UNLEASHED Vol. 14 – The Battlefield & Surrender

So where is all of this happening?  Where are we tackling all these issues to unleash our hearts?  The battlefield is in the mind.  The battle EVERYDAY is for your heart.  2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  As Christians we have to develop mental discipline to be a disciple and use the sound mind we have through God!  He has given us a sound mind but it’s like a muscle, we have to use it and work it to strengthen it.  It is one thing to know the truth in your head; but it’s a completely different thing to then be strong enough mentally to apply that truth to your heart and to live from that transformation.  You can easily know the truth in your head but still follow the evil desires of your heart, hiding from the truth and trying to justify your sin along the way.  You can “fake” it really well by saying and doing the “right” thing but without heart change, it is empty.  In the same sense, your heart may feel the conviction of the truth but if your mind is not focused on heavenly things that conviction will be short lived and you will return to your selfish ways.  Because of the fall, sin entered the world. Our hearts are not born “good;” they are born selfish and are the root of the flesh, your internal enemy.  The mind controls the heart; but the heart has deep longings and desires that it wants met.  https://318menoffreedom.com/unleashed-writings/unleashed-vol-12-sexual-puritylust/  The heart can poison the mind with these longings and desires if we don’t have mental discipline. The external enemy (Satan/the word) will work in conjunction with your flesh to try and convince you that you are your sin, you are your shame, and that you are guilty.  The enemy will use this false truth to chain your heart away and make you retreat in hiding, go passive, and pose so you will not accept how God sees you.  All those lies give you a false identity; you are not your sin!!!  Repent and it is gone!!!  It does not define you by the blood of Jesus!!!

The key is perseverance, dedication to the Lord, and hard work.  We have to put in the hard work of reflecting on who we really are with God and without God, and what our motives are.  We have to build the mental toughness to train our wild rebellious hearts to desire what God desires and to live for Him; to be free and to live from our new heart in Him.  Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  In this verse the Lord is talking about a dead heart coming ALIVE!!!  We will always have part of the enemy within us, the flesh, which tries to get its own selfish way. To win this internal battle, it comes down to knowing the truth in three categories: surrender, significance, and identity.  When we Battle Well in our minds, God rewards us with gracious results.  The payoff is so worth it!!  Being in the Word daily helps to be mentally sharp and motivates heart change, transformation, and surrender.  We have to mentally train our heart to find its answers from Jesus, thus allowing Jesus to transform our heart and then we can live out of that new heart.  Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

    1. A huge part of the battlefield in the mind is surrender.  What will we submit to?  What won’t we submit to?  I talked about surrender a lot in the last volume on healing, but surrender needs to be an all-encompassing part of our everyday walk with the Lord.  Surrender is letting it all go; your heart, your mind, your family, your desires, your job, your reputation, your comfort, your possessions, everything – and trusting God completely in FAITH that He will take care of you, guide you, direct you, and that you don’t need to be in control.  Surrender understands that you can’t be in control; that you don’t want to be in control, and that HE IS ALL YOU WILL EVER NEED!  Surrender is mentally choosing to be fully aware of your dependence on Him and not caring what others think.  Surrender is a willful act of submission out of love and gratitude for what Jesus Christ did for you.  Surrender is saying, “Lord, you gave everything for me, I trust you, I believe in you, and I will listen and obey no matter what!!!  No matter what you ask me to do I’ll do it.  I will pray, listen, obey and leave the rest to you!!!”  Surrender is reckless abandon to obey God no matter the cost!  No more debating, no more calculating, no more doubting!
      1. “It is out of our surrender that God can begin to use us and bless us.” – A.W. Tozer
      2. “The essence of surrender is getting out of God’s way so He can do in us what He also wants to do through us.” – A.W. Tozer.
      3. To surrender, we need to drop everything at the foot of the cross and rely entirely on Jesus to sustain us.  Surrender is not easy; it often means we do not get our way.  But the more you surrender, the more you will want to surrender…

 

  • Surrender is not a weak position.  It takes a lot of faith to fully trust God in the heat of the battle.  But He does reward us and bless us for our surrender and faith.  He gives us His strength, He gives us His patience, and He gives us His grace beyond all understanding.  We can’t surrender without His ever amazing GRACE!

