Gayle Novak is a professional Christian Life Coach. Her coaching as been described as “refreshing, compassionate, authentic, discerning, and a catalyst for change.”
On any given day you might find Gayle coaching a client through setting new life goals; helping young people find the right college, meeting with a teen who wrestles with body image issues, or speaking to groups about "hope, freedom and purpose." She also may be with a couple introducing effective communication skills, bringing new hope to their marriage and parenting.This month I’ve been pondering the phrase “Jesus came to set the captives free” referenced from Isaiah 61 which Jesus himself read aloud in the temple: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (ESV).
As 4th of July approaches, I often think about the words freedom and liberty... The Webster’s 1828 dictionary is my favorite source to define words: “FREEDOM is exemption from slavery, also from constraint and control,” The word CAPTIVE “is described as a prisoner or to bring into enslavement.”
With freedom there is always a cost, just as there was for our nation 200+ years ago. Blood was shed. Destruction and death occurred so we could walk in freedom today. Similarly, in Scripture man became enslaved to sin. The enemy had power over us and man had to live under the law. But Jesus came to set the captives free on earth 2,000+ years ago! His blood was shed and he suffered destruction to his body and ultimately death so that we could walk in freedom today; total freedom, not partial freedom. We are no longer prisoners to sin, to the enemy, or to death, nor are we separated from the Lord.
As a life coach, I love when clients realize that they can have total freedom and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit because Christ’s blood was shed. Personally, I have learned this on many levels in my own life. I was once held in bondage to an eating disorder, where food and body image controlled my entire being. I was healed and no longer am held captive to this! FREEDOM!
I was once held in bondage to unforgiveness that I held against some who had wronged me. Unforgiveness is destructive and leads to bitterness, illness and despair. It controls you from the inside out. I learned what it means to forgive completely and release others and all my hurt and anger to the Lord and I was then FREE! Man’s approval was another area that held me captive. I constantly wondered what people thought of me, if I was doing/saying/wearing the right thing, if I was parenting perfectly, decorating well enough, and the list goes on!
It was in bondage and a prisoner to what people thought of me. Jesus freed me from this and I now look to an audience of One! My thought life has been freed. Jesus has not erased all my problems, but I am no longer a slave to them. I am released from tormenting negative thoughts about food, my body, my parenting, and my appearance and I can spend time in a place of rest! My heart for you today is that you will know Jesus as your Savior but also that you will ask him if there are areas in your life where you are not walking in freedom. When you ask, He will gently show you. Realize where you are a captive and accept that what He did on the cross was enough to free you completely. You can walk in victory, freedom, and rest! Enjoy your 4th of July holiday as you ponder these things.
Gayle Novak, Colleyville TXlife coach