Beth Moore — The Practical Walk of Freedom
We have already, a number of us, been together through the series, the first half of the series on freedom, "The Magnificent Miracle of Freedom." Now we're getting into the practicality. But I want to remind you of a couple of definitions, if you were with us and I want to tell them to you if you weren't. Here's what we talked аbout: Slavery. Here's how we're defining slavery: Being mastered by anything or anyone besides the one who sets us free. It is Christ who sets us free.
So what we're learning is that freedom means that we don't have any area of sin ruling over us. It doesn't mean I don't sin. Being free in Christ doesn't mean that I have been made perfect. What it means is that for any one of us walking in freedom, we do not have an area of sin that is reigning and ruling over us -- that's wearing a crown over our lives. So freedom is no sin or deceit having dominion over me.
Now I want to describe and define a stronghold. I want to get it in the most basic possible terms when it says... I'm in verse four of Second Corinthians chapter 10:
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
Destroy them! Some of your translations say "demolish" and I love that word! -- Demolish strongholds. A stronghold in its most basic form is any trade off for God -- any trade-off for God. That's a stronghold: Anything that's come up to rule or to reign; anything that has risen up in our lives bigger than God and bigger than the knowledge of God; anything that's gotten into our imaginations where it's gotten so big.
Just think in terms of unforgiveness. When we fixate -- anybody ever had just a stronghold of unforgiveness where it just goes through your mind over and over and over again? An event in our past; it could have been 25 years ago but it becomes a stronghold when it is so risen up in our minds, gotten such a preoccupation from us in our thinking that we are just subject to it over and over and over again and it becomes that trade-off for that which is ruling over us. It becomes a god to us.
I want you to see where it talks about the weapons of our warfare. Notice in verse three when it says: We are not waging war according to the flesh. That word war or warfare in some of your translations, that's the most interesting word. I want to spell it to you in the Greek, in the original language. This is going to be if any of you were like Greek nerds, you'll like this. This will be the lexical form of the word. But I want you to write it down even though you may be thinking, what does that have to do with the English? Well, a lot. I want you to see it.
So the word warfare or war right here in the E.S.V. is spelled this way in the Greek lexical form. Are you ready? S-T-R-A-T-E-I-A. I want to spell it again. S-T-R-A-T-E-I-A. What word do you see? Strategy -- strategy! It is a plan of attack. It is a military campaign.
Now here's what I want to say to you as we start this practical application of our freedom. We have house plans, we have all sorts of vacation plans, we have business plans, we have all sorts of plans. We plan where we're going to eat. We plan where we're going to go and do business. We make all of these plans but I ask you today, do you have a plan of attack against demonic principalities that come against the believer? Because we've got a plan for everything else but what the Word of God is telling us here is that what we need is a plan. There is a strategy for us being victorious in our warfare.
I promise you because it is talking about the warfare we're into with the enemy and with things that just rise up in our imagination and take over our thinking. I want to promise you that the enemy has a plan. He has a plan. We know that. In fact, the word in Ephesians chapter six, when it's talking about putting on the whole armor of God because of the schemes of the evil one, that word schemes in the Greek is methodeia, which means method. He's got a method to his madness. We have got to have a plan of attack, a strategy for attack.
So here's what I want to tell you. You're very close to it. Leave something here in Second Corinthians because we'll be there continually. But go to First Corinthians just a moment to chapter nine. Flip there for just a moment.
We're thinking strategies, strategies for our warfare. They can't be of flesh and blood; they have to be things that are fought in the spiritual realm, things of the spirit.
First Corinthians chapter nine: I want to read verses 25 and 26 to you. They say this. This is the Apostle Paul writing. And he says:
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
It says in verse 26, this is key!
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control.
I'm reading 27:
Lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Look at that again:
I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
The first part of our strategy has to be this. We have to aim. We have to aim! If you and I want to be victorious over strongholds that have come up against us, what we have to understand is this. You may struggle with one thing and I struggle with another. We talk to another person sitting at our table she deals with something altogether different; and her husband something entirely different from her.
That's the way of warfare because our bait, what the enemy is doing with us is seeing if he can set our bait in such a way that we would be vulnerable. So he's looking for what we're going to bite. That's why my temptations are going to be different than yours. The kinds of things I'm going to go for and be most tempted toward are going to be different than yours. So we have to come up with a strategy, some kind of plan. We've got to aim!
Here's what I want to tell you. I want to encourage you that no matter what you are going through, what comes upon you to try to defeat you, whatever it is, you can find scriptures that speak to it. And I mean start going on a hunt. The hunt itself will bless you, and it will bless me because we are in the scriptures. But let me tell you the Word of God is full of scriptures that speak to very specific things. If they don't get really specific they can be enough in that category to where it still becomes very empowering to you.
Let me throw out a couple of examples. You want to be able to go to the Word of God if where your area of attack or defeat is in sexual temptation, if it is in paralyzing fear, if it is in the intimidation or weakness. Say it is in financial collapse of some kind, business dealings. Maybe your marriage is going like belly up. You need so much help in your child-raising. Maybe you're a teacher or you're a leader. I'm telling you, whatever it is there are scriptures that speak to those exact kinds of temptations, those exact kinds of challenges. You can find them.
One of the best places to look in the Old Testament is to just start going through Psalms and Proverbs. Start looking for the way that the Psalmist is going to pray and call out to God. Start looking for the way Proverbs talks about how to go through times of temptation and times of seduction.
Here's what we're going to do. Whenever we pull together this scripture and prayer it is like we've pulled together two sticks of dynamite and we have tied them together and we have lit them by the Holy Spirit. Is anybody stepping in that with me? Nothing is more powerful! Nothing is more powerful than praying the scriptures.
Now if you ask me today, because what I'm doing now, listen. Go to other teachers. Go to other people that have gone through these kinds of things and really been in the pages of scriptures about what has worked with them to bring them victory. I can only tell you my story. They can tell you theirs. Go and find out. Interview people and ask them.
But I'm going to tell you my story because for me, if somebody asked me today, do you always pray scriptures? No, I don't always pray any way. I pray all sorts of different ways. I talk conversationally. Other times -- yesterday morning when I got up -- one of my habits is that I get up and pretty well, I turn on the coffee pot and pretty well right then I'm going to just go face down on the floor; that's just my thing with him. It just starts right there. And for whatever reason I went into the Lord's Prayer. I have not said the Lord's Prayer in months but I did yesterday morning. And then I just went into my regular prayers.
I don't pray a certain way any time, I just pray -- I just pray. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes I'm up on my feet. It is whatever -- it is a relationship. It is a living breathing thing just like you do.
But if I am fighting something that is just hellacious, if I know the enemy is in the thing, if he is getting victory, this is going to be my way of doing it every time. When I know I am getting defeated, when I know he is getting the upper hand or let me tell you another reason I might do it, if it is getting long -- if it's getting long. If it's been years now that you've been praying for that person, years now that you've been praying over that matter then what happens is this.