 

    1. Surrender takes a lot of very deliberate cognitive choices; again the mental discipline part.  You have to WANT to change.  You have to answer that voice of conviction in your heart that there are things you need to “let go” of.  You have to pray A LOT!  You have to ask Him to show you where you need change.  You have to listen A LOT!  You have to BE STILL!!!  You have to give Him your time, your mind, your heart, everything.  Then you have to be brave to obey and do what He tells you to do and trust Him to FULLY take care of you!  We have to build child-like faith!!!  Matthew 18: 2-4 “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
      1. “True obedience is the refusal to compromise in any regard our relationship with God, regardless of the consequences.” – A.W. Tozer.
    2.  Surrender allows us, through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit, to fight the flesh within us and win!  We can overcome the flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus!  Romans 8: 5-8 “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
    3. “If I look at the world, I will conform to ways of the world.  If I look at the Word, I will conform to the Will of God.” – A.W. Tozer.  We have to give God time to speak to us in his Word. As we read the truth it enters our mind and as we relate, reflect, and accept the truth we are building our mental toughness and ability to more easily surrender to Him.
    4. We should work to get to the place David got to, a man after God’s own heart.  Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
    5. You have to mentally give up everything to Him.  Faith like Job.  If God were to take everything you love, would you still love Him? You have to get to where you know you can say “yes.”
    6. The enemy does not want you to surrender to God.  The enemy wants to distract you with temptations and idols to create worry, fear, doubt, shame, guilt, and anything else he can to keep you in your flesh and trying to live life on your own terms without God.  The enemy will keep you so busy you don’t have time for God (A HUGE ONE RIGHT NOW IN OUR CULTURE).  This road leads to destruction and death.  When we go for these idols that offer immediate gratification, we are surrendering our hearts to their intoxicating promises, we give ourselves over to them hoping for something they cannot provide.  They bind us up and wrap chains around our hearts.  As we surrender to idols, they kill us; and that’s exactly what the enemy wants.  The world is anti-surrender.  The world tells you that you should have everything “you way.”  You’re going to have to kill that voice completely; it is a tripping point to surrender.
    7. The truth about surrender is that we are always surrendering to something.  Every choice, every action, every attitude is a willful move to surrender to do that thing.  What we surrender to shows exactly where our hearts are aligned; is it to God or the enemy?
      1. Luke 12: 22-34 “’Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’   ‘Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’”
        1. I used to be such a worrying control freak, I was living life on my terms and I had to “make sure” everything was perfect, my way, for me.  I would lie to and manipulate others so I could get what I wanted.  I was wounded and grasping, ever creating more and more idols to cling to.  I was on a slippery slope that turned into an avalanche.  When one idol would let me down, I would just move onto another one.  I was discontented, never satisfied, and totally trapped.  Living for a “high” (porn, women, alcohol, drugs, anger, rage, pride) kept me so distracted from God, I ran to my idols for life and answers instead.  I was in the ugly sin cycle of the enemy: sin, shame, fear, despair, sin again to feel better.  I was all alone inside as I desperately searched for ways to feel better.  I was trying to fix myself all the time, never letting Jesus in.  I knew Jesus, and I believed in Him, I just believed the lie that He wasn’t enough and wasn’t capable of fixing how I felt.  Once I started to realize my idols were literally taking life from me instead of giving me what I thought they would, I started going back to my roots and the Holy Spirit really began stirring in my soul.  I realized I was far from the person I wanted to be or who God created me to be.  I knew all the things I had been choosing were wrong, but I didn’t know how to get out.  And that’s where through surrender we gain His grace and mercy.  Over time (many years) God placed people in my life to challenge me and pursue me.  Over time I began reading the word more and more.  Over time I began praying more and more.  