"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."
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
"...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
The things that create strongholds in your life and hold you captive don't always come from negative or painful experiences. Take a look at your everyday thoughts.
What do you think about? What thought(s) always causes you to become anxious or depressed? What do you find yourself thinking about the most? Does this person, place, thing or idea take up so much of your time that you don't have time left for God?
He should be your first priority. Even above your family, God should be 1st in your life. Don't let anything come between you and God.
While it may seem that I've gotten off on a little bit of a tangent today, I want you to keep these things in mind as you are "Surveying the Ancient Ruins" in your life.
I encourage you to put on the Full Armor of God every day, but be especially mindful of the importance as you are tackling the topic of ancient ruins.
Please also keep in mind that touring and surveying ancient ruins is often an on-going process in life. Just like the clutter in your home, the more often you tend to it... the easier it is to deal with.
Now, back to our book ; ) ... Breaking Free...
Chapter 16 reminds me of an archaeological dig. The preceding chapters have pointed us to the location/source: Now we must dig and survey the land.
I really like the step by step process Beth Moore describes on pages 101-103. I am excited to see a simple, easy to read/digest "system." It reminds me that God's way is simple and easy. No hard-to-understand messages. No tricks. Just truths.
I also like that she reminds us (on pg. 100) that "you may come from an unusually healthy family and relate very little from personal experience. Perhaps this lesson will help you understand a friend." I point this out to note that not everyone has ancient ruins to explore right now. They may already be dealt with and/or non-existent.
I pray that the message of this study meets you where you are.
I believe God has called you to this study for a reason.
Keep the conversation going. Without belittling or disrespecting anyone, please share what this part of the study has meant to you. Perhaps, you feel led to share some ancient ruins. Perhaps, you have uncovered items that shed light on your past. Perhaps, God is healing your heart and creating a river in the desert. Do share!
To share about my experience on our journey, I'm going to have to muster up a little courage and also figure out how to tell a really long story without taking up too much of your time. I also want to be careful not to tell the story in a way that would shed negativity on any dear soul in my life.
God has created a river in the desert, and I am drinking deeply from the Living Water. I promise to share sometime over the next 2 days... before we move on to the next phase of our journey. For now...