Maybe you are considering going through a personal Steps to Freedom appointment and you are unsure what to expect. This may help answer some of the questions you have...
A life time of experiences have helped to shape your patterns of thinking, your response to situations, and your habits. These things have become like 'ruts' in a road, much easier to stay in than get out of. Your life experiences will affect spiritual growth, distort your view of yourself as God's child, and cause you to question God's character.
When you became a Christian, no one pressed a delete button to remove those 'ruts' or the spiritual bondage that developed. Although you may have a desire to be strong and mature in Christ these hindrances will hold you back unless biblically dealt with and resolved once for all.
The Steps to Freedom is simply a ministry tool that is based on your responsibility as a believer to follow James 4:7 'Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. It is a gentle process where, with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you will deal with memories and life experiences where you may have been deceived by Satan and as a result developed areas of spiritual oppression and even bondage in your life.
Going through a Steps appointment is taking personal responsibility for your life and spiritual growth. It is a systematic approach to inquire of the Lord to reveal areas of your life that have issues needing to be resolved. You will then choose to confess, repent, and renounce whatever the Lord shows you that is standing between you and your spiritual freedom.
The Steps to Freedom Appointment
The Suggested Prayers & Renunciations
The purpose of the prayers and renunciations suggested in the Steps to Freedom is to help focus on the important areas of truth found in the Scriptures. They are not magic formulas with power that is released if they are properly spoken. These prayers are only effective to the extent that they are sincerely offered by you with a humble heart to a powerful and loving God.
James 4:8—Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
If people knew how to get out of bondage, most would have gotten out a long time ago. Nobody likes living in bondage. But people need a very clear road map out, and that is what the prayers in the Steps to Freedom attempt to provide. Of course, the prayers themselves don’t set you free. They are a guide for seeking the Lord, Who can and will set you free if you respond appropriately by faith and with repentance.
What is Your Responsibility
► You will need to participate in a brief introductory meeting to discuss some basic foundational requirements before scheduling the Step appointment.
► You may be asked to read some literature provided to you including the books: Victory Over the Darkness and the Bondage Breaker which are available locally or online for sale.
► Prior to your appointment, you need to fill out a Confidential Personal Inventory (CPI). The CPI is a basic life inventory which helps to bring to mind life events. It also helps the 'Encourager' to have a better understanding of areas of spiritual bondage and family history.
► Your biggest responsibility is to approach your appointment with an open heart, a willingness to be vulnerable, and desire to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal areas you may have locked away for many years. Some areas will require vulnerability for the Holy Spirit to bring healing to deep places in your life.
What a Steps Appointment Is and Is Not
• It is a confidential session where an Encourager will guide you through each of the Seven 'Steps' along with a Prayer Partner. Both the Encourager and Prayer Partner are trained, trusted, and non-judgmental mature Christians.
• It is a personal, spiritual encounter between you and your Heavenly Father, to deal honestly before God with every issue that the Holy Spirit brings up.
• It is the beginning of a life-long process of living according to repentance and truth.
• It is not a counseling session for the purpose of specific biblical instruction related to perceived needs. Although there may be useful suggestions or encouragement made during the appointment, that it not the main focus.
• It is not something you do unless you are willing to be honest and vulnerable before God and others.
Who sets us free is Christ.
What sets us free is our response to Him through repentance and faith….
What You Can Expect
► We do not charge for this appointment but if you choose to make a donation, the money will be used to offset the cost for ministry materials used to help you and others.
► You can be assured of confidentiality and compassion before, during, and after your 'Steps' appointment. There is an offsite team who will not know your name or situation but will be covering your appointment time with prayer as the Holy Spirit directs them.
► You will be asked to sign a simple disclaimer explaining that the 'Encourager' and Prayer Partner are not professional counselors. Anything you confide before and during your appointment will not be shared with anyone else except information where we are required by law to report, e.g. child abuse or any other serious crime.
► Processing through the Steps typically takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete but may be longer for people who have a lot to work through. Breaks are arranged to keep everyone fresh. You may want to bring a light lunch or snack with you.
► At the end of your appointment, all of your confidential paperwork is shredded unless you desire to take it with you.
What Happens Afterwards
Maintaining your new found spiritual freedom is your responsibility. It is done daily as you daily renew your mind with God’s truth, and continue to allow Him to transform you from the inside out. You will be given some daily follow-up assignments for 40 days to help you to grow and understand how to overcome the enemy and hold on to your freedom.
A Brief Description of the Steps
Step 1: Counterfeit vs. Real – Acknowledging past or present involvements in any counterfeit spiritual guidance or cult/occult activity or participation.
Step 2 Deception vs. Truth – Acknowledging areas where the heart has been deceived and recognizing any defense mechanisms or other hindrances to receiving truth.
Step 3 Bitterness vs. Forgiveness – Listing any and all persons with whom you have been offended or hurt in order to extend forgiveness and be free from bitterness.
Step 4 Rebellion vs. Submission – Recognizing any patterns of rebellion against spiritual authorities in your life and repenting of such words or actions.
Step 5 Pride vs. Humility – Addressing strongholds of pride or willfulness that have hindered your spiritual growth and maturity.
Step 6 Bondage vs. Freedom – Acknowledging areas where the flesh has ruled, specifically sexual sins and addictions.
Step 7 Curses vs. Blessings – Recognizing generational patterns/curses and declaring blessing over your household and family.
You must be willing to be open and honest before God and others present as you process these steps. The Holy Spirit may reveal memories that feel hurtful to you and deeply touch your emotional core. He brings these to mind for you to find healing. To get right you have to get real with God and others. James 5:16 - “Confess your trespasses to one another that you may be healed.” Confession brings healing to the soul and provides a breakthrough to community so that you can have fellowship with God and one another.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free
Unless we can get down to the emotional core of our unresolved hurt and pain we will not be able to truly receive the much needed healing of our damaged emotions.
Without genuine tears resulting from a deep heart felt godly sorrow for our sins and for believing lies we will not find the true and complete freedom we are seeking and which our Heavenly Father desires for us to have.
Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad, but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation [deliverance & healing], leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NET)
Read more in depth: Dare to Be Desperate