Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Breaking Free

Last night I started a Bible study called Breaking Free by Beth Moore.  I have never done a Beth Moore study, but the ladies in my group had some really great things to say about her and her other studies.  I enjoyed the introductory video we watched, and I'm looking forward to hearing more.

However, I have to admit I'm a little nervous about Breaking Free.  But first let me share a description of the study from LifeWay:

"This in-depth women's Bible study draws parallels between the captive Israelites of the Old Testament and New Testament believers in Jesus as the Promised Messiah. Beth looks at the Book of Isaiah through the lives of the kings who ruled during the prophet's ministry. These kings exemplify many of the obstacles to freedom with which we must deal. Using Scripture to help identify spiritual strongholds in your life, no matter how big or small, Beth explains that anything that hinders us from the benefits of knowing God is bondage."

My first instinct is to say, "I'm not in bondage; I'm not a captive desperate to be set free," and then proclaim this study isn't for me.  But that's too easy.  Notice the last sentence of the description above: "...spiritual strongholds in your life, no matter how big or small...anything that hinders us from the benefits of knowing God is bondage."  Anything.

Okay.  Anything.  ...Like beating myself up for yelling at my kids after I told myself I wasn't going to do it again.  Or when God moves me to say something in Sunday school or to a friend and I bite my tongue for fear of what others might think.  Or when there's an opportunity to serve set in front of me and I hesitate, hoping someone else will volunteer first.  Or when I spend hours on the computer and watching TV, or even doing housework for that matter, while putting off reading God's word.

So maybe I'm not so free.  Free's a little scary to me.  I'm reserved, I like consistency, I play it safe, and I like to be comfortable.  Being "free" intimidates me, but I feel like I'm close if I can open up and let myself be vulnerable.  I feel I'm in that place where my chains have been broken but I'm still lurking in the shadows, trying to work up the courage to push my toes out into the sunlight and take that first step.

I pray that Breaking Free provides the push that I need, as well as the push each of the other women signed up for the study needs.  I can't speak for them, but I think my biggest obstacle is to actually let myself be set free.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." (Isaiah 61:1-3)


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