We were thrilled that author and speaker, Danielle Strickland joined us on the show to talk about her newest book, The Ultimate Exodus: Finding Freedom from What Enslaves You.

Danielle is an expert in enslavement through her work with trafficking survivors. She knows first-hand what it’s like to be shackled by addictions. And she knows that God does not intend us to live enslaved.

The idea of slavery is much discussed in scripture. The ancient world was filled with slavery, as conquerors built their empires on the backs of captive people. But there was also metaphorical enslavement, such as that Paul discusses in Galatians 5:1 (NLT): “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Paul argued that freedom is not just physical, but spiritual, and the constraints of Mosaic law could be as imprisoning as the Roman guards.

While literal slavery continues to be a modern problem (human trafficking is an estimated $150 billion industry) many of us who live freely continue to be enslaved. How many of us are trapped in jobs we hate, to pay our ballooning mortgages and credit card bills? How many of us would love to simplify our lives, but don’t in order to preserve our egos? How many of us would like to hang out with our families, but focus instead on keeping a perfect house? God does not want us to live like this. When he talks about not worshipping idols, he’s not just talking about the golden calf: he’s talking about worshipping money, pride, power, and appearances. He’s talking about being wedded to anything that steals our ultimate joy.

In her book, Danielle offers hope for any of us who feel trapped in our lives. She urges us to put our hopes not in the things of this world, but in Christ. The first step to freedom is awareness. As she writes in her introduction, “To be liberated from slavery, it turns out, we must confront not just external realities, but internal ones.”

We offer a challenge to you to look for barriers to freedom in your own life. Think about how you can simplify. Ask God to show you the way. For in Christ, we can all be free.