This week’s chapter brought us to the story of the demoniac at the in Luke 8:22.
If you’ll recall Jesus had just finished ministering to thousands and tells the disciples to get in the boat, cross the lake and “go to the other side”. For it turns out, He had an appointment with a demon possessed man.
Jesus left all that was on his plate to meet one solitary, tormented soul. Living in tombs. Aren’t you glad that Jesus will cross lakes and storms and get away from the crowd just to get to you in the middle of your dead place?
And yet, if truth be told, there are things and dead places in us that have become so ‘familiar’ that it is easier and less scary to stay there than to ‘come out’ to where Jesus calls us. And just like the demoniac, we run to Jesus but then are too scared to give Him access to those wounded areas. Preferring instead to live in the dysfunction. After all, “Who knows what God might make you do if you allowed Him to set you free?” (pg. 69). How many of us can say that we’ve lived in ‘tombs’ far more than we care to admit?
For this week’s “Israel Moment – Archaeology and the Bible”, click here.
In chapter 5, Joanna talks about ‘mid-chamber living’. The place suspended between the outside world and the dead. We’re saved but in bondage. Held tight in painful memories, behaviors and attitudes that keep us bound. Coping mechanisms that get us through life but don’t allow us to truly “Live”. Surviving but not thriving. Scripture calls these ‘strongholds’.
Yet God is also called our ‘stronghold’. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2) And He’s given us a Mighty Weapon to combat the lies of the enemy.
So then, it seems that what and WHO you ‘believe’ will determine who is in charge of the stronghold.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the carnal, but are Mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. We are destroying vain imaginations and every high and lofty thing that raises itself up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,…” – 2Corinthians 10:3-5
Identifying Strongholds. (Appendix E pg 223-225)
We all have lies that we’ve internalized as truth, unhealthy patterns that undermine the life God wants us to live. To help you discover what might be holding you back from freedom, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you as you review the list and behavior patterns.
Once identified, we need to enlist the four power principles and ‘dethrone’ the lies:
1. Reveal: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of bondage.
2. Repent: Ask God to forgive you for the times you sought refuge in your stronghold instead of in Him.
3. Renounce any authority you may have given to the stronghold by coming in agreement with it instead of agreeing with the Word of God.
4. Replace the lies with the Truth of God’s Word. (2Cor. 10:3-5 & Philippians 4:8)
Week Five Memory Verse:
Then Jesus said,
“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” – John 11:40
John 11:34 tells us that Jesus asked Martha and Mary to show him where they had laid their dead brother. Come and see Lord and together they went to Lazarus’ tomb.
Today, Jesus asks that same question of you and me.
Show Jesus where you’ve laid your pain. Where you keep all your shattered hopes and dreams. Show him where you’ve laid the part of you that died when you failed or were abandoned, forgotten and betrayed. Give him access to those areas where you feel entombed and enslaved, hemmed in, shut down and closed off. Tell Him today… as Martha and Mary did: “Come and see, Lord”.
1. Read the section in chapter 5 titled “Caught between life and death” (pgs. 69-71). What are some indications that you may be stuck in ‘mid-chamber living’.
2. Review the “Hurts, Hang-ups and Habits” sidebar on pg. 70. What does Psalm 107:20 mean to you?
Isaiah 61 tells us that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. That means you and me my friend. Furthermore, it tells us that He gives us a garment of praise for the spirit of despair and double recompense for all that we’ve lost. Meditate on this beautiful chapter in the book of Isaiah and let God’s grace shine upon your dead places and allow them to come alive in His love!