“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright” (Leviticus 26:13).
A remarkable young woman named Amy, who I met in Singapore, told me her story. Hers is a story of heartbreak and confusion, as she was drawn into a lesbian lifestyle and a series of painful relationships, including one with a man for seven years. She bravely and simply describes her journey.
But what struck me the most about her story is her courage and her humble and sincere way of explaining what it means to “come home” to the Father’s love. After her last painful break up, she said, “This was one of the toughest things I have had to do. I questioned God in my heart as I cried out. The pain was real.”
It can feel impossible to leave behind a lifestyle and mentality that has captured your heart and mind, and that has become a way of life.
This verse in Leviticus where God said, “You should not be slaves; I have broken the bonds of your yoke,” was a reminder. Nine times in the book of Leviticus the Lord reminded the people how He delivered them from Egypt. After 400 years in captivity, slavery had become a mindset, a learned, generational way of life.
Sin and deception can do that. They trap us into a mindset of slavery that not only shackles our lives but is passed down from generation to generation.
The young ones held in captivity in Egypt learned from their elders, "Never lift your head or make eye contact. Never be yourself or speak your mind. If you do, you will suffer consequences." After Moses pleaded, “Let my people go,” over and over on the night called Passover, freedom came. In one night God delivered them from Egypt. But their mentality, their perception of life and the way they thought of themselves—that would take a lifetime. To realize they were elevated to being God’s chosen people, the sons and daughters of the Almighty – that’s a radical change of life and thinking.
Many of us live in a slave mentality.
A slave to habits and broken lives, slaves to past wounds, slaves to our flesh or the false peace the world offers. It takes time for your mind to start thinking like a free person. But first, you need to know two important truths: Know your identity and know the authority God has given you. You are the sons and daughters of the living God who uses His power to love and bless you. The enemy doesn’t even have to work hard to discourage and deceive if he can lie to you about who you really are. Then the devil wants you to doubt the authority God has given you. You need to remember —you are the living, breathing mobile carrier of the Holy Spirit of God. Your presence in the world breaks up spiritual darkness wherever you live and walk and proclaim Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
My friend Amy described her newfound freedom like this: “I hardly know best how to describe it. I felt God literally gave me His heart. There was this heart wrapping around mine. It is a heart filled with loving tenderness, forgiveness, and I could feel His pain for me. He knew of all my painful relationships. Then He spoke into my heart. Why have you put all your time and affection into one person after another, thinking they can heal or restore you?
It was at that moment that I knew no man or woman could ever heal me or restore me. It was this love, this forgiving heart, that deep conviction that I knew I had to surrender my emotions to Him, to take God’s heart and walk back into His arms. And that is what I did and have never been the same. ”
Amy describes her surrender and her freedom as “coming home.” “Coming out is never easy,” she says, “But coming home is worth it. Coming home is coming back to the Father’s heart, a heart that is filled with love, embracing you. A Father whose arms are wide open, waiting to receive you home. I know it is tough, and that many of you are struggling. You think you need the courage, or to be in the right setting in order to do things right. You don’t need to do that. Because God will put that courage in you already. He has. So let’s come home together. Let’s come home together.”
Amy struggled with a specific lifestyle, just as many of us are caught up in things that are destructive and enslaving, even as believers. That’s where God wants to remind us: You are free! You can come home! It has been said that salvation takes a moment, but sanctification takes a lifetime.
You can step into your true identity.
You are God’s precious son or daughter. Walk in the power and authority of your true identity. Learn what Amy discovered: The power of being free in the embrace of your heavenly Father.
The Jews asked Jesus how He dared to promise freedom and He answered, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. A child of God abides forever, free. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). We are no longer slaves.