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God doesn’t offer quick fixes, women’s Bible study leader says

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–God doesn’t offer drive-through windows where Christians can order up Spirit-filled lives and quick answers to pressing problems, said a popular women’s Bible study leader.
“In our human nature, we always want the quick fix. Give me something in five minutes or we don’t want to be fixed at all,” said Beth Moore, a teacher and author of five in-depth Bible studies, a 10-week prayer journal and a collection of poetry and vignettes, all published by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“If people really want the freedom that is available to them through Christ, they are going to have to walk with God, day in and day out, for all their lives,” Moore said while in New Orleans taping her newest Bible study, “Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life,” scheduled for release in June.
Moore and a LifeWay video crew spent 10 days in December taping the newest of her interactive Bible studies which will include a leader kit, member book, leader’s guide and 10 video lessons. The lessons were taped as she taught the series at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.
Moore’s latest message to women is about casting off strongholds or behaviors that interfere with living an “abundant life,” which she describes as “a life with a whole lot of God.”
“A stronghold is anything in your life that has a strong hold on your life,” she said. “It is something you realize is mastering you. You are out of control and mastered by something other than Christ. Christ masters us to set us free. Anything else masters us to keep us bound.”
For Moore, fear and distrust were the behaviors that held her captive and kept her from leading an abundant life in Christ.
“Without getting too specific, I think I’ve been very open that I was the victim of some abuses as a child. So I came with all sorts of strongholds in my life.”
“When there is a person that your family trusted, and they become untrustworthy and you’re just a small child, then you grow up with a stronghold of mistrust.”
Moore said most adults grow up with childhood scars that manifest themselves in unhealthy external behaviors.
“Any kind of compulsive behavior, any kind of addictive behavior represents an internal need for control,” she said. “Anything that continues to make us feel shame or like we are less than we are in Christ, anything that steals our dignity in Christ is a stronghold that we need to be free of.”
Moore said people who “overdo or under-do anything” need to break free from their strongholds and experience freedom through Christ.
“I don’t like to get too specific about the strongholds in my study because I want women to ask themselves what theirs are. What is keeping you from just enjoying your life in Christ?”
Paradoxically, Moore said, Christians believe that living a Spirit-filled life is the exception, rather than the rule.
“It is our heritage to live a life that glorifies God, to enjoy his presence, to find satisfaction in him and to have a real prayer life. Really, the off times of our insecurities should be the exception.
“My study teaches that if you are not living the Spirit-filled, effective life, you’ve got something somewhere that is a hindrance to you. Now what is it?”
Moore, whose mother recently died after a lengthy illness, said she wants to be clear that enjoying life and enjoying life in Christ are different.
“There are periods in our lives that aren’t enjoyable at all, but we can learn to enjoy the presence of Christ in our lives even during a very unenjoyable period of time.”
Moore said she learned about strongholds and what must be done to break free from them while writing her third in-depth Bible study, “To Live Is Christ: The Life and Ministry of Paul.”
“The Apostle Paul says, ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’ Breaking Free is about learning how to allow the spirit of Christ to really take over your life. I have to begin every day of my life saying, ‘Lord, I don’t want to just live for you. I want you to live through me.'”
Moore said prayer and studying the Bible are rudimentary to discovering freedom in Christ.
Christians have “got to have a praying life and they’ve got to have a relationship with God through his Word. I’m not talking about perfection, but I’m talking about being in constant pursuit of God,” she said.
Moore counters the idea that pursuing God constantly and finding freedom from strongholds means forfeiting a normal life.
“I’m not saying the working woman can’t be free because she can’t sit and read God’s Word every minute of every day. It’s a mentality of feeling God’s presence. I hope and pray there is some time spent in God’s Word every day, but that doesn’t mean the person never gets up from her prayer time and lives a normal life.”

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  • Terri Lackey