A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Freedom In Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freedom In Christ. Show all posts

December 18, 2021

How To Receive Your Power In Prayer -- It's All About Relationship!

I've got a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head and they're coming fast and strong, so I hope I'm able to adequately share what Holy Spirit is counseling me. The Bible tells us to "Pray without ceasing", and "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working". And Jesus gave us a very specific prayer to pray ... "Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil". Obviously, prayer is something that is valuable [and consequential] in the life of a Christian.

But there is an aspect to the practice of Prayer that I want to address today. Actually, it has become more evident to me since the Lord brought the ministry of Inner Healing to my husband and me. Let me begin by saying that it is always such a blessing to partner with Jesus and Holy Spirit to assist someone to receive Freedom from the bondage of sin in their lives -- whether the bondage originated from their sin, or the sins of others against them. It is more than I could ever express to witness the moment of realization when a Beloved understands [and sometimes for the very first time] just how much Jesus loves them; enough that He suffered the most brutal of deaths to free them from their wounds so that they could fulfill the purpose for which He sent their spirit to earth. When they are able to hear Him speak in the spirit [to their spirit] and know that they can have a real relationship with Him -- one greater than any they've ever experienced -- it's like watching the wonder that a newborn baby experiences when he or she recognizes the voice of their father for the first time! It's an emotional and spiritual connection and association that is unmatched by any other.

That relationship is at the core of our Father in Heaven's desire for us. Through a healthy and intimate relationship with Jesus, we can know the Father, and also build a relationship with the Holy Spirit who teaches us and guides us in all Their ways. And when we finish an Inner Healing Session, we always tell the Beloved that the freedom they have received has become their responsibility to maintain and continue. In other words, Jesus has shown them the truth of why they were in bondage and led them through the ways He wanted to set them free [such as forgiveness, healing in the memories, battling in the spirit, and many other spiritual tools He has shown us]. We encourage them to become proficient in those ways because they will most likely encounter the snares and traps of the Enemy again; the methods of bondage that brought them to our ministry in the first place. But they must now recognize those fiery darts and learn to not only break the habits that ensnared them, but how to bind, rebuke and renounce the lies that Jesus has revealed so that those doors are never opened again. Their freedom must not be taken for granted -- as if they can now live the rest of their lives in a magic bubble, impervious and unaffected by Satan, whom Jesus calls "the dark ruler of this world". 

In fact, we encourage each and every person who comes for Freedom to take the opportunity to expand that experience of hearing and seeing Jesus in the spirit to grow their relationship with Him. The event of their session is not meant to be a one-time, get-out-of-jail-free card. We invited Jesus and Holy Spirit to be present, not only to break the bonds of sin in their life, but for the purpose of beginning to build a powerful relationship that will bless their earthly lives on into their eternal life. That involves what I call "intentional participation" on the part of the Beloved. And the building process must include maintaining the divine connection initiated in the session; continuous interaction with Jesus to discover their purpose on earth and to hear [and see] how to overcome any obstacles; absolute trust in Jesus for all things in their journey; and finally, collaboration with Jesus, which is when the relationship is so strong that they can act without fear as they hear His voice and carry out their assignment for His Kingdom. It is at that point that the Beloved truly understands the Grace of Christ as being more than unmerited favor; it is the power of Jesus in them to do what they cannot do on their own -- which is a collaboration that can defeat any strategy of the Enemy!

And prayer is a very important part of that process. Prayer, in its simplest and most genuine form, is simply having a conversation with Jesus and our Father. And good communication is the best way to develop a healthy and productive relationship. So prayer is always encouraged as a method to continue the freedom that is received. That is the instruction that we leave with the newly freed disciple of Jesus, along with written tools they can rely on as they begin their journey to wholeness and maturity in Christ. But here is where I want to give a word of caution. The journey really is all about consistency and intentionality. We always make ourselves available whenever anyone has a question or needs further guidance or assistance. But, too often, when I receive a phone call that someone feels like the attacks are returning, they usually express something along the lines of, "I feel like I'm losing my freedom". With just a little bit of investigation, invariably they have not made a consistent effort to maintain their relationship with Jesus. It's easy to get caught up in the world again, as one is released from the chains of bondage to past sin. But that is on them! Jesus did the work on the Cross to set them free and then brought His presence into an Inner Healing Session to show them the ways the Enemy tried to block their purpose, and then gives them words of affirmation for how He sees them and resets the clock, so to speak, so they can move forward in a new identity.

Further investigation into the loss of freedom very often reveals what I believe is at the heart of many Christians becoming stalled in their journey. When I ask, "What have you done about it? Have you incorporated [and been consistent] in using the spiritual tools Jesus gave you"?, the answer I often get is, "Well, I have prayed and asked Jesus to a) help me, b) take it away, or c) show me what I'm supposed to do". Or I will get an email or text asking me to pray for deliverance from a specific attack. Once again, I want to stress that prayer is necessary and an effective tool. BUT when prayer becomes the convenient fallback plan, rather than consistent and intentional collaboration with Jesus to become an overcomer, then prayer has become a substitution for stepping into the power of a relationship with Jesus. It is not stepping into that new identity of our freedom in Christ and declaring the power of the Throne of God in our lives! 

Too often we ask others to intercede for us, when Jesus might want to see us use the power and authority He gave us to establish His Kingdom here on earth. There is nothing wrong with joining together in powerful prayer with an intercessor to see the Enemy defeated, but if we do it because we doubt Jesus will answer us, or we think we don't have the right level of faith, then there is something lacking in our relationship with Him. Prayer is not something that is to be done separate from our relationship with Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. It is the intimate communication IN those relationships, and carries the power that comes with that intimacy. We must be careful -- and intentional -- to not let Prayer become a diversion to doing the work of seeking real relationship with the One who set us free. We have been taught since children to pray to God for help in our time of need, but what would it look like if we understood that our prayers are actually extensions of the power we have been given to collaborate with Heaven to bring God's government to our lives and to the earth? That can only happen when there is a heart connection, continuity in purpose, trust, and cooperative efforts between us and our Rock, our Savior, our Deliverer. Prayer is a vital element in our relationship with Jesus. It needs to be more than methodical, routine, and lacking in the power of real communication. Prayer is all about the relationship of your heart with Jesus. It should exemplify your spiritual union with Him, and be evidence of the spiritual relationship you share. So continue to pray without ceasing, building on the continued communication between your hearts, and reaping all the benefits of that divine and powerful connection. You will not only maintain your freedom, but walk in spiritual power to overcome the world!

I Chronicles 16:11    Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!

January 6, 2021

Kingdoms In Collision: Putting Our National Crisis In Perspective


I would hope that all Americans understand the gravity of our national state of affairs. And I'm not strictly talking from a political or social position. Yes, the values of America seem to be separating along opposing philosophies and tenets, and are in stark contrast with each other. But we must look beyond political ideology, race and social issues, and even our disputes over different economic systems. 

The tearing apart of our country is a pre-planned, well-designed plot that is several millenia old. We are focused on today, January 6th, 2021 and also January 20th, to define the future of the United States of America. And most certainly, as far as it pertains to our individual lives, and our chances of retaining the original blueprint of the thirteen colonies and the republic, these dates are crucial. 

