3 Keys to Freedom from Past Abuse, Addictions

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Rediscover You
Isaiah characterizes a person who rightly exercises righteous authority as "the repairer of the breach" and "the restorer of paths to dwell in" (Is. 58:12, KJV). Taking back control means redefining and rebuilding your relationship with God so that your thoughts and beliefs are no longer being dominated by the memory of a traumatic event, by societal restraints or religious pressures.

It is always possible for a damaged life to become productive again. God is able to meet your needs and support you through your trials.

Don't be deceived about your dominion and authority in the spirit realm. Remember, God can take a woman with the worst possible background and use her for His glory. You have a battle to fight and a work to do in raising up the foundations for the generations to come.

God expects you to actively work toward your restoration, then work to rebuild the old waste places and bring others to a state of soundness as well. If you put off action, you will delay your progress.

This is your time to rediscover the real you. You are not a fabrication of someone else's reality. You are an authentic worshiper, a woman who is able to enter into the secret place of God's eternal counsel, where He will make known to you His prophetic purpose (see Ps. 91:1-16).

Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: "'I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly'"(John 10:10, NKJV).

Anything that devalues a woman's worth impairs her soul. Unlike true, godly authority, which is protective, empowering and liberating, abusive authority is exploitative, manipulative and destructive.

What you accept is up to you. But negative consequences are not expressions of the God kind of life.

Attune your mind to think God's thoughts and speak His words. Negative thought patterns are the power base of demonic strongholds. Behind every stronghold is demonic oppression and corrupt thinking habits.

But change is possible. With practice, bad habits can give way to good ones. Paul wrote: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).

"Transformation" means to change in form, appearance or structure; to change in condition, nature or character. The conversion experience is the beginning of learning to discern God's will over and against any opposing or imposing mind-set. This renovation takes place at the very center of our being.

Luke wrote: "By your patience possess your souls" (Luke 21:19). Make excellence your standard and take responsibility for the development of your soul in line with who God says you are. Seek the Lord. Cooperate with Him and train yourself to act on the truth of His Word.

Make No Excuses
The application of the reality of redemption is part of the healing, the restoration, the growth process itself. Redemption reverses our alienation and isolation from God.

When we are active in our own spiritual growth, it increases our confidence level. We can take ownership of our spiritual lives and responsibility for our relationships with God. The reward for our growth is first the joy of obedience. When we know we are pleasing God and that our lives are in sync with Him, we can anticipate the release of great potential.

We have to be willing to radically obey God and leave the outcome to Him. In the Scriptures, Queen Esther remained teachable and respectful to her uncle Mordecai.

She was courageous in the face of fear and destruction, and driven to action by love for her people and a passion for their freedom. Through Esther's radical decision to go before the king, with the support of a national fast, the people of God were preserved and brought to the revelation and completion of their purpose (see Esth. 4:15-16).

Like Esther, we must be sober and alert. We also have the capacity to supernaturally bring forth the fruit of change in our own lives and in the lives of others.

Know that you are in a battle for your soul. But you are in God's hands, and the battle is His. The Word of God tells us He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him (see 2 Pet. 1:3).

It's time for redeemed women to confront the challenges of the human condition. We make no apologies for our femininity because we are His workmanship (see Eph. 2:10). We make no excuses because we have His Word and His Spirit. Restoration is God's desire for everyone. Because of His sufficient grace, not one of us is damaged beyond repair.

Read a companion devotional.

Beverly "Bam" Crawford is the pastor and founder of Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church in Inglewood, Calif. She is the author of The Power of the Soul and Restoration of the Damaged Soul, from which portions of this article were adapted.

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