Jesus shows engineer root of anger
P grew up in a small town in rural England. For years, he struggled with uncontrollable bursts of anger. After recovering from a debilitating cancer, he was led to confront his deep-rooted issues that arose from a fear-based upbringing. The Holy Spirit showed him that he needed to forgive himself, as well as his parents, in order to be freed from his fears and be able to follow God in love. Praise God!
I have always strived for truth and have never been able to keep up a lie.
I first began to question the purpose of life at about ten years old on a bicycle ride in the English countryside. By the end of it, I would say I was a fully convicted Christian.
Unfortunately, a sincere desire for truth did not keep me from sin. Two serious patterns of sin developed since I was a child; pornography addiction and explosive anger. I also succumbed to frequent complaining and criticising. My prayer life waxed and waned many cycles as my education and career progressed smoothly up to my mid-forties. I began co-hosting Alpha and similar programmes at church.
Then I got the call that all of us dread – my father was in hospital with just a few weeks to live.
I spent several months in the UK, seeing my father off peacefully and taking my deteriorating mother to hospital just before I returned home. Both my parents died that year, surrounded by their children reciting prayers and singing hymns together.
The following year, my siblings unexpectedly fell out with me, making some deeply hurtful personal accusations. Almost simultaneously, a sexual corruption scandal in my church hit the headlines and I felt disgusted and betrayed. A knot developed in my stomach for a month.
Around that time, a church friend suggested that we men should confess our own sexual sins and pray harder for our church.
I stepped up to his challenge, and through God’s grace, was completely free of my pornography addiction within a month. I have not looked back at it since then. Completely free of that addiction, I fervently hoped and prayed that a similar breakthrough could come against my anger and that the next year would be a “better year”. That did not happen.
Early in 2019, one of my best friends suddenly fell unconscious due to a heart attack and died a week later. He was a few years older than me and apparently healthy. Another blow!
A few months after that, I was confirmed to have cancer, which had already spread beyond its primary tumour.
I was warned of 16 possible side effects of chemotherapy. Instead, I had 32, including several close to death experiences. Also, I lost half of my lung capacity and function. But one of the good side effects was my reconciliation with my siblings.
My prayer life by then was intense – several hours daily of scripture reading and long prayer litanies, as well as frequent short prayers. But I was hearing nothing back from God. That was discouraging.
Nonetheless, I knew all of this suffering was for a good purpose.
But, I had no idea what that purpose was, except to share with Christ in His sufferings and to become more compassionate for the suffering. I shared with my family that if God would only cure me of one thing – cancer or anger – that I would prefer He heals me of the anger. I was cured of cancer first.
A church friend suggested that I try a course he had taken, called Love The Lord. There was a book, 14 weekly three-hour sessions, and a renewal prayer at the end. I read one of the chapters and realised I had to take the course. More than half its content was direct Scripture quotations!
I had tried various courses to counter my anger, but nothing as in-depth and enduring as this.
The course, and particularly the time of prayer, encouraged me to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in revealing underlying strongholds in my heart that needed addressing.
There was a lot of revelation, but the main one was of a stronghold of control and domination in me. My mother had grown up without a mother – her mother had died in childbirth, along with the child. My mother feared further loss. She became rather controlling of relationships and money.
My father had not stood up to this, and by frequent long days at work, had not acted as the spiritual head of the household, but had mostly enforced what my mother decided.
As a result, my mother had dominated my father, my brother and me.
When my mother was frustrated, she had made frequent accusations that were hurtful put-downs. For example, [preceeded by a direct or implied compliment;] “but you have absolutely NO common sense!”.
Through the prayer counsellors, the Holy Spirit showed me that I had never experienced love in its fullness in my entire life. I was tired and looking for a sense of love. My fears were keeping me from God. I needed to stop hating myself. My heart had been floating in an ocean of tears; my projected pain revealed as I wept watching movies.
God had many words for me that afternoon. “Humble yourself.”
