“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level.” Jim Morrison said. “It’s got to happen inside first.”
Freedom week is all about the insides. In class on Tuesday, Andrew led us in worship which was followed by a discussion about worship. He reminded us how it isn’t about the warm and fuzzy feelings we can receive from it, it’s about giving glory and honour and praise to God simply because he deserves it. “If you’re led by your emotions, you will only worship the Lord when you ‘feel like it,” Andrew said, and I think we can all agree at how confronting that is. Sacrificial worship is when we lay down our worries about the day and fears about the future and anxiety about our to-do lists and all of our distractions. Sacrificial worship is when it isn’t easily done; when your burden is heavy and you’re pretty sure you don’t have a song left in your heart. Sing anyways. Sacrificial worship is better worship.
From that discussion, along with Monday and Tuesday’s teachings, we concluded that freedom in Christ comes with death to self. If we are living for ourselves even in the smallest ways, then the potential to be burdened by things like lust for power and fear of failure will always be looming. True freedom can only come when we lay it all down at the cross, when we give all the glory and all of our battles to Christ because neither were ours to have in the first place. “Sin-Management is not the power of the gospel.” Andrew told us. What he meant by that is biting your tongue doesn’t solve a deep, heart problem. Some of our deep, heart problems are places where the devil has seen an opportunity, and has capitalised. We call them strongholds. Strongholds were defined as the main weapon of the enemy to make believers ineffective in life; a mindset of hopelessness that causes us to accept things as are and settle for a life less than the one God designed for us. This results in bondage which is defined as the state of being a slave. Our thoughts can create our prisons. But they can also release us from that prison. The war on freedom is waged by the broken.
Our original design is self explanatory, it is the original blue prints God had for us even before we were knit together in the womb. On Wednesday, after a short teaching, small groups headed to the chapel to be prayed over by community members. The purpose was to help hear some of God’s original design for our lives. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do believe most of the trainees found this to be an excellent and encouraging time. Affirmation from brothers and sisters in Christ always feels good, but hearing strangers speak life and truth and words that they received from God was so, so encouraging. It makes you think “Man…He really does know me. I am seen.”
This week, Antoinette also shared her testimony and her experience with the Rwandan genocide and her journey to forgiveness. Overall, this week was an awesome adventure and a challenge and a beautiful thing. Declaring God’s truth over our lives, over ourselves, was so powerful. The things holding us back like doubt or fear, are not things from God. “Fear is sin.” Andrew said in class this week. “Fear is denying that God is big enough for a situation in my life.”The enemy uses society, the media, and our peers to tell us so many lies that are meant to steal our security, kill our joy and destroy our hope. Jesus restores.
Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. -Romans 3:4