You know, I just realized something ... God's revelations are not limited to our timeframe. I have to admit that it can get frustrating to KNOW that God is revealing something to you that He wants all His people to understand, yet you are met with blank stares or looks of dismay because your message is so unconventional or atypical from the accepted belief. Let me explain ...
You're probably pretty tired of hearing that God thrust my husband and me into this ministry of spiritual healing; that everywhere we look, we encounter people who are in such dire need of being set free from the Enemy's attacks. Yet when we present the idea to fellow Christians, I can see them default to a position of "but I'm saved, that doesn't apply to me." They never seem to ask themselves why they are so miserable in their salvation... as if that is just an accepted part of their humanity; that we are all called to "suffer with Christ".
So, I know that I'm repeating myself, and I have no real credibility among the Body of Christ, other than my testimony of personally witnessing people who have been healed by the power of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Jesus. But that doesn't seem to be enough ... sometimes my fellow Believers need to hear the same message from a pillar in the Christian community. And you know what? As long as they hear the message, it doesn't matter if it comes from me or not.
And that is what I see happening in a small Bible study group that I am associated with. Our group of Ladies decided to revisit a revised study by Beth Moore, an evangelist, author, and Bible teacher. The title of the series is Breaking Free, and I was fairly squirming in my seat as we listened to the first video presentation. I heard her say so many things that alluded to what I have tried to present to our home church group, and about which I have spoken to various Christian friends. She made a specific point of stating that "the blessed people of God" can live under great oppression. Guess what? That translates into Christians! Yes, we are blessed by God's grace and faith in Jesus, but it is the Father's desire that out of our salvation experiences, we will bear much fruit for His Kingdom -- while it is the Enemy's goal to make us live unproductive and barren lives -- to be fruitless and useless for the advancement of the Gospel; to be in bondage to the attacks of the devil and his demons.
Now, Christians are accustomed to bandying about such words as bondage and strongholds, yet they rarely recognize that the words apply to them. They seem to think that only non-believers could be trapped in bondage to sin, or be held captive in an enemy fortress that keeps them isolated from God's healing power. They are also unaware that such oppression can come from their generational line, making it hard to recognize that the past sins of the fathers is affecting them. How often do you just attribute your misery to "that's the way it is in our family"?
So, you can understand how excited I was to hear Beth Moore teach the same understanding that God has revealed to me! I don't know how far she will go with breaking free from Satan's oppression ... this revised study is already 7 years old, and it is 17 years after she wrote the initial teaching of Breaking Free. A lot has changed in the world in the last 7 years. The attacks of the Enemy have become more targeted, and I believe that God has pulled back the veil even more to show us that there are very real demonic spirits at the heart of our oppression. I say that, because I have seen them!!!
I must be prepared that this teaching will still be shy of what I would like to hear her say, but if her credibility opens up hearts and minds ... and those who have ears to hear, will hear ... then perhaps it will start some on the journey that God desires them to take. But I hope they heard the heart of her message, and I hope they discerned two very important points she made ... 1) That we have been given Divine Power to demolish the strongholds in our lives (the Divinely-given power did not end with the Apostles) and 2) Oftentimes the Church building becomes a shelter in which we can hide our strongholds and oppression. As Moore pointed out, we can show up every Sunday with our Bible, sing our songs of worship, quote our favorite Scripture, and clothe ourselves in an appearance of right relationship with God. But the real truth is that our spirits are full of anger, resentment, bitterness, self-rejection, pride, envy, self-loathing, feelings of abandonment, and any number of strongholds the Enemy has us in. Christians who feel they are leading productive lives for God by being in Church every Sunday usually don't realize that Jesus did not ask us to be productive within the four walls of our Church building, but to bear much fruit for Him out in the world!
We must be honest with ourselves as Christians. If there is anything in our lives that is hindering us from coming into the fullness of what God has to offer us ... then we are in bondage! That is not why Jesus came; not the state He desires us to be in; and it certainly is not why He conquered Death for us. It is time for Christians to break free from all their chains and tell the world what that looks like and feels like! Until then, we are going to continue to see Christian lives that look good from the outside, but are lacking the fullness of God on the inside, and thereby producing little fruit or hope in the world. This revised study of Breaking Free may be a little dated, but its message is needed now more than ever!
Galatians 5:1 "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."