Wow…WOW! The introductory session of Beth Moore’s Breaking Free taping was last night and it was…well, incredible.

It got off with a rousing start when Lisa Pierre led us in singing “Break these shackles off my feet so I can dance! I just wanna praise you, I just wanna praise you!” I shared the way God used that song in my life here at the blog a couple of months ago (including a link to the YouTube video). So I was into it for sure! 🙂 From the looks of the other 999 women here in New Orleans at the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, they were too!

Some thoughts…first and foremost, when God speaks to me about the same thing numerous times in just a few days, I know I need to take note. The thought “Renewed Mind” has come up again and again. I wasn’t suprised to hear it here relative to the Breaking Free study–having gone through the BF study years ago and leading a couple of groups through it, I know that renewing the mind is a vital part of breaking free. Well, that and the fact that I have seen it in my own life.

But I know God is doing another new thing! It has come up enough times that I know he wants me to catch something new. So it is my quest to be still and know that He is God and what He has to say about the renewal of my mind. It was mentioned in Freedom From Emotional Eating bible study by Barb Raveling which I started last week. I hope to share my journey through that material here after I finish sharing The Lord’s Table.

The thought of the renewed mind was also the focus of the bible study we did at our Neighborhood Fellowship Group — the focus verse being Romans 12:1-8. We talked about what it means to renew the mind.

In any event, God is up to something. I am here at this video taping. 11 intense BIBLE teaching sessions!!!!! Never have I been through something this intense…and with Beth Moore no less who is big on truth and grace…

So here are some thoughts I jotted down this morning as I reflected back on the introductory session:

The focus verse is Isaiah 61:1-4. You will probably want to look it up in your bibles. Check it out and then ask God to bring it home to your own heart.

Lord Jesus, you have been annointed and appointed to preach good news to the poor. Thank you for accepting that calling. You have been sent to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…all of this you’ve done aginst evil that has previously prevailed, Lord. YOU HAVE ENDED THE REIGN OF DARKNESS IN MY LIFE.

Not only that but you are proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor. Oh, I praise you that I stand in your favor!!! You also proclaim the day of vengance of our God. The enemy will get his! You are comforting those who mourn, providing for those who grieve, and bestowing on us all 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.

You are changing us — me — to be an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

We will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; we will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated. Oh, Lord! How appropriate that this taping is here in New Orleans in a church that was just rebuilt after the Katrina devastation!

Lord, please help me not to miss what you want to do in me today, this week, through this bible teaching time with Beth Moore.

To preserve copyright and all of that, I won’t share my notes from the session. But she used Isaiah 9:4…to speak about how there is a pattern that God sees in us before freedom and how he chooses to break us free from bondage, from the yoke, just as He did the Israelites from Midian.

She took us into the scriptures in Judges chapter 6 all the way through verses 1 through 24. If you walk through the passage, you will see the parallels, too. Here are some questions to get you thinking about it all.

1.) Who are the people that are in bondage?
2.) Describe the nature of this bondage.
3.) Go to Lifeway’s Bible Tools at Click on KJV with Strongs. Then type in the little box that says “Books” the following: Judges 6. Find verse 6 and click on the word “impoverished.” How would you describe the state of God’s people when they were under the oppression of the Midianites based on the definition of the Hebrew Word (which is what you just found if you followed these instructions)?

Beth pointed out that bondage is anything that hinders me from being what God wants me to be. I am meant to bring Him glory by the producing of much fruit (John 15:8). The oak of righteousness mentioned in Isaiah 61 produces many many acorns!

4.) Look in the Judges 6 passage. The Israelites weren’t looking for freedom. What had they done instead? Can you identify with this?

5.) What does God do with this? How does this relate to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and your life?

I trust Beth and Lifeway won’t mind my sharing some of the words I jotted down near the end of the session. They are powerful…

Whatever it is that God calls you or me to give up…let’s not be afraid to give it up. Let’s instead be scared to miss what God has for us if we cling to something instead of releasing our hold on it. Beth pointed out so eloquently that sometimes we have no idea how oppressed we’ve been until we’ve been set free.

She closed with words like these:

What future do you want? Will you choose to grow old and die in your bondage?

No, Lord, I choose FREEDOM!