Over time the Holy Spirit convicted me of one idol, one sin at a time, slowly crumbling the towering walls I has built around my heart.  Over time I slowly understood what it meant to surrender things to Him that were never meant to be a part my life.  Surrender can happen in an instant, or surrender can take a long time.  As I surrendered more and more of my junk to God, I began to see His grace and mercy everywhere!  As I relinquished control, as I dropped one idol after another, I felt lighter, happier, more fulfilled, and more content as I tried to live better for Him.  I didn’t have to manage all my lies and manipulations any more.  I didn’t have to live in fear that someone important to me would find out I was living in ways they wouldn’t agree with.  I was able to talk with many of those people and ask for their forgiveness.  As I surrendered more and more to Christ I could feel myself covered in His love, His grace, His mercy and received His strength to keep it up!  His mercies are new every day and I’m learning how surrender is not a one-time act, but a continuous process.  Looking back, I’m so grateful that Jesus never gave up on me.  Living out of gratitude is so essential in my walk every day.  Gratitude helps me to battle well by staying humble and hungry for more of God.  I know I’m a work in progress and I have new things to continually surrender to Him.
    8. Living in surrender grows and strengthens your faith.  Each time you surrender and allow Him to guide you into the unknown darkness, into a new place or direction that is uncertain or scary; you learn He is already there waiting for you even though you couldn’t see it, but He could.  This builds your trust and faith in Him.  As we encounter God in this way, we begin living FOR HIM, not for self, because we can see His provision for us in the darkness.  We start to understand He will always be there for us, and our trust increases.  We begin to learn how He sees us and step into what that looks like as we continually rely on Him and find our significance in Him.  Our hearts begin drawing closer to Him and as the desires of our heart change; we are transformed, and start to desire what He desires.
    9. It’s important to remember to be patient in this process of surrender.  Everything is always on His timing.  As we surrender to Him, He will bring challenges and results on His perfect timing.  So if you hear it and feel it, surrender it and wait with joyful anticipation.
  1. Another part of the battlefield in our mind is where we find our significance.  Significance is where you find your value, worth and meaning.  This can only have one answer, JESUS!  You MUST find our significance in His unconditional love for you!!!
    1. Jesus is all about RELATIONSHIP!  He loves you.  He knows you better than you know yourself; there is nothing you can hide from Him.  He wants you to get to know Him better and better every day.  That is why it is so important to devote time every day to getting to know Him better through prayer and his Word, there is no other way to grow deeper with Him than that.   As you grow deeper with Him you start to understand just how much He really does love you!  Finding your true significance is all about relationship with Him.  His love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace are so unlimited; He wants you to experience them every day over and over again!  You are that valuable and significant to Him!!! There is nothing you can do to earn it, nothing you can do to lose it, but time with Him is the best way to cultivate it!!!  
    2. The way I think about it is that He loved me so much He died for me; the least I can do is give Him my time and live for Him out of the overflow of love, gratitude and joy I experience from Him.  The more I do this the closer I feel to Him and it motives me to want to do it more for Him!  Without Him I wouldn’t be here, how dare I think my time is mine…  I am build to worship Him and to bring glory to Him.
    3. The enemy wants you to find your significance anywhere else but God.  Again, the enemy will throw a million temptations and distractions in front of you to get you hooked on a false sense of significance.  Then when it doesn’t come through for you, you get wise to it, and he will be sure to stuff you full of shame and guilt to wrap another layer of chains around your heart and give you even more reasons to pose and hide.  Satan will try to get you to find your significance in good things like your marriage or your job.  If he can get you to put these things above your relationship with God, he has been successful in getting you to take a good thing and make it an ultimate thing, thus creating an idol.

