Archive for April, 2012

Steps to Freedom

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Teaching

Steps to Freedom

There are things that bind us up in life and try to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destiny. Whether it is an addiction, a fear, or a sin that has a grip on us, getting free and staying free requires a partnership between us and God.

 Uncover the Problem.  Addictions, fears, and sins, are things that we like to keep in the dark where no one sees them.  Maybe we are ashamed.  Maybe we don’t think it is really a problem.  Maybe it is difficult to talk about.  But it is in the “dark” that sin grows.  When sin is brought into the light there is the potential for healing and freedom.  Uncovering the problem to yourself and to someone you can trust is the first step to freedom in that area.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

Repent and Ask God for Help.  While we may not be completely to blame for whatever bondage we are struggling with, there is likely some area where we have given in to sin and made the bondage worse.  To repent means 1) to agree with God that the sin you are dealing with is destructive and against God’s will for your life, and 2) to take action against it.  The important thing is that repentance opens you up to more than just your own hard work in fighting against the bondage, but allows the Holy Spirit access to bring His power into your weakness.  This is where we give God permission to come in and do His thing! 

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”  Acts 3:19

 Work With God.  You have now invited the Holy Spirit in to work in your situation with His power. Freedom is a partnership between you and God where you do the part that you can and He brings the supernatural help.  So don’t work against Him!  For example, if you know that certain porn sites on the web are a temptation, get a filter for your internet.  If you know that kissing your girlfriend on a bed leads to sex, set the boundary of not going into her bedroom in the first place.  If you know that one drink leads to two, which then leads to 3, 4, 5, or 6, don’t allow yourself to take that first drink.  Refuse to put yourself in situations where you will be vulnerable to sin.  This is where the person in financial bondage commits to a budget.  This is where the person fearful of speaking in front of a group stops saying “no.”  This is called working together with God and God can do so much more with the person who is willing to work together with Him instead of against Him.

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13

 Gather Some People Around You.  Allow others to help you in your struggle.  Consider meeting regularly with trustworthy people who will encourage you in your struggle for freedom.  Don’t be too proud to receive their advice and prayers – these friends are a gift from God for you.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

 The struggle for freedom can be difficult, but it is SO worth it!  If you stick with it and work with God, it will affect the course of your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all those connected to you!  There will be times when you will be tempted to be like the Israelites.  The Israelites were freed by God from horrible slavery in Egypt, but soon after they were set free and before they reached the Promised Land, God took them through the hot desert.  They were thirsty and started to complain against the Lord and act like the days of slavery were the “good old days.”  They were ready to go back to slavery because it was familiar to them.  Our “old ways” are familiar to us, but they are also very destructive.  Let’s stay on the path to freedom.  It is worth it!