bondage with the sense that what we are being offered is wonderful. Just like the two men did with their invitation to Solomon to join them at the circus. The good news is that God can give us the wisdom whether what is offered is truly wonderful or not. God can also set us free from any bondage that the enemy has used to enslave us.
The more healing I received at the Glennon House the better prepared I was to know whether the wonderful was a lie from the enemy or a gift from God. It is up to us to pray about the opportunities that are placed before us. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) so it makes perfect sense that our joy is what the enemy likes to steal. Jesus came to set us free. That means that He wants us free to delight in every second of the joy He gives us.
If you are struggling with embracing God’s joy please stop by the Glennon House for some prayer. One of our trained Prayer Ministers will pray with you to be set free so that you can truly embrace the joy of the Lord.