The thick, woven rope was tied tightly around my waste. There was another tied around each of my ankles and wrists. The heaviest rope of all was the one tied securely around my neck. Panic consumed me. My only thought was “How do I get free? How do I escape?” I struggled to wiggle out of the ropes that were holding me captive. I desperately tried to fight to move forward. But the more I fought against them, the tighter the knots seem to get. I tried to follow the ropes to the source. What were they tied to? Maybe if I could reach their base I could free my self from that end. Quickly I realized that each rope was tied to something different. Every time I tried to follow one, another pulled tighter. Too much movement and I risked strangling myself to death. Fighting to get free would inevitably kill me. I was trapped.
This is what soul ties look like.
Soul ties are a term reserved for us church folk, so a lot of people aren’t familiar with the concept. Even within the confines of church, we are often presented soul ties as a consequence of sexual endeavors. This is true. But they are so much more than that and if we ever want true freedom in our lives we must understand them in their entirety.
Our soul is made up of our mind, our will and our emotions.
Mind-the things that you think about
Will-the decisions you make
Emotions-how you feel
With a clear understanding of the composition of our soul we understand that:
Soul tie-anything that has the ability to effect or influence your mind, will and emotions.
Those hopeless Redskins games that are sending you into a downward spiral of depression and ruining your Sunday afternoons. Soul tie. (I’m not hatin’, my heart bleeds burgundy and gold). You’re in a line of traffic and that one driver cut you off. Now you’re in your car irately screaming profanities. Soul tie. That immense peace you feel when you eat 3 bowls of ice-cream at 11’oclcok at night. Soulllllllll tiiiiiiiieeee. (That one is about me y’all). That boy in 10th grade who broke up with you because he said your earlobes were shaped funny and now you won’t wear any hairstyles that show your ears. You guessed it folks. SOUL TIE!
The thing is, we create them.
We weave ropes of our insecurities, flaws and heartbreaks and then securely tie them to whatever person/place/thing that seems to bring us security in that moment. But before we know it, we are struggling to untie ourselves from the very ropes and restraints we created. And if there is one thing that all of humanity can do flawlessly, it’s tightly tie themselves to things they have no business being attached to.
I was telling my best friend that I had seen a guy that I used to be casually involved with. On a very surface level, there are some things that attract me to him. But there are an equal number of things that turn me off. Besides, I have grown exponentially since our casual encounter. Yet, before I saw him, I fixed my lipstick and made sure my hair and makeup were in place. I thought I had moved well past the tie I had to him. So why was I concerned with my appearance? That’s when God painted the picture of me all tied up struggling to get free.
It is not my job to free myself.
The Bible says in John 8:36 (NIV)“ So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Jesus gave His life for our freedom and if we try to untie ourselves we will do nothing but tighten the grasp of the traps we have found ourselves in. Even more importantly, if Jesus allows us to become completely detached immediately, how will we know what it was we used to weave the ropes in the first place?
Picture yourself in the scenario I gave at the beginning. Imagine you’re struggling to get free from several soul ties. Maybe your addicted to Netflix and can’t stop bingeing. Maybe you get too emotional over politics. Maybe you struggle to let go of alcohol or you’re still struggling to forgive your parents from child hood trauma. If you were to instantaneously find freedom from all of these things, if God just untied the ropes and let you keep it moving, what will stop you from weaving the same ropes of failures and unforgiveness and tying yourself to another unhealthy foundation?
When I pondered the reason I put on lipstick for this guy that I don’t even want, I pictured God cutting through the thick, woven rope. The rope was weakening one fiber, one thread at a time. And because of that I was able to identify clearly what emotion was used to create it in the first place. In the past, I have felt unattractive and tied my rejection to that. The lipstick was not about him, it was about wanting to feel wanted. The last few threads of rejection in my rope. My late night ice cream binges are not about food, they are threads of boredom and a need to control. As God cuts the ropes, you move towards complete freedom while also identifying the issues that lead to the soul ties in the first place.
Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. Sometimes we are fighting so desperately to move forward and are literally hanging ourselves in the process. When all we have to do is allow Jesus to continue to cut through the ropes, one thread at a time.
Once we have recognized what we have been weaving with, we can work on replacing unhealthy threads with good ones. We can trade our bitterness with forgiveness and worthlessness for the worth that our Father declares over us. Only then can we weave new ropes and attach ourselves to better foundations.
You see, not all soul ties are bad. Remember our definitions. There are certainly people/places/things that positively effect our mind,will, and emotions. Those soul ties are created with threads made of the fruits of the spirit. Those ropes are woven with love, joy, peace, and patience instead of pain and sorrow. But most importantly, as you find freedom from the soul ties of your past and begin to braid yourselves new ropes, you can securely attach yourself to the safest, most rewarding base ever. God.
But now that you have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.