Truth Over Tradition

wisemen at mangerMovies have three wisemen showing up right after Mary gives birth. Church Nativity scenes have three non-shepherds kneeling before baby Jesus, who’s in a manger. Christmas carols portray three kings with flowing robs and interesting hats bowing before a baby Jesus. So it must be true, right?
This is all Christian tradition, but it has nothing to do with the truth. Reread Matthew 2. In here you’ll find the truth of what happened. We have no idea how many magi there were, let alone if they were kings or not. Whoever they were, they arrived at a house not at a cave!
This is simply an example of where the beliefs of a Christian worldview do not match with the Word of God. If you want to live free from your drug of choice, you must have the truth not tradition. Jesus said in John 8 that putting His truths into practice would set you free. The only way to know whether something is tradition or truth is to Entertain the truth found in the Word of God. I challenge you to make the commitment to get into and read through the Source of Truth, the Bible, in 2013. (See Resources.) Let the Source of Truth, Jesus, talk to you and the Spirit of truth guide you into the truths you’ll need to live free of your drugs of choice.
S“E”t Free Nowww

A Sign of Strength

weak = strongMy wife and I were ready to take our last run of the day. Our snowboarding instructor told us that we were ready for the next chair lift. It was simply a longer beginning run. We both were physically and mentally tired from the many falls and trips down the mountain we’d already taken. We looked at each other with a little apprehension, but decided to go for it anyway. It wasn’t the smartest of decisions.
This run was not just longer. It had more turns and shady covered areas, which meant more ice than the previous hill. Needless to say the more tired I became, the more I reverted back to my old way of thinking. This meant I fell a lot. We should have waited until we were fresh to take this new lift.
It’s the same with the process of becoming like Jesus. Until your brain has been fully retrained, which means you’re free from the drug of choice, you won’t automatically handle new situations like Jesus would, especially when you’re tired. This is part of what Jesus meant when He said to watch and pray so that you will not enter temptation (Matt. 26:41).
You’re ripe for enemy attack when you’re tired. So make sure your BIG partner is praying for you when you’re exhausted. Ask the Spirit to give you added strength to make a Christ-like choice if you’re worn down. This is one reason for the principle, “When you realize that you are weak, He can be strong for you.” Get your rest. But if you’re tired, acknowledge it and ask for help. It’s a sign of strength not weakness.
Set Free No“W”ww

Fail Forward

fail forwardMy snowboard instructor said, “If you’re not falling, you’re not taking risks. If you’re not falling, you’ll never have fun.” Falling means you’re taking risks. Risks means you’re learning. Learning means you’ll put what you learned into practice the next time. Each time you learn you’ll get better at snowboarding, which means you’ll eventually have fun. Oh yeah, falling can hurt. Know what? I finally did have fun!
Jesus calls us to have faith. In fact, without faith we can never please God (Heb. 11:6). Faith is another word for risk taking. Our God wants us to trust Him; yet He knows we will fall along the way. This is one of the reasons why He provides us with grace and mercy. Mercy covers the sin of the fall. Grace gives us the hand up from the fall. The natural question that arises is, “Will we learn from the fall and then practice what we learned next time?” In other words, will we use the Freedom process to retain our brains?
If we do, we’ll see our drug of choice (i.e. the area of our life the Spirit wants to change) removed and replaced with Christ-like character. As this happens, we’ll definitely being having fun! And by the way, like my snowboard instructor, Jesus will be there every step of the way to give you that hand up.
Set “Free” Nowww

Extra Eyes Needed

Another principle surfaced as I learned to snowboard. I needed another set of eyes to help me, a snowboard instructor. I only knew what I knew at that point in time and it wasn’t snowboarding!
As I went down the hill the instructor could watch what was important – my feet. After a very frustrating first run down the hill, he reiterated to me that my body language was still thinking surfing not snowboarding. Heals and toes. Heals and toes. So on my next run down it finally clicked. I started thinking like a snowboarder. I gently glided down the hill.
Then he made another observation. When I started going too fast I reverted back to my old thinking, which only led to crashing. He told me to trust my new way of thinking, heals and toes. Guess what? It worked!
We need another set of eyes on our journey to let the Spirit replace us with Jesus (James 5:16). Who is your second set of eyes? We need them to observe and to listen to us so they can catch us going back to our old thinking and the lies that led us to take our drug of choice (the area the Spirit wants to change) in the first place. In a biblical worldview this is your Bible Impact partner. We are saved individually, but we become like Jesus with others. Give someone permission to watch and speak into your life. Get into a Bible Impact group (download the card from the Resources tab) and follow the “P’s” to freedom.
Set Free Noww“W”

Needed: New Way of Thinking

Day three of vacation to Big Bear, California was taken up with learning how to snowboard. I’m reminded of surfing when I see snowboarders race down the hill. As I surf, I took this mindset with me while I took a lesson on how to snowboard. Wrong! Though it may look like surfing, two entirely different mechanics are needed. My instructor kept telling me it’s in my feet, actually my heels and toes, not my hips or upper body. If I was going to learn how to snowboard I had to change my way of thinking.
If you want to see your life changed, experience freedom from your drugs of choice and feel loved, significant and secure you’re going to have to change the way you think. You must pick up and use the tools (Set Free Nowww) of a biblical worldview to filter all the messages you’re receiving each day from your surroundings.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. It took falling a lot to finally get it into my head that I couldn’t think like a surfer if I wanted to get down the hill smoothly on a snowboard. Life change (getting down the hill without falling) takes place when a believer asks the Spirit to expose the lies in their head (hips and shoulders), replaces them with the truth (heals and toes) and then practices those truths on a daily basis.
Though by the end of the day I was still on the beginner runs, I was getting better. I was retraining my brain to think like a snowboarder. It will take time to retrain your brain to listen to Jesus and pick up your tools. But what choice do you have? Think the old way and continually crash or let the Spirit renew your mind and defeat your drugs of choice?
Set “Free” Nowww