A few years ago, my family and I visited our kids who live in Indonesia. We had a wonderful time as they showed us around Jakarta, Indonesia. We soaked in the culture, sites, and food and loved every bit of it. While we were there, we flew to the beautiful island of Bali for a few days. One of the highlights in Bali was going to the Monkey Forest and walking amongst monkeys, everywhere! I’m not going to lie- it was a little unnerving having these wild creatures, at any given time, come right up to you and jump onto your shoulder or back without invitation. The park officials warn you to have no food or drink exposed out of your backpack because the monkeys will come and take it, and if they take it, you never want to challenge them- you let them have it! (We experienced this very up close and personal). Truthfully, the whole experience was crazy and cool all at the same time- an experience and education we will never forget.

One of the things I learned from that experience was how you trap a monkey. To trap a monkey, you would dig a shallow hole in the ground, put some bananas into the whole and place a grate, big enough for the monkey to get its hand inside, but small enough that the monkey could not get the hand holding the bananas out. When the monkey gets a hold of those bananas, it will not let go and remains stuck. All the monkey would need to do is let go and it would be set free, but instead, it is captured.

Lately, I have been wondering, like the trapped monkey, what am I holding onto and held captive to. What is keeping me from being set free? A monkey is trapped by something as simple as a fleshy desire, a need to fill a physical hunger, and once fulfilled, will quickly return. For me, things like routine and comfort, fear of not be healthy or financially stable enough, and pride of success can hold me captive. They are complete fleshy desires and can so quickly disappear.

Oh, how I long to not be held captive by the things of this world, but instead to be set free to grow deeper and more reliant on our heavenly Father. It’s a battle that I daily face- letting go and letting God do His work in me. I know that we can be free when we release the things that hold us captive- When we confess and ask God to receive the things that separate us and then to change us and make us more like Him. We are told that to come close(er) to God, that we are to clean up our lives and clear our minds, and then… He will come close(er) to us. (James 4:8).

What is holding you captive today? What can you let go of to grow closer to God? He wants more of you dear sister; He wants more of me. Let’s let go and let God set us free.