This weekend’s theme is “Captivated Freedom”. What we find is that often we are captivated by things, stuff filling holes with temporary solutions, and instant gratification. And we do it in the name of being young. The enemy wants us to have our focus on these things, he elicits these desires in us to distract us. And as soon as someone tells us its “wrong”, we say “I’m just trying to figure out who I am”, “I’m supposed to do this when I’m young”. But when you’re captivated in the world, trying to rebel, be your own person, figure out who you are, you tend to think you’re testing the waters and trying to be “free” and find “freedom”. But what we don’t realize is that by doing this we actually become captives of our environments. We are chained to this world.
The Christian band “Run Kid Run” has a song called “Freedom” that starts by saying “all these chains, I can’t disengage, I don’t believe that I want to…One hand sings your praise, the other brings me shame, I have selfishness to blame.” So we have to ask ourselves, do we want to let go? Only when we are captivated by God are we really whole. Being a prodigal child is good if it is God doing the prodigal act. God wants you to run, and run fast, but towards Him and away from this world. In Romans 12 of the message it tells us what we should do. “God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, and develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Ladies, God wants to give us freedom…he wants to break our chains to this world and give us the ultimate freedom we find in him. Listen to what the past weekends have shown us: The Lord delights in you. He thinks you’re wonderful, and one of a kind. Our God rocks and looks at us as his princess. Through this relationship we find true love. And by putting ourselves in the hands of the potter we grow in belief of God’s amazing grace. We are reborn, with authentic beauty, and with that, overflow with joy as we bask in God’s overwhelming mercy. Now, let’s embrace that captivated freedom he is so willing to give. Ladies, we’re going into battle. We have friends, siblings, cousins, hurting, lost in this world, needing to be rescued. I challenge you to examine yourself, ask yourself if you’re willing to take the challenge of being captivated by God. Accept the freedom only He can provide. And show that Freedom to these candidates. Fight for these girls, they need your help. God wants us to stand there on Friday night and tell these girls in our own words what God told us in Isaiah 62: “Because I love [you], I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for [you], I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for you until your righteousness shines like the dawn, and your salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth. The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see—a splendid crown in the hand of God. Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride.”
Will you accept the challenge?
Ali Russell Director
VNTB #13 “Captivated Freedom”
Romans 12:1-2, Isaiah 62:1-4