W: 4/26/20 – WGSU: “Born to Bond”

Growing up, one of my favorite games was a game called German dodge or what some might call Sham-battle.  Ever play that game?  I loved it because you always had a second chance.  See the object was to eliminate the players from the other team by hitting them with the ball without getting hit yourself.  Because if you did, you were out, and went to jail.   The only way to get out of jail is if someone from your team would claim you as one of theirs by catching the ball and hitting someone on the other team on your behalf – they would save you.

The story is told of a people who much of the time spent their lives in a jail of sorts. Enslaved. Like us as kids playing sham-battle, they needed a Savior.  The crazy thing is that if we look at their history we will see them traverse back and forth between jail and freedom. Sound familiar? Good hearted folks who really wanted to maintain freedom but on their own, just couldn’t. WHY?  

Well, it all has to do with the fact that we were meant to bond. Babies bond to their mothers. Friends bond. Spouses bond to their husband or wife. While those are bonds of the earth there is an unmatched Heavenly Bond that you were Born to make with your creator, GOD.  We were BORN TO BOND…not to everything but the one thing. GOD. As a result, we hunger and crave that bond. Without it, we will bond with every temptation to fill the void.  

Ever have a craving to eat something that you can’t satisfy. What do you do? Graze through a bunch of snacks. At the end of all of it, you’re still what? That’s right! CRAVING.  This is what happens when we fill with everything but the one thing our soul wants and needs. GOD. 

Now I know for some of you, you may be thinking, I don’t even know if I believe in Him.  I get it, you want to be sure you believe before you say you do. But here’s the thing, now you and I know, you’ve tried a lot of things besides God. I did, too. Told you, I get it. Let me ask you how’s it working for you. If you’re tuning in, it’s probably because you want more.  For me, I needed more. I needed God and His son JESUS. But I don’t expect you to believe me. So, before you tune out or turn off your feed, let’s continue.  

So remember, we were BORN TO BOND with God, but what happens when we “bond” to something or someone other than God? Well, that’s called BONDAGE. This is where habits and addictions come in.  This is where hurts are triggers for those habits, and this is where the enemy will tell us how hung up we are that we end up in BONDAGE to the lies. And while we may feel earthly pleasure along the way, we are deceived by our seeming independence, we are in fact captive to the enemy’s deception. And we will never be truly satisfied. That’s satan’s trick to make us believe we are in control when in actuality those earthly things we have bonded to control us. We are in BONDAGE.

Jesus  would be fresh from being baptized in the Jordan. He could still hear the voice of His Father, when He is driven into 40 days of solitude and what is described as the wilderness. Tempted by every temptation and deception that satan could throw at him. Jesus drew near to God the Father, resisted the enemy and emerged victorious. 

Is it any wonder, in the very next chapter of Matthew’s book Jesus would share a description of how to have a blessed life and that it would begin with, “blessed are you.” We can summarize all of beatitudes this way: “Blessed are those who are at the end of themselves so that the Lord can be large and in charge.”

It is when Jesus bonded to the Father he could powerfully resist temptation.  It is only when we bond to our Heavenly Father that our hunger will be satisfied. Are you bonded to God? What other things could you be bonded to? 

It’s here that we meet for Celebrate Recovery on Monday evenings. Prior to the season of social distancing we met in person, for now we meet online. But it is here individuals from all walks of life, regardless of social or financial status, gender, age, marital status come to find freedom from those hurts, habits and hang ups they may have bonded to in life aside from God. Here many are able to overcome their “bondage” and experience the peace and hope found only in Christ Jesus. 

I don’t know about you but in this season of social distancing the first couple of weeks were not bad. Kind of fun. Got to spend time with the kids, cleaned up and purged a lot of things, really discovered those things that “gave me joy”. But then came week 3 and I noticed I was struggling. I felt lazy and my focus was everywhere yet, nowhere. I was snippy at the littlest things and the things that I can usually dismiss, I no longer wanted to tolerate. Even getting into the Word became difficult. At the height of everything several members of my family called me “controlling.” What? Me, controlling? The control monster had returned.  I couldn’t control what was going on around me so I began to control those things I felt I could. See I knew this monster well because it had been with me most of my life. And I could feel some of the triggers–former behaviors, insecurities, distractions, and escape creeping around. I realized I was in the wilderness. But rather than doing things God’s way, I did it, you guessed it “my way” and in the process alienated part of my family. It is here you have a choice to go your way or God’s way. In that season, I bonded to the lies of control rather than bonding to the peace of the Heavenly Father. 

In the midst of “the crazy,” I was reminded of something Paul wrote (Gal 5:1), “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  In other words, you’re out of jail. You’ve been saved, don’t go back by letting yourself bond to anything but GOD. That’s how we make Him Lord of all.  

Reminds of a great saying, “If Jesus isn’t Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.”

You being here today is no mistake. Jesus is calling you. Last week P. Mike spoke about what happens when Jesus calls. We are introduced to the great designer and asked to see ourselves through His eyes. This week He is taking all our temptations, our hurts, our habits, our hang-ups, our failures and is helping us to be rid of the bondage so we can walk in freedom. The first step is to admit that we are powerless sinners, then believe that He is the one who can save us, and confess our faith to Him. 

Then, would you consider connecting into a small group discussion, worship events, and small group ministries like celebrate recovery and other ministries where you can grow in your walk with Christ.  Fill out the connection card online and get ready because in Christ the best is yet to come.

As we close in prayer would you ask God to search your life now? What are the “bondages” in your life that keep you from being “bonded” to Him? We were all “born to bond.” Let’s bond with no one else but Jesus.

Let’s pray…Heavenly Father, break every chain and release us from our bondage! We want to bond with nothing else and no one else but you, Jesus. 

In fact, let’s declare it together: Pray this with me …   

Lord, help me to embrace you and the love you have for me. I need to be saved. So would you come into my life and dismantle every lie, remove every stumbling block the enemy would say and set to trip me up. Lord, have your way in my life, so I may walk in your Spirit and freedom not just in this lifetime but for all eternity. Amen.

Discussion Questions:

Begin breaking bondage by:

First, admitting that we cannot do it on our own; then, believe that with God you can be freed; and finally, confess those areas. 

– What did God speak to you through this message?

– Are you bonded to God?

– What else are you tempted to bond with? Why?

– What is being satisfied with those bonds?  What areas might you sense bondage? 

– Pray and ask the Lord to reveal the lies about those areas of bondage and ask Him to release you from them.

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