Don’t Go Back


by Katy Kauffman


Have you ever felt the relief of freedom? I have. More than once. Whether I had struggled with something for days or years, breaking out of a detrimental habit or way of thinking brought with it a wonderful conglomeration of relief, joy, and peace. Freedom can also bring restoration, renewed relationships, right values, and clear thinking.


So why do we sometimes go back? Just like the Israelites were tempted to go back to Egypt, we may be tempted to pack up and leave freedom for what has grown familiar—bondage, struggle, and defeat. That decision was made by the Israelites when they were worried about having enough food (Exodus 16:2-3). They didn’t trust God to provide for them. They wanted to be slaves again rather than to trust God and flourish in the freedom He had provided. 


Freedom takes work. God hasn’t called us to bondage, but to be bondservants of Christ (Colossians 4:1, 12 NKJV). Jesus died to free us from sin’s enslaving power, and although He has provided this reality for all who have faith in Him, we still struggle with temptation, our sinful natures, and what’s “easy.” It’s easy to give into bondage again. It’s easy to give into sin instead of fighting it and saying no. It takes work to stay free in our daily walk with God, to live as He intends for us to live—in the relief of freedom.

victory, spiritual battles, freedom, Breaking the Chains, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Overcoming through Accountability


by Joanna Eccles


I had one sin that crippled me for years. I shoved it into the deepest corner of my heart so no one would know my shame. Satan used that guilt to keep me entrenched in sin. I remember sobbing by my bed, begging God to rid me of the pain. I didn’t know what to do. God showed me that surfacing sin is one of the surest ways to strangle its grip on my life. When I finally confessed it, the stronghold broke, releasing the sin’s hold on me.


First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV). From this verse, I knew that God had the ultimate power of forgiveness. However, even though I’d confessed my sin and been forgiven, I still didn’t feel like I was maintaining the victory.


Then I got an accountability partner. I discovered that beyond confessing our sins to God, real freedom can be found in confessing our sins to other believers. While Catholics have confessing to a priest ingrained into their culture, my Protestant background left out that aspect of Christian life. Nonetheless, the concept is very biblical. James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (NKJV). This verse didn’t mean that I should start telling everyone everything that I’d done wrong. Instead, I read it as an instruction to confess my sins to a Christian friend who’d ask me hard questions about my thoughts and actions.

spiritual bondage, sin, accountability, freedom, Joanna Eccles, Overcoming through Accountability, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Forgiveness

by Lauren Craft

Have you ever tried carrying a week’s worth of groceries from your car to your house? If you can shoulder the bags all at once, you’ll avoid making multiple trips, right? Not quite. When I’ve tried this, something is usually dropped. A potato slips out of my hands, an apple rolls under my car, or a milk carton lands on my front lawn.

More than anything, though, carrying too much is exhausting. My muscles ache and my breaths become labored. This reminds me of how it feels when resentment weighs me down. Its heaviness sucks joy and peace out of me, leaving unpleasant, sinful thoughts in their place.

Recently, I was upset with several people in my life. They’d made comments that seared like an electrical shock to the heart. I tried to clear the resentment on my own, telling myself, “I’ve made mistakes too” and “They probably didn’t mean to hurt me.” 

 

 

forgiveness, healing, freedom, grace, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: The Art of Staying Positive

By Erin Elizabeth Austin

Judgmental. Harsh. Critical. As Christians, we are taught that we shouldn’t be negative in our outlook on life. We’re supposed to be happy, positive people who always see the glass as half-full, but that’s easier said than done. Personally, it’s something I only manage to accomplish when I regularly ask God for help.

Whether or not we like to admit it, I think most of us have the tendency to be a little cynical in the way we view what’s happening in the world around us. Because there is so much evil in the world, we’re taught that we shouldn’t trust others. As children, we learn not to talk to strangers. As adults, we’re reminded not to pick up hitchhikers on the street. We’re even taught as we grow up to stay away from people who dress a certain way because as a general rule that means they’re bad. And while it’s good to exercise caution in this day and age, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve become too critical and narrow-minded.

 

 

Critical spirit, criticism, bondage, freedom, judging others, Breaking the Chains: The Art of Staying Positive, Erin Elizabeth Austin, Katy Kauffman, Broken but Priceless Ministries

Breaking the Chains: Escaping the Rut

Bad habits are like deep ruts that are hard to get out of. As we navigate our way through life, we may find ourselves traveling in an inescapable rut. Ruts can ruin our godliness, our relationships, and our spiritual health and strength. They can damage our joy, peace, and even our sanity. The more we say yes to these bad habits, the deeper the rut becomes. So how can we break free?

 

 

breaking bad habits, spiritual bondage, freedom, Breaking the Chains: Escaping the Rut, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Breaking the Chains: A New Series on Overcoming Spiritual Bondage

Our spiritual enemies abound. The great enemy of our souls—Satan—seeks to bring us into spiritual bondage. He can’t take away our salvation, so he wants to make our daily lives with God miserable, joy-less, and ineffective. We can’t let him. Too many adventures await us with God. Too many people need to know His love and truth. Too much is at stake.

Not only do we have enemies without, but we have enemies within. Regrets, haunting memories, emotional turmoil, and the flesh. Yet in Christ, we can be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). But what does that look like?

 

 

 

spiritual bondage, spiritual enemies, freedom, victory, Breaking the Chains: A New Series on Overcoming Spiritual Bondage, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies