Jesus shows consultant His grace and authority
C had been struggling to come to terms with the weight of her past sins and her subconscious unbelief that God would not prepare the best for her, until she encountered Jesus’ forgiveness and power during a time of repentance. The Holy Spirit also showed her the root of her ungodly fears and that she could rest in God’s good and perfect will. C no longer feels the need to anxiously strive all the time. Praise God!
I’m gonna see a victory, for the battle belongs to you Lord. You take what the enemy meant for evil, and You turn it for good!
These are the lyrics of a song I had sung many times at church, but how much do I really believe them?
I grew up in Hong Kong under the protection of my parents. When I lived by myself for the first time as an exchange student overseas, that was the first time I escaped the control and discipline of my family, and was exposed to the ‘real world’ – partying, drinking, clubbing. These continued after graduation as I entered the finance industry as a young adult. The temptations and ‘glamour’ of the world were countless.
Looking back at the past 10 years, there are many things I did that I would never do again, now knowing that it doesn’t please God.
But would I call myself sinful? I never had a clear idea of what sin was.
I knew it was something bad. It was something dark. It was something heavy. But I always thought, “well, God has forgiven me. As long as I commit to trying my best and not do wrong again, God will understand and not be angry, and will forgive and accept me.” Yes, this is true, but only half the truth.
Yes, God will understand. Yes, God is forgiving. Yes, Jesus has paid the price of my sins. But, I never really acknowledged the weight of my sins. How heavy they were. How serious they were. To the extent that they were the reason Jesus had to endure such gruesome suffering on the cross. I knew it. But never really related to it.
Until recent years, I have been dating a Christian boyfriend who honors purity, and I have come to understand why this is important in the eyes of God and actually for our good.
The enemy started to work against me the other way – I started feeling guilty and condemned.
I felt I am not worthy of my Christian boyfriend. There was a building sense of shame and regret; of wanting to wash myself clean, yet knowing actions and things of the past cannot be erased. I felt like something heavy was holding me down, as if I was stuck and couldn’t move. There was nothing I could do to remove the burden.
My boyfriend encouraged me to go for a course he had attended, called Love the Lord, and sign up for a renewal prayer like he had previously done. Finally, the day for my own renewal prayer came around.
During the prayer session, we sang the worship song “See a Victory.” As we got to the lyrics “You take what the enemy meant for evil, and you turn it for good”, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that God has promised me a bright future. As long as I follow Him along His path, though winding, He will use whatever experiences I have been through in life, both the good and the bad, and redeem and restore it all. That is His promise.
As I thought of this, I saw a vision of Jesus, dressed in white, shining brightly and standing tall.
He had a glowing sword in His hand. I was standing behind Him, hiding behind Him, as if taking shelter, while He was swinging His sword and fighting off the enemy for me – cutting all the chains, fighting off the attacks, and protecting me.
As we progressed through the session, I cut ungodly soul ties with people and places from my past. To be very honest, I never really understood, nor truly believed, that ‘cutting soul ties’ meant anything. How would simply saying something out loud “in Jesus’ name” change anything? But I was wrong. Seriously wrong.
That day, as I was going through the list, as I said out loud “In Jesus’ name, I command…”, I saw the image of Jesus Christ swinging the sword to protect me. What’s more, I saw myself holding the sword of Jesus in my own hands, as if He had given me His strength and power and authority. And as I swung the sword, I felt the strength and undefeatable power that was in it. The sword was heavy to begin with. And it got some getting used to.
But with every swing, I was more and more sure that Jesus’ strength and power was in me. There is no evil or enemy that can stand before me!
After that, I repented of all my sins one by one. Saying it out loud was not easy. But with the encouragement of the prayer counsellors, I got through it all.
Something must have happened in the heavenly realms during this. Something unseen to the human eye. I’m not sure what happened, but surely something happened. I had repented of all my sins out loud, but I did not feel ashamed of speaking of them out loud.
I felt very light. Instead of being full of guilt, I was full of awe and thankfulness. I felt extremely grateful to Jesus.
For the first time, I could truly appreciate what Jesus had done for me. How big the price Jesus must have paid, in order to set me free from my heavy sins. He paid the ultimate price – He died for me. I felt humbled, and indebted to Christ. I want to pay Him back. I want to thank Him. And yet, all He wants from me is to follow Him, love Him, and obey Him. Isn’t that the greatest deal one could get?
So, as we moved on, I thought the most remarkable part of my renewal prayer was over. The prayer counsellors then asked me about my relationship with my parents. In a previous prayer session, the Holy Spirit had revealed to me a lot about my mother – how I was heavily influenced by her dominating personality. I had feared her to the extent I based a lot of my actions and life decisions on her expectations and words.
