Fear is the ultimate obstacle that keeps us from reaching our destiny. It’s crippling and keeps us powerless from becoming who we’re meant to be. We feel like we’re unable to do anything and therefore, do nothing. A lot of times it’s our past that keeps us imprisoned from seeing what God has planned for us. We can be haunted by our past mistakes, sins, or even our reputation and who everyone sees us as.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Romans 7:21-25 (NLT)
We often allow our past to define us. Even when we want to be different we can’t because we feel like we’re too intertwined with our shame, sins, and discouragements. It can feel like we just have no choice. We feel enslaved.
However, what if it was a choice? What if we saw the discouragements or circumstances in our life as part of our destiny and an opportunity to respond to it?
In Hebrews 11, Rahab is listed as one of the great examples of faith. She had been known as a prostitute in the past, but did not let her past define her when the opportunity came for her to respond to her destiny.
Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.
Joshua 2:1 (NLT)
Rahab was at a crossroad. She could have been apathetic and hard-hearted to her past. She could have even felt the right to feel that way or just sunk down in her shame of what others saw her as. But she chose different.
Responding to God’s Freedom
8 Before the spies fell asleep, Rahab went up to them on the roof. 9 She said to them, “I know the Lord will give you this land. Your presence terrifies us. All the people in this country are deathly afraid of you. 10 We’ve heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea in front of you when you left Egypt. We’ve also heard what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites, who ruled east of the Jordan River. We’ve heard how you destroyed them for the Lord. 11 When we heard about it, we lost heart. There was no courage left in any of us because of you. The Lord your God is the God of heaven and earth.
Joshua 2:8-11 (GW)
Everyone in Jericho was afraid of the Israelites, because they heard about all the great things their god was doing. Rahab, on the other hand, believed in God and showed her faith by protecting the spies. She saw what God was doing and that gave her hope!
That’s what’s so amazing about Rahab. Where she could have been apathetic and ashamed, she chose to believe that God had a better plan for her life than to be imprisoned by sin. God gave her a new destiny because she chose to have a soft heart! She chose to have hope and to love. She chose to respond to God when the rest of her city was too proud and afraid to accept his plan for their lives. She chose freedom even when she didn’t even seem to have reason to.
21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.
1 Corinthians 7:21-24 (NLT)
Being a prostitute takes a certain level of hardening your heart to be able to numb everything out and no longer feel. However, it doesn’t take much to harden our own hearts and become enslaved. But when called to have a chance to be free with God, choose it!
What have you been hardening to? Is it disappointments, fears, impurity, or jealousy?
What guilt do you need to throw off? Remember God is greater than our guilt (1 John 3:20)!