“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.” (Romans 12:2)
One of the most helpful outcomes of this preaching series has been to identify what we believe to be true but in the light of God’s word come to understand they are lies. Freedom in Christ calls these ‘strongholds’. A stronghold literally understood is a fortress, like a medieval castle – surrounded by thick walls or sometimes layers of wall after wall. In a spiritual sense, strongholds are those faulty beliefs or lies preventing us from knowing God and His good, pleasing and perfect will (as Paul puts it). Strongholds arise from our environment (the world, at home, school or work); from traumatic experiences (such as divorce, rape or death); and from sin. But these things do not need to define us. Rather, Paul presents the possibility that like the transfigured Jesus we can know transformation and the renewing of our mind, being aligned with what God says is true. How can we tear down these strongholds? 1. Don’t believe everything that the world throws at you; 2. Don’t be deceived by the prince of this world (the devil); and 3. Be transformed by the word and truth of God, as we read and apply it. Then we will know what it is to be free in Christ.