Jesus heals manager’s church wounds
D grew up in a condemning and chaotic charismatic environment which made her wary of anything spiritual. Here is her testimony of how God healed her of the wounds she carried from an un-Christlike church community in the past and drew her closer to His true love. Praise God!
For years, I shied away from anything that looked overly spiritual or resembled the charismatic movement.
As a child, I suffered several painful experiences in a particularly chaotic and flawed charismatic church. To provide context, here are some examples:
- A misguided and over-zealous church elder kept me in a room to be “exorcised”, when in fact, I was just an adolescent teen who had a misunderstanding with her mum.
- An errant pastor taunted me from the pulpit when I refused to lift my hands up to receive God’s gifts. In fact, the words used were “destruction will come upon you.”
- Another pastor with the “gift of knowledge” would chastise me for not following her if I had different opinions. This made me feel very conflicted about my faith.
I always believed God is real. Throughout my life, God has shown me that He is perfect in love and a good, good Father. He is ever-faithful and the One whom I seek refuge under. But my experiences of God and my “spiritual” experiences at church had been polar opposites.
Without knowing how to deal with these traumatic experiences, I disengaged anything “spiritual” from God.
As an adult, I began to attend another church where I had the wonderful opportunity to complete a discipleship training course. It was a fruitful time and I wanted more of God, especially as I was going to serve Him more actively the following year.
But hidden in a secret part of my heart were doubts that I might indeed harbour demonic spirits. I was unsure if I was cursed or if my judgement was clouded by an invisible blindness. Those childhood experiences still haunted me!
Then I recalled that a very dear sister in Christ had approached me about spiritual cleansing. But like a jumpy cat whose tail was stepped on, I ran in the opposite direction and avoided the topic for several years. I didn’t want to relive the trauma of anything “spiritual”, which in the past had only brought condemnation and injustice.
But my heart had changed and I decided that I had nothing to hide from God.
If there was something sinister in my spiritual life, then I rather it is brought out in the open than hidden in my heart. Because I had a genuine friendship with this sister, whom I respected and trusted, I asked her to lead me through a renewal prayer.
We started with my family tree and generational sins. I confessed various sins on behalf of my forefathers and parents and prayed to break off every generational curse from me in Jesus’ name. I declared God’s promises in Jeremiah 29:11 and this lifted a huge weight off my heart.
I did not realise that I had been anxious I would “inherit” the discontented lives of my grandparents and parents.
Next, I repented of my own past sins. Naming them and bringing them out to the light brought so much freedom and release from the shame I had harboured. I was also taught to declare that these sins had no further influence on my body, mind or heart from that moment on. As it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I also learned something very important and interesting. By nature, I am a “people” person. While I always knew I had to place pleasing God above pleasing others, I often struggled with making decisions that went against my gut feeling but pleased someone else. My first thought would be, “What’s wrong, it doesn’t hurt anyone.” I was constantly tempted to compromise my values in favour of other people.
Unhealthy dependencies on others for security can lead to ungodly soul ties.
Our dependence and trust should be in God alone (Proverbs 3:5-6). I always thought soul ties were restricted to people you had been intimate with, but in fact, they can form innocently with anyone who has an influence on you.
My friend impressed upon me to break ungodly soul ties with the charismatic church of my childhood, and with the pastors in particular. As I broke these ungodly soul ties in Jesus’ name and declared that they held no power over my body, mind and heart, I was set free from an inner burden.
This prayer removed a lot of guilt that I did not realise I had been carrying.
My perception of “spiritual” things radically changed that day. Spiritual cleansing was a life-giving experience that brought healing and replaced the pain of my traumatic memories with new understanding. It was not chaotic, loud or condemning. It was systematic, calm and loving.
Our God moves in the spiritual realm and this process has taught me that it is important to always “test the spirits”. 1 John 4:1 says “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” When God moves in His Spirit, the fruit is only love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
I now understand that spirituality isn’t disengaged from God.
My lessons have also set me free from the claw of people pleasing. Today, I continue to break off ungodly soul ties with people I’ve been in contact with. This has given my friendships a new breath of life. I have healthy boundaries and am more aware to serve God without the need to gratify myself by pleasing others. My personal relationship with God is more intimate.
I feel like my heart has been unveiled and is no longer divided.
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