But Americans of faith must recognize that this is a clash of kingdoms... the kingdom of God on earth versus the kingdom of Satan. Please understand that the Kingdom of God in Heaven is everlasting! There is nothing that God's enemy, Lucifer, can do to overthrow the eternal dominion of God, the Creator of the Universe. But ever since man began establishing human kingdoms in the world, there have been battles for world dominion, and kingdoms have risen and fallen. Earthly kings and emperors vie for world control and are only too willing to partner with earth's god of darkness/evil to receive his power. 

Lucifer, whose arrogance cost him his place in Heaven, now operates as Satan in the earth, and promises world power to those who will vow their allegiance to him in exchange for their own portion of wealth and domination. Throughout history, those kingdoms and kings have traded their souls to get a piece of this promised power. Those kingdoms and kings have come and gone... the Pharaohs of Egypt, Kings Shalmaneser V and Sargon II of Assyria; King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon; King Cyrus of Persia; Alexander the Great of Greece; Julius Caesar of Rome; Genghis Khan of Mongolia; Josef Stalin of Russia; Adolph Hitler of Germany; Mao Zedeng and Deng Xiaoping of China; and many more in between. Satan has been building a willing coalition throughout history to help him wrest final control over the earth. And the Bible tells us that one day soon he will unleash a religious-political dictator upon the earth in opposition to all that God has planned for the return of His Son, Jesus Christ.

This leader will become the earth's superpower and will demand allegiance from the earth's peoples and nations. This superpower will seek to change God's moral and sovereign laws and set up his own counterfeit system of commandments and statutes. But it is God's faithful people who refuse to give him allegiance and are willing to suffer persecution unto death rather than submit or surrender to Evil. They will not abandon God's Truth for human traditions and values. They will not abandon the authority of God's Word for the idea that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of knowledge and a moral code to live by. They will not abandon the freedom that God offers for the bondage that Satan demands. They fundamentally know in their soul and spirit that all power on earth and in Heaven belongs to God, the Creator.

So, as in many other times throughout history, we find ourselves on a collision course between God's kingdom and the kingdoms of the earth, controlled by Satan. But this time there is a difference. As citizens of both the Kingdom of God on earth and the United States of America, we have the unique experience of living in true freedom .... our nation is historically exceptional in having secured the rights of individuals as primary over the collective rights of its citizens; and our freedom in Christ has freed us from the bondage and penalty of sin, as well as the freedom to become all we've been created to be and do for our Savior and His Kingdom.

And now we find ourselves at a crucial crossroads. Do we have the faith and the fortitude to serve our God, the rightful ruler of all the earth's kingdoms? Is there strength and power in our prayers to stand with Him against those who would seek to place an illegal counterfeit in the seat of power in our nation? Are we willing to approach God in His Divine Sanctuary and surrender everything to Him to see His purpose for this nation survive? 

There is a drumbeat that every American of faith answers to. It is the drumbeat of freedom that echoes the heartbeat of God and inspires us to reach for our calling and destiny. We freely repent of the grievous and rebellious sins of this nation, believing in the grace of our God to redeem us and transform us once again into a nation that reflects Him and His original concept of man partnering with God to reflect His dominion over the earth. These next days and weeks will reveal if we are to receive His mercy or His final judgment upon our beloved country. 

Please join me in praying, Father, we give thanks to You for allowing us to live in this great land! We praise You for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that the rest of the world longs for. And, Father, we ask Your forgiveness for squandering those freedoms and for not protecting Your ways and Your commandments. And now, in our day of trouble, we seek you, Lord! The pillars You established in our land are cracking and our nation totters. We pray, O Lord, keep our pillars steady and secure!

We declare Your Greatness and Your Sovereignty in the matters of our nation! Your ways are holy, O God! Forget not, Your remnant, who cry out for Your Might and Your Compassion to be stirred up for us. Break down the walls of our enemies and restore us to be "one nation under God" once again! Look down from Heaven and see the millions who call upon Your Name in repentance and in hope. Let the nations exclaim, "America is their God and look how He avenges the faithful!"

Revive us and show us Your favor; withdraw Your righteous wrath which we deserve. Speak peace and Your steadfast love into our land. Watch us glorify Your Name in the midst of our struggles. Turn back to us, Father, and give us Your strength to stand for the covenant established with You long ago. We are called by Your Name, and we commit our lives, our faith, and our future to You. Search our hearts and see our dedication to You and Your kingdom. See that we hold fast to You and know Your Name -- answer us, Lord; be with us; rescue and save us. We ask all this in the Mighty and Precious Name of our Deliverer, Yeshua ha Mashiach! AMEN!

Psalm 97:10    O you who love the LORD; hate evil! He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 

December 20, 2020

We Will Need The Faith That Moves Mountains

I discern the Holy Spirit telling me it is time for me to be honest. I don't know how anyone, Christian or not, can see and hear what the Enemy is heaping upon our country and not be aware that we are in the fight of our lives; a spiritual war for our way of life, our freedoms, and quite possibly our very survival. I know this might seem dramatic, but if you've been able to let go of your normalcy bias and pay attention to the massive corruption going on at the highest levels of our government; the revelations of foreign spy networks in our country, and the recent cyber warfare against our national defense systems, then you must be aware that we are under demonic attack. 

This blog post is not written to send you diving under the covers or to cause you to tremble in fear. Rather it is to awaken your spirit to the power of your faith. Remember [in the previous post] what Jesus reveals after He curses the fig tree and it dies ... if we have faith, and do not doubt, we will not only be able to do what He did to the fig tree, but we could tell a mountain to be moved and thrown into the sea, and it would happen. I would say that the battles before us form a whole mountain range that we need to move with our faith!

For those of you who have found your security in your job, or your bank account, or even your family, let me suggest that those foundations could easily crumble and fall in the face of what the Enemy has planned for us. But the foundation of faith in Jesus will withstand any storm or onslaught coming from the devil and his evil forces. Sadly, I am concerned that far too many people have built their faith on a foundation of shifting sand. It is important that we remember what Jesus taught in His parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders ... Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Our "house" could be compared to the life we've built; our physical and spiritual existence. If we hear what Jesus reveals about Himself and actually believe it and apply it [without doubting], then we have a solid foundation from which to withstand anything the Enemy uses to come against us. As the Bible says, it's because we built it on "the rock". And Who is the Rock? It is Jesus! 

One of my "go to" Bible passages is Psalm 18:1-3, and this is what it says: I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. This passage has calmed my fears in times of doubt and confusion; strengthened my faith when I felt weak; and emboldened me when I needed to take a stand against the forces bombarding me. The Lord strengthens me through His power that is in me. I am bonded to Him in love and all that He is becomes mine! As the Passion Translation renders this passage, Jesus becomes as real to me "as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, and my tower of rescue where none can reach me." My spirit is freed from the deception that the Enemy whispers as he tries to drag me into bondage. No longer do I receive his lies that "the great empire of the United States is doomed to expire, as all the great empires have done when I overcame them". 

My spirit knows the truth that "the Name of the Lord is a strong tower, and the righteous runs into it and is safe".  And we must believe to the depths of our souls that this tower is one of rescue "where none can reach me". My spirit has found refuge in Him as I enter a strong tower with 6 foot thick walls of stone, where He awaits me next to a warm, blazing fire and I sit at His feet, receiving comfort and strength for the battles I will face. Outside, the forces of the Enemy storm as they rage in violent, uncontrollable anger that I am protected and safe. In those times, Jesus is my mountain that rises far above the forces of evil, and where I am able to escape and hear His strategies for victory in my life.

