Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know Him. Oswald Chambers
For most of my previously married years, I saw my marriage as the biggest problem with my life. It’s true, it wasn’t good. I longed to be free from the daily stress of emotional and sexual abuse. But while marriage was a nightmare, it wasn’t my main problem.
God wanted to set me free from so much more than a broken marriage.
My life had been dictated by guilt, fear, shame, pride, and wrong perceptions of God, myself and others. Those were the things entangling me and causing me pain.
How did I get there?
While some compromise (sharing and rearranging ideas in order to come to an acceptable solution) is good, another definition of compromise is
to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal, etc.; jeopardize (dictionary.com)
As a molested child, my life was compromised. And I learned from then on to continue life in compromise, allowing things I didn’t want, to dictate how I lived each day. I accepted a lower standard that was not safe or good.
I made choices that led to destruction even while I was seeking God, because I didn’t understand God. My perceptions were based on an emotional filter that hung over my life like gauze, clouding what I saw, and giving me an entirely different view without any clarity. Like being in a house of mirrors, my thinking and emotions were distorted. Thus everything in the world around me was as well.
Compromise makes God become to us only what we think we need based on what we think we want.
We can’t see what we truly need that is actually something better than what we want. And our growth is stunted when we seek God on our own terms. It leaves us frustrated with God, thinking that He doesn’t hear us, or purposely won’t answer.
We may believe He is harsh or angry with us.
In this stuck place, we can’t move ahead, but keep returning to the same places over and over wondering why nothing changes for us.
Ironically, it is only as we step out in faith and obey God that we see the truth. Only then can He can lead us into areas of growth and healing. God is faithful to care for us regardless of our circumstances, but in the beginning all we can see is the life we’ve created, surrounding us like a dungeon wall. There seems to be no escape.
God longs to free us. He always has a way out.
For the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at a story from the Bible that moves my heart. Every time I read it. And I continue to receive healing from a new perspective of it every time. We see from this story in John, chapter four, the great love and escape God has for us.
The story of the woman at the well in Samaria shows the process of how God untangles us from the entrapment of our choices, reveals the truth of who He is, and enables us to share our experience with others to set them free as well.
This is a story of the deepest love and compassion of Christ for the most shamed of women. It is a story of the faithfulness of God, the forgiveness of Christ and the joy of new life.
If we want to see the truth about God, then we first must be willing to see the truth about our lives.
Are we willing?
Jesus was returning to Galilee and “…had to go through Samaria,” it says in the fourth verse of John 4. I want to point out that He could have skirted around Samaria as most Jews would have done at that time. The Samaritans were not a highly thought of people. Maybe that is why Jesus had to go there. For the sake of the banished woman and the outcasts of the town.
His great love compelled him to go into places others wouldn’t.
What place are you in that you need Jesus to visit? He will if you ask him. It doesn’t matter where…
A drug house? Jail? The local bar? Isolation in your home? The hospital? An affair? Mental illness, alcoholism or a food addiction?
Maybe it is a secret area no one knows about. A stash of candy or pornography. Or perhaps it’s something outwardly “acceptable,” but you know deep down it might be an issue – like a television program or social media site you can’t walk away from. Anything that dictates our thoughts, time, energy or money is a stuck place of compromise and skewed perspective.
Next week we’ll continue, but for now, let’s ask ourselves to be honest. And let’s ask Jesus to open our eyes to him and the truth that will set us free.
He promises that “…the truth will set you free.” John 8:32b