Breaking Free v.4 {Don’t blame yourself}

{found here}

I’ll speak for myself when writing this post. I’ve recently read a chapter in Breaking Free that spoke wonders to me. Often times I blame my anger/quick temper/impatience/etc. on my personality. I say “That’s just who I am and it’s something I gotta work on.” I can see similarities between me and my dad on many of these aspects. I’ve always thought it was just who we were. It’s in our blood. I now realize these negatives aspects aren’t a part of me rather they are leaches that I’ve allowed to latch onto me and suck the life out of me. In chapter 13 of Breaking Free, Beth begins talking about “Ancient Ruins”. She is referring to generational baggage. I was kind of confused by what she meant at first, but the more I read the clearer it became to me.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

I’ll give you an example.

I have a quick temper. Anyone who knows anything about me and my family can vouch for that. My mom often jokes that it’s because I am a Scorpio just like my dad and grandpa. She always tells me “I’m feeling that sting!” It’s funny to me, but I realize now why I have that issue. My dad grew up watching his father get angry and act on it in a negative way. My dad took on that trait because that’s what he saw. That’s how he knew to react in situations. Not necessarily his fault. I then grew up watching my dad react that way. When my dad would erupt over little things I never thought anything of it because that’s what I always knew. It was weird to me when our family would sit down to have a talk. It usually meant something terrible had happened . I laugh when I’m around a family that can sit down and talk about a situation and it be resolved from that even-killed chat. We yell at each other even if we’re not angry, it’s just what we do. So you can see how a negative trait pattern can happen. It’s passed down through generations.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

It’s my job now to change that. Let me correct myself, it’s my job to give it God so that He can change it. If it doesn’t get changed now then my children will be affected by it one day. And so on. Now just because there is negative in every family doesn’t mean we should dishonor our physical lineage. Even Christ had negative people in His lineage. For example, Rahab the prostitute and King David who lusted after Batsheva and then murdered Uriah. There’s always a negative bean in every batch. It’s our choice to change that and turn it around so that is doesn’t get passed on to the next generation.

They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind… Hosea 8:7

What will you do to change your future family?

{check out those 90s bangs and backwards jean skort. Oh yeah}

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Breaking Free v. 3 {lack of communication}

I’m sorry I’ve been lacking in posting about my journey with Breaking Free. I’ve been distracted and busy, but I have been journaling like crazy so this is more of a reflection post on what I’ve learned. Remember when I said there are 5 obstacles in the way of allowing God to set you free? If not, i’ll remind you what they are:

  1. pride
  2. prayerlessness
  3. unbelief
  4. idolatry
  5. legalism

Those 5 obstacles are detrimental in many ways to being set free. Two that I have looked further into so far are prayerlessness and idolatry. The more I read about these two subjects the more I was convicted. If I put something ahead of God it means I’m trying to find satisfaction in that object. This doesn’t seem so bad right? Well I’m basically telling God that He is not good enough for me. Rather than seeking the Creator have looked to the creation. I’m wasting my time trying to find satisfaction in things that can’t possibly satisfy the void the only God can fill. This is huge. God desires us to run to Him when things are going great and when things are not so great. He wants us to seek Him rather than something else.

Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?” Isaiah 44:20

That verse hits home to me. I worry and fuss with so many “ashes” (purposeless things of this world) rather than accept the truth and freedom Christ has waiting for me.

Onto prayerlessness. Reading this convicted me so much. How do I expect to have a relationship with God without actual communication with Him. I can read and study all I want, but that doesn’t make up for a rich prayer life with my God. I have sat down and wondered why things have been going the way they are, but it wasn’t until I read this chapter that I realized I’m lacking in prayer. It’s not that I’m being punished because of my lack of prayer. Any relationship is built on solid communication. What makes this relationship any different? God desires for His children to talk to Him. He desires that I come to Him with my concerns and needs even though He already knows them. Here are three areas in our lives that become targets when there is a lack in prayer:

  • Discipline– Even though you make think you have self-control and discipline that can fly right out of the window when prayer is lacking and satan is attacking. Trust me!
  • Lessons from the past– We get so distracted with what is going on and the battle that we are fighting; we forget what God has taught us in the past.
  • What’s best for us– Our human nature is too self-destructive to choose what is best for us during times of vulnerability.

As I read this it all started to make sense. The frustration and vulnerability I’ve been experiencing is due to a lack in communication with the One that provides life and security. So I’ve challenged myself. In order to hold myself accountable with maintaining a healthy prayer life, I’ve made a list of prayer requests. I think of it as a map for my prayers. It’s easy to get lost in a prayer and just ramble or push it aside. With a list at hand, I can remember what is going on in my life that needs prayer and I can look back to see what God has answered. I challenge you to do the same!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Breaking Free v.2 {life}

From my experience, I have encountered many people who claim the reason they don’t want to become a Christian is because they want to “live life to its fullest”. I find that sort of ironic. Only because of the fact that God wants that for us too. He wants us to have life. He wants us to have joy and hope. That’s why He wants us to be His own. He is the creator of all that is good. Lately, I’ve been learning through reading Breaking Free that God desires to release His children from the chains of this world. He ultimately wants to provide life.

