Cindy writes: "This study has been life-changing! I have learned to truly appreciate in concrete ways how deep the gospel river flows! I have always had a deep appreciation for what Jesus did on that cursed tree, but savoring it each morning is revealing His ever increasing presence in my life. The more I think of Him and the gospel, the nearer He draws to me. As I reach out to Him, He consumes me with His love. This is exactly what I needed. I thought I had a good relationship with Jesus before, but now I know an intimacy with Him that I had no idea was possible.
I always prayed for the Holy Spirit to change me so I could be pleasing to my precious savior, but down deep, I knew I could not possibly please Him because of my flaws. I am a perfectionist, therefore I know I am very critical of myself. I wish I was more humble, more caring, more giving, more loving, more disciplined, just more in general for Him. I have finally buried those critical thoughts at the foot of the cross. I will not dwell on what I am not anymore; I will dwell on WHO He is and WHAT He did for me. Now, I know that when I try so hard to please God, I do. I am greatly loved and cherished in Him. And now.... I really truly believe it!
For years, I have been obsessed with food and my weight. I have wasted so much time checking out the latest diet hoping it would help me lose or at least not gain any more. There was always a plan for what I would or would not eat. Even when I did lose the extra weight, it was a struggle to keep it off. This is the first time in years I have been able to just stop thinking about food for extended periods of time. I am seeing a gradual breaking of the unhealthy role food has played in my life. I have lost six to seven pounds, and I can see a big difference in how my clothes fit. I am confident the weight will gradually come off as I continue to focus on spiritual food to sooth my soul instead of my giving in to my fleshy gratification.
By savoring and feasting on Christ and the gospel and by making a decision to suffer with him in little steps each day, I can exercise my authority over sin and use that power from the Lord Jesus to transform my life free from the guilt of my obsessive eating. My new life is one of strength and power and freedom over the flesh that use to control me. I now live with strength, power, and freedom to live in a way that is respectful and obedient to my Father.
Finally, I love my new deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit. I feel Him coaxing me to leave my worldly comforts, my old life, my food addictions, my obsessions, and walk by faith with the Spirit. He is transforming me so I am ready for eternity. He fills my heart with everything good and true and teaches me to love Jesus. I anxiously anticipate Jesus' soon coming in the clouds to take me home.
…Oh my, I have recommended Setting Captives Free to no less than a dozen people already. Just today, I told a friend of mine who is a worship leader at her church about this Bible study. She is part of a team leading a women's conference next weekend. She is going to mention this course to some of the ladies who are struggling with various issues who will be attending.
I know so many people who have been in counselling for years to try to work out problems with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, food issues, and they are still stuck in the muck! They are turning to the wrong authority! It is so obvious now, that I too have been counting on diets, programs, exercise, magic pills, smoothies, etc. instead of looking to the one who created me."