Welcome back to our study at the Womens Bible Cafe, as we celebrate a new beginning. At the end of the Breaking Free Bible study, you will not be the same woman you were when you started the study six weeks ago. You are breaking free! In our sixth week of Breaking Free, Updated Edition by Beth Moore, we’re finding beauty from the ashes. We learned about the impact of Satan in the lives of modern women and how this impact can lead to strongholds and bondage. Beth Moore writes “Satan desires to have women in a stronghold of exploitation, sexploitation, distortion and desolation. He knows how effective and influential women can be so he works through society to convince us we are so much less than we are.”
Many of us are in spiritual bondage as a result of societal influence. Note that God’s intent in Isaiah 61:3 is to bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Are you wearing these, and if not, are you participating in this Bible study to regain your crown of beauty, oil of gladness and garment of praise? The roaring lion prowls around us as we mature from our childhood dreams into our womanhood roles. He knows when we’re going to fall, and God waits for us to return to restoration. As Beth says “Satan wants to destroy our dreams. God wants to surpass our dreams.”
This week we looked at the four key desires we had as young girls: to be a bride, to be beautiful, to be a Mommy and to live happily every after. Many women have experienced motherhood through natural birth or adoption. We know other women who are unable to birth children or decide not to become mothers. As children claiming “I want to be when I grow up…” we expressed our wishes to live a particular lifestyle and then as adult women we find that lifestyle may have changed. When we consider why most little girls want to be a mommy when they grow up, we see that many desire to teach, love and nurture others. God shows us this is possible even if you are not a mother, and Beth emphasises the spiritual calling to lead and guide younger women to be spiritual daughters of the King.
This week, Beth discussed excess and emptiness. Too often we seek to fill our lives with stuff. It can even seem like good “stuff.” When we use ministry, volunteering, work, and relationships to escape the relationship that matters, we can fall into bondage. Only the Holy Spirit can fill us up. Only He can get in the cracks and make us whole. When we seek it elsewhere, it becomes misplaced worship, and eventually, idols that replace God as our number one. Even ministry can become an idol. We must surrender our lives to Him, and do what He calls us to do for His glory. Nothing should ever be done for our own reasons. That is when the risk of idolatry steps up. Surrender yourself to Him, let Him fill you up. Then, do His work instead of yours. That is when you will begin to experience true freedom, for it is only found in Christ.
Bestow on (your name) a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
Give (your name) the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and garment (your name) with praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Wonderful Father, as we started this study with the past effects of strongholds and bondage, we seek breaking free and resolve to find our true self created to wear the crown of beauty, oil of gladness and garment of praise. We turn to you Lord in prayer and in petition, committed one-hundred-percent to breaking free from strongholds and bondage. For we know our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but a struggle against the spiritual forces of evil and we are removing those strongholds that bind us to the enemy. We come to your table prepared to wear the crown as we continue to learn and grow in faith. Amen.
Assignment For the Week
- Read Session Seven in the workbook
- Listen to Audio Session Eight or Video Session Eight (optional due to cost)
Group Discussion- Answer the questions below or with your small group
- What are some examples of the demoralization of women in our society? (page 129)
- Think of the implications of the term “bride.” What are a few things the word “bride” implies that the word “wife” may not? (page 133)
- What is your present basis for defining how you look? If you begin to allow Christ to become your mirror, what would you do different to take care of yourself?
- Who is someone you are absolutely certain loves you? What are a few ways you know this? (page 138)
- Have you ever received something you desperately wanted but still felt an unsatisfied longing you couldn’t identify? Explain. (page 141)
- What has God done in your life that has exceeded anything you had seen, heard, or imagined? (page 144)