{He wants us to know & believe Him}

God wants to do in your life what your mind has never conceived

That’s the first step obviously. I have to believe in Him. I have to know him personally. When getting to know someone, you usually talk with him or spend time with him right? Same thing for knowing God. He desires for us to desire to spend time with Him and learn all we can about Him. You see, for the longest time I read my Bible because that’s what I was supposed to do. I didn’t do it out of curiosity or a desire to learn about His promises, rather it was to get my stars. In fact looking back on it, I never read the Bible. For that reason, I assumed He wanted nothing to do with me. It’s after I began to actually read and learn about Him that I realized I was completely wrong.

A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God planned for him or her

{He wants us to glorify Him}

When God’s glory appears, it just can’t help but interrupt any routine

When someone asks me “What is your purpose in life” that is the answer I give them. To give Him glory! In everything I do, I’m called to show people Christ. That doesn’t mean I have to be a freak about it, rather I am supposed to give account to Him when people ask me why I am the way I am. He is integrated in every passion that I have. My photography and blog are supposed to point my clients/readers to Christ. I am an ambassador of Him. Simple as that.

 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

{He wants me to be satisfied in Him alone}

This is a struggle for me you guys. I can’t put up a facade. I don’t always find my satisfaction in Him. I tend to find satisfaction in weight loss or shopping sprees. I find satisfaction in art and photography. Those things are all great things until they start taking my focus off of Him. That’s when they start becoming my idols. I know that Christ is all the I need, but I sometimes forget that living in a world that tells me a better life is with more things! In reality, I have salvation, eternally. With that, I should be satisfied, eternally. Why should I let petty things get in my line of focus?

Salvation secures our lives for eternity. Soul satisfaction ensures abundant life on earth.

Ultimately, God wants freedom for us. A huge turning point in my Christian walk was during the summer of 2009. I read Galatians 5 and realized that God has called me to a free life. He crucified my burdens and my past on the cross. I no longer have to feel guilty about what I’ve done because in Christ there is freedom. There is redemption. There is life.

Breaking Free v.1 {baby steps}

Freedom.

{found here}

There is liberation with just saying that word. I look forward to what God will be teaching me in reading this study. During the first few chapters of the book, I learned that there are five major categories of captivity: idolatry, legalism, pride, prayerlessness, and unbelief. If I don’t let these five specific things go in my life and allow God to work in me, I will be in bondage spiritually and physically throughout my walk with Him. I have found myself in each of these categories. It’s hard to understand sometimes because I want to be filled with God fully. I want to find my complete satisfaction in Him, but why do I continue to turn to those five detrimental categories?

Idolatry: one of the most evident downfalls of mine. Being the complete technology nut I am, my camera, iPhone, and MacBook become the center of my attention without any effort. I try to sugarcoat it by saying “But I’m using these things for God’s glory!” In a way, sure I am! I use this blog as a platform to my faith. I am able to minister via email to friends I’ve made from all over the world. I take photographs so that through my talent God is glorified. I mean it seems like all great things right? Wrong. I am guilty of wanting to spend more time with my worldly possessions over time with the One who created them. Another idol I’ve recently realized I have is my body. I care way to much about my body. Not praising it, rather constantly trying to fix it. I have to allow God to change my heart and mind.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25

Legalism: All though I don’t claim to be legalistic; I find myself sometimes doing good things to overpower negative thoughts I’ve had. I find myself thinking that if I overdose on the good things the negative aspects of my life will fall away. That’s a lie straight from Satan. There is nothing I can do more of for God to love me anymore than He already does.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Pride: Do I even need to go into this one? Actually the better question is am I willing to go into this category? Well I guess I have to now because it would be prideful if I didn’t. How ironic. Pride is so easy to fall under. Especially when you are around someone who may not be as mature in his spiritual walk as you.  Satan wants Christians to think that because as we encounter “baby” Christian there is nothing to learn from them. That’s false. Everyone that is a Christian has the Spirit of God within him so to claim that person’s knowledge valid or invalid is wretched of us [Christians].

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16

Prayerlessness: Being in Prague for the summer made me realize how much I truly don’t pray enough. Everyday in summer our team came together and prayed. As we walked to the university, we would prayer walk the whole way. Entering the cafeteria, I’d have to pray in order to be successful. I feel like prayer is very underestimated. Prayer is our connection line to the Creator of the world. It’s our communication with him. Why not use it more?

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Colossians 1:2-3

Unbelief: This one is simple and should be the starting point. Do you believe that God created the world and sent his Son for our redemption? Do you believe that there is nothing you and  I can do in order to gain salvation? Do you believe that God loves you more than anything you can ever imagine or experience on this earth? If not, then I challenge you to seek out these truths. Ask God to reveal these facts to you. He will answer. Actually, he will blow your mind.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

{found here}

I hope you follow me along this journey of Breaking Free from the world’s chains. I challenge you to totally surrender your life to the plan that God has for you:)

 

{To those who don’t know and may want to join, I am studying Breaking Free by Beth Moore}