Basically, I had idolised my mother.
After that previous session, I had refocused my life back on Christ instead, and am learning to love my mother and see her from God’s perspective. All was good. Well, so I thought.
The prayer counsellors, prompted by the Holy Spirit, asked me if there was any particular incident in my childhood that came to mind. Strangely, the same unhappy incident I spoke about regarding my mother last time reappeared!
As a child, I was terrified and felt helpless. This time, instead of asking about my mother, the prayer counsellors asked me where my dad was in the scene. I couldn’t see him. I prayed to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal. But I still couldn’t see dad.
Then subconsciously, I shouted out, “Dad, where are you? I’m scared. Why don’t you do something?”
I had never blamed my dad for anything, and I don’t know why I shouted out these words. My relationship with dad had always been great. I saw him as the best dad ever – kind, gentle, considerate, patient, provided well for the family, always there to listen and give advice.
Yet, that day, the Holy Spirit revealed one thing to me – deep down, I struggled to understand why my dad was always missing in action, never seemed strong enough to protect me, and was never in control when I needed him the most.
Coupled with the inner vows I had formed as a result of my relationship with my mother, I had formed a belief that I need to protect myself, plan for myself, and resolve problems my own way if I want to make things better.
I realised that all this time, I had projected the same assumptions onto God, our Heavenly Father.
While I felt and said that I believe, trust, and have faith in God, my actions showed I actually doubted whether God will really take action and deliver on His promises. Subconsciously, I believed that I need to take care of things, I need to make sure things progress, change, happen. Therefore, there is so much that needs to be done.
I always need to be doing something, I need to be busy, or else I’m wasting time. I need to know everything because I need to plan and make the best use of time, resources, and opportunities. Because I need to make sure things happen. But all these are just lies the enemy had put into my head, which the world has been reinforcing. All these were preventing me from truly trusting in God, and preventing me from fully receiving God’s love for me as my Heavenly Father.
The truth is, I do not need to plan. I do not need to know. I do not need to make sure things happen, because my plan is never better than God’s plan.
I do not need to measure and track. It is not about meeting targets or achieving objectives. It’s not about making the best use of resources or every minute. It’s about leaving it to God, following His plan, His pace, His direction. And that’s all we are called to do. It’s about resting in His love.
Once I truly understood this, all of a sudden, I felt as if there is nothing left for me to do, and nothing I need to worry about. The burden of making sure things happened was lifted off my shoulder – just as Jesus had promised, we can take on His yoke which is light.
Now that I no longer have a long, long to-do list, I am left with so much more time! 24 hours a day used to be never enough. But now, it feels more than enough because I no longer have a long list of things I think I need to do. There is only one thing that I need to do – and that is to love God.
So, what’s next from here? Since the day of this prayer session, I have found myself living in much more freedom. I’m no longer held down by the weight of my sin, guilt and shame. I am no longer bound by my self-invented to-do list.
My steps are lighter. My smiles are wider. My relationship with God is so much closer.
I’ve also noticed how the scriptures are starting to make a lot more sense. God’s voice and God’s plan are a lot clearer!
I also feel as if my eyes have only just been opened to the wonders of God’s kingdom! When He says “find rest in me”, He does not mean for us to sit at home and do nothing. There is a purpose for our lives. It is not to watch television. It is not to indulge in food. It is not to spend hours on sports. Of course, these are things we can do, but in moderation.
God and His purposes should be at the center of our lives.
He has invited us to be part of His plan and purpose, and that is what we should be spending our life on. In order to do that, we must first have a relationship with Him. Spend time listening to Him. Spend time observing what His does. Spend time worshipping Him. And ultimately when we are called to, spend time on things He calls us to do. And that is when the adventure of life truly begins!
As a reminder, the enemy will always be prowling at the door, waiting to pounce – trying to pull us away from God and strip us of the freedom we have in Christ. We may be tempted to fall back into our old ways and habits, as I have found myself close to doing. But I keep reminding myself, I must stand firm.
I’ve tasted the goodness of God, and am not willing to step away from Him again! Plus, I now have the sword of Jesus Christ to defend and to fight – whom shall I fear?
I feel like this is just the beginning of a journey that God has prepared for me. And I feel He is still preparing me through everyday encounters and teachings in scripture.
I now wake up each day feeling light and free from chains of the past, eager and excited to know what is to come, and resting in God’s blessings and grace God as I live each present day.
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