THE 5 PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM
Almost everyone at free!ndeed has their own freedom story. God has led each one of us on an individual path to freedom. We love that about God. There is no blueprint, He does not box us in or give us no run-of-the-mill standard program.
No, He is a very personal God and treats each one of us individually. What a privilege we had, to hear many stories from men and women whom God has lead to freedom. We also compared them to our stories, by doing this we quickly found a lot of similarities.
We noticed that aside from our individual walk of life, there are always the same patterns. Biblical principles that have their origin in the Word of God. These principles are the basis for our work.
Our central principles run like a common thread through all of the chapters. In a given chapter, in order for you to identify which principle is focus on, you can orient yourself by these icons.
PRINCIPLE 1: MOTIVATION
In order to become free from addiction to pornography, motivation must be clear and undivided. Everyone has to ask themselves the question: Why do I want to become free?
Many of these motives are understandable and good, but they are all in direct competition with God. Why? Because they don’t focus on Him, His strategies, His possibilities, and His honor, but on myself, and my own honor. I am at the center. Therefore, my motivation is not right and therefore, I impair yourself in becoming really free from pornography. As a consequence, powerlessness and self-centeredness become the result.
If we position ourselves to stand behind God’s purposes for our lives, namely to honor Him in everything we do, then that changes everything. God does not share His glory with anyone else: He fights on our behalf, when we stand for His glory; which is eternal. Only when we repent of our selfish motives, confess them before God and ask Him to give us an undivided heart. Only when we put His glory at the top of our priorities – then God also turns to us with all His power and blessings.
At times we expect God to help us out of our addiction, with our self ego being at the center of the problem, and not having Him at the center in order for Him to become our solution.
The beauty of this principle is when we become fully dependent on God, He is then able to shine through us. This is what gives us motivation and inspires us to do even more.
Scriptures where we find this principle of clear motivation:
I will not share my glory with anyone!
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1. CORINTHIANS 10:31
The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
PRINCIPLE 2: RADICAL HONESTY
Addiction to pornography is a sin. It is the nature of sin to live in the darkness. It thrives, nourishes, and spreads where it can remain hidden and unseen. Whatever is not talked about, mentioned by name, and kept silent – there you can find fortresses made out of lies. That is when sin gains power within us and begins to enslave us.
We must begin to drag pornography into the light. The light: is the Word of God which is the presence of God. Light spreads when we identify the sin and call it by its name. Confess it to one another and bring it before God. In the light of truth, pornography immediately loses power.
The fortresses made out of lies that have been built must be torn down and honesty must be restored to our hearts. Only if we look hard and honestly at our addiction, and the lies that have built up around us, only then can we take back the power from it.
The Bible tells us that when the dark that is brought into the light, then it becomes light itself. In that light, that’s where God’s grace and love meet our brokenness.
There is no better way to expose the darkness than to bring it into the light by the mutual confession of sin. Alone, we cannot break down the fortresses made out of lies that live in our hearts. For this we need honest friendships. We need partners, encouragers, fellow prayer warriors and fellow fighters.
On the way to freedom there will always be moments when we are not prepared to handle the situation on our own. Our ego, and sin itself, always want us to believe that we can do everything alone. There is a lot of pride and shame behind this. When we are radically honest with each other, we learn to accept humility and forgiveness. Only from this attitude can the fight against pornography be fought.
Scriptures where we find this principle of radical honesty.
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
PRINCIPLE 3: RADICAL AMPUTATION
Too often we play with fire. Either consciously or unconsciously, we expose ourselves to dangerous places, leaving open doorways, for people and situations which lead us to sin. We even sometimes do this knowingly, realizing that it is always the same path or the same device that leads us to addiction.
Many have a twisted notion of strength: they think it is strong to stand in the middle of the swamp of temptations, to be surrounded and have access to all sorts of pornography material, and then not to consume it with a firm “no”. That’s wrong, because first comes purity, and then comes the strength for it in our lives.
In the Bible, we find the strategy for dealing with sexual sin it is clear and unmistakable: we should separate ourselves from all that leads us to sin. It is about recognizing where we have made provision for “our flesh,” that is, where we engaged in things which go against the will of God and inevitably will lead us to pornography.
Now the struggle for purity in everyday life becomes visible; it has become radical. This is where our true motives come to light. The strength of our determination is revealed. We can now see whether we will allow freedom to cost us something.
Everything that weighs on us in this run to reach our goal must be discarded completely and without compromises. Whoever is stuck in addiction to pornography must completely cut off the supply of pictures and videos. This could mean that we rigorously restrict ourselves and our freedom in the use of electronic media. Only then do we gain the necessary distance to actively investigate our addictive behavior and the cause for it.
Radical amputation is like a shield that protects us from attacks. As we counterattack, it gives us room to use our sword; which is the Word of God.
Scriptures where this principle of radical amputation is anchored in God’s Word:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
FIGHT WITH THE WORD OF GOD
The active struggle for purity in our lives can only be fought with the Word of God. This is not about Biblical knowledge and the ability to memorize verses. This is about allowing God’s word to penetrate our being and expose the lies that we are believing.
We must learn to eat the Word of God like food every day and to digest it like food. Then it can automatically become our refuge, supply, and weapon of attack directly at our disposal. Our heart; not our head, must recognize the truth, believe in it, and hold fast to it.
In His Word, God constantly asks us to believe in Him. Do you believe in God? Our faith grows continuously when we read and listen to the Word of God.
Far too often and far too long we have given space to the lies in our hearts. These lies build up like fortresses of thoughts within us. Our strength and intelligence alone is not enough to fight against them. For this, we need not only skillful partners in battle, but also the word – the truth. Lies must be uncovered. Truths must be proclaimed and fired like bullets at the walls of our prison.
The other 4 principles of freedom lay the foundations for our attitudes and insights. They have a defensive nature, but this principle goes on the offensive. This is where the lies break and walls fall.
The Word of God is the truth. Jesus says that He, Himself, is the way, the truth and the life. So when we speak of the Word of God, we also mean one person; Jesus. He is present in us, through the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and whose task is to lead us into all truth. So He, Himself, banishes all lies.
We know a lot about the Bible, but when going to battle we have forgotten to take this weapon into our hands. The fighting verses help you with your training.
Scriptures where this principle of fighting with the Word of God:
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
2. CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.”
PRINCIPLE 5: IDENTITY AND DIGNITY
This principle of identity and dignity cannot be stressed enough. It is very important to learn to walk in the reality that God is promising you. Remember: what God says is real.
Because God created you in His image, you – as a human being – carry within yourself an absolute, dignity; an extraordinary value. As a follower of Jesus, a holy, new nature and identity is added. You are born again, you have citizenship in the Kingdom of God. You are called to be a priest and you become the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We seize our new identity in Jesus and put our thoughts and feelings under these truths. In every emotional state, it is a continuous training to recognize whether one is walking in the old mentality or in the new identity as a righteous, redeemed, liberated son and daughter and a royal child of God.
When you believe you are “pure” simply because God said it, then you will also behave “pure(ly)”. The Holy Spirit breaks down this mystery. Also, we are here to help you in this course!
Scriptures where this principle of identity and dignity:
And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.