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    Thanks for dropping by Coffee Cup Friends, your Online Reading Room! Here, you will find stimulating writings by our top-notch team of writers. You'll find everything from short inspiring devotionals to life-changing articles. So grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the time you spend with us. Be encouraged, restored, and informed. Blessings on your day, Cinda

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Free From the Ties That Bind INTRO

Posted by Cinda On April - 29 - 2013

chainsSIX STRONGHOLDS THAT CAN HOLD US CAPTIVE!
Did you know that God desires to use you for kingdom purposes?
If not it is time to get a clue.  Here is some of my favorite Scripture:

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn {in} Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

Now mind you this was a prophetic word written some 700 years before the Messiah was to come.  It indeed has indicated the coming One who would bring the Word, with healing for the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners.  Now fast forward to the New Testament, what Jesus left the disciples with was to go and do likewise in My name.  You know every time we bring the Good News of the gospel to the world there is the potential for amazing change in that person’s life should they accept it.  But here is where I want you to envision just why you are here at this time “for such a time as this.”  Every single one of us has a sphere of influence.  I like the picture of a stone being dropped into water and the “ripple effect” that takes place as the stone hits the water’s surface.  Let’s use that to reflect on the fact that every thing we do has some sort of impact on someone within our sphere of influence.

morningstretch3I am going to start with a typical day.  You may get up with your spouse in the morning, that being your first encounter.  Then it could be your children.  I am going to stop here and we will see just how much influence we have right here.  Please, I know that we all have days when we really don’t want to see or talk with anyone!  Whether it be good old PMS or stubbing our toe on the way to the bathroom.  And there can be aches and pains that can be highlighted by tossing and turning all night, whew!  I am sympathetic to the kinds of things that can start the day off on a sour note.  But here is a tough truth for you (and me), we have a choice to make–right from the moment our feet hit the ground–to share our love and blessings with those we share life with or we can lend a thud to their day.  Can you see the huge impact you have on your family?  How much better to send them on their way encouraged with a blessing and knowing just how much they are loved.  So now we continue on to see who else we impact through our day.  There are the neighbors, our friends, work relationships, people we meet in the grocery, and the post office…and that ripple just continues to spread wider and wider.  That just amazes me!

Will you think of yourself as a “Change Agent” (Agent of Change), which reads according to one of Mirriam Webser’s dictionary editions: a change agent, or agent of change, is someone who intentionally or indirectly causes or accelerates social, cultural, or behavioral change.  That’s it!  Have you figured it out yet?  You are here for a specific reason and it is not about you!  I love what it says in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Now that we have a glimpse of our purpose we need to look at reality and see that all does not always go according to Hoyle!  For we all have stuff in our lives that has played a role in making and shaping us.  Hopefully there is a lot of good, positive stuff.  But for some of us it has been a journey through the pit.  In too many cases the pitfalls we have experienced or are working through have become stumbling blocks that may have developed into strongholds.  Check out the meaning of a stronghold in the Hebrew: castle; defense; fortress; be hunted; net; snare.  Interestingly enough, we see that it is a good thing for the most part.  After all king David declared that God was his fortress and high tower, but what about those last few meanings, to be hunted, a net and a snare.  If you have been caught in the snare of blocked goals, unforgiveness toward another, generational sin, unforgiveness of ourself, not believing who God says we are and pleasing man over pleasing God, stay tuned.  We are going to see how these strongholds have or can keep us from moving forward into the abundant life God calls us to live for Him.

Next time I will share with you from a time when I almost gave up on God.  It was one of the most difficult times of frustration and disappointment in someone I love very much.  But…God!

Author: Kimberly Dawn
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