There is rarely anything good about being a hostage. I have been unofficially kidnapped by friends with the intended outcome of experiencing something special. Being an actual hostage normally has a negative connotation.
The word “hostage” is defined as a person controlled by or captivated by a past or present event, situation, or pattern of thought. A hostage is a person that is trapped, enslaved, or taken captive by an intruder or enemy.
All of us have enemies that cannot be seen with the physical eye. These enemies seek desperately to rule our minds and take over our hearts. They seek permission to reign in our lives. They find access through our struggles, circumstances, and issues. These struggles range from childhood trauma to adult tragedy.
I have discovered the enemy seeks access to us through our broken places. This includes our hurts, hang-ups and our unhealed emotions.
Many of us live with thoughts that imprison our soul and engage our darkest emotions. I call these thought predators “hostage takers.” When we yield to the traps and suggestions of the enemy, we become ensnared by their planted thoughts and evil methods.
But God has designed us to be dominators and not to be dominated. That is why He sent Christ. Christ was sent to set us free from Satan, sin, self and the law.
Satan and his forces have a totally opposite strategy for us. They desire to trap us bondage and ensnare us in sin. In order to gain an entrance Satan searches our hearts and thoughts and finds an open door. Satan’s goal is to capture us and take us hostage.
“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt!”
IF ONLY PEOPLE
We are often held hostage by the “if only’s.” If only I hadn’t taken that job. If only I hadn’t married that deadbeat. If only I hadn’t done that. If only I would have graduated from college.
Along with the “if only’s” we have an enemy who keeps us so focused on the shoulda, woulda, or couldas. The enemy convinces our minds and our hearts that everything should be better. This is a trap of the enemy, and his full intention is to control us and to take us captive and eventually to make us his hostage.
He tempts us to rehearse decisions that we’ve made, opportunities that we’ve missed, and things we’ve failed to act on. And the enemy also tries to convince us of missed opportunities. He keeps us so focused on the negatives that we have a tendency to go back. Back to the old and the familiar.
This makes us a hostage to our past. We also have the tendency to treat the symptoms of our struggles and ignore the cause. We treat anger. We treat depression, frustration, etc.
But we often fail to get to the root. We treat the fruit and fail to treat the root of the issues. We handle all of the symptoms and never get to the real problem. Situations show up in our lives that take us hostage, and we continually treat an external symptom rather than go after the internal problem.
We must discover the inward truth. We don’t have to live in the “if onlys”, we can live in “the now” of God’s destiny and purpose.
Chuck Swindoll so elegantly said, “Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how we react to what happens.”
We are people filled with the Holy Spirit.
We are people empowered by God.
And like the children of Israel, if we are continually looking back, or if we drive by our rearview mirror, we cripple our ability to effectively move into our future.