Welcome back to bible study as we discuss Breaking Free by Beth Moore. We have women around the world participating in this online Bible study. It is exciting to know that many of us are breaking strongholds. This week we focused on untying the cords of the yolk. In our womens small groups, some of you asked why we are studying ancient kings. The kings help us see strongholds of pride, legalism, unbelief, prayerlessness, and idolatry.

In Breaking Free, Beth Moore defines a stronghold as anytime you are preoccupied with a destructive thought process and anything which exalts itself over the truth and scripture of God. It is anything that hinders us from the fullness God has called us to be.

If you were in the Bible Cafe™ small groups, we talked about how a stronghold can be both positive and negative. As you find Bible Verses About Strongholds you’ll see how this is presented in God’s Word.

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9 NIV

We also read this week how Isaiah referred to his wife as a prophetess (Isaiah 8:3). According to Blue Letter Bible, in the original Hebrew for this verse, prophetess means an inspired woman; by implication, a poetess; by association, a prophet’s wife:—prophetess. of the ancient type endowed with the gift of song, such as Miriam Exodus 15:20; Deborah Judges 4:4. In Luke 2:36 Anna was also mentioned as a prophetess.

For comparison, when you look at the word prophetess in Revelation 2:20  it has a different meaning. Here, Jezebel calls herself the prophetess. In this verse, she is a woman to whom future events or things hidden from others are at times revealed, either by inspiration or by dreams and visions. Also, a female who declares or interprets oracles

As we studied Breaking Free by Beth Moore, we examined the stronghold of pride and discussed how a successful person (such as a celebrity, athlete, or wealthy businessperson) can avoid falling into the temptation of pride. As believers, we examine our hearts and make room for God to cut away anything that is an obstacle. We do this intentionally by DAILY confession and seeking repentance for our pride.

When we repent and walk steadfastly with the Lord we realize He is our advisor, counselor, authority, and friend. He leads us toward wisdom, comfort, peace, and protection.

We can move the spiritual temperature of our hearts. I heard a pastor preach on Sunday that society is on a downward escalator. It’s another metaphor for the spiritual temperature. Up and closer to Heaven, or down and closer to hell. So we can move from lukewarm faith to downward escalators…by seeking DISCERNMENT and LIVING our Bibles- not just reading them. Listening for the Holy Spirit to give direction and a response (or no response).

This is especially important when a church leader has the “bondage of fear.” How the leader responds to a fearful situation can mislead or inspire the congregation. I saw this during the pandemic as pastors adjusted to empty churches and moved online. Some were afraid that nobody would hear their message. Some were afraid that their members would die in great quantity.

But absent of fear, some were innovative and looking for new ways to comfort and reassure people without getting banned on their streaming platforms. At the Bible Café™, we created a course called Seeking Calm to specifically redirect lamenting into praise.

This was a great week to explore the obstacles to our faith. In the weeks ahead we will dig deeper. Stay on the journey and keep working on your daily lessons from Breaking Free by Beth Moore.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.