This is the third installment of a series I’ve been writing on Bob Hamp’s Foundations of Freedom. In Part 1, I introduced this DVD series. Part 2 focused on a testimony given by a friend of mine who desperately needed some freedom after a series of very stressful events that made her question her self worth and her value to God. The series had affected her in a profoundly positive way!
This month, I'd like to talk a little more about the series and why I liked the materials so much personally.
One of the most basic premises of the Foundations of Freedom series is that we have a bad definition of freedom.
We define freedom as the absence of something bad or negative, so our goal in life is to try and rid ourselves of something. But a Biblical definition of freedom is quite different: It's the Presence of Someone, namely our Savior, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer! Let's try this on for size.
A common example is frustration in a relationship, which can range from minor annoyances and disappointments to the perpetual or unresolvable conflicts inherent in some of our relationships. Let's take a look somewhere near the midpoint of our relationship difficulties.
Join me in my unrenewed mind for a minute.
I'm in a conversation with a loved one whose choices and behaviors are negatively impacting me severely (and in my opinion them too).
I'm frustrated, confused, and angry at their confusion, denial, and crazy-making behavior. I'm somewhat speechless, because I believe I’ve already said everything I've always said in as many delightful and well thought out ways I can think of, trying to make my point. However, I am not making a connection. They're just not taking it in.
They think I'm wrong, dead wrong. I think I'm right as rain. There's the set up!
Remember, I'm talking to someone I love: husband, boyfriend, teens, adult kids, or even my parents. I've already given them the best I have to offer from my Susanne-esque point of view. After all, what else do I have? Suddenly, I recall the Freedom. I take a breath, disconnect from my position, and recall that there's a Source within, my Lord Jesus Christ, who can truly inform me and give me clear insight about what's going on!
As Bob Hamp would say, it's kind of like me putting up a sail to catch or embrace the wisdom of the Kingdom of Heaven that's within me. (I realize it sounds contradictory to reach up to find something within, but it works. You have to try it or find a word picture of your own to plug in here.) The Lord redirects the conversation very simply in a way I wouldn't have thought of and things are beginning to smooth out. What happened here?
The Kingdom is Within
Colossians 1:13 says He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. (KJV)
We're citizens of a new kingdom--we were prisoners of a hostile enemy, but now WE ARE FREE! We have a moment-by-moment choice as to which kingdom we will permit to inform us about our circumstances. If I'm trusting myself to figure things out and have the correct perspective, I've already gone back to thinking like a captive. But if I disconnect from my normal way of thinking (if I always do what I've always done, I'm doing to get what I've always gotten) and I choose to let the Almighty take over moment by moment, then I will get different results. Freedom is the Presence of Someone. I'm not trying something new, I'm choosing a new focus. Huge difference!! The former focuses on me getting the job done and the latter permits the One who created me to guide my thoughts and direction.
The Choice Is Between Two Kingdoms
The choice is between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of me. I can choose access to Wisdom, Mercy, Compassion, and the Mind of Christ or the sum total of all my human wisdom, training, perceptions, education, etc., AND all my flaws, defects, wrong beliefs, hurts, and general disadvantages. All of my positive personal human resources would possibly fill a thimble compared to the expansive Mind of Christ and Love of God. I'm on the learning curve of habituating myself to choose more wisely. It's mostly bad habits that are displaced as I reach for the Tree of Life and all its fruitfulness. The other choice is knowledge. That's what Adam and Eve chose. Look how that turned out.
The Foundations of Freedom series provided me with the direction I've been longing for to help me connect with all the people in my life, both personally and professionally. Those of us who are Bible-believing Christians know that we have the mind of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven is within. But are we living our daily moments in that truth? Are we able to abide, dwell, remain in His Presence as John 15:1-7 exhorts us to? What are we seeking first in our daily lives? Are we seeking the Kingdom first as Matthew 6:33 admonishes us? The verse goes on to say that all else will be added unto us when we do so. If we're seeking anything else then we find ourselves plugged into self with all its limits and frustrations and blind spots
The Foundations of Freedom series can be purchased very inexpensively, only $25 for DVD materials I may expect and be willing to pay hundreds of dollars for. I invite you to taste and see the Lord's goodness through this series. (And you could WIN a FREE copy in the Great Big 1st Year Anniversary Giveaway coming up on Circles Of Faith starting October 14!)
Everyone is stuck in at least one area. Is it time to get unstuck?
Susanne Ciancio, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Christian Counselor. She has been serving the Christian community as a professional Christian counselor in Essex county and the surrounding area since 1986. Beyond her private practice in West Orange, NJ she is involved in teaching, consulting, and pastoral supervision in various churches in the area. Click here for Susanne's website.
EDITORS NOTE: While Susanne can’t answer specific counseling-related questions, she welcomes your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about what kinds of topics you’d like to see addressed here at Circles of Faith. Click here to contact us.