JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
UNIT III Key 3 SCRIPTURE
SCRIPTURE PRINCIPLE: Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within in you. Colossians 3:16
Every Christian needs power to overcome temptation, get closer to God, and be of greater service. The power is faith, and the Word of God makes our faith stronger. How does it do that?
The Word of God brings us truth and clarity. Our environments can bombard us with confusing messages, our own self-will can lead us in circles, and the devil can deceive us; but we can rely upon the Word of God to expose the lies of the World, the flesh, and the devil.
The Word of God shows us that we can rely upon God. When we are in the Word, we are less likely to be manipulated by the wrong kind of people, the ones who do not have our best interests at heart. The more we listen to what God says on any given topic, the less we can be influenced and controlled by the messages we receive from others.
The Word of God shows us an unflattering picture of ourselves; but although it convicts us of sin, it also offers forgiveness through Jesus’ Atonement on the cross. The Word of God shows us that we are nothing more than sinners in need of continuous mercy. Oddly enough, once we accept that we need God’s mercy, we become powerful. We no longer need to “prove” anything to any human being; and once we are delivered from the need to “prove” anything, we become much more free. The less we need to “prove” anything to anyone, the less others can manipulate us with guilt.
The Word of God in Christ (John 1:1) assures us that as penitent sinners, we are forgiven from the cross for all of our sins (Luke 23:43 & 24:47). Forgiveness thereby frees us from guilt. We no longer feel a need to continue to sin or make elaborate excuses in order to cover up or justify our previous sins. We are free to admit to God, ourselves, and others when we are wrong.
The Word of God is a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It shows us our sins and shows us our Savior; it calls us to continuous repentance and assures us of God’s continuous mercy in Christ. It shows us when we are pursuing our self-will instead of surrendering to God’s will.
It also shows us when we are on the right path (Psalm 119:105). The Word can reassure us that we are obeying God’s will. If we are confessing our sins as the Holy Spirit makes us aware of them, forgiving those who wronged us, treating even annoying people with greater love, and daily surrendering to God’s will in both big and small matters, then we can be reassured by the Word. The Word teaches that while salvation is a free gift, our obedience will be rewarded. The devil can no longer harass us with his accusations.
The Word of God can clarify whether we are being convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit or are being falsely accused by the enemy of our souls. The conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God leads to godly sorrow, repentance, and peace with God, because the Holy Spirit always points us to Jesus, Who made full satisfaction for our sins. The false accusations of the devil only lead to greater torment and away from the mercy of Jesus.
When the devil can no longer convince us to avoid confession and repentance, when all his efforts to stop us from obeying God are no longer effective, he has another tactic he will use. He might try to persuade us that we are responsible for the sins of other people. People who lack true knowledge of God will sometimes try to use that against us.
In Key 2 of this Unit, you were invited to confront the lies that were injected into your mind during times of pain and trauma. The Word of God can supply the verses that will speak against the lies that were told to you at vulnerable moments. The Word of God empowers us by teaching us to discern the difference between the sins that are our responsibility and the sins that are the responsibility of others. The Word of God can deliver us from feeling condemnation for the sins of others.
The Word can help us to forgive the liars by exposing their lies and to confront them in love under the Spirit’s direction. The Word of God is powerful and makes us strong.
SCRIPTURE Write what each of these verses or passages mean to you and your situation.
- What does II Timothy 2:15 say to you?
- What does the Word say to you in the following verses?
I John 3:7-8
I Peter 2:9-10
- What are some of the lies that you have believed about God, and how has the Word of God shown you the truth?
- What are some of the lies you have believed about yourself, and how has the Word of God shown you the truth?
- What are some of the lies that you have believed about others of the same sex, and how has the Word of God shown you the truth?
- What are some of the lies that you have believed about the opposite sex, and how has the Word of God shown you the truth?
- Have you confronted any painful memories from your past and discerned the lie(s) that you believed as a result? (Proceed with caution – please share only as you feel comfortable.)
- If so, what are some of the verses that speak against those lies?
- On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you been lately (1 is lowest, 10 is highest)? Please explain your answer.
- Did you use any memorized Scripture to battle temptation lately? What was the result?
- How is your spiritual life in general, how are your private devotions, and how are things at your church/fellowship group?
Plan of Action: (If you feel Spirit-led to confront painful memories, please keep in mind I John 3:8. You are not the work of the devil; the lies are the work of the devil. Jesus came to destroy the lies and liberate you. The purpose of confronting painful memories is so that you can discern the lies that you believed as a result and then let the Holy Spirit replace the lies with truth from the Word.
Only proceed as you feel Spirit-led. He knows all about you. He knows what truths to reveal to your conscious mind. He knows the best time to reveal a truth, the best sequence in which to reveal them, and at what pace. Any difficulties you encounter during this process should be shared with your mentor, confessor, or support system. Many overcomers eventually come to a point in their recovery where they feel a need for solitude and contemplative prayer, during which they deeply open themselves up to God.
This stage cannot be forced; you can only be led into it. To undertake this process, you will need to be totally honest with God about your sins and deeply into the Word. You also need to be totally assured of His mercy and forgiveness to honest and penitent sinners, and feel safe in the arms of Jesus. Please see Psalm 51:6 for guidance.)