I write this post today because I discern that we are facing battles that we've never encountered in our lifetimes. Whether God has determined to deliver this nation or to discipline it, each one of us is still precious to Him and we have been given our free will to seek a personal relationship with Him that is separate and autonomous from the fate of the United States. That word autonomous means self-governing, self-determining, independent, and free. Now is the time to embrace the Scripture that says even though we may be walking in the valley of the shadow of death of our nation, we do not have to fear Evil. The rod and the staff that the Father has given Jesus can comfort us. We can know that the rod is His power and authority; it not only produced water from a rock, and caused the Red Sea to part, but it can become an iron rod that breaks the power of the Enemy from before us.  His staff guides us, corrects us to stay on the path, aids in defending us against predators, and helps us to stay balanced in Him.  

I also write this post because it is time that we face our reality. We are about to enter a new year, and we may not return to what "normal" used to look like. As this fact begins to dawn on people, I am seeing fear and panic rising up in my Christian community. I see them becoming paralyzed and incapable of movement. But that is the exact strategy of the Enemy: to bring not only our nation, but our very lives to a standstill by causing disruption and chaos and fear. We must stand up in our true identities! At our core, we are spirit beings, made in the image of our Creator! If we say we have faith, then we must believe that we have His power and His authority embedded in us! We must believe, without a doubt, that we can move those mountains of fear and panic, and they will be thrown into the sea. Then we can join the Heavenly Host in fighting in the spiritual realms for our nation and for our families -- for our very lives.

Do we, as a nation, and as individuals, deserve God's rod of discipline? Who can deny that? But His rod gives us wisdom (Psalm 29:15), and we need it to lift ourselves and others up out of this quagmire we find ourselves in; to be the beacon of hope and courage and strength that we find in Jesus Christ to overcome our Enemy. Although it may appear that we are facing inevitable chaos, this is a glorious opportunity to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom of God -- to share the Good News that Jesus is mankind's Savior and Deliverer, and to invite people to enter His Kingdom's government on earth and help Him rule the nations. We can demonstrate His power and authority in us to move mountains and show them what it is like to sit down to a meal where we dine on His peace and joy and comfort, even as we are sit in the midst of our enemies. We all need to have the faith to believe that those words He spoke were real and true. Our families and our communities are going to need to see our faith on display. And even if that faith is as small as a mustard seed, I believe Jesus will sustain it and grow it and strengthen it to become a resilient tree; a place of refuge for those seeking shelter.  

So, I am writing this post today to encourage you ... ask the Lord to help you face whatever may come, and you will find that He has been waiting to share His power and authority with you. He wants to equip you with the strength to endure; the wisdom to guide others; the knowledge of His winning strategies; the power to defeat the Enemy at every turn; and the ability to love others into their own glorious relationship with Him. He has known you as His created spirit being since He formed the foundations of the world, and He chose to send you to the earth for this time and in this place. We all have an assignment to complete. Will you represent Him well? Will you show the evil forces in this present darkness that our true freedom lies in who we are in Christ? Yes, in the coming days [and years] we will need the faith that moves mountains. But if we abide in the One who created the mountains, we have access to everything we need to tell those mountains to move, and they will tremble at our voices! Praise Him for He is worthy to be praised, and we will be saved from our enemies!

Revelation 2:26-27   The one who conquers and who keeps My works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from My Father.


May 24, 2020

Now Is The Time For "Abiding"!

     You can feel the tension among some in the Christian community ... these are times of wariness and fear, filled with apprehension and even despair. We, in 2020 America, and the Western world, for the most part, have never experienced such upheaval in our daily lives as this Corona pandemic has brought. We have lived our lives in consistent uniformity and stability. But now the very foundation of our way of life is being shaken. Our freedoms have been curtailed, and we are hearing government leaders, as in the state of Illinois, voicing the possibilities of confiscating personal property during a "state emergency" such as Covid-19.
     People are out of work, unable to worship in Church together, and I have no doubt that faith is being tested. But now, more than ever, we need to come to terms with our relationship with Christ. We are by no means the first Believers to have their world shaken, or their expectations to be challenged. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Jesus's disciples in those days leading up to His trial and crucifixion, and then the discouragement that must have descended upon them after His burial. All their hopes in Him must have been seriously in question! After all, Peter had been told by Jesus, Himself, that he had correctly identified Him as the Son of the Living God. Yet they knew He had been buried in a tomb like an ordinary man!
     I would venture that many Believers are like the disciples, Cleopas and his companion, whom the risen Christ encountered as they traveled to Emmaus. They did not recognize Him and commiserated about their feelings of defeat and the questions they had about all that had transpired in the preceding days. They were so overcome by dashed hopes that they were unable to perceive His presence in their midst. They had not clearly received the revelation Jesus shared with them at their Last Supper together -- that He would sacrifice His body and shed His blood for the remission of their sins. They were blinded by their disappointment in dashed dreams and had returned to their old ways of thinking.
     But as Jesus began to reveal all that the Scriptures had spoken and prophesied about Him, they were overtaken by a burning hunger within themselves, and begged this stranger to stay and abide with them. Jesus obliges them, and stays to share a meal with them. As He breaks bread with them, reminiscent of what He did at the Last Supper, their eyes are opened and they knew Him!
     I believe that many of us can identify with Cleopas and the other disciples who had followed Jesus. Remember, there were more than just the Twelve who were closest to Him. He had touched the lives of many people who chose to follow Him and be known as disciples of Jesus, of Nazareth. But like them, as we are faced with these confusing times, we are distracted by what we see in the flesh and how we discern world events affecting our personal lives. We have taken our eyes off the promises of our Lord Jesus.
     We long for a return to those comfortable feelings of stability in Him; and the exhilaration of seeing His undeniable and obvious blessings. And in looking back, we are unable to see His continued presence in our immediate circumstances. But if we seek Him, we can still experience that burning hunger for Him, just like Cleopas, and invite Him to "abide". And it's important that we understand the fullness of that word ... to abide is to stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy -- no matter what turn of events might cloud our vision.
     It is easy to look at the realms of politics, global transformation, and the growing limitations of our personal freedoms and begin thinking that everything is out of order according to God's plan. And you can imagine how the Enemy can use these states of affairs to whisper seeds of doubt and unbelief into our hearts. But if we truly belong to Him in spirit, then we will remain abiding in Him. We will know in the depths of our soul and spirit that God orders everything in the earth and the universe -- everything has an appointed time and purpose. God thinks in terms of Eternity. Man views circumstances in short periods of time.
     Have you considered that your success in persevering through these trying times relies much more on what you believe than what you do? It's what you believe about who you are, and what you think God will do for you, and how you call that into existence that will ensure your survivability.  As I said, everything in the universe is ordered by God, and you have been appointed for this time. Your life has a purpose now! And it's more than your job or your physical comforts. God wants to talk to you personally, face-to-face, about what's in your heart [and that He wants you] to accomplish. Just as Jesus did with Cleopas, He wants to reveal to you all that God has ordered through the Scriptures up to this very day -- so that you clearly see and know that everything He did was the Father's will for your happiness and blessing.
     So, even though the world might look bleak now, we need to abide in Christ -- to stay in that state of expectancy that His timing is perfect for our lives; that ALL of His promises for our life are "Yes" and "Amen"! We must not abide in the limits the world is trying to place on us! We have been given the ministry of Jesus in trying times, and they are no less trying than those disciples experienced in the first century under Roman occupation, fearing for their lives as followers of Jesus Christ. No matter what the world throws at us, it is essential that we stay rooted in the True Vine and the knowledge that the Vinedresser has destined us to bear fruit for His Kingdom. And if He is pruning you, then know that it is so you will bear more fruit. It is the season for "abiding"; and it is our time to renew our strength in Christ, not growing weary, nor fading in our purpose!

