(Review) Truly Free: Breaking The Snares That So Easily Entangle by Robert Morris

Publication Date: May 12, 2015.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson.
Genre: Nonfiction, Strongholds.
Pages: 240.
Source: Free hardback copy from BookLook Bloggers, Thomas Nelson Publishing, in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

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Author:
Robert Morris is the founding senior pastor of Gateway Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Since it began in 2000, the church has grown to more than 36,000 active members. He is featured on the weekly television program, The Blessed Life, and serves as Chairman of the Board of The King’s University. He is the bestselling author of eleven books including The Blessed LifeFrom Dream to DestinyThe God I Never Knew and The Blessed Church. Robert and his wife, Debbie, have been married 35 years and are blessed with one married daughter, two married sons and six grandchildren. You can follow Robert @ 

Last year there were people who were turned off by remarks made by Robert Morris in response to the downfall of Mark Driscoll.
See the following links for information on this:
This post will reflect my review of Truly Free: Breaking The Snares That So Easily Entangle. This post will not be in response to Robert Morris's feelings on Mark Driscoll.

Summary:
In the Introduction, Morris explains:
The reality of being truly free is one you may not have explored fully before. A big problem for us is that evil still exists in the world today. Christ has conquered sin and death, yes, but in His infinite wisdom-for reasons that are often difficult for us to understand-the effects of evil are still permitted to exist. We can still be influenced by evil. We can still be oppressed by evil. We can even be controlled by evil. Even if we're saved.  
Robert Morris explains Satan's influence and temptations can "slither into our houses, particularly when doors and windows are left wide-open." In the book, he expounds on how Christians leave "doors and windows" open. The emphasis is on being aware of Satan's tactics, knowing Scripture, deliverance, and most importantly we have forgiveness and victory in Christ Jesus.

My Thoughts:
This book has ministered to me, touching on some areas in my life that needed to be prayed over. It has been eye-opening in regards to a genre in Christian books that is written infrequently. Recently I heard a pastor remark, "Christians either seem to talk about Satan, demons, and oppression too much, or they don't talk about the subject at all."
On page 14 Robert Morris explains what the "phrase 'demon possessed' is."
The original Greek word is daimonizomai-daimoni for "demon" and zomai, translated "possessed." In English, to possess something means to own it. But zomai, used very infrequently, doesn't really mean ownership. It means to have mastery over or to gain control over. For instance, in Luke 21:19, the root word for zomai is used in this verse: "By your patience possess your souls." Jesus wasn't saying that we need to own our souls because our souls belong to Him. Rather He was saying that we need to gain control over our souls. I realize that the phrase "demon possessed" is really loaded these days and that all sorts of red flags immediately come up when it's mentioned. So maybe it's more helpful to think of demon possession as demons "gaining power of influence over" people. Sometimes the influences come from the outside-tempting them to evil or badgering and shaming them about confessed sin. At other times, demonic influence can come from the inside, actually causing people to act or think in certain ways.
I wanted to post the above quote, because I'd read a review where the writer did not agree with Morris's view on a a Christian's ability to be demon possessed. Firstly, Morris uses the word oppression in the book, secondly, our minds are set on the Hollywood movie version of oppression and possession. It's difficult in our vision prominent culture to get those images from horror movies out of the definition. This too has been a conflict for me. While reading Morris's book, I had to reboot my brain in regards to what the Bible has to say about the subject.
I was pleased Morris did not describe gory sensationalist imagery on the subject matter.
Truly Free is one of the most applicable books I've read. Morris defines, explains, teaches, and gives applications for freedom from the bondage of fear and oppression (through Bible verses and prayers.)
At the end of each chapter, prayers are given in response to the chapters subject. For example: a prayer on releasing "bitterness" in "our hearts." The prayers all begin by addressing the "Holy Spirit of God," "The Lord God," or the "Lord Jesus, Son of God, Almighty God." The prayers end with in "Jesus" name. In the prayers, attention is made to Christ's work (His shed blood on the cross, His resurrection, and the truth of God's Word, ), being filled with God's Spirit, "dedicating" or rededicating "ourselves," Scripture is quoted in the prayers, there is an emphasis on forgiveness; and lastly, turn away from fear and oppression and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Morris pointed out anger and bitterness is an open door for a stronghold and oppression.
Another open door for oppression is allowing evil to come into your home, maybe a magazine, or book. Instead, fill the home with God's Word. Read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and memorize God's Word. 
Morris has a chapter on tithing. Do not steal from God. 
One of the final chapters in the book is on "Breaking The Snares of Past Wounds." Sometimes a Christian may have forgotten a past wound (pushed it to the back of the mind), maybe from childhood, which must be forgiven. 
I loved the point Morris made: 
Emotional healing can sometimes be a onetime process, and it can sometimes be a journey. Jesus walks with us on that journey, and He is our destination as well. I have found emotional healing to be extremely powerful in my own life. I pray that it will be in yours as well.
 At the end of the book is a resource section. 
  • "Making Sure You're Born Again.
  • "Frequently Asked Questions About Deliverance."
  • A Bible verse chart on specific bondage and Scripture reference.
  • Additional books on the subject.
In the "Frequently Asked Questions About Deliverance." A question is answered about the possibility of oppression in a building or geographical place. This is definitely not a topic talked about in Christian books. 
My question is: 
  • What if sins have been committed in a church building? For example adultery, sexual abuse of a child, theft, or hateful words and verbal abuse? And what if these sins were never exposed, they were ignored, and swept away into a "closet" so to speak? I believe this is a topic that should be written about in a book. I've known of several pastors who committed adultery and in the church building. I've known of children victimized and abused in a church building. The Holy Spirit is grieved over these sins. Doesn't the unconfessed sins, and the accompanying anger and bitterness open up a door to oppression? 

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