Jesus reveals strongholds to ministry worker
M served in full-time ministry for a number of years and struggled with trusting God for her next career move. Here is her testimony of repenting for the barriers she had placed in her relationship with our Heavenly Father and her supernatural encounter with Him. Praise God!
I hadn’t realised that my father’s behaviour towards my family had such a deep effect on me my entire life.
When I came to Christ in my teens, it was largely in response to the disintegration of my parents’ marriage. Given what I found out about my father, including infidelity and abandonment, it was a great comfort for me to learn that God is the perfect and loving Father.
Until that time, my family worshipped a different god. The worship rituals that came with it were deeply ingrained into our daily lives, although I couldn’t explain the logic or the reason why. But I stopped those practices after I became a Christian.
In the 20 years since then, I have sought to follow Christ and serve Him in my job, going into full-time Christian mission work for over eight years. As I started to plan a career move, I felt God prompting me to talk to an older sister-in-Christ. We met for a casual lunch and our time together turned into three hours of eye-opening revelations for me as we examined my life story.
When this sister asked me if there was anything I needed to repent of, I told her that my answer was no.
I had already asked God for forgiveness for worshipping another god and I had put in great effort for a number of years to forgive my father for his adulterous relationships and the way he left my family.
During our lengthy conversation, I learned that I did indeed need to repent for other things I worshipped and break off a generational curse of adultery.
Layers and layers of hang ups and sins seemed to surface the more we talked and prayed.
I did not realise I had to forgive my father all over again – not for what he had done in the past – but for the way he continues to treat my family and me today. I had been blind to the fact that I was praying for my father in selfish, condescending and judgmental ways; focusing on my biological father’s sinful nature, instead of my Heavenly Father’s sovereignty and love for him. I prayed to repent for my attitude.
I also had to repent of the sins of pride, performance, and self-idolization. These were things I thought were simply “side effects” of my father’s sins against me, but I had made inner vows that ignored and dishonoured God and His perfect and loving nature.
By making inner vows, I removed God from His throne and chose to place my hope on myself.
This was contrary to God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:11. Some of my ungodly inner vows included:
- “I will succeed so as to prove I don’t need my father or anyone else.”
- “My own father doesn’t love me, why would anyone else?”
- “I will not trust men.”
- “It is my responsibility to take care of mom. Nobody else will care for mom if I do not.”
We also dug up my history of being emotionally involved with a married man. Just because I never acted on my feelings, it didn’t mean I hadn’t fallen into temptation to covet and desire after a married man. I had to repent of this sin and break the foothold I had given over to the devil, especially in light of the generational sin of adultery on my father’s side of the family. I also prayed to break spiritual ties with the man and other people that I had become “yoked with” in ungodly ways.
After praying about this, I told my friend I felt lighter but was concerned how I could hold on to the freedom I had just experienced. She then reminded me that I was turning to my old pattern of relying on myself through a spirit of performance rather than turning to Jesus for His guidance.
Seemingly unrelated stories began making sense when I started connecting the dots!
It was also the first time I encountered the reality of spiritual warfare. It was a real battle to get the prayers out of my mouth – the words seemed to slur and jumble, but my friend helped greatly in guiding me as I repented. Renouncing and casting out the spirits of pride, performance, and of self-idolization was particularly difficult to do, and I had a hard time physically saying the words out loud. I ended up saying the prayer three times before it came out of my mouth in a logical flow.
Afterward, I invited Jesus to bring His light into every darkness of my life so I could be set free. Throughout this time of breaking off those spiritual strongholds, I felt a hand on my arm and it felt warm the entire time I prayed. It took a long time to finish in casting out the evil spirits and I felt the hand leave my arm towards the end of the prayer. As I opened my eyes, I was astonished to find that it was not my friend who had touched me and that her hand was nowhere near me!
We instantly knew then that it was Jesus who was touching my arm while I prayed.
I am still shocked and amazed by this incredible experience. As the reality is settling in, I am experiencing a quiet and understated joy and a subtle “settled-ness” and peace that is hard to explain. I think I’m also beginning to understand God’s complete acceptance of me and love for me, independent of my ‘performance’.
It seems I have broken free of many strongholds, but I suspect I will continue to uncover more that I have to repent of and more soul ties I have to break off. Thankfully, I can ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse me as I continue to reclaim my identity and freedom in Christ. With this experience, I am confident Jesus will be guiding me by the arm as I do that.
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