1 John 2:6    Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.

April 7, 2020

Opposing Forces

     We are now heading into our third month of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, with a recorded number of 10,000 deaths as of yesterday. This national health emergency has changed our lives in ways that have effected us emotionally, financially, and spiritually. We find ourselves isolated from our families, our work, and our churches. And the Enemy is only too willing to take advantage of this crisis to separate us even more from our faith. And I've noticed that his two favorite tactics are Fear and Intimidation.
     He sends the spirit of fear to cause us to worry about whether we will be able to hang on to our job and pay the bills; whether we have accidentally come in contact with someone who will give us the virus; or whether we have entered into his Beast System and the Tribulation is not far behind. And if that's not enough, the devil is using this pandemic to intimidate the elderly with loneliness; the youth with hopelessness; and those in the prime of their lives with governmental tyranny. It's all part of his game plan.
     But we don't have to play by his rules! We are children of God and citizens of His Kingdom. Our Father rules with Love and Righteous Power, not fear and intimidation! It's who He is and who He's always been! I am reminded of that as I consider the history of Passover, which begins tomorrow night at sundown. If you will recall, God sent plagues against Egypt in attempts to pressure Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their captivity and bondage. All of Egypt suffered through ten plagues: water turning into blood; frogs; gnats; flies; pestilence among the livestock; painful boils; hail; locusts that covered the land; pitch black darkness for three days; and the final plague, the death of all the firstborn of Egypt. The difference is those plagues were miraculous and authorized by God. This Covid-19 plague was manufactured by man.
     There are other differences, too. We can actually compare that ancient plague [which instituted the celebration of Passover] with this modern plague. Although not welcomed by the Israelites, those miraculous plagues actually worked to free them from slavery. This plague feels like we're losing our freedoms and entering into bondage. God commanded the Israelites to remove all the leaven and non-holy food from their homes, and today we are hoarding food out of fear. The night of the first Passover, families huddled together in their homes, waiting for the Angel of Death to pass over their blood-stained doors. During this plague, we aren't allowed within six feet of each other, and are often separated from parents and children.
     Yet the Love of God and His Righteous Power can still be memorialized and glorified as we watch our lives change before us. Both the sacrifice of the Passover lamb and the joy of being set free from slavery were part of that first Passover. And we are certainly going to experience the sacrifice of the Lamb of God tomorrow evening, and there will be more sacrifice in the coming weeks and months -- the sacrifice of our pre-Covid freedoms, as we surrender to a "new normal". But I believe we can also experience the joy of the Passover celebration as we enter into a cleansing and renewal of our faith life and relationship with the Lord.
     We can write our own Liberation story -- liberation from the secular culture that divorced itself from God; liberation from the "busyness" of our lives that drowned out the Lord's voice; and liberation from all the worldly goods and comforts that drew our attention away from seeking God's will and purpose for our lives. What man created, through his evil partnership with the devil, God can use for His good. And this Passover season, we don't need to prepare in haste to leave our homes, because none of us will be going anywhere soon. As we consider Exodus 12:11 we can recognize that here, in the 21st Century, we have been blessed with time to fasten our belts [with God's truth], make sure we have our sandals [of peace] on, and have our staff [or shield] of faith firmly in hand.
     But because we have been transferred into the Kingdom of God, we also have the rest of the spiritual armor of God that those Israelites fleeing Egypt did not have: We have our helmets of salvation, our breastplates of righteousness, and our swords of the Spirit [which is the Word of God, Jesus]. So, we can bemoan our situation, and live in the fear and intimidation brought on by the Enemy -- or, we can dedicate each new day to what the Lord would have us accomplish for His Kingdom. Our commission has not changed. The Kingdom of God is still being advanced towards that glorious day when all the nations will have received the Good News that the Kingdom of God has come to the earth. Believe that God is at work during these changing times. His Love and His Righteous Power will reign!
     In the coming days we will celebrate Jesus's sacrifice and His resurrection. Let us proclaim that He sits on the throne of Heaven and He will overcome the evil of this World. Blessed be the Lord, our God, King of the Universe!

Romans 8:21    That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

November 3, 2019

It Never Gets Old!

     There are days that I am overcome with the blessings that Mark and I receive as we participate with Jesus to see those held in bondage to Satan's kingdom of darkness set free. Today is one of those days.
     The last week has been an emotional roller coaster for us, and to be honest we are tired. We have spent four days working with devoted followers of Christ to help female veterans walk in true freedom, and then another two days with a woman who overcame a lifetime of bondage and is literally a new creation in Jesus.  I will tell you, it is hard to bear witness to the pain that the devil brings into innocent lives, but the joy of watching Jesus wash away the false identities and restoring wounded souls and spirits is indescribable! We wouldn't change a minute of it, and we will never weary of our Kingdom assignment.
     And this post is not about revealing the details or information about the newly liberated, because while each story is unique and each person is deserving of mention for how Jesus healed their broken hearts, the themes of the Enemy's attacks on these precious lives runs along similar lines. It may sound trite, but when Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "There is nothing new under the sun", it is actually true when it comes to Satan's attacks on individuals. We see the devil using the same familiar pattern to entrap and enslave both Believers and non-Believers. He certainly does not have the creative mind of Christ!
     In fact, I think we sometimes have become desensitized to the truth of familiar Bible verses, and just take them for granted, which permits these recurring attacks to be so successful. We must realize that John 10:10, 1 Peter 5:8, and John 8:44 reveal the modus operandi of our Enemy on this earth. I want you to really meditate on the following Scriptures ... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ... Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour ... [the devil] is a liar and the father of lies. 
     Each of these verses reveals the methodology and the spiritual blueprint of how the devil is able to impact so many lives. Yet we read them and it is as if we don't take them seriously. Quite often the wounded [and even uninformed Christians] will ask, "Why did God allow this to happen?" First of all, we simply cannot dismiss God's spiritual law, if you will, of Free Will. He established it so that our choice to become a child of God actually glorifies Him; and that is the reality of why He created us ... Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory (Isaiah 43:7).  And once Free Will is established, it cannot be changed; our God's character and principles never change. And that is how the devil is able to be so effective in carrying out his attacks. Someone decides to use their free will in an ungodlike manner. And that gives Satan the legal right to open up a spiritual door and begin the attacks.  Other times, the devil is simply looking for vulnerable people to devour, and then tries to convince us that God could have stepped in and stopped it. But He didn't even stop His own Son's death on the cross, so He is uniquely familiar with the pain of unexplained and unexpected circumstances. Jesus willingly went to the Cross and suffered all the pain we might ever encounter so that He could identify with us when those unforeseen attacks of the Enemy come into our lives.
     As hard as it is to comprehend, no matter whether we meet with a Beloved who has been beaten, raped, molested, bullied, verbally and emotionally abused, abandoned, cheated on, rejected, or been subjected to some other kind of pain, the methodology of the devil is always the same. He is trying to steal their joy and peace and relationship with the Father as a child of God; destroy their self-image; or ultimately to kill their body. And he is always on the prowl, looking for someone who will assist him in his goals. And it might be our own selves, or someone else who is only too willing to use their free will to listen to his tempting voice. And that voice only speaks lies. He lies that we aren't good enough; that someone else is responsible for our unhappiness; that we are unforgiveable, unloveable, and unworthy of the love of others, especially Jesus. And then he whispers that we will never be free, and that is the most deplorable lie of all.
     Because the truth is, Mark and I have been witness to countless freedom celebrations in the spirit, as Jesus shows up to counter the lies and expose the truth of who we really are. He not only reveals that He was there through the pain, but then rewrites the story of the person's life and destroys the place, the cause, and the time that the devil orchestrated, even giving new names to the once-wounded spirit of a person .... names like capable, restored, pure, beautiful, loved, Mine. When the God of the Universe shows up, it is indescribable and life-changing!
     I just want us all to realize that no one has to live in the pain of this life or this world. But it takes a willingness to take a chance on Jesus. The devil will try to lie to you and tell you there is nothing that can take away the pain; that you deserve it. But I have many, many witnesses that nothing is further from the truth. Jesus stands at the door and knocks, and He is waiting to be invited in. When you let Him in, you can count on Him to lead you to victory in your life. Just listen to the testimony of Paige, who found her freedom just a day or two ago. She has kindly given me permission to share anything of her story, but I think this one line sums it up best ... "I have no shame weighing me down. I have no more fears. I have nothing but this light, sweet, loving feeling!" Amen! And I'll say it again ... It never gets old!

