Freedom to Further the Dream – Sistas Team
In the lead up to Sistas Women’s Conference 2017, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the powerful messages we heard at Sistas 2016 and how they can set us up to dream bigger and bolder than ever before.
Lisa Bevere, in her closing message, outlines the reality that unless we take action in laying hold of the promises God has for us, we will not realise them during our lifetime. We have to take hold of the promises, knowing that we have a purpose and a destiny planned for us by God. In Hebrews 11:33, it clearly states that: “Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies…”
Disciples of Jesus are doers of the Word, not just “hearers” of the Word. As we take action, God multiplies our faith and strength to encourage others to follow and lay hold of their purposes and promises too.
How are you advancing the promises God has spoken over you and purposes God has for you? Are you taking the necessary action to allow Him “to show Himself strong on your behalf?” (2 Chronicles 16a, paraphrased)
In the freedom that Jesus has created for you, what is holding you back?
- If sin, get rid of it – repent and be done with it – In Psalm 103:12, we learn that “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (NLT). 1 Corinthians 10:13 gives us further assurance that God is on our side, fighting on our behalf, having already prepared a way out and through any temptation and circumstance. Take hold of your liberty and live free – free to run, laugh, jump and complete the destiny God has for you.
- If fear, know that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Power – dynamite power to overcome and live with purpose and meaning. Love – God’s unconditional love and acceptance. Sound mind – having good judgement, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions, which includes qualities of self-control and self-discipline.
- If condemnation, know that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV).
- If any other un-godly thing that seeks to “steal, kill and destroy” you, take it captive in the authority and name of Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5). Let it be tested against the light of His word and measured against His love. For Jesus has come to set the captives free, bind up the broken hearted and give beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61: 1-3).
We are living, breathing Gospel carriers with God-given promises and a purpose to fulfil on this earth. “Let’s lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of us” (Philippians 3:12, paraphrased) and live a life of unrestrained boldness in the actions we take towards our dreams and our purpose.
For further reading and reflection:
1 John 2:20-21 (MSG), 2 Corinthians 6:1-4 (MSG), Galatians 5:25-26 (MSG)
- In her message, Lisa talks about honouring what is on our lives—the unique identity and abilities that God has given us—and living our story. She challenges us to avoid the trap of comparison, stating: “Living storylines written for other people will leave what the Spirit has written about you unfulfilled. Each one of us has a specific course and a divine destiny.” Can you think of a time where you have been so wrapped up in watching the good in someone else’s storyline play out, wishing it were your own, that you unconsciously stopped living out your own story?
- Galatians 6:4-5 says: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you’ve been given.” Do you know who you are? Do you know the work that has been assigned to you? If not, why not take the time to explore these areas?
- Lisa begins her message by quoting Wendell Phillips: “Christianity is a battle, not a dream.” Lisa tells us: “If you’re going to be brave enough to dream, you must be brave enough to fight.” Have you ever thought of dreaming in this light before? At what point do you think the battle begins? If you could pick who fought alongside you on your right and your left in this metaphorical battle, who would it be and why? Have you scheduled regular meetings with these people to talk and pray about your situation?
- The message closes with a series of statements about who we are. Some of them are that we are:
- serving a God without rival
- bought with a sacrifice without rival
- empowered by a Spirit without rival
- part of a body without rival
- given a commission without rival
- positioned for a harvest without rival
- destined for an eternity without rival.
We often live according to self-imposed limits. How often do you examine the boundary lines of what you’re believing for? Can you remember the last time they were shifted?
By the Sistas Team