Sometimes, certain words catch my attention and I can’t seem to get them out of my head. It’s like hearing a song over and over that just won’t go away. This happened to me with the word “unleash.” The word caught my attention through a new ministry we recently launched, called “Unleashed by Design,” a non-profit leadership development organization. I fell in love with the idea of helping leaders discover God’s unique design and purpose for their lives, and in so doing, become “unleashed.”
While pondering the word, I found a word in the New Testament that could also be translated “unleashed.” In John 11:14, Lazarus had been raised from the dead, and Jesus ordered Lazarus be unloosed from the grave clothes that held him bound. Wow! What a picture of our potential. We have been raised out of our old life, our deadness, and the control of our sinful nature. Being raised from this “grave” however, is only the beginning. The challenge now is to be “loosed,” and “set free,” from the trappings and traditions that keep us bound to the “old life.” Oh, to be truly set free!
The adverbial form of the same root word translated “unloose” in the story of Lazarus, is found in Acts 28:11. In fact, it is the last word in the Book of Acts, and it sets the stage for what God wants to do through the church in every generation. It simply says Paul was sharing the good news of Jesus “unhinderedly”– in an unhindered way “nothing holding him back.”
I would encourage you to think about the following questions. What seems to be holding you back from fully living out the Gospel? What stronghold does the enemy have on your life, which, if you were released from it, would quite literally transform your life?
If you, like many of us, struggle with being completely “unleashed,” I would recommend two books by Peter Scazzero: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and The Emotionally Healthy Church. Reading these books, you will see how the author personally experienced a radical transformation through connecting spiritual health with emotional health. In his own words, he says, “For the first fifteen years of my life as a Christian, I rarely took time to look deeply into my heart.” He adds, “The real horror is how easy it is to remain in a comfortable, distorted illusion about our lives. Something may not be true, but we become so used to it that it feels right. Others who live and work closely with us can usually pick up some of our inconsistencies and defensive maneuvers. Few however, have the courage and skill to point them out in a mature and loving way.”
My prayer for all of us is to be fully unleashed to discover and delight in being all God intends us to be, in the place, and in the way God designed for us. May we be “unleashed” for Him today!