Paul describes through four spiritual laws the dynamic of why and how we struggle and wrestle with sin and temptation in Romans 7:14-8:2 and the surrounding passages. Why do we struggle in our mind to do the right things we want to do? How has Jesus brought freedom to us? How do we co-operate with His Spirit of life?
Teaching evangelist Lloyd Vandenburg brings a powerful message, based in Scripture and personal experience, about how to live free from the lies we believe. Lies will always lead us into bondage, but Jesus promises that if we know the truth, we can be set free. Being free takes Faith in what God’s says about us, Radical humility, Extravagant grace from God, and Extracting the poisonous influences from our lives.
The final step to freedom is possibly a unexpected one. The final step to helping a person find lasting freedom is to share the path to freedom with someone else. By speaking about it and living it out. Unfortunately for many Christians this is a step of following Jesus that gets left to others or when others initiate a conversation.
Getting free of what keeps us stuck is not an easy journey, at least most of the time. Neither is following Jesus, when we understand that following Jesus means actually cooperating with God to become like Jesus. It takes perseverance, our 6th step to freedom.
Part of the journey of finding freedom is making amends with those we have wronged. This is a key aspect of the biblical practice and command of repentance. Jesus’ interaction with Zacchaeus and Zacchaeus’ response are a great example of what repentance looks like and how God responds to repentance.
After surrender, commit and examine comes the step of confession. Confession means to admit what is really happening in our lives, good, bad and ugly. This requires being vulnerable and open with God, ourselves, and at least one other person, so that there is someone (or a group of someones) know everything about your life.
Work your way through this message in dealing with guilt, accepting responsibility, asking God for forgiveness, admitting your faults to another person, accepting God’s forgiveness, and forgiving yourself.
After we surrender ourselves to the idea that there is a God, and we are not God, we need to take the step of committing ourselves to living a surrendered life. What does commitment look like, and what kind of commitment is needed. We look at the example of Elisha and the words of Jesus about what commitment to surrendering to Jesus looks like.
We all have things in our life where we feel stuck. Attitudes, behaviours or character qualities that keep us from living the life we know we want and is good, but we just keep on doing. The biblical principles to finding freedom reflected in the famous 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous work because they align with God’s design and plan for our freedom. The first step is the hardest. Surrendering our way, our life to Jesus’ way and life. To do this we need to admit that there is a God, and it is not us.