John 8:36    "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

October 14, 2019

The Gift Of Freedom Revisited

I recently stumbled across this post I wrote nearly five years ago and was astounded to discern that the truth of it is still as relevant today. I am still just as inspired as I was then, and I am still as committed to shouting this news from the rooftops! So, whether this is the first time you have read this, or like me, you are revisiting it, I hope it speaks loud and clear to your spirit. Enjoy and then join me!

     How do I write about what I experienced over the weekend?  How do I impart the words of knowledge and freedom that I received, with both gratification and glory to God for His revelation, and without offending His Church and the Body of Christ?  That's a very difficult tightrope to walk.
     But, I guess the message I am getting from the Holy Spirit is this:  "Just tell the truth."  So here goes... You know that God seems to be leading me and my husband on a path towards accepting our position on the battlefield of Spiritual Warfare.  So, this past weekend, we had the privilege to attend a 2-day conference taught by Dr. Charles Kraft, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary for 40 years.  The title of the conference was "Defeating Dark Angels", but the central topic of the meeting was based less on the sensational-sounding aspects of that title, and more on the Scripture-affirming concept of inner healing to help deliver defeated Christians as they battle their demons.
     There is no way in a single post that I can elucidate all the insight and understanding that my spirit was given during the intense instruction.  So I will try to give you the points that opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to the truth of who I am meant to be as a follower of Jesus.
     Let me start by saying that Dr. Kraft is unlike what the secular world -- and for the most part, the Church -- views as a "Deliverance Minister."  He is a soft-spoken, gentle man, who never raises his voice.  He does not employ any of the histrionics of the so-called "healers" or "exorcists" that characterize the modern perception of evangelists who cast out demons -- there is no melodrama, theatrics, or artificial showmanship; no Benny Hinn, here.  There is no writhing on the floor, no yelling, and no dramatic vomiting. As he reiterated many times throughout the conference, "If the healing is not loving, it's not from Jesus."
     To begin with, he makes it very clear that there are two levels of demons we encounter in our spiritual warfare.  The "ground level" troops are the fallen angels that we call demons or evil spirits; those who envy us our bodies, and who look for someone to inhabit.  The "cosmic level" demons are those we encounter in Ephesians 6:12-- the principalities, powers and rulers that command the ground troops. They have different personalities, are destructive to the peace that Jesus has promised His followers, and they differ in power and wickedness.  All that sounds like we're waging a losing battle, doesn't it?  Sadly, many Christians are living their lives in defeat, rather than through the victory that is ours in Christ.
     Interestingly, Dr. Kraft wrote that although most Christians recognize that much of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul to the new Christian Churches, they fail to acknowledge that 80% of Paul's Epistles tell us of Jesus's Power, and about 20% talk about the Love of Jesus.  The average Christian knows about Love, Faith, and Redemption, but they are weak on Spiritual Warfare and the Power and Authority of Jesus that He transferred to us.
     As a missionary in Nigeria, Dr. Kraft asked the people he had come to serve in Jesus's Name, "What is your biggest problem?"  Their answer?  "Evil spirits."  I think it should be clear that we are all made in the image of God (as spirit beings), so why would we be any different?  Oh, yeah... the prosperity, the level of comfort, and our ability to hide from our demons through the means of entertainment, technology, addictions, and a myriad of other distractions.  So, in the end, we continue to ignore the attacks and continue in our bondage, while focusing on loving Jesus.  We base our Christian Worldview on the 20% of Paul's writings that talk about Love, and turn a blind eye to the 80% that tell us He has given us Power in His Name to be free of all the oppression, pain, and spiritual domination.
     The first step towards this freedom is to make two major changes in this worldview towards accepting our role in Spiritual Warfare:  1) Believe there are demons, and 2) Be able to effectively use our conferred Power and Authority (in His Name) to deal with these dark angels (demons) and to "set the captives free".  It was an eye-opener to me, when Dr. Kraft pointed out that there are three things that are most important to Christians:  Salvation, Freedom, and Habits.  We've got the first one down; we understand the origin and process of Salvation pretty well.  And we've gotten real good at the last one; our habits are entrenched in our Sunday attendance and all the ceremonies and traditions of our denominations.  As Dr. Kraft expressed so well, "Our churches are full of people wonderfully saved, but they're not free."
     We seem to have lost sight of the fact that Jesus obviously took Satan and his demons seriously.  And, even more importantly, He expects us to take demons seriously and to use His power to get rid of them.  That is very evident in the Scripture that instructs us on His Great Commission:  Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
     I have pointed out this Scripture in the past, but now I have an even greater understanding of it.  Jesus passed on to His disciples all of His power.  He set aside His God Power, and never once used it on earth.  He only acted as a human being, using the power of the Holy Spirit.  He intends for us to do the same!  We modern-day disciples of Christ are no different than the famous Disciples of the Gospels.  We are to see ourselves as Jesus sees us.  He tells them to go and make disciples of all the nations (and disciples is who we are); to baptize; and to "teach them to observe (or do) everything that I have commanded you."   Down through the centuries, each succeeding generation of disciples concentrated on evangelizing and baptizing, but failed to teach how to defeat demons using the power of the Holy Spirit.
     But the one thing I want you to get from this abbreviated summary of the conference is this:  There is no deliverance from our demons without inner healing first.  As a visual person, it helped me a lot to picture Dr. Kraft's illustration on what that looks like... "Where you have garbage, you have rats.  If you just get rid of the rats, and don't get rid of the garbage, the rats will come back.  But if you get rid of the garbage first, [the cycle] of the rats gets weakened, and it is usually easy to kick them out.  The rats, if they are there, are always the secondary problem, not the primary one."
     So his model of "Deliverance" is to accomplish the inner healing of the Christian first, then see if there are any demons present.  In other words, the "garbage" could be a number of things resulting in unresolved pain and hurt in one's life.  It could be broken relationships, areas of unconfessed sin, involvement in the occult, or sexual or physical abuse in your past --- anything else that gives the Enemy a "legal right" to influence you, either from the outside or the inside.
      When we deal with the "garbage" and get healed from that -- through getting in touch with how Jesus sees us; this Jesus whom we know as our loving Savior who created us, chose and planned us from before God made the world -- then the demons lose their hold on us, and we can often kick them out of our lives without a fight.
     But now comes the part that is difficult for me.  How do I express my frustration with the Church for their inability to see this dynamic?  How do I make my fellow Christians and members of the Body of Christ understand that if Jesus instructed us to be taught on how to use His Power and Authority through the Holy Spirit to defeat Satan and his demons -- yet we don't recognize that authority, or refuse to consider it -- then I humbly see that as irresponsible on our part, as His disciples.  This Power and Authority is available to all who follow Jesus, and is meant to be a means to offer Freedom to those held captive by Satan.  I will agree that certain people of faith seem to have a "knack" or "gifting", if you will, to "take the ball and run" with the power and authority.  But as Dr. Kraft so wisely counseled us, "Obedience precedes gifting."  If we will only be obedient to Jesus's command of John 14:12, (We will do the works He did, and do even greater things), I believe we will find that our ability to engage in His Power and Authority, through the Holy Spirit, will come in greater measure.
     We should not be afraid of our Commission, and we should not shirk our responsibility to follow our Savior's commands.  As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]."  THAT, my fellow Christians is living in true Freedom!  And THAT is why Jesus performed the will of His Father on the Cross... to give us the ability to use the same Authority from our Father, and the Power of the Holy Spirit to not only live a free life ourselves, but to help set other captive Christians free.
     You see, "Deliverance" doesn't have to be a violent, theatrical show of God's Power and Authority.  It can be just like Jesus showed us ... loving; practiced by any Christian; and it leads to healing, not just deliverance.
     But ultimately, the choice to practice His Power and Authority is still ours.  I agree with Dr. Kraft... God will not violate our Free Will.  He will not force the use of His authority upon us, nor will He change our free will.  But He can change the circumstances that result from our free will when, in the Name of Jesus, we take authority over demon spirits and break their power in Jesus's Name and through the Holy Spirit.
     The final thought I want to leave you with is this ... Deliverance is not a science; it is a journey of faith.  Jesus has given us tools to empower ourselves in our spiritual warfare, and they do just that... empower us; but they don't fix us.  We are in a spiritual war, and no war is won in a single battle.  Throughout our journey through life, we will engage in many battles, and growing into a mature faith is our goal.  But God has a goal, too.  He always wraps His Power in His Love, with the goal of setting people free.  My prayer is that His people will learn to use that Power and Authority to heal themselves and others from the attacks of the Enemy, and to free those whom Satan has in captivity from "the sins that entangle us."  It's time for all Christians to begin that journey of healing towards true Freedom.

