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Freedom and slavery are of different mindsets. Often when slaves believe themselves to be revolutionary, they are merely echoing thoughts and actions of their peers. The mindset that keeps people in bondage must be emancipated.

1 Peter 2:16 (NET) Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves.

Slaves, Saints, and Sons. Paul, James, Peter, and Jude referred to themselves as slaves of Jesus or of God. But, only a FREE person can submit to God as His “doulos” or bondservant, a servant/slave by free choice. So to see one’s self as a “slave” of God requires freedom. Freedom from sin and its power, from insecurity, from independence and from one’s self. God wants you free. Only then,  are you able to use your freedom for the things which are the very best. God’s purpose and will. BUT, those who are not free, spend their time trying to EARN God’s approval and FEEL God’s love.

Things Slaves Believe. If we are ever going to live in freedom, we must start within. We believe things because we have been taught by the world in which we live. We must learn to believe things that are true of the culture that we are from. We are from Heaven. We are Kingdom people. We have been delivered from darkness and into the light. So, let’s emancipate our thinking!

Galatians 4:22-23 (NLT) The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. 23 The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.

I Can Do It

God’s Work in Man’s Strength. The list of failures untaken in God’s name in the scriptures alone is lengthy. Abraham here tries to fulfill God’s promise with a slave, and that turns bad. This behavior harms the work of churches and individuals as well. A great idea in God’s name, without God’s direction, and without God’s power will come to nothing. No wonder people are discouraged.  Human effort CANNOT accomplish God’s work (John 6:63). This human effort is easy to spot; it’s filled with guilt and shame and it quickly devolves into criticism and complaining. 

John 5:19 (NLT) So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.

Jesus was a Hard Worker, but not Like Us. What did Jesus do differently than us? He moved in response to the Father. The Father moved first, then Jesus moved. Did he work hard? Yes. But, he never got discouraged, lost faith, or quit. Because He was joining the Father, He wasn’t trying to get the Father to do His thing.

  • List and discuss a few things that are deeply believed in our world that are not consistent with Christianity? What should you do about these conflicts in thinking?
  • Is there a difference between working WITH God versus working For Him? Explain

Genesis 16:5-6a (NLT) Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The LORD will show who’s wrong—you or me!” 6 Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” 

It’s Not My Fault

Blame is the Name of the Game. Why is it so important that we find someone to blame? What does it matter whose fault something is? I guess an apology would be nice, but they are rare, often insincere and they don’t change the outcome. 

Someone has to Take Responsibility. You are the one who has to live with the consequences. Not just the consequences of your decisions, but of the decisions of many others.  You have to take responsibility for your life and the lives of those for whom you are responsible.

  • We can’t take responsibility for everyone. Who are those for whom we are responsible?

Galatians 4:29 (NLT) But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

You Don’t Deserve It, Either.  

Misery Loves Misery. If I can’t… you can’t. Do you know which sins the New Testament writers wrote about the most? Gossip, criticism, division, and bitterness. Why? The slave mindset is filled with jealousy, insecurity, fear, and bitterness. If someone has more than us, they must be doing something wrong to get it. If someone has more success than us then we believe they are surrendering the truth in some way. If some ministry has more success, that ministry is likely false.

Slaves Have an Undeniable Concern with Fairness. Slaves want their dues because they are fighting over scraps. They believe there isn’t enough and they want their share. But, God doesn’t do things according to fairness. If He did, we would all be in real trouble. God does things through grace, goodness, and abundance.

Slaves are Unable to Honor, Celebrate, or Protect Dignity. Weeping with those who are weeping is easy. But, rejoicing with those who are rejoicing is more difficult. After all, isn’t the most miserable person, the most devout follower of Jesus? It often seems that is what people believe.

Jesus treated the most messed up of people with incredible dignity. Slaves can’t do that, but God’s Sons can (ladies are included, btw).  Because sons have so much dignity and confidence, that they are able to give it.

  • Is there anyone in your life that you find it very difficult to honor? Why is that?
  • How could we practice honoring people that are hard to honor? What could we do to celebrate the victories of others more consistently?

Galatians 4:30-31 (NLT) But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

Emancipate The Slave.

The Shas got to go Away. The slave must go the way of the cross and tomb. He must move from trying to trusting. She must reject blame and live in power. You have the power to endure and thrive regardless of the circumstances forced upon you. 

Work on believing that. Ask God for a revelation of that truth. We must all shift from fear to faith. You are fully accepted, fully loved, and fully instated as a Son of God. You have nothing to fear, you have hope. You have a Home.

  • What is the difference between information and revelation? How does someone move from knowing something to being inspired by it?