THE 5 PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM
Each of us at free!ndeed has his own freedom story. God has led each one of us on an individual path to freedom. We love that in God. There is no blueprint, he does not put us in drawers and gives us no run-of-the-mill standard program.
No, he is a personal God and treats each of us individually. But when we compared our stories with each other, we quickly found great similarities. In the meantime, we have heard many life stories from men whom God has led to freedom. What a privilege.
We noticed that besides all individuality 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: 5 principles of freedom.
Our central principles run like a red thread through all units. In order for you to be able to assign directly which principle is in focus in a Unit, you can orient yourself on 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 comprehensible 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 honour, but on yourself and your own honour. You are in the centre. They are therefore not good and harm you in becoming really free of pornography. Powerlessness and self-centeredness are the result.
If we accept God’s intentions for our life, namely to honour him in everything we do, it changes everything. God does not share His glory with anyone else: It will help us to victory if we place ourselves next to his honour, which is eternal anyway. Only if we repent of our selfish motives, confess them before God and ask Him to give us an undivided heart, only if we put His glory at the top of our list of priorities – then God will come to us with all His power and blessing.
Why should he help us out of addiction when we don’t even have him in mind and only turn around us?
The beauty of this principle is that we will see how God uses our dependence and our struggle for freedom to shine through us! That only spurs us on even more.
Where the principle of clear motivation is anchored in God’s Word:
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 darkness. It lives, nourishes, and spreads where it can remain in darkness. Wherever it is not talked about, where it is not mentioned by name, where it is kept silent – there fortresses made out of lies are built. Sin gains power within us and begins to enslave us.
We must begin to drag pornography into the light. Light: That is the Word of God that is the presence of God. Light spreads when we concretely call sin 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, can we withdraw power from the whole.
The Bible tells us that the dark that is dragged into the light becomes light itself. That is, it begins to shine because in the light there is always the place where God’s grace and love meet our brokenness.
There is no better way to drag the dark into the light than through the mutual confession of sin. We cannot break down the fortresses made out of lies that live in our hearts alone. For this we need honest friendships. We need partners, encouragers, fellow prayers 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 radical honest with each other, we learn to accept humility and forgiveness. Only from this attitude can the fight against pornography be fought.
Where the principle of radical honesty is anchored in God’s Word:
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. We consciously or unconsciously expose ourselves to dangers – places, entrances, people, situations that lead us to sin. We even do this when we realize that it is always the same path or the same device that drives us into dependence.
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 by all sorts of accesses to pornography, and then not to consume pornography with a firm no. That’s wrong: because first comes purity, then comes strength in our lives.
The strategy for dealing with sexual sin that we find in the Bible 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 enjoy engaging in what will rebel against God within us and inevitably lead us to pornography.
Now the struggle for purity in everyday life becomes visible. Now it becomes radical. Now our true motives come to light, the strength of our determination is revealed. Now we can see whether we let freedom cost us something.
Everything that weighs on us in this run to reach our goal must be discarded – and without compromises. Whoever is stuck in the dependence on pornography must completely cut off the supply of pictures and videos. This can mean that we rigorously restrict ourselves in our beloved freedom in dealing with electronic media. Only then do we gain the necessary distance to actively investigate our addictive behaviour and the causes for it.
Radical amputation is like a shield that protects us from attacks. It gives us room to move for our counterattack with the sword: The Word of God.
Where the 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 Bible knowledge and memorized knowledge. This is about absorbing the Word of God into us and exposing lies.
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 within us. 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 God? Faith grows in you by listening to the Word of God.
Far too often and far too long we have given lies space in our hearts. These lies build up like fortresses of thoughts in us, against which we cannot come by our own strength and intelligence. For this we need not only skilful 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.
All the others of the 5 principles of freedom lay the foundations for our attitudes and insights. They have a defensive nature. But this principle goes on the offensive: lies burst 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 it is to lead us into all truth. So He Himself banishes all lies.
We know a lot about the Bible, we have only forgotten to take this weapon into our hands in battle. The fighter verses help you with your training.
Where the principle of fighting with the Word of God is anchored in the Word:
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 in you an inalienable dignity, an extraordinary value. As a follower of Jesus, a holy, new nature and identity is added: You are born again, you have a 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. It is a constant training to recognize in every emotional state whether one is walking in the old imprint or in the new identity as righteous, redeemed, liberated son and royal child.
If you are “pure” because God has said it, you will also behave “pure”. The Holy Spirit breaks down this mystery. We are allowed to help you with this in the course!
Where the principle of identity and dignity is anchored in God’s Word:
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.