     I wouldn't change a word about this five-year-old post. Every word still stands on its own. But the Lord has added new revelation in context of the Kingdom of God. Inner Healing is an important component of the Kingdom culture on earth. Without freedom, a Christian is subject to the lies of the Ruler of this dark world and unable to walk in his or her full power and authority as an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have been appointed to take back territory [physically, geographically, and spiritually] for our King, and if we are shackled by wounds or pain, then lives remain in enemy hands. So, I am grateful to be able to re-share my initial enthusiasm for the ministry of Inner Healing, and to declare that my passion has not waned. God bless Dr. Kraft for the countless lives he has influenced while working with Jesus to "set the captives free". May we all answer the call on our lives to "Go!"

Psalm 32:8    "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you." 

June 21, 2019

An Open Letter To Todd White

     Todd White is a very well-well respected man of God, who dynamically preaches the Gospel of the Kingdom, and has a heart on fire with the Holy Spirit. Todd was a drug addict and atheist for 22 years—when in 2004—he was radically set free! Todd believes that redemption and righteousness are the foundational keys for living life as a new creation in Christ. Todd says on his Lifestyle Christianity website that his true joy is being able to reproduce a 24/7 kingdom lifestyle in every believer. His heart is to activate people in the simplicity of who they really are and confront the barriers that hold them back from being who God created them to be. But recently Todd has publically stated that Inner Healing is unnecessary and he is going to "talk about it and annihilate it". This is my response to what I have heard him say.

