Wednesday, January 12, 2011

when old is new again


I find the timing interesting. The fact that we are starting Breaking Free... again. It was the bible study that changed so much for me; it was my very first bible study on the heels of one of the most difficult seasons of my life. It was through that study that I realized I needed to surrender my dreams if I ever wanted to make room for God’s plan for my life. It was through that study that I discovered my life verse:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

It was through that study, Stones of Remembrance was born… faithbooking - the whole lot.

So here I am, many years (and studies) later in a similar spot... on the heels of one of the most difficult seasons of my life, getting ready to dive into the revised edition of Breaking Free.

I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store this time. The uncomfortable things He may call to light for the sole purpose of turning something ugly, into a work that is beautiful to behold. The verses below are pretty much central to this study:

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

The things that hold us captive can range from consuming fears we have for our children to clinging bitterness and resentment. Some people struggle with secret addictions while others are preoccupied with destructive thoughts. The things that keep us stuck are called strongholds – many are barriers we have erected ourselves (to keep others out, to keep from being hurt, to feel in control) that we eventually become trapped and isolated by.

The good news is that Jesus came to free us from anything and everything that hinders us from the fullness that God calls us to be. And that’s what this study is about – freedom.

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1 comment:

Ginger said...

Isn't it interesting that we have to be constantly vigilant about strongholds? In every season, we need a washing in the Word. I know you'll be blessed.