Barriers to Freedom

 

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Barriers to Freedom

Deception vs. Truth (study 1 John 1: 5– 2: 2)

Are you aware that you have been believing any lies concerning life, yourself, others, etc.? _________

Are you aware of any of the following self-deceptions?

___Denial of reality

___Fantasy escape

___Attempts to identify self as someone else

___Emotional passivity

___Attempt to retreat to earlier stage of life

___Venting feelings on people weaker than those who hurt you

 

Are you given to defending yourself by any of the following?

___Covering up your weaknesses by overdoing your strengths ___Blaming others for your own problems

___Rationalization to justify yourself

 

Bitterness vs. Forgiveness (study Ephesians 4: 31– 32)

Ask God to bring to mind every relationship in which you have feelings of resentment or bitterness (including God), and list them. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

 

Ask God to reveal to you every person who needs to forgive you, and list them. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Rebellion vs. Submission (study Romans 13: 1– 5)

Examine yourself with regard to any rebelliousness in relation to each of the following.

Notice that each passage promises a blessing for a submissive response.

  1. Civil government (1 Timothy 2: 1– 3; 1 Peter 2: 13– 17)
  2. Parents (Ephesians 6: 1– 3)
  3. Husband (1 Peter 3: 1– 6)
  4. Employer (Ephesians 6: 5– 8; 1 Peter 2: 18– 21)
  5. Church leaders (Hebrews 13: 17) Record any thoughts that come to you in this regard. ________________________________________ ________________________________________

Pride vs. Humility (study James 4: 6– 10)

Examine yourself to see if you are consciously or unconsciously seeking your will more than God’s. Record any thoughts that come to you in this regard. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bondage vs. Freedom (study Galatians 5: 1)

Examine yourself in the light of the following passages:

Romans 1: 24– 31

1 Corinthians 6: 9– 11

Galatians 5: 19– 21

Revelation 21: 8; 22: 15

Record any thoughts that come to your mind in this regard. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Taken from Two Hours to Freedom by Charles H. Kraft Chosen Books, a Division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, Michigan (Pages 157, 158).

Sharee’s Testimony of Deliverance

As I have been going through some major changes in my life, I have been seeking direction and reassurance in the path that God has set me on. Just this morning, I awoke after dealing with rampant sickness and difficulty in my family when I finally had the opportunity to respond to a message from a long-time friend. He let me know he had moved several hours away from the same place in which I had previously encountered similar issues to his. Bondage, frustration, drug-addiction, and attempts to change – all to no avail. I encouraged him as best as I could in the moment and then proceeded to embrace all the goodness this  day would hold. I am a fighter, a survivor. I hunger and thirst for Truth, hold no secrets of my own, and am constantly seeking help in areas that are too difficult for me to overcome alone. I have found that serving others helps me to share light with them and offer encouragement on a particularly elevated level. During this magnificent day, I had the pleasure of getting to know a new friend a little more and encountered an experience that took me back to one of the greatest days of my life. Let’s rewind a bit.
It was the year 2009 and I was struggling greatly. I was saved, baptized, and had begun a  new life. I was constantly in my Bible – so much so, that I read it from cover to cover in about 4 months. However, I was still mixed in with old acquaintances and old habits that would one day result in nothing short of death if I did not change. One day, I was alone at my residence. I flushed down the toilet a major “investment” that I had purchased for someone else that didn’t go through. I was exhausted. There in my bedroom, I looked out of the window into the beaming sunlight and I uttered these words, “God, please help me rest.” Immediately, I heard a response. One word – “Rest.” So, that is exactly what I did.
I slept for a while, and when I awoke, I perceived the beams of the sun rays as red-hot lasers scanning every inch of my surroundings continually. I lay there in a cold sweat, not sure of what I was experiencing. I heard the voices of my little sister and mother praying on the other side of my bedroom door. Being still felt so uncomfortable, so I moved a bit. Once I did that, I heard dogs barking and footsteps pounding. I heard my little sister’s whispered screams of, “Sharee! Be quiet! Be still! Please!” So I did just that. Not many more moments passed and I began to feel the breath of dogs and their wet noses around the bed. I couldn’t “see” them, but I knew they were there, and that I was no longer just in my bedroom. I was in the midst of a prison that I had created! Once I was still long enough, the dogs retreated. This happened several more times. I thought my life was over.
After many more moments, the guard dogs left and pigs took their places. As I moved, they returned. Eventually, I was still long enough that nobody came. I could no longer hear my sister and mother on the other side of the door. And in all reality, nobody was there except for me. I laid there a while longer, terribly afraid. The rays of the sun transformed from the beams of a hot laser and into a  healing light, as the flames of a fire lancing a wound.
When I awoke, I looked up dogs and pigs in the Word and encountered the Truth of this verse: Matthew 7:6 (NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Once I came back to awareness and stepped out of the vision, I knew something was different about me. I no longer had a desire to run in the circles that I had before. My life began to transform. This is a story that I am not ashamed of. This is a story of an  event that changed my life dramatically and re-charted my course, re-aligning me with my destiny. I pray it does the same for you.
That day, all “alone” in my bedroom, I was healed, delivered and set free from ties that had bound me for so long. I never struggled in that area nor went down that path again. Jesus and His saving grace chased me down that day. Since I allowed him into my heart, my life has been so full. When I encounter difficulties throughout the days, this vision is a constant reminder of Who I am, Whose I am, what only He can do, and that my story was not through. Be encouraged.