Dear Todd,

     After watching your recent videos stating your position on Inner Healing, I would like to respectfully respond. First of all, I want to say that I am a fan of your ministry and see great value in what you preach. You have great credibility with me, and I love your boldness. You have a right to your opinion on the Ministry of Inner Healing, but as someone whom the Lord brought this type of ministry to, I must answer some of the allegations you have made.
     To begin, I would like to apologize for whoever offended you. It is apparent from what you have recounted, that you felt your freedom in Christ questioned. I have heard your testimony and it is obvious that God performed a radical transformation in you. From a drug addict and atheist to a radical disciple of Christ is evidence of the power of God to save. And I have known others like you; people who walked in such depravity that when God touched them, they experienced such a comprehensive and profound transformation that they never looked back and their metamorphosis was thorough and complete. They were a new creation with no residue from their past.
     But Todd, not everyone has such a radical transformation. For others it is a process, and while they truly love the Lord and are seeking His righteousness, reading their Bible, and purposely working toward a relationship with God and the Holy Spirit, they are simultaneously battling attacks from the Enemy and are not experiencing the peace and joy they so desperately desire. Your advice to just focus on the finished work of the Cross to maintain your freedom [and overcome the Enemy in all things] simply does not work for everyone. I wish it did! Then every Christian who has confessed Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their personal Savior would not be in torment. I wish everyone could have your experience, but I have been witness to far too many Believers who can't get to where you are and God has provided another way, and it is through Inner Healing.
     If you don't mind, I'd like to quote some of your statements and then respond from a different perspective. You said, "I will not focus on your problem. I will focus on the Truth ... Jesus said "You are a new creation, the old things passed away and all things become new'. If all things became new, who are you to go back and visit things that are not there? All the stuff from your parents is in you, but when you get born again, you have a brand new Dad and its different. Jesus didn't come up with a formula [to do this or that ministry]. He shed His blood! We have to focus on the finished work of the Cross!"
     It has been my experience that there are many people who have confessed their faith in Jesus and know the redeeming work of the Cross. They intellectually know they are a born again creation. But they are not free. The Enemy is still whispering the lies. He doesn't just stop because you are born again. In fact, he may up his game! Being born again doesn't mean that everyone has had the traumatic, radical encounter with Jesus that you were fortunate to experience. For some those lies of the Enemy stay buried in the background of their soul and leak toxins, and the Christian is unaware they are listening [and believing] the lies and can't understand why they don't have the peace and joy in Christ that the Bible speaks about. Telling them to stay focused on the Cross is not going to assure an encounter with Jesus that frees them.
     But when I am able to invite the Holy Spirit and Jesus to be present and They show the Beloved  where the lie started and shatter its power, presenting Their Truth, it is an encounter in the spirit that shines the Light into the darkness. And I tell them to never entertain the lie again; to never go back, and to declare the Truth of the Word [from Scripture] and go forward in a fuller freedom. I can't explain why not everyone is able to obtain [and maintain] their freedom in Christ the way you do. I think some people need someone to walk with them to have that personal encounter with Jesus that dispels the lies.
     You say, "Taking every thought captive is the key". I agree! But many Christians don't know how to do that or aren't taught in Church! In our Inner Healing Ministry, we give them tools and show them how to do that so that those thoughts are never a problem again... recognize the tactics of the Enemy (because that's been his pattern in the past) and the lie when it comes, and do what Jesus did in the wilderness... "As it is written ..." and fight back with the power of the Word. You rightly say that "lies will always come in, but they will not be crushed by rebuking them. They are crushed by taking them captive". And that sir, is exactly what we teach in our Inner Healing ministry.
     You say, "Jesus declared, 'It is finished!' and our lack of faith in believing [the sins of our past] are finished is the problem." And you say, "Intimacy with Jesus and knowing the truth is what keeps us free. The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus is what is implemented in our spirits and makes it real". I totally agree with everything you said! But not everyone walks in the strength and level of faith that you do, Todd. Some are still being tormented because they don't believe Jesus's truth that He took it all. Just telling them to have more faith and take every thought captive doesn't help them if they don't know how. If a person cannot grasp what the Spirit is trying to reveal on their own and press into the intimacy with Jesus, they may need someone to walk through it with them and introduce them to a personal encounter with Jesus. Then His Truth becomes real to them!
     I loved it when you said, "It's the intensification of identity and the intensification of the Word that results in the lie having nowhere to go... God wants to take what He thinks about you and what has defiled you and make it completely clean.. Identity, Righteousness, and Power should be our identity". Todd, you have perfectly described what happens in an Inner Healing session with someone who comes for ministry. They leave with their divinely-appointed identity; encouraged to walk in righteousness; and knowing their power and authority to walk in freedom -- never to look backwards again.
     Before I end my letter, I want to address a misconception that I feel you stated. You said, "We have placed Inner Healing as a formula upon Christians to say they can't be free without it.... Inner Healing is psychological programming and only puts a band-aid on your brain". These are points upon which I must disagree. Not everyone needs deep Inner Healing, and I would never force it upon anyone, nor suggest that it is mandatory for everyone. Only you can determine if you are walking in freedom in Christ. You know whether or not you are experiencing the peace, righteousness and joy that comes from being a citizen of the Kingdom. Maybe you have had the radical experience that Todd has encountered, or maybe you have been able to recognize the lies of the Enemy on your own and successfully defeated them. But for those who don't have that level of discernment or are mired in unforgiveness and/or disbelief, God has provided a ministry to help propel them towards the freedom He desires for them.
     I respectfully refute the accusation that Inner Healing ministers are creating psychological co-dependents instead of teaching people to maintain their freedom. When we minister to someone, it is our heartfelt prayer that they never succumb to the lies again and we provide them with biblical principles and tools to keep the freedom they just received. I just ask that you consider the fact that our God is so big that He has ordained different ministries to meet different needs and different people in their different stages of sanctification. I urge you not to condemn a whole ministry because one man offended you. It grieves me when different ministers decide that they can be the arbiters of what God's will is for all of His people. I know you have suffered grave criticism for your ministry habits and style and substance, so I would hope that you could extend the same grace to those of us who are seeing much healing and joy and peace and freedom through being obedient to the Inner Healing ministry that God has called us to. Surely you don't condemn your friend and fellow minister, Bill Johnson and Bethel, for training SOZO ministers to, as they describe it "walk you through a process of freedom and wholeness through a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to get to the root of things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a healed connection, you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called." Amen!
     I can see the hurt you received at the time of your offense and I will sincerely pray that you can find forgiveness for that pastor. And I pray that you will soften your rhetoric about "hating" Inner Healing ministries. We do a lot of good for the Kingdom of God here on earth. We need to encourage and support each other's ministries. We are all walking towards the same goal ... freedom in Christ.

Galatians 5:1    "Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past."

March 30, 2019

He Came To Set The Captives Free

     I recently gave a talk on "Freedom In Christ", and as sometimes happens, all my careful planning went out the window when it came time to speak. The Holy Spirit did exactly as I had prayed ... let my words be His words, and my speech was an abbreviated version of the original manuscript. Here is what I planned on saying, in its entirety. I hope some or all of it will speak to you.

     So what IS “FREEDOM IN CHRIST” and HOW do we achieve it?  In John 8:31-32, Jesus says to His followers, If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. I will tell you that when I decided to get serious about studying the Word, the Lord began teaching my spirit and unfolding His truth at an exhilarating pace!     We’ve all been taught the Truth that “in Him is Life”, and that Life was the Light to Men, and the Way to the Father. And we know the Truth that Jesus came to die for our sins and deliver us from the penalty of eternal Death.  That’s the ultimate Freedom! But in between this moment (right now!) and when we die, we have a lot of living to do. So how do we walk out, [for the rest of our lives], the Freedom that He died to give us?
     Because God desires that we glorify Him with our lives, He gives us different freedoms:
     1.  We have the freedom to make our own choices in this life – and among the most important is whether to sin or not.  And I will tell you that before I knew Jesus, I made a lot of bad choices; choices I’m not proud of.  And I will tell you that it is by the grace of God that I escaped those years unscathed. And it is by His grace that we can learn from the choices we make, and allow God to train us up in righteousness. WE ARE NOT ROBOTS … we all have choices in our lives to do right or wrong … So we need to use that freedom of choice wisely.
     2.  We have the freedom to change as we grow in the understanding of our Identity and how to participate with God in bringing Him glory in our lives. We don’t have to stay the same person as we start out as – or that we were yesterday! The freedom to change is God’s Grace, and while Grace is certainly “unmerited favor” … it is also the power of the Holy Spirit [in you] to help you do something you can’t do on your own. I used to have such a spirit of Worry about finances. My husband is a professional artist and we are self-employed. When he decided to pursue an art career, we went from two paychecks to one. Five years later he told me if he was going to advance in his career, he needed me to handle the business side, so I gave up my paycheck to work with him. I’m going to be honest… it was a struggle to trust the Lord for His provision, but 25 years later, He continues to prove His faithfulness. But I want you know that you have the Freedom to change, too, because your Relationship with the Lord is a Journey! It’s a Process!  It’s a lifetime of being purified by the Holy Spirit as we are brought into full freedom in Christ.
     3. We have freedom from the consequences of sin. We know that the ultimate freedom in Christ comes from His sacrificial death on the Cross. We are no longer subject to an eternal Death, separated from our God, but are brought into a relationship that promises Eternal Life with our Father in Heaven. So we definitely have freedom in Christ through our Salvation. But there is so much more to this concept of Freedom in Christ! It is more than just knowing you are Saved and going to heaven! And finally ....
     4. We have freedom from the harassment and torment of Satan. When Jesus begins His earthly ministry, He stands up in the Temple and opens the scrolls of the ancient prophet Isaiah, and reads from them. He proclaims, in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, and He has anointed Me to be hope for the poor, freedom for the brokenhearted, and new eyes for the blind, and to preach to prisoners, ‘You are set free!’ “  He literally says, I came to set the captives free!!!

