Friday, June 16, 2006

Are You Free?

Beth Moore defines a stronghold as anything that prevents a Christian from experiencing the abundant life God intended for us (Breaking Free). The Bible teaches us that Christ is to be our stronghold, the one true focus of our lives. But let's not fool ourselves. We're at war. The enemy can't take our salvation away, but he sure can hinder our sanctification and joy.

I'm not saying strongholds are caused by the enemy, although some are. But we are fleshly beings by nature and that human nature is what trips us up. Anything that moves our eyes off God and takes a higher place of importance in our lives than Him is a stronghold. And you know what's scary? It can happen in an instant. The temptation sits there. The enemy uses it to taught us, to ply our attention from God. And before we even realize we've taken a step, and this thing, this peace-buster, has chained us. We are no longer free, but slaves once again.

Galations 5:1 says,
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery." (NIV)
I also beleive this is part of what Paul meant when he said to continue to work out our salvation (Phil. 2:12). What strongholds keep you from experiencing the abundant life? I know I have at least one that plagues me constantly, but I keep hearing this soft voice telling me I'm free. Maybe I'm just that bird who has been caged so long that when the door opens, I can't grasp the idea of truly being free. Something to ponder...

Here's another Casting Crows song that's really speaking to me at the moment. I hope it speaks to you as well.

Set Me Free by Casting Crowns

It hasn't always been this way
I remember brighter days
Before the dark ones came
Stole my mind
Wrapped my soul in chains

Now I live among the dead
Fighting voices in my head
Hoping someone hears me crying in the night
And carries me away

Set me free of the chains holding me
Is there anybody out there hearing me?
Set me free

Morning breaks another day
Finds me crying in the rain
All alone with my demons I am
Who is this man that comes my way?
The dark ones shriek
They scream His name
Is this the One they say will set the captives free?
Jesus, rescue me


As the God man passes by
He looks straight through my eyes
The darkness cannot hide

Chorus 2:
Do you want to be free?
Lift your chains
I hold the key
All Power on Heaven and earth belong to me

You are free
You are free
You are free


Heather Diane Tipton said...

Oh Neenie... must you make me cry? You don't know (or maybe you do) how much this post speaks to me.

thanks. Love you!

:-)Ronie said...

BEAUTIFUL post, Neen!! Love the song's lyrics.

Ron Estrada said...

Preach ON sister D!

Camy Tang said...

I was just thinking about freedom today, although it was in regards to my heroine. :) But one of my favorite songs is Free by Hillsong United.


Jennifer Tiszai said...

I love that Beth Moore study. And one of the things I came away with is how easily we give our freedom away, gradually, to really unimportant things. So we do regular fasts here for all sorts of things: food, spending, TV, whatever seems to be overly capturing our attention at the time.

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Breaking free was one of the most powerful Bible studies I've done. Very challenging. I learned a lot about myself and my devotion to "things" and past hurt during that study. Great post, Dineen. As always. ;)

Dineen A. Miller said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Glad it spoke to you too. I hope I can do this study (Breaking Free) with a group, but for now I'm on my own. I've loved every Beth Moore study I've done. She's amazing.

Betsy Ann said...

Beth Moore is the best! Thanks for the post - such a wonderful topic and I love Casting Crowns. Thanks girl!

CHickey said...

I'm working on it!

Victoria Gaines said...

I'm sure the Lord directed me here to your post today. Much needed; much appreciated.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey Betsy and Cynthia! Glad you stopped by!

Victoria, glad this spoke to you. Praying you find freedom too.

Cathy West said...

If it's possible to wear out a CD, that will be the one. I just play it over and over again. I have been through some dark days lately, and those songs speak volumes.
Beth Moore is awesome. Breaking Free is very intense. Maybe we can get an internet group going - I have done it before, but wouldn't mind doing it again. I am participating in the Captivating Study as well, but email me if you're interested in trying to set something up for BF.

Robin Caroll said...

I loved that study! And it can really teach you a LOT!