Deliverance isn’t just for the demon possessed, the drug addict or the alcoholic. The Bible teaches we all need deliverance from at least three things: ungodly thinking, ungodly actions and ungodly attitudes. In this post we’ll cover how to find freedom from ungodly actions.
We all need freedom from ungodly actions (Exodus 16:19-20, 16:27, 31:1).
Even after the Israelites were out of Egypt, ungodly Egyptian behavior was still in them! They were very disobedient towards God! God said don’t save any of the manna until morning but they didn’t listen. God said don’t make for yourself any idols. But while God was giving this very command to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai the Israelites were at the bottom making a golden calf to worship. God told them not to work on the Sabbath day but they simply did not listen. Now if anyone ever needed a day off, it was the nation of Israel who were slaves in Egypt for four hundred years. But even though this would’ve been good for them, they rebelled. Why? Because they had a sinful nature – just like we do! The speed limit is there for our good, to prevent disaster, but what do we do? The dentist tells us to floss for our good and the doctor tells us to exercise for our good, to prevent disaster, but what to do we? We know holding a grudge is bad for us, that it’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die, but what do we do? We know we shouldn’t spend more than we make and that we should save a little more, but what do we do when we see the next latest, greatest whatchamacallit on amazon or at the mall?
We don’t do the good we ought to do and we do the bad things we know we should refrain from doing because of our sinful nature. Even the apostle Paul struggled with ungodly actions. He said in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” He went on to say in Romans 7: 24, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Paul was saying: I need deliverance from this body of mine that has a sinful nature that encourages me in ungodly actions! Well God had a solution for Paul and He has one for us too!
You see, God gave us growth groups to help us find freedom from ungodly actions (Exodus 24-39).
After God gave the Israelites his laws to help them find freedom from ungodly thinking, he next organized them by tribe to help them find freedom from ungodly actions. That is, God gave them relationships so they would have the support, encouragement and prayers they needed to overcome their ungodly behaviors. We read almost nothing of tribes until God gives them his laws. Then tribes are mentioned 9x from ch 24 through the end of the book. Here’s the message: We need the tribe to help us obey the laws.
Before I started my fitness growth group I could never find the motivation to get up each morning and work out. I would wake up, think about working out, then go back to sleep. I couldn’t work out consistently on my own because there was no one to let down if I didn’t work out that day, and I had no one encouraging me and praying for me to persevere. But with the help of a tribe I’ve been very consistent. Apart from sickness or extreme circumstance, I haven’t missed a single work out in about six months. This is the power of having a tribe. At New Day we call them growth groups.
God organized the Old Testament Israelites by tribe and the New Testament Church by groups (Acts 2:46). Some think all they need is the armor of God but those who do have missed Paul’s Ephesians 6 metaphor! A solider never fights alone. He needs an army to fight with if he’s to have any hope of victory and a Christian needs a growth group for the same reason. A growth group is God’s gift to you to help you find the support, encouragement and prayer you need to overcome the ungodly behavior in your life. Paul wrote in James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” When it comes to salvation we only need to confess to God (1 John 1:9). But when it comes to deliverance we must confess to others and ask for their prayers. This is a picture of accountability and we need it to find freedom from ungodly behavior.