Key Verse: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. —Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

Key #1: The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. —Psalm 9:9 (NLT)

Freedom from Oppression: Dwell in the Shelter of the Most High

We can be free from oppression if we are willing to abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  Whenever trouble comes near us, if we are abiding in Him, we are safe.  How do we abide? We stay in the Word of God daily.  It is never enough to read the Word once in a while.  There must be a steady, stable routine of Bible reading and application.  The applying is the abiding, but if you don’t read there is nothing to apply.  To abide in the shadow of the Almighty is to live in continual union with Him, keeping His Word and obeying His voice.  Those who abide in the Lord can live without dread of what the devil will do.  Let’s make this clear though — God’s promise of protection doesn’t guarantee that the devil will leave you alone!  It means that God will give you a way of escape every time the devil rears his ugly head at you. 

Jesus came to set the captives free and He accomplished what He came to do!  If we want to live in that freedom, we need to live the way He lived.  Jesus never did anything unless the Father told Him to do it.  That means He was in constant communication with the Father.  We can be there if we are daily in the Word because the Father speaks through His Word.  If you are afraid of the dangers around you, spend more time in the Word and in prayer until your trust in God overcomes your fear.  Draw closer to the Lord until you are abiding in the shadow of the Almighty and no matter how dangerous this world becomes, He surely shall deliver you!

We can attain a breakthrough in freedom from oppression by focusing on Jesus and letting the Spirit within us lead us through our days.  As long as the focus is on the oppression it will continue because it obtains life from our focus.  In Job, it says, that which we greatly fear will come upon us.  In the same way, we become more like Jesus when He is the center of our day.

Confession: Jesus is my refuge and shelter, my God in whom I trust.  I will not fear anything because He sets His angels to guard over me.

Prayer: Father, I believe that You look at me and see Jesus because He lives in my heart.  Allow me to hear Your voice as He does and lead me in the way I should go so that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

Journaling Question: Do I daily set time in my schedule for reading and applying the word of God?

Resources: Book: Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray

Key #2: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed                       away; behold, all things have become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Freedom from the Past: This is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Breakthrough from the past is connected to taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  In order to stop the whisperings of yesteryear from haunting us, we need to practice 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.  Once we have learned to force our thoughts to come in line with God’s Word, we can claim freedom from the past.  Our past can be a tool for the evil one, but we use God’s weapons to fight him off.

When we were created, God intended that we be winners.  He did not plan for us to be wallowing in defeat.  He gave us dominion over the earth and everything that crept, flew, crawled and breathed there.  Adam gave this up, but Jesus won it all back.  As followers of Christ, we need to walk in the newness of His accomplishments.  The gate of the past hinges on the mind.  We must train our minds to acknowledge the truth: Jesus won back our rights in this world from the evil one.  Learning about what Jesus has already done is an important part of the battle. Then, choosing to forget what lies behind, we press on towards the success God has laid out for us.

It doesn’t matter how much you feel like a loser.  It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed in the past.  If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, then you’ve become more than a conqueror in Him (Romans 8:37).  Does that mean you won’t have any more trouble?  No.  It simply means you can go through that trouble and emerge triumphant.  If you’ve been feeling like a failure lately, renew your mind with the Word of God that says you’re a success.  Every time a memory comes up to pull you down, respond by saying, “Well, praise God, I can beat this thing because I’m an overcomer in Jesus!”  Let that expression of faith abide in your heart.

Confession: I choose to forget the past and I acknowledge that Jesus is my success today.

Prayer: Lord, help me to recognize that I am a new creature in Christ Jesus, and therefore, I do not have to bow to the circumstances of my past.  Renew my mind and help me to take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. 

Journaling Question: Do I give undue regard to my past, letting it exalt itself above what Jesus has accomplished for me? 

