Freedom through obedience
I had the privilege of sharing at the HS Girls Fall retreat last weekent. The theme was Captive, based on 2 Cor. 10:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight withare not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedientÂ to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
I closed out the time with the last part of the passage.
Here is a very brief summary of what I shared.
The greatest invasion in modern history was D-Day, 6/6/44 when General Eisenhower said, “Let’s go.” 10, 000 men sacrificed their lives for freedom. And yet, there was a greater invasion when God invaded earth in the person of Jesus. Nothing compares to that sacrifice made for our freedom.
Focus on the truth
We are already free, but we do not always think like we are. The truth is that we fight from freedom and not for it. Thoughts are powerful and Satan would like us to keep listening to his lies, instead of replacing them with the truth. Satan would like us to think that he has a grip on us, but it is gone. He hangs on to territory he knows is no longer his. Just as Hitler battled for 2 more years after the invasion and did not give up what the Allied forces did not take, we have to take ground. The armor of God is only for the front – we are to be on the offense!!! Thoughts are powerful whether they are true or not. Prov. 23:7 says that a person is as she thinks she is. Sometimes we listen to lies enough that we cannot discern them from reality. To tear down strongholds and experience freedom we have to listen (actively) and obey. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). By example, we believe all kinds of things that are not true – God is not committed to our happiness; that is our country. God is committed to our holiness. Holiness is what makes us happy!
Rule your Mind or it will rule you.
The cross means that the only foothold/stronghold Satan has left for humanity is getting people to give in to sin. He has lost the war and he knows it! If you are a christ follower then he placed the flag for His country on your heart; the only battle Satan can still win is the battle for your mind. Obedience is the best way to change your thinking. If you are struggling with your faith and your joy, it is because you are building your life on man’s empty philosophies rather than on what Christ taught (Col. 2:8) Paul encouraged the Philippians in 4:8 to think about things that are pure, excellent, right, true, praiseworthy, lovely, admirable, noble (Pert Plan – shampoo for the mind). A little league coach asked his team what their most important piece of equipment was and after hearing the players answers he said, “It is your mind.” Similarly the Dodgers lost game 7 to the Astros in the second inning, but they had to keep playing to the end. Hitler knew that all was lost when the Allied troops won the stronghold at the beaches of Normandy, but he kept fighting. The greatest weapon you have is your mind and letting it be conformed through obedience.
Elevate, Exclaim and Eat. (Worship, shout Praise and Study the Word) Joel.3:9,10
For every New Testament principle there is an Old testament story. Deut. 10 is the story about Jericho. The Israelites walked around the walls of the city once a day silently for 6 days and on the 7th day they walked around 7 times and turned and shouted and the stronghold fell. The walls were demolished through worship of obedience and the Word. Speak the truths about who you are out loud. Rather than talk about your weaknesses, discouragements and sicknesses, we are told to claim the promises of scripture to be free (Deut. 30:11,14). Declare the truth. Reaffirm your love for God. Lean in to Hope. Pray. Surrender to the Spirit.
Endure to the End – Every thought everyday!
The story of Gideon in Judges 6 tells of how Gideon, who was not a strong warrior at the start, became obedient to God and tore down the Baal idol with 10 servants (that means it had to be big!). Yes he did it in the night because he was afraid of the people, but the point is that he was diligent to obey God. We are told to keep going. Never give up. Everyday God will give us what we need just as he provided manna in the wilderness. Paul tells us to press on. Don’t let anyone rob you of your joy, your power, your influence. Keep the loins of your minds girded. Every time we give in to sin or give way to a defeated attitude a brick is added to the stronghold, the high tower of the enemy.