Study Guide: Custom Made Cages

Sunday January 31, 2016 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

This week we heard from Greg Boyd during our fourth installment from the Cage Free series. Greg explored the custom made cages that can be built overtime in our soul and the need to perform consistent soul audits. The enemy will take advantage of any area of wounding to lie to us about our real worth. We need to sit with God to become aware of these wounds, allow God to remind us of how much we are loved, and come up with a plan with God and others for how to move beyond this place of woundedness.   We also sat down with Laure to hear some of her story. Click here to watch that interview.

Extended Summary:

Greg Boyd begins our fourth installment in the Cage Free series by sharing his story of wiping out while speed walking and the ensuing infection. He emphasized the way germs work and how this relates to the work of evil spiritual forces. Those forces are always looking for a point of vulnerability to come in and infect the way we see ourselves and others. This is particularly true in those experiences in life where there is a significant gulf between what we needed and what we actually received. Even the smallest wound in our spirit can create an opening for the enemy to invade and infect which will often result in harmful attempts (i.e. addiction, anger, depression, etc.) to avoid feeling the real result of that wound.

These custom designed cages by the enemy that revolve around our source of woundedness do not have to be our story forever. Greg goes on to share three practical steps he uses to become more aware of these cages and to intentionally get free. First, you need to get aware of cages you are in and acknowledge before God what is really going on in your soul. For some people these cages are obvious because the evidence is outward (i.e. drinking, anger, sexual addiction, etc.), but for most of us they are much more subtle and often only visible internally. As a result of this we often don’t realize the affect of these wounds. The way to gain an awareness of these wounds is to do a regular soul audit. This practice is modeled in Psalm 4:4 and Psalm 139:23 as an intentional way to allow God to scan your soul with ruthless honesty. Second, before you make plans on how to deal with these hurts and cages you need to STOP and just be loved. In the midst of all of this woundedness and sin you are loved with an everlasting unwavering love. The source of all our freedom is found in the love of God and you are confronting the lie of the enemy when you sit in that love and are reminded that you don’t have to get more put together to be loved by God. Third, ask God and others for wisdom on what steps you can take to get free from that cage. Invite Jesus and others into the truth behind this wound or this sin. We all need someone who knows us inside and out. The enemy is the prince of darkness and he needs darkness to work. When we shine the light on our wounds in the presence of someone else we are fighting the spiritual battle and uncovering the truth. Finally, forgiveness is always an essential part of getting free from the cages that have been custom made for us. To the degree that you remain in the state of woundedness you continue to empower the wound or the one who did the wounding. Forgiveness is the intentional action to release the debt as we receive all our life from Jesus.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are your own custom-made cages that the enemy has designed for you? What are of your life is infected and needing healing from God?
  2. Do you have a regular practice of a soul audit? What are the obvious cages and wounds you live with every day? Ask God to help you see the less obvious ones and confront them with God with ruthless honesty.
  3. Who do you need to forgive that it is most difficult to imagine forgiving? Ask God to help you find the strength to forgive as you receive all your worth from God.
  4. Where are your places of most evident weakness where you need to get accountability? Who are you honest with about these places of vulnerability? What practical tools and plans could you put in place to walk in freedom?