We were treated to another great teaching this past Sunday from Paul M. You can listen to it HERE. These are some notes I took on my phone...
We started by pondering the question: What is the next area of spiritual breakthrough I am looking for (or need) in becoming more like Jesus? ie - Where do I need to experience freedom in Christ?
We discussed Ephesians 6:12
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
According to Paul (and by "Paul" I mean Paul M, not the apostle), The enemy seems to operate both OVERTLY and COVERTLY in keeping us from finding freedom. In his estimation (and mine), the struggle we face from evil in the West is much more covert than overt. So how do we do battle with this? He says 2 Cor. 10:3-6...
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete."
He defined a "stronghold" as - a way of thinking that keeps us from getting to the deeper things of God.
He made a list of some typical strongholds in the West that are spot on (imho). They are (as best as I can remember):
- Provision (money/security)
- Healing (poverty of Spirit)
- Unbelief (reason vs faith)
- Distraction (idolatry)
- Pride (fear of ridicule)
- Shame (fear of disclosure)
- Workaholism (striving)
"When we start walking in the light, a huge portion of the enemy's power is taken away." PM
Prisoner of War analogy --
Paul talked about how prisoners of war are taken captive by their enemy. Their weapons are taken away, they no longer pose a threat. A POW can live out the war simply by doing nothing (albeit on the wrong side). However, every soldier knows that the first duty of a POW is to try to find a way to escape. It's not to wait for someone to rescue you, or to wait for the war to end....... THAT is powerful stuff. I have been waiting way too long for someone to free me. I need to start working towards my own escape.
He ended the message by giving some pointers for pulling down these strongholds.
1 - Recognize what it is in your life
2 - Admit it to someone else
3 - Repent and believe
Tomorrow, God willing, I will share the two big areas in my life where I need spiritual breakthrough.