      We don’t have to listen to the devil's lies and accusations about all kinds of things that we’ve done in the past or that were done to us. We are free to exercise our power and authority [in Christ] to resist the devil and crush him under our feetI have seen this Freedom come to a group of men in my living room, who surrendered the pain of childhood molestation to their Savior, covered by His blood. And I have witnessed a drug addict of 35 years [the last 5 years on Meth] be instantly freed from the sins of his past that had kept him in bondage to the drugs. I wept with him as he wept, thanking Jesus for his freedom. That man is now witnessing to other drug users – and his own drug dealers – that Jesus set him free! 
      So the truth of the Bible is that Jesus came to set the captives free. But also note what Paul says in Galatians 5:1 ...“Let me be clear, Jesus, [the Anointed One] has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free!” It has been accomplished! It’s a Done Deal! Paul goes on to say, “We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.  He’s warning us to not stay stuck in the sins of our past! So, here is Paul talking about another Truth … the truth that Jesus has already set us wonderfully and completely free! What does that look like? Here are some Truths that will set our spirits free:
     1.  He forgives our sins and covers them. (Psalm 32:1, How happy and fulfilled are those
whose rebellion has been forgiven, those whose sins are covered by blood.
) For me, there is Freedom and Joy in knowing that my rebellious past is covered by His blood.
     2.  He not only covers our sins, but He doesn’t count our sins against us and removes them from us. (Psalm 103:12, As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far You’ve removed our guilt from us).  Don’t you love that picture of Freedom in Christ? Again, it’s finished!
     3.  He washes away our guilt and cleanses us from our sin. (1 John 1:9, But if we freely admit our sins [when His light uncovers them], He will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just  to forgive our sins [because of Christ], and He will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness).
     4.  He remembers our sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12, For I will demonstrate my mercy to them
 and will forgive their evil deeds, and never remember again their sins
). I praise Jesus for the Freedom He has given me in both of these last two Truths!
     So, I have a question for you …. If Jesus has done all that for us, and as Paul says, “He has set us free”, why do so many of us still not feel free? Let me give you a clue …. Jesus, Himself, tells us in John 10:10 that we are subjected to bondage by an Enemy called the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy. But if we are free in Christ through accepting Him as our Savior and Deliverer from Death, and all our sins are covered by His blood and forgotten forever, then how can we still be in bondage to the devil? Do you see that part of Galatians 5:1 that says to stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past? 
     Our Enemy, the devil, comes to steal, kill, and destroy not only our peace and our joy, but our confidence in our Identity and who we are; the closeness of our relationship with God; and our freedom in Christ. He does that by getting us to focus on our sins of the past, or the sins that have been committed against us – by enticing us to look back at the bondage of our past – exactly what Paul warns us against! How does he do that? By causing us to entertain (for example) spirits of Anger, Fear, Unforgiveness, Worry or Anxiety, Doubt or Unbelief, Shame, Guilt, Rejection, Abandonment, Lust, Pride, and a whole host of other kinds of spiritual pain that the Bible tells us are sins  …. He also torments our minds with Lies and Deceptions that Jesus couldn’t really forgive us for that, whatever it might be.  The devil tries to convince us that we aren’t really cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and that we will never really be free, because deep down inside we think we are unlovable and unforgiveable and unworthy. 
     But I’m here to tell you that THAT is a Lie from the pit of hell! Jesus died for our Freedom AND He has nailed our sins to the Cross! Scripture tells us that our past sins are forgiven, never counted against us, forgotten by God, and that we are cleansed from them! HIS DEATH SET US FREE! 
      But remember what Jesus chose to say in His first public ministry? He came to HEAL the brokenhearted and SET THE CAPTIVES FREE! He has made HEALING available in our Freedom!!! Yes, we have been set free from the penalty of Death for our sins, but as a mentor and teacher of mine, Dr. Charles Kraft, taught me, “Our churches are filled with wonderfully saved Christians, many of whom are still in spiritual torment and bondage to the devil”. BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO REMAIN THERE! They can be completely and wonderfully free as Galatians 5 tells us we should be! The first step in our journey with Jesus IS  Salvation – and this is the beginning of that process of life I talked about -- but the next part of our journey is to receive our Freedom in Him!
     You see, we must remember that there is a spiritual nature to our Christian faith. We are a three-part being: body, soul and spirit. We have an Invisible Enemy [in the spirit] that comes to steal, kill and destroy our joy and peace; our identity in Christ and our relationship with Him. And he can do it if we allow him to whisper his lies about our past sins, or the sins committed against us. For example…
     • If we hang on to anger we might have towards our parents or our spouse … then we are not  Wonderfully and Completely free.
     • If we keep focusing on some sin we did in our past – or a sin that was committed against us … then we are not Wonderfully and Completely free.
     • If we are unable to forgive ourselves, someone who has hurt us, or even God Himself for something in our past … then we are not Wonderfully and Completely free.
     • FINALLY, If we continue to believe the negative thoughts that tell us we’re a failure or unlovable or not as smart as others -- (whatever it is that steals your peace and joy, and your truth about your identity as a child of God and your intimate Relationship with our Father in Heaven) … then you are not Wonderfully and Completely free.
     But Jesus didn’t leave us defenseless against the attacks of the Enemy. THERE IS FREEDOM IN CHRIST!  If you’ve been carrying something around in your spiritual backpack that is weighing you down and keeping you from being wonderfully and completely free, you can release it to the Father and be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. We have an Invisible, Spiritual Helper that works with our spirit. He lives inside us and intercedes, along with Jesus on His Throne, to help us defeat those strategies of the devil. The Lord has provided a way for us to enter that Complete Freedom He died for! 
     I have been so blessed to be called [by the Lord] into a ministry with my husband that allows me to participate with the Holy Spirit and Jesus; to work with Them to heal the broken-hearted and to help the children of God to walk in freedom. So, right now – in this moment -- I want you to hear me …. the Healing that leads to Freedom is found, not in the absence of pain (through drugs or alcohol or sex or food or whatever your choice of pain-killer is, or even by simply trying to ignore it. But Freedom is found in the presence of Jesus, … Immanuel … (God With Us). And I can authoritatively tell you … Jesus is with you right now and right where you are! He wants you free! Freedom In Christ is real!
     We need to understand and embrace that God has called us ALL to freedom in Christ! For whatever reason you decided to read this blog today today, I want you to know that Jesus didn’t die so that you could hang on to Unforgiveness or Anger or Fear or Worry – none of the things that robs you of your Freedom in Him. He didn’t die so the Enemy could destroy your relationship with God, and your identity as His Child and as a Daughter or Son of the King!
     Yes, Freedom in Christ gives us the freedom of choice, the freedom to change, freedom from the consequences of sin, and freedom from Eternal Death. There is Freedom in knowing our sins are covered by His blood and forgotten forever.  But He wants us to walk in COMPLETE  Freedom! HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE and He finished His assignment! You are meant to live in the FREEDOM AND VICTORY He accomplished on the Cross!!! You see, the Cross not only represents our Salvation in Christ, but our FREEDOM in Christ!  Now it’s time to walk in our Freedom!

     Finally, here’s what Jesus wants you to know: If you know Him as your Savior, your Salvation is secure. But He wants you to experience Freedom until you leave this earth. By knowing your Identity [and your power and authority to defeat the devil], and then participating with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a consistent and real spiritual Relationship with Them, you can stand firm against the schemes and tactics of the Enemy to keep you from your Freedom and your joy and your peace. Don’t we all want to live like that?  He wants to heal us all from our pain and loss and torment! He is with us now, and the Bible tells us in John 8:36,  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!
      So, I want to finish by saying, It’s really this simple …. If you are Saved, then you are called to Freedom. Walk in the Freedom that is your inheritance as a child of God. Get free and then work with Jesus to set someone else free. Take it from me … once you’ve experienced that freedom yourself, and witnessed others having an encounter with Jesus and being set free, you want to share it. And I will tell you this … THE HARVEST IS GREAT AND THE LABORERS ARE FEW! And there is much fruit to be had in sharing the Gospel of Freedom in Christ! So it is my prayer that each of you experience the complete fullness of Freedom in Christ in your lives.

John 10:10     The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.