The highly trained athlete burst from the blocks in an explosion of speed and strength. He had not gone a second step before his body slammed into the ground. He got up again, and began to run. Again, he slammed into the ground. He tried to run harder. Same result. He tried to be quicker, again, he fell. He tried to slow down, take smaller steps, he tried every variation he could imagine. All of his training and all of his strength seemed to avail him nothing. Again and again he fell.
He looked down. The laces of his two shoes were tied to one another.
He reached down, untied the knot and tied his shoes correctly.
Now he burst from the blocks, completed the race, and did so without a single fall.
In this short parable, is one of the most important keys to breaking free from strongholds. Often the issue is not our effort, our training, or our will-power. Often the issue is entanglements within our soul. When our mind, will, and emotions are tangled up within one another, no amount of effort, no amount of will power can propel us in the direction we are trying to go. A significant key to a life of freedom is learning how God designed our soul, and untangling the knots of a lifetime of experience.
Anger and bitterness in our hearts. Pain in our lives which is yet to be healed. Judgments we hold over others, or even ourselves. Generational patterns which are passed down from our ancestors. These and a few others may actually be the cause of our struggle, much more than the specific areas where we experience our struggle.
Men think they struggle with lust. I would say that first they struggle with the pain of fatherlessness, and carry too much of the intense fuel of anger. Lust is the fruit that grows on the branches of these entanglements. Women think they struggle with fear and insecurity. I would say that they first struggle with self-reliance and self-protection, often because of some painful experience in their lives. Fear is simply the fruit that grows on the branch of self reliance.
Simply put, most of the time the area we are trying to change is only the fruit that grows on the branches of the deeper roots of an entangled soul. Untangle the knots, the fruit will change, with much less effort than has previously been applied.
Are you willing to look at the roots?