Six Steps to Freedom

Most Christian religions have a tradition that involves walking down the aisle at church to express a desire to commit their lives to God.  Some are eager to walk down that aisle, others are reluctant and still others postpone it indefinitely.

I was at a service once in which a young person walked down the aisle.  The preacher talked with them briefly and then shared with the congregation what the young person’s needs were.  He said, “Alex has responded this morning and said to me, ‘I don’t know what to say.’  To Alex I say, ‘You don’t need to say a thing.  Every step you took coming down that aisle said everything that needed to be said.’”

That got me thinking.  What are we saying when we “walk down the aisle?”

Here is my conclusion:

Our First Step says, “The weight of my (sin) problems is crushing me.”

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand as heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (Psalm 32:1-4)

My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. (Psalm 38:4-10)

I’ve wandered far away from God,

Now I’m coming home;

The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,

Lord, I’m coming home.

I’ve wasted many precious years,

Now I’m coming home;

I now repent with bitter tears,

Lord, I’m coming home.

My soul is sick, my heart is sore,

Now I’m coming home;

My strength renew, my hope restore,

Lord, I’m coming home.

Coming home, coming home,

Nevermore to roam,

Open wide Thine arms of love,

Lord, I’m coming home.

Our Second Step says, “My (sin) problems are bigger than I am.”

We admit that everything we have done to take care of the problem has not helped.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. (Psalm 51:2-3)

 For years in the fetters of sin I was bound;

The world could not help me; no comfort I found.

Our Third Step says, “I recognize that I must rely on someone bigger than me to solve my (sin) problems.

We admit we don’t have the answers.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”

I’ve tired of sin and straying Lord,

Now I’m coming home;

I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy word,

Lord, I’m coming home.

Be our strength in hours of weakness,

In our wanderings be our guide;

Through endeavor, failure, danger

Father, be Thou at our side.

Our Fourth Step says, “Only God has the answers for my life.”

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)

I need Jesus: my need I now confess,

No friend like Him in times of deep distress;

I need Jesus; the need I gladly own,

Though some may bear their load alone,

Yet I need Jesus.

I need Jesus: I need a Friend like Him,

A Friend to guide when paths of life are dim;

I need Jesus; when foes my soul assail,

Alone, I know I can but fail,

So I need Jesus.

I need Jesus: I need Him to the end,

No one like Him.  He is the sinners’ Friend;

I need Jesus; no other Friend will do,

So constant, kind, so strong and true

Yes, I need Jesus

I need Jesus; I need Jesus.

I need Jesus ev’ry day.

Need Him in the sunshine hour,

need Him when the storm clouds gather,

Ev’ry day along my way,

Yes, I need Jesus.

Our Fifth Step says, “I humbly lay my will down and surrender to God’s Will, recognizing my dependence on Him.”

All to Jesus I surrender,

All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His presence daily live.

All to Jesus I surrender,

Humbly at His feet I bow;

Worldly pleasures all forsaken,

Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender,

Lord, I give myself to Thee;

Fill me with Thy love and power,

Let Thy blessing fall on me.

When Elijah called Elisha to follow in his footsteps after his death, Elisha surrendered everything.  “So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.  Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

Our Sixth Step says, “In spite of the shame or hurt I may be feeling, I want others to see my humility and my desire to please God.”

Jesus’ poignant story of the Prodigal Son tells us, “So he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

Oh, to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming,

Now to receive the anointing divine;

All that I am and have I am bringing;

Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.

Lead me gently home, Father,

Lead me gently home,

In life’s darkest hours, Father, when life’s troubles come,

Keep my feet from wandering,

Lest from Thee I roam,

Lest I fall upon the wayside,

Lead me gently home.

Lead me gently home, Father,

Lead me gently home,

In temptation’s hour, Father, when sore trials come;

Be Thou near to keep me,

Take me as Thine own,

For I cannot live without Thee,

Lead me gently home.

If any of this article speaks to you, then:

Hear the sweet voice of Jesus say,

“Come unto me, I am the way;”

Hearken, the loving call obey;

Come, for He loves you so.

Only a step, only a step:

Come, for He bled for you and died;

He’s the same loving Savior yet,

Jesus the Crucified.

2 thoughts on “Six Steps to Freedom

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