Freedom. What exactly does it mean to be free? Why is it so important? Why do we as humans crave freedom so intently? This week July DTS trainees learned that freedom was far more than a feeling or a patriotic concept, but it is in fact, God’s original intention for our lives.
Week five of the July DTS, or freedom week, involved staff member Andrew Bowers teaching trainees two concepts: strongholds and original design. Strongholds are obstacles and ideas that bind us to sin, making it difficult to be effective in life and in ministry. Strongholds begin as simple yet destructive thoughts that we use to make decisions, effecting our actions, altering our values and later our lifestyles. Simply, strongholds are what separate us from God’s intentions for our lives.
We only experience real freedom when we give up these strongholds that tie us to sin,
to do this must repent and forgive those who have committed injustices against us. A daunting task to be sure, but before we can even begin to forgive others we must forgive ourselves. While the idea of forgiveness can prove to be incredibly difficult, the results can cause the life altering destruction of deadly strongholds.
Trainees had the exciting opportunity to work with prayer teams assembled by members of the oval community. Teams composed DTS staff leaders and other members of the oval staff prayed for every trainee, asking God to reveal his unique original design for each individual. Trainees entered the room with a hunger to hear God’s original intent and exited with a confidence and revelation of who they are in Christ. After this discovery of truth, trainees are beginning to identify and challenge the strongholds that keep us from living according to God’s plan. Some struggled with the ideas of fear, bitterness and shame.
Confidence abounded as each trainee began to declare God’s original design for them. God has fearfully and wonderfully made each and every one of us to be unique. Not a single one of us has been made the same way. Through this understanding, we can smash these strongholds and encounter the freedom that God has always intended for us to have.