The Truth Will Set You Free- Mary Magdalene

Mary lived and worked in affliction. She agreed with the repetitive lies told to her, tricked into believing they were the truth, and now was a bound captive to their deception. Her world was a dark place, marked by misery and agony.

One day, The Light, a man of miracles, came to town. He walked in love, proclaiming the good news. He brought healing to bodies, minds, and souls. This man of miracles healed Mary, cast out seven demons from her tormented soul. Step-by-step, he helped her replace her fears with faith. Her days became brighter, and her world more colorful and clear. She walked with him in the truth that set her free and was made confident by his love.

Mary followed the Man of Miracles to his death. Painfully, she stood by and watched his violent crucifixion. She saw the tomb and how his body lay. Returning to the site with spices and ointments for his body, Mary was one of the first to find it empty. She was the first to see Jesus, the risen Light of the world. And Jesus made her the first evangelist by sending her to go and tell others the good news- He was alive! The Savior lives! 

I like to think about Mary. A tormented soul transformed by truth. A woman with a questionable past, who others would think of as last. Yet, Jesus, who knew everything about her, gave the honor of being the first. 

I wonder if those evil spirits and infirmaries that once held her captive ever haunted her? Did her scars hold her back or motivate her to help others find freedom too? What can we learn from her story? 

We don’t know what demons Mary Magdalene was agonized by, but there are “demons” demanding our attention every day. “Demons” in the forms of lies pitted against:

1.) our identity 

2.) our choices

3.) our abilities

4.) our past or history

5.) our significance 

6. ) our beliefs 

7.) our security 

Satan, the father of lies, master tormentor (2 Cor. 12:7), murderer, thief, destroyer (John 10:10), crafty dragon (Gen. 1:1, Rev 20:1), schemer (2 Cor. 2:5), tempter, stumbling block (Matt. 16:23), sends attacks against those seven things to lead us further into the lies and confusion. He, and his evil minion demons, are at force against good at all times. They are lurking around corners, looking for hearts to devour, minds to tempt, and places of weakness where they can hold us captive. They want us to stay in the past, stuck in our misery, and keep us from our callings. 

We need to be aware of this on-going battle and be on guard! Lies are easy to entertain. When given too much attention, they lead us further away from the truth and into the darkness of shame, guilt, and fear. Only truth can lead us back to the Light. And only choosing to take a brave, firm stance, and responding in facts, can free us from the preoccupation with and entertaining of these falsities. 

Walking in the Light is a step-by-step journey. It doesn’t mean that we forget where we’ve been, or that our scars miraculously disappear. I wholeheartedly believe God has the power to heal in immediate ways. Still, more often, his healing comes in slow and steady progress where we incrementally become more firm in our faith, learn to walk in humility, and prolong our praise for his transforming work done in us. 

Walking with Jesus, healing in a slower manner gives us the time to reflect and offers us more opportunities to trust. It allows us to bask in the Light that has set us free, and soak up the truth needed to strengthen us in the fight against the “demons” and darkness that want to cloud and cover over us. The Light shines bright with honesty, allows us to break free from our past, and helps us run toward our future into the callings Christ has chosen us to do. 

There will be skeptics and critics along the way. When Mary went and told the other disciples that Jesus was alive, the disciples wept and mourned, and chose not to believe it. Sometimes we are our own worst critic and skeptic. We have a hard time accepting the truth; instead, we continue to stay stuck in our disbelief and hardships. 

To break free from the lies, we need to bring them into the Light. We can find healing by saying them out loud, cast them out with the truth, and deflate their power over us. We can be brave, admit our struggles and insecurities to other people, allowing them to speak truth into and over us, and let them walk with us, step by step, to freedom. 

The truth will set you free!     

Mary Magdalene


Enough.

This shirt is more than a comfortable thing to wear, it’s a great conversation piece too. One time I wore it on a flight home from a conference. When I reached the connecting airport, my next flight was delayed and I was stranded in the Newark for hours. To soak up some time, I decided to invest in a meal at one of those overpriced airport restaurants.

My waiter thought my shirt was great (he told me so) and stressed the “enough” phrase in much awkward conversation. He emphasized the phrase in normal waiter questions like, “Do you have “enough” to drink? Is that “enough” cheese for your spaghetti? I do not think you’ve had “enough” bread.” And a bit more personal statement, “You look like you haven’t had “enough” rest.” (Yep, seriously!) Before I left the restaurant, I’m ashamed to admit that didn’t leave him “enough” of a tip, because he was right, I hadn’t had “enough” rest or “enough” patience, and I had had “enough” of his sense of humor. (Hey, I’m human.)

The idea of “enough,” or maybe more accurately “not enough,” comes up in many conversations and creeps into our thoughts and actions in sneaky little ways. While the use of the phrase is not necessarily bad or wrong, I am specifically referring to the the idea of “not enough” as a personal attack on our self-worth and confidence. In this way, the phrase carries weight and implications that can cause cracks in our confidence, create conflict and confusion, and can stop us from joyfully living out our purpose and passion.

Here are a few examples of the “not enoughs” I have entertained in my own life.

“I do not have enough skills.”

“I do not have enough of what it takes.”

“I did not get enough done.”

“I do not have enough time.”

“I did not get enough sleep to have enough energy to get enough done in the not enough time. “

Whatever the “not enough” is for you, the idea is still the same. The small phrase and accompanying emotional reactions can snowball into turbulence. The turbulence can turn into a negativity that forges disappointment and disillusionment. Constant attention to these things can create a disheartening in us.

“Not enough” is an expectation, a limitation, and a lie. It’s often fought against with cute memes, inspirational quotes, and half-truths that leave those who hear and read them with a dissatisfaction and desire for more. We want so badly want to believe what we hear and read, but cannot seem to make the connection to what the words say and how to apply them to our reality.

While repeated “you are enough” statements seem like they work in the moment, they do not create lasting change. They miss out on the core truths of Christ. It’s only with Jesus, “not enough” turns into “more than enough.” It’s only in Jesus Christ we can reclaim our true identity, counterattack comparison, realize we can rest in contentment, and continue forward in confidence.

The truth is, we were not created for just enough, we were created for more than enough. Not more striving and stressing, but more seeking and surrendering.

To discover these truths, requires a step. A step of faith in humility toward the unlimited power of Jesus. An act of courage to believe he has more than enough love and everything you need. A brave belief that Jesus wants to give you hope for a future that will be more than you ever thought possible. All this takes trust and work. An inside out type of work.

If you are interested in what type of work this may be, or want to discover a way to conquer your “not enoughs,” stayed tuned. Over the next few blog posts, I’ll be writing more about these things and challenging us to apply truths, ideas and strategies to live in a way that is more than enough and full of peace, love and joy.

“Not enough” is an expectation, a limitation, and a lie.