Almost fifty years ago God began a process of challenging me about issues in my life and freeing me from things that messed me up. In the decades since then I have used the steps God took me through as a guide for helping others find freedom.
I call that process the Steps to Release. Let me summarise them succinctly for you here.
Step One is the need to Admit Your Need. I resisted doing this at first, feeling ashamed and insecure about what might be ahead. I pushed God aside when He tried to point out things I had to deal with.
It’s hard to help someone who won’t admit they have a need.
Step Two is to Identify the Issue. This is a bit like a doctor’s diagnosis, and it can be hard to get to the deeper root of a matter. As best I can I dig to find out where the problem came from, when it started, what stirs it up, and so on, to identify what is really going on inside a person.
For example, a person may express anger, but it could come from their insecurity, or shame, or pride, or hurt feelings, or fears, or other prompts within them. We can deal with anger, but if we can find the deeper cause of the anger then more freedom can be gained.
As part of this I love to dig for the initiating event, if there was one. What happened to kick-start this problem? Was there abuse, failure, accusation, trauma, seduction, offence or some other identifiable event or source that spawned the problem? Or has it come down the family?
If I can’t find the source I work with what I can find out, aware that at some later time God may reveal the deeper issues.
Step Three is to Repent. If the person has done anything to invite or initiate the problem they need to ask God to forgive them. Even if they see themselves as a pure victim I like people to ask God to forgive them if in any way they have opened themself to this problem in their life.
They could also repent of trying to live with the problem, failing to bring it to God earlier, and so on. Get the person seeking help to have a clean heart before God, without any charge hanging over them.
Step Four is to Forgive. Get the person to forgive all those who brought the problem into their life, or who built on the problem, or who failed to protect them. It may be hard to forgive violent offenders, or those who hurt us deeply, but we are commanded to do so. My other lessons on Forgiveness might help here.
Step Five is to Renounce The Problem, making a legal declaration of break from the problem. I use the word ‘renounce’ in this process, meaning to speak-off or revoke any legal connection between the person and the problem.
They might say, for example: “I renounce anger and aggression, and I renounce shame and hurt feelings.”
By this point the person needing freedom has admitted their need, and identified something of the source of their problem, even if only that it comes down the family, or has been with them for as long as they can remember. They have also repented, forgiven and renounced the problem.
This means they should have a clean heart and have cleared away any legal reason why the problem should remain.
The next step then is to resist the evil and break its hold on them.
Step Six is to Resist the Enemy. We are told we can resist the devil and he will flee from us.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Here we tell our enemy to take the problem out of our life, including our mind, emotions, personality, will, spirit, soul and body. Break the enemy’s power over memories, feelings, physical responses, attitudes, choices, reactions, fears and the like, depending on what is relevant to the problem.
Step Seven is to Abandon Yourself on God. Having done all that might be required of us, we can then collapse on the golden pavement before God’s throne, helpless and in need of God’s rescue. We give our cares and burdens and all our weakness, failure, shame and so on, to God. It’s not a very nice present to give to God, but He wants us to abandon ourselves onto Him, totally relying on His salvation.
In that frame of mind we call on God to be our deliverer and to break the power of evil and set us free, not only opening our prison but healing our wounds and unlocking all the things the problem has programmed into us.
And that’s the whole process. I like to be as thorough as I can in each step, covering all the aspects of forgiveness or repentance, and so on.
I have found that some people struggle to be real and open with God. Others can’t seem to see themselves and their situation very clearly. I have to handle each case on its own merits.
I have often repeated the process with people at a later time, once the benefit of the first clean out has taken effect and we can work more deeply through each of the steps.
Let me list the steps for you again:
Admit Your Need
Identify the Issue
Renounce the Problem
Resist the Enemy
Abandon Yourself on God.
God has taken me through these steps multiple times, to set me free from a wide range of issues. And I have used these steps to see many people wonderfully set free.
I encourage you to use them to help yourself and others, and I pray you are wonderfully blessed by these Steps to Release.