This past Sunday morning I had the privilege of hearing testimony and worship in song by the men of the Teen Challenge of the Smokies. As I watched these men sing and worship the Lord and heard some of their stories of God’s restorative and life-giving power, I couldn’t help but feel such admiration and excitement for them and their new journey.

I propose that there is a lie that happens to be a common thought that when we share our struggles and failings that we will be seen as weak. The truth is you are never seen as a stronger or more courageous person than when you are honest about a stronghold in your life and you make a commitment to finding freedom and victory in Christ. Satan and his demons want you to stay trapped in the lie that you should stay quiet and fight the battle on your own. Jesus came to set us free; he is revealing the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). When you confess your sins to each other, you will find healing (James 5:16). I find it interesting that elsewhere in the Bible we are promised that when we confess our sins He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). So being made right with God is offered when we confess to Him, but He saw fit to tie the healing part to community. We are created for community. The enemy wants you to feel isolated and alone. The healing comes when we share our struggles with other trusted humans. Right now your secret struggles are like blackmail the enemy is using to imprison you. And the only one who can keep you in that prison is YOU!

I have had the privilege of attending our Celebrate Recovery (CR) program at my church. When most people think of CR they think it’s all about drugs and alcohol which absolutely fall under the umbrella of recovery. BUT how about anger issues, how about people-pleasing or codependency or anxiety or self-confidence or self-image or a perversion of sex outside of what God created it for within a marriage covenant? See? Every single one of us has something that has the potential to imprison us. But when we confess and share and are honest, the enemy is defeated; no more blackmail. It’s out in the open and God can begin to change our thinking and bring healing.

Revelation 12:11 says “And they overcame him (the dragon) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.” Jesus has already paid the price to defeat sin; his blood was shed so we could be forgiven and free John 3:16. But there is another part to that victory; it has to do with the word of our testimony. Think about that… when you share your testimony of what God is doing in your life, there is power to defeat the enemy.

The Holy Spirit might be talking to you right now. Is there something you’ve been hiding and God is telling you it’s time to share? If that is the case, I probably know what you’re thinking… If I share, people will judge me, my reputation will be hurt, people will no respect me. All LIES! Those who know and love you will be so proud of you and will want to come alongside you to support you. Take that leap of faith to trust God’s word that when you confess to each other, healing will come.

If you are struggling with any hurt, habit, or hang-up please check out  Celebrate Recovery (CR)  to find a loving support group near you.  If you are in the Franklin, NC area, make sure to visit CR at Discover Church on Macon Drive

If you are ready to make a commitment to get out from under the prison of substance abuse, please consider Teen Challenge

Jesus came for us to have life and to have it to the full (John 10:10). There is hope, change is possible. When you confess and begin this journey, you will leave all regrets behind.

True love is found when we are fully Known (Taurean Wells)

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