J is a teacher who had avoided relationships of any kind with man. It affected all aspects of her life, from family to work and church community. Here is her story of how she was able to confront the root of her fear and be set free. Praise God!
Because of my broken relationship with my own dad, I inadvertently developed a fear towards men.
I realised that my fears were crippling my dream to serve God as a missionary one day and decided to ask God for help through prayer counselling. When the prayer session finally came around, I felt like there was a “rain cloud” hovering over my head. I could not concentrate and felt far away from Him.
During my prayer time, I was encouraged to close my eyes and ask God to guide me. Following, I saw a glasshouse, like a greenhouse. The other side was full of colours, vibrant and life-giving. I was encouraged to enter into it.
When I got in, I saw my dad in front of me and I was on the floor clinging on to him tightly. No matter how much I cried and wailed, my dad would not turn his face towards me. All I wanted was for him to hold me and acknowledge me. In the midst of all the weeping, Jesus was standing behind me with His face turned towards me, His arms outstretched wide, inviting me into them.
In order to embrace Jesus, I had to let go of my dad.
At first, I was reluctant but then, I finally decided to let go and crawl into Jesus’ arms. I began to cry uncontrollably because of the overwhelming love I felt from Jesus. I was also crying because deep down, I knew I was ashamed of rejecting Him and wanting to give up on this relationship. Yet, He opened up His arms to me once again, loving me no matter what I have said or what I have done.
I had unknowingly been idolising my dad as a child and have placed him above Jesus. I was so focused on my dad that I had completely neglected Jesus, who had always been standing right next to me. I was so engrossed with winning my earthly father’s love that I had ignored Jesus’ steadfast love.
I confessed and repented that I had turned away from Jesus when His face was turned towards me all this time. I felt like a weight had been lifted off me. The Lord saved me once again from the depths of despair and brought me into the light of His wondrous love.
The “rain cloud” that once hovered over me was no longer present.
God had revealed through my prayer counsellors that a spirit of unforgiveness had been residing within me for many years. I had harboured bitterness and resentment towards some of the male figures in my life; my earthly father, my grade-five teacher and a male classmate. Their actions may not have been intentional, but they had left in me a wounded soul and a fractured view of men. Growing up, I thought the only way to protect myself was to turn away and close off all possible relationships with men.
In order to avoid men, I would surround myself with women.
Whenever problems and struggles arose, instead of seeking God first for comfort, I would turn to my mother, my stepmother and best friends for consolation and support. Turning to people for support and help is normal. When we create an attachment and rely on them more than relying on God, it can potentially form unhealthy soul ties.
Not only did I form unhealthy soul ties with both my mothers, but I was also under the influence of an evil spirit.
My intercessors sensed that both my mother and stepmother were unknowingly oppressed with a spirit that afflicts women, known as the Jezebel spirit, and pushes them to become highly manipulative, especially towards men. There are similar character traits between my mother and my step-mother. Both women have a strong sense of self-will and independence and tend to be overly domineering and controlling. The Jezebel spirit responds with hostility when its power is threatened and challenged by others.
In the past, whenever I desired to pursue after God and invest my life in His Kingdom work through missions, the controlling spirit would deter me from going by guilt-tripping me in order to conform to its wishes. I have gotten into countless arguments with my mother over my relationship with God and mission work that I slowly distanced myself from her out of fear over what she may think and say. I was unaware of the evil spirit that had come in between us which has caused a break in our relationship.
My prayer counsellor stressed the importance that when we deal with an evil spirit, we ought to aim at the spirit itself instead of the person. The enemy only wishes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus Christ came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10).
By declaring out loud in the Name of Jesus that I am no longer bound by this controlling spirit, we renounced and broke the bondage the spirit had on me. By bringing this evil spirit into the light, I am more aware of how it works and how I can resist and rebuke the influence of this spirit if I were to come across it again.
I felt liberated and felt the Holy Spirit had awakened me that I am now more sensitive to the battles that happen in the spiritual realm.
So often, we think the enemy we are fighting against is our own family members but in reality, the enemy is the devil that only prowls around like a lion waiting to devour its next victim (1 Peter 5:8).
My prayer counsellors encouraged me to pray that the Holy Spirit would bring the right people to help my mother and stepmother identify, uproot and break free from the controlling spirit the enemy has planted in them.
The Holy Spirit also helped shed light on why my dad may struggle to show his love towards me. My dad grew up with a strong father figure, so he often lived under the shadow of my domineering grandfather. In both of his marriages, he married a wife with a strong character just like my grandfather. With his insecurities, inferiority and the lack of love and respect from his family, including his own wives, his understanding of love became distorted. This is why he also struggles to show his love to his children.
The Holy Spirit gave me a fresh pair of eyes to see my dad in a new light and to forgive all those times he had neglected and rejected me intentionally and unintentionally.
By repenting for my unforgiveness, I can now learn to love my dad, not out of my own love, but out of the love and grace I have received and experienced through Christ.
By breaking free from the unhealthy soul ties, I can now live freely like how God has called me to live. I was once driven to the ground in defeat, yet my Lord rescued me and lifted me up. I am no longer driven by fear because God’s perfect love has helped me to cast out this fear so that I can now live in the freedom Christ has promised me.