https://318menoffreedom.com/unleashed-writings/unleased-volume-7-idols/

    1. When you go to these idols to get your significance, you are telling God He isn’t enough for you.  In our culture there are many things that you will be tempted with to gain your sense of significance like your job, your marriage, your kids, your hobbies, other people’s opinion of you, money, possessions, porn, drugs, alcohol, food, and the list goes on and on…
      1. I used to find my significance in being in control and other people’s opinion of me.  It drove me.  I had to get you to like me, or at least be impressed with my accomplishments.  I was so insecure in who I was, I had no significance or value unless you told me I did.  If you didn’t like me, inside it would shred me apart, and I would then work overtime to prove myself to you.  After a while that was exhausting, so I turned to other idols to make me feel good with less effort (passivity ring a bell?).  It was all about the significance of feeling something I was in control of; so the avalanche began.  I justified my sin as accepting the fact that those idols made me feel something, and since I was in control of them (so I thought), I needed them.
      2. Now that I know the truth, I find my significance in the fact that Jesus loves me unconditionally and that I have tremendous value to Him.  For me, once I realized this it has filled me with such gratitude that I live intentionally for Him, to bring honor and glory and praise to Him.  I don’t desire the things of the past, I desire to live in a way that is a pleasing offering to Him.  “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.
    2. The truth about your significance is that you are perfect in His eyes.  You are not all the shame, guilt, and fear the enemy tries to lie to you about.  Idols can be destroyed in the mind and chains can be broken from around your heart; but you have to choose to follow Jesus instead!!!
  1. The last part of the battlefield is to fight for your true identity.  You do everything according to our self-image.  How do you view yourself?  Do you see yourself as God sees you?  You should!  Knowing how God sees you and who you are in Him gives you your true Biblical identity.  You need to know who you are in order to allow Jesus to unleash the chains around your heart and truly live.  Once you surrender, find your significance in Him, and understand your true identity you no longer desire sin and the things of this world; you have a taste of something much sweeter.  You will still feel your flesh and have to battle it, but it won’t be nearly as hard as it used to be, you’ll recognize it so much sooner, and you won’t want to give into it.  So, what is our identity in Christ; how does God see us?  I first learned about this from the men’s group at my church; that we are His sons, His servants, and His soldiers!!!  Since then I have been living in this truth and diving deeper into scriptures related to this.
    1. We are His dearly beloved sons; children of God!!!  He loves us so much; He delights when we discover new things, when we explore all He’s made for us to enjoy, when we pray to Him, when we seek Him, when we WORSHIP Him, and when we battle well in His name.  He is our good, good Father!!!  He loves us and wants the best for us.  He’s our dad, loving and forgiving.  He will never give up on us!!!  We have to surrender to this reality and find our significance and identity in this truth.
      1. Ephesians 1:5 “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
      2. Galatians 4:4-6 ‘“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”’
      3. Romans 8: 14-17 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
      4. Adopted.  Think about it; on our own we are alone, vacant, lost, wandering, searching…  He takes us in AS WE ARE, loves us, cares for us, provides for us, protects us, and forgives.  He has unending patience for us, just as a father has for his child.  We must take this, accept it, and live with immense gratitude for His love and sacrifice!   This has to motivate us to live differently; not for self but for Him, to bring all honor, glory, and praise to Him and to be willing to follow Him no matter the cost!
    2. We are called to be His servants!!!  To love as He loves and forgive as He forgives; to serve as He served, to sacrifice as He sacrificed, to live for others and not for self.
      1. Mark 9:35 “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’”
      2. 1 Corinthians 4:1 “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.”
      3. 2 Corinthians 4:5 “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
      4. Ephesians 3:7 “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.”
      5. To finish this point off is in Mark 12:30-31 the double love command, “Love God and love others.”  To truly love is to put others first, keeping no agenda for self, and purely desiring to love others no matter their response; this takes a servant’s mindset of sacrifice and selflessness.  When we do this well we bring glory and honor to Jesus!  It takes work and a lot of mental discipline to keep motives pure here.  The only motive that is right is to desire to battle well to bring glory to God.
    3. We are soldiers in His army!!!  2 Timothy 2:1-3 “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.  Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
        1. This has special significance for be because 2 Timothy 2:1 is my life verse given to me by my parents at birth.  It has been scripture I’ve memorized since I was a kid.  Though I certainly haven’t always lived well, I know the power in this verse now!
        2. Suffering through being a servant and soldier helps us relate to the character of Christ.  Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
      1. 2 Timothy 2:4 “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” This scripture has really convicted me and really challenged me to think about my motives.  Am I really living to please Jesus?
      2. We have to BATTLE WELL!!!  We have to be willing to GO and DO what Jesus calls us to do!  It’s a battle first to soldier up just to move past passivity forward into His will, often into the darkness.  Then second it’s a battle to persevere as His soldier in the hardships, serving and suffering for Him.  BUT as is says in Romans, we have something that overcomes all of that; the hope we have in JESUS to empower us to soldier on!!!
        1. Our families need us to step up and be a soldier for them.  Our churches need us to stand up and be a soldier for them.  Our workplace needs us to step up and be a soldier.  Our world needs us to step up and be a soldier for the truth!