Resources: Book: Battlefield of the Mind, Joyce Meyer

Key #3: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. —Psalm 19:14 (KJV)

Freedom from Negative Confession: Hearing our own words is key

To be free from negative confessions we need to understand that confession means “to say the same thing as.”  We read in Deuteronomy 30 that God puts before us blessing and cursing and He expects us to choose blessing.  As we choose to say the same thing God says about us, we choose blessing.  Blessing = positive life but cursing = negative death.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.  If we speak death (negative), we will find death following us and becoming part of our being.  When we speak life (positive) then life will literally overtake us.  To turn your life in a different direction — from death to life, sickness to health, failure to success — you must take charge of your words.  It’s a lot easier said than done, but that’s the key.  It must be said in order to be done! 

How do you start?  First, realize that it can’t be done just in the natural.  This is a spiritual law, so it must be handled with spiritual power.  James 3:7-8 says the tongue can’t be tamed with the same power with which man tames animals.  It takes God’s wisdom from above.  God’s Word is His wisdom (Proverbs 2:6).  He also said His words are spirit and life.  That means it takes God’s words to tame our tongues. 

Second, repent before God for ever allowing your tongue to be used by anyone except the Holy Spirit.  Then give Jesus your tongue.  Be determined to speak His words of love, faith, joy, peace, and grace.  Words of faith stop the fiery darts of hell. 

The third thing to do is what Jesus said in Mark 4:24: take heed, or listen, to what you hear.  Listen to yourself!  Ask yourself, “Do I want what I just said to come to pass?”  If the answer is no, then stop and correct yourself right then.  Replace those negative words with praise (Ephesians 5:4). 

If you’ve become sloppy about what you say, change your course today by changing your words.  Ask God to help you set a guard over your mouth (Psalm 141:3).  Put the power in your tongue to work for you instead of against you.  Stop using it to make messes, and start using it to make miracles.  There is a miracle in your mouth!

Confession: I speak life and blessing to my life and all those around me.

Prayer: Father, let me use my mouth as a tool of righteousness.  Help me to speak only what you would speak to those around me.

Journaling Question: Have I spoken what God would speak about this day and everyone in it?

Resources: Books: Prayers That Avail Much, Germaine Copeland; Every Day I Pray for My Teenager, Eastman Curtis

Key #4: These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace.  In the      world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. —John 16:33 (NKJV)

Freedom From Our Society: We have a new citizenship

As we consider our society, we need to let our consideration be ruled by God’s instructions.  His ways are not our ways and, in this society, His ways are the only way we can find peace.  Although we live in the world, we are instructed by Scripture that we are not to be of the world.  We must understand that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration.”  But notice that He didn’t stop there!  He went on to say, “But be of good cheer — take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted — for I have overcome the world.  [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you]” (John 16:33, The Amplified Bible).

Most believers don’t have any trouble believing the first part of that verse.  They know all too well how many tribulations, trials, distresses, and frustrations surround them.  But they’re less certain about the last part.  They haven’t yet experienced for themselves exactly what Jesus meant when He said He had deprived those things of power to harm them.  Why not? 

Because they’re still living as though they’re part of the world.  We are ambassadors of Christ.  If we would consider how ambassadors of other countries relate to our country, we would realize that they do not consider their citizenship to be in our country.  In just the same way, we have a new citizenship — it is with Christ in heaven.  Heaven is the country we represent even while we live here on earth.  Our customs and our language should reflect our home country; we need God’s Word to find out what that language and customs are and how to walk in them.

But listen: Jesus said you and I are to be sanctified, or separated from the evils of this world.  How?  Through the Word of God! (John 17:17)  The Word of God will separate you from the world.  His Word will set His dream for victory into motion in your life.  If you’ll receive it and believe it, speak it and act on it, that Word will set you apart from those around you.  It will take you from trouble to triumph again and again.

Confession: Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that I can be a representative of Your kingdom here on this earth.  I thank You that Your Holy Spirit is in me willing and working for Your good pleasure.  Let me be a true ambassador of reconciliation in this world today.

Journaling Question: Today, did the world around me notice that Jesus lives in me?

Resources: Book: Love Not the World, Watchman Nee