JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
UNIT IV Key 7 REBUILDING
SCRIPTURE PRINCIPLE: When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. I Corinthians 13:11
Overcoming ssa/ma/tx or any other sin requires much growth. We come to Christ as little children, but then we must mature. Growing in Christ takes time, and some mature more quickly than others. As you work the Keys program, in addition to your Bible reading, prayer, church participation, Christian conversation with other believers, etc., you are feeding your soul under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
How free are you at this point? Are there still areas of childishness in your life? Spiritual childishness hinders our Christian walk, keeps us slaves of sin, and prevents us from re-building our lives.
What does it mean to be spiritually childish? We are spiritually childish if we would rather go play than learn God’s Word. We are spiritually childish if we are unwilling to pursue answers to the hard questions. We are spiritually childish if we go on committing sins when we know better. We are spiritually childish when we make excuses instead of confessing sin. We are spiritually childish if we indulge in resentment instead of doing the hard work of forgiveness. We are spiritually childish if we refuse to ask forgiveness of those we have wronged. We are spiritually childish if we ignore our spiritual gifts and pretend we cannot hear God’s call on our lives. We are spiritually childish if we prefer to live an easy life rather than to serve others.
God is patient with the ignorant, the truly penitent, and the struggling sinners who are trying to obey His will and please Him. He has little patience with the willfully ignorant and spiritually lazy. He is willing to teach us if we are willing to learn, and He is willing to talk to us if we are willing to obey. He is willing to forgive us if we repent of our spiritual childishness and self-will.
Children demand instant gratification and sometimes have angry outbursts when they do not get their way. They might obey their parents when the parents are watching, while seeking ways to disobey when they think their parents are not watching. Children sometimes tell a parent, “I cannot”, when they really mean, “I do not want to”. Sometimes they will say, “I tried”, when what they really tried to do was fail so they would have an excuse to disobey. The spiritually childish play these same kinds of games with God.
Re-building our lives under the direction of the Holy Spirit is a sign of spiritual maturity. To re-build our lives, we must be willing to give up cheap thrills and recognize that compromises with sin are dangerous. Maturity means recognizing the connection between freedom and responsibility; children want freedom, but they often reject responsibility. Christ died to set us free from sin so that we would no longer be slaves of sin. Once we are no longer slaves of sin, temptation becomes a choice rather than a compulsion. We can choose to act out the sin or to call on the Lord to defend us from it.
Children often think that if their parents really love them, their parents will give them what they want. Children do not appreciate discipline, but many un-disciplined children learn later in life that their lack of self-control eventually gets them into trouble. Part of becoming mature means that we accept limits, discipline, and the challenges of doing hard things, and that we do not need our desires to be gratified.
In Exodus, we meet Moses. He was raised as a prince of Egypt, and no doubt he had a luxurious life in which his every desire was met and every whim obeyed. There is a movie entitled “Prince of Egypt”, which although it takes some artistic license with the story, makes many excellent points. In the movie, we see Moses as a spoiled palace brat, who cared nothing for anyone except himself. As he discovered his Hebrew roots, his perspective began to change and his arrogance was replaced with repentance and contrition.
In the backside of the desert, he re-built his life. He learned to empathize with others, value justice, protect the defenseless, work with his hands, show respect for his elders, treat women as equals, and live cooperatively among a free people. What he lost in self-gratification he gained in a life of dignity among a tribe of people where respect and loyalty was for everyone. When Moses became humble and usable, God was ready to speak to him.
Maturity may not always be fun, but it does bring us a deep and abiding joy. Jesus thought it worthwhile to die on the cross so that we could have the joy of knowing our sins are forgiven. Because He won that joy on our behalf at a great price, we value it and willingly protect it by our obedience.
SCRIPTURE: (Write what each of these verses or passages means to you and your situation.)
I Corinthians 13:11
I Timothy 1:12-17
II Timothy 2:8-13
STUDY GUIDE (Feel free to write on the backside or use additional paper if necessary.)
1. On a scale of 1-10, how much re-building have you done (1 is lowest, 10 is highest)? Please explain your answer.
2. What areas of your life remain to be re-built? What is making that difficult?
3. In what ways have you been showing spiritual maturity?
4. In what ways do you still speak, think, and reason as a spiritual child?
5. Has God been disciplining you for that, and if so, in what way?
6. In what ways have you learned to relate differently to other people while doing the Keys? Please cite specific relationships and how those have specifically changed.
7. What do the following verses tell us that will make us want to re-build?
8. How does Proverbs 12:11 apply to ssa/ma/tx?
9. How does Proverbs 14:12 apply to ssa/ma/tx?
10. What are the promises of the following verses?
11. Please read Exodus chapters 1-4. How did God deal with Moses?
12. Please read Exodus chapter 5 and chapters 7-10. In what ways was Moses tested, how did he respond to the tests, and how did God honor his response?
13. On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you been lately? Please explain your answer.
14. Did you use any memorized Scripture to battle temptation lately? What was the result?
15. How is your spiritual life in general, how are your private devotions, and how are things at your church/fellowship group?
Plan of Action: You may want to read over the account of Moses’ life in Exodus and also the summary of his faith in Hebrews 11:23-29 and consider in what ways you are called to rebuild your life.