• sallychildress

Week 9 Day 58: Loosening a Vice Grip

Updated: Mar 7

"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.

Ponder: When something is held in the grip of a vice, it does not move easily. Imagine the vice (clamp) is trapping and holding some of your negative thought patterns and nothing you do shifts these patterns. You are frustrated. Sometimes it is more desperation. You are crying out for help, at least in your own soul. You have a deep need to embrace a completely new and very different vice to hold and rescue you from your thought/behavior patterns. A solid, sturdy faithful and trustworthy vice! Not one that holds you in absolute slavery. A vice clamp that knows the key to freedom, yet holds you in safety.

You are probably asking; How can I do this? How do I loosen the grip of these really spiraling thought patterns? What/who is this new vice? Is this really possible?

First of all ponder this verse: "for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand." John 10:29 N.L.T.

Action: Firstly, it is important to recognize that as children of the Father we are held tightly in His hands. His hands need to be our real clamp or vice.

Sometimes we hold on, often without really knowing, to negative thought patterns and behaviors. How seriously do we desire these negative thought patterns to change, and be transferred to a different clamp, the hands of our Father, not our flesh, the enemy or this broken world? This is a really key question. It is not a question of your ability or adequacy. It is about trusting our Abba, Father with everything; all our most intimate, sometimes really ugly places.

Cry out to God. Pray for the willingness to change. Remember the battle Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane, "not my will, but Yours be done." Luke 22: 42. Then immerse yourself in God's Word, praying, as you read, for the eyes of your mind to be opened to God's ways. The grip is loosening as you do this. Continue to speak out God's truth (the rethink) when you recognize the negative patterns.

When you pray, use your imagination and see yourself being held by God's hands. Loosening the grip will take time but someday you will realize your thoughts/actions have changed. Praising and being thankful is also a really good way to loosen a grip as well as the prayers of your friends/support group.

Prayer: On this Sabbath day help me lift Your name high, praising You and giving thanks for all the gifts You have given me. Lord, I desire to give You my life in a more significant way today. Take hold of my negative thought patterns. They have been my strange friend and false comfort for many years. These thoughts do not bring honor to Your Name. Let me choose to hide Your Word in my heart so that it can change and transform my thoughts and my actions. Forgive me Lord for sinning in this way against You. Help me Lord to place priority on the discipline of spending time with You in Your Word. Amen

Challenge: Read John 10: 22-30. Imagine you are there, listening to Jesus. Ponder especially "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." Let these few verses lead to praise and thanksgiving if you know you are one of His sheep. If there is any doubt, talk to Jesus and ask Him to help you come to know Him as Your rescuer and understand what it means to be His child. John 3:16.

It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”N.L.T.

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