Created with a Purpose
We need to discover and live out God's original design for the world, humanity, and each individual.
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This is the first of a six sessions in our Living Free series. We're going to cover some foundational truths about God's purpose for our lives. Most of us are familiar with these truths, but they're still profound. They are truths that transform our lives. These truths should be the operating system of the church of Jesus Christ, but many times they are not. As a result, individual Christians, marriages, families, and churches experience far less than what God designed. God didn't design the church to live in defeat, to merely survive. God wants us to live vibrant and thriving lives. He wants us to live as more than conquerors.
In the next session, we'll talk about how Jesus, the cross, and salvation enable us to live in freedom. Then we'll talk about "One World, Two Realms"—that we live in a world comprised of two realms, which interact with one another on a regular basis. After that we're going to look at our authority as believers—the power that raised Jesus Christ from death resides in you and me. God has given us this power so that we can do the very works that Jesus Christ did in the Gospels.
We're also going to learn about strongholds. We'll talk about the word topos in Ephesians 4 and how the enemy can build strongholds in our lives. When we understand how he builds strongholds, we then understand how they can be dismantled, so that we can live in Christ's freedom. We'll also learn about different ways the enemy builds these strongholds, like generational activities—we either live under blessings or curses that are passed down generationally. We will also talk about the power of words and their effect in our lives. Just as God can operate through blessings, the enemy can work through curses. So we're also going to look at soul bondages, how the enemy operates in those situations, and how we can be released.
There will be a common theme in each session: God wants us to enjoy the fullness of his design. He wants us to enjoy the life he gives and he wants to carry out the works and ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus told the disciples face to face, "As the Father sent me into the world, I now send you" (John 20:21). He also promised, "Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do." (John 14:12) We are ambassadors of Christ and we need to be equipped for advancing his kingdom. Jesus promised that when the church lives according to God's design, the gates of Hades cannot withstand it. God has designed the church to advance, to be triumphant. His kingdom is on the offense. We're going to see this as we discover that ancient city gates were not offensive weapons; gates were used as defensive weapons. God designed the church to advance, to conquer. We need to understand that God's people can move in the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
Mike Riches is pastor of Harborview Christian Fellowship in Gig Harbor, Washington, director of the Sycamore Commission, and author of Living Free.