The opposite of humility is fear. I had been striving too hard to get to God. The Holy Spirit revealed that if I forgive myself, I will receive the fullness of blessings. “Wake up! Spiritually, wake up!” “Forgive yourself.”
In the name of Jesus, I forgave myself. I accepted Jesus’s forgiveness of me for my failure as a father, a husband, and as a living testimony. That afternoon, I chose to be set free. To follow in love, not in fear. To cast out spirits that should have no dominion over me.
I forgave my father for the times he wasn’t there.
For his failures to stand up to my mother. For not being there to guide and encourage me. For sending me out of the house into the coldness and darkness. For his put-down letter about forgetting my mother’s birthday, as if I were a criminal. I forgave him for all of these and I repented for judging him. I then asked the Lord to forgive me for the kind of husband and father I have been to my wife and son.
I forgave my mother for her controlling and for her hurtful words. For her belittling. For her unfavourable comparisons. For her histrionics. For her reliance on material things. For her desire for safety. For her manipulation. For her snappy accusations. For completely misunderstanding me and my intentions at times. For the times she locked me out of the home. For the times she undermined my wife in comparison to my sisters. I forgave my mother for all of these.
Unsurprisingly, I was still carrying on some of my mother’s and father’s bad habits, within my own family.
That day, I repented for the idolatry of fearing or following anyone other than God, any spirit other than the Holy Spirit – even implicitly or inadvertently.
“You are a fighter, you should not be fighting your family. You should be fighting evil.” I had tried to honour my mother, but I had allowed the Jezebel spirit to rule my marriage. My wife had not had the Jezebel spirit when I married her.
I had to stop submitting myself to the Jezebel spirit.
I repented of the empowering the Jezebel spirit and bringing it into my marriage. I repented of allowing it to attack and undermine my marriage and my family. I surrender my future and my family’s into God’s hands. I repented of using worldly standards in our family decision-making. I laid the future of my family in His hands.
And I repented of setting my mother’s expectations as the standard for my wife.
In repenting of judging my father for not spending time with us, I repented also of judging medical professionals for not spending enough time with their own families. I cut ungodly soul ties with hospital wards where death and sickness prevail. And I proclaimed that Jesus Christ had paid the price for my body and set me free from my afflictions.
As the prayer progressed, I felt burdens being lifted, departure of unclean spirits, and a letting go of many entanglements. I felt younger and more energised and enthused with hope and joy. What a relief!
I even had a brief but sweet vision of being in God the Father’s presence and seeing His face and Him reassuring me.
He put his arms around me and told me that I am His beloved. He wants the best for me. He wants to restore my laughter and joy, as when I was a young child. He wants to give me back my youth. He will give me back the joy I had when I was very young.
Thank you, God! At one stage, I was rather overwhelmed and just wanted to show my gratitude to God for his love and mercy and healing. We sang the song, Amazing Grace, together.
The next day, I was able to hike the hardest short hike on Hong Kong Island. Wow!
I am now very much more aware of the continuing spiritual battle described in Ephesians 6:10-17 and especially verse 12. My calling is only to stand firm against Satan!
Since then, I simplified my prayers and just offer my thoughts, prayers, hopes, fears, joys, and sufferings of each day to Father, through the pure heart of Jesus. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and protect me, especially when I am stressed.
There have already been some very sweet moments with my wife, like long ago when we were dating,
But I have also had several setbacks. This is going to be a long haul.
In many countries, spring-cleaning one’s home is a common practice. How much more important to thoroughly clean out one’s soul of accumulated and residual sin and its effects!
There is no point spring-cleaning one’s home, if one does not establish regular, thorough cleaning routines. So I try daily to sweep out the detritus due to ongoing sin, to lift it up to God and ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse me of it. I am blessed to be a member of a men’s accountability group, not specific to the Love The Lord course and the prayer session. I would strongly encourage anyone who has taken the Love The Lord course to encourage others and be encouraged by walking together in a small group community to continue the good work in you begun in the prayer session.
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