    4. Before all this my identity was that I’m a sinner and I should hide my faults.  I believed I was everything I was doing wrong, and nothing I was doing right really mattered, so fake it so everyone will like me and I can get away with selfish desires.  I definitely didn’t believe in the potential that Jesus saw in me, I knew it was there, but it seemed like such a dim light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel.  The enemy had so convinced me to undervalue myself that I saw myself as useless, dirty, used up, broken, unworthy, and worthless.  Then my mind began to play tricks on me to justify what I was choosing to do.  Again the lies of the enemy wrapped my heart with chains.  “You need people to like you and love you, you better not let them know the real you, they will judge you and then leave you.”  “You are dirty and worthless, you better HIDE all your sin so no one knows or you’ll be all alone.”  The enemy was using shame and fear to hold me where I was.
  2. So we have to Battle Well to take back ground from the enemy!!!  We have to battle every day to surrender all to Him, find our significance in Jesus, and to remember our identity in how He sees us!  As always we need to battle for our three links of support and go to our three links of support for help!
    1. #1 God – We have to own our faith!  We can’t keep saying we believe and yet never give God the time of day.  We have to develop the mental discipline to keep our relationship with Jesus #1 in our lives.  “The devil loves it when we say we believe then prioritize everything in our lives ahead of God.” – A.W. Tozer.
      1. We should fear God, not man.  Psalm 119:120 “My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.”  This is the only fear we should ever experience!!!  As we stand on our new identity in Him, we have to have the faith that He will bless our efforts as we draw closer to Him and that He will provide for us, protect us, and move mountains for us!  Psalm 55:18 “He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.”
      2. Psalm 144:1 “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”  He teaches us and guides us.  When we fully believe in Him He will never let us down!  We are His sons, He is our loving Father.  Forgiving, understanding, and merciful; He wants the best for us all the time!!!
      3. We have to surrender all to Him!  We can’t hold anything back.  We have to have reckless abandon and let Him into every part of ourselves.
      4. We have to reconditioning our hearts to find our significance and identity in how God sees us: HIS SONS, His servants, His soldiers.  This FACT needs to motivate us and inspire us to live differently than before; to truly live for Him!
    1. #2 Family/Wife
      1. WE HAVE TO BATTLE WELL FOR OUR FAMILIES!  We have to step up in our identity as servants and soldiers for our families.  We need to be seeking out ways to put them first and ourselves last.  We need to be soldiering up to lead them in this dark world even when it’s hard, ESPECIALLY when it’s hard!
      2. The enemy hates all image bearers, and as men we are responsible for the spiritual health and wellbeing of our families (this covers all those close to you).  We cannot take this role lightly!  In our new identity we have to Battle Well over passivity, over disappointment, over anger, over pride, over doubt, and over fear to LEAD our families to church, to the Word, and to an intimate relationship with Christ.
      3. If you are married, you have to lead alongside your wife.  You need to communicate often with her about everything.  You need to pray together.  You need to make decisions together.  As God has place you together to become one, you need to act like it!  You need to support her and her spiritual growth.  As your intimacy grows through your communication hopefully she will reciprocate support and encouragement back into you as well.  But we must lead regardless of her response.
      4. If you have kids, you are blessed!  What a responsibility!!!  It is your job to help them navigate how to live for God in this crazy world!  Not an easy task!  If you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard enough to keep myself sailing straight, let alone trying to guide another ship, or two, or three, or four into the harbor.  That is why our first responsibility is to keep God #1 in our lives so we can gain His strength and wisdom to do this job.  We can’t do it without Him; it will not work on our own.  We have to model it for our kids.  They should see us reading the bible.  They should hear us talking about God.  We should be reading the Word and praying with them every day!  They are always watching and listening…  What are they learning from you???
    2. #3 Brothers.
      1. Guys, we need good Godly men in our lives who we can talk to.  Men who we can walk with and grow with.  Men who will be honest with us and hold us accountable.  Men who value our hearts and will speak truth lovingly.  We need guys who we can go to when we need support, any time, any place.  Proverbs 24:6 “for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counsellors there is victory.” -ESVUK
      2. We need to be around men WHO KNOW WHO THEY ARE in their identity in Christ and can mentor us.  We need to be willing to invest time and energy into others and mentor them.
      3. We need to be constant encouragers to our fellow brothers; lifting them up in prayer and supporting them with our words.  We need to be good listeners for each other.  We need to be careful not to judge, quick to forgive, yet strong in accountability.
      4. We need to communicate with our brothers often; not just when we are struggling, but also to share life and joy with.  We need to remember to celebrate all the good things that God has gifted us with and provided us with.

Questions to ponder:

  1. How do you see yourself?
  2. Where do you find your significance?
  3. Does your self-image match up with how God sees you?
  4. What do you need to surrender in your life to align yourself to your true identity?
  5. Which part of your Biblical identity is easiest for you to accept?
  6. Which is the hardest for you to accept?
  7. How hard are you working to please Jesus with the way you soldier through your life?  Is this in your mind often?  What are your motives?  How intentional are you with your time?
  8. How well are you leading those around you?
  9. Do you have a trusted group of men you can go to for support and also to offer support to?
  10. If not, what is holding you back and what steps do you need to take to gain godly brothers?

Men, knowing and owning your identity is so critical!  It is so important to Battle Well against the enemy here to gain your true self in Christ.  No matter where you are in your journey, always remember we all have to tackle these issues in our lives since we are all a constant work in progress. I pray as you go through this volume you truly take the time to reflect on your story, where you are at, and open your heart to where Jesus wants to take you and grow you.  You can do it, you are capable to change; your identity is in Him and you already stand in victory through Him!!!

All to His glory!
In Christ,

Nick VandenBerg
3:18 Men of Freedom
Team Leader
318menoffreedom@gmail.com

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