MOVING FORWARD


Marchin forward

MOVING FORWARD From Offenses and Woundings

For many of us, conflict and strife are two of the most difficult areas to address. The inability to confidently address criticism and conflict  stifles our ability to soar upward into our divine fullness. The book of Proverbs is chock full of warnings to be cautious in our communication. Being slow to speak and waiting for divine wisdom for understanding has been challenging for me. I grew up in a family atmosphere of intense conflict between my German mother and Puerto-Rican father, whose relationship started to weaken when my father took on great responsibilities as the vice president of the Spanish Fraternity. His time and financial investments to the Spanish Community were straining our family and mom and dad argued constantly. I was very sensitive as a young girl and my parents arguing was very distressing for me. I also had to endure my mother’s temper tantrums where she regularly overturned the furniture, tore apart everything in my two younger sisters’ rooms and gave them beatings. This abusive environment of fear and anger became of stronghold in me. I was terrified of angry, mean people. At the first sign of a negative body language or facial expression, my stomach would turn and I became nauseous. I must admit,  my communication  style was challenged because of my nervousness in the presence of angry people.  This stronghold intensified during my first marriage where I endured domestic violence.  My fear to express disatisfaction or  uphold my boundaries  was firmly established. and my husband’s rage when I stated my opiinion caused me to keep m mouth shut because I didn’t want to be attacked.

We’ve all suffered rejection, abandonment and/or abuse and the extent of our spiritual growth-healing depends on our willingness to allow Christ to heal the deeply-embedded, negative strongholds of our mind and soul. In my life as a creative person,  (many artists, musicians and people in creative fields) feel a need to escape the sordid aspects of reality. Non creative people can also seek refuge in certain comforts such as sports, drugs, alcohol, shopping, food addictions and pornography. This is natural for us to feel safe from excruciating mental anguish or a sexual trauma such as molestation or rape. Those of us from extremely abusive backgrounds believe that the only way to cope with our painful past is to find refuge in the beauty and wonder of our creative endeavors and projects. Success in our careers and creativity is a good thing, but staying stuck in the plateau of woundedness and the trauma is not.

For me it has been a very long and painful road to spiritual freedom and joy because there were few intuitive and anointed pastors and/or deliverance counselors who could help me accurately identify negative strongholds. Even less to find are those who willingly guide a wounded individual to Christ’s wholeness. With the kingdom of hell becoming more aggressive than ever before, (satan knows his time is very short). God’s people are getting a triple dose of attacks in every area of life. It’s rare for any child of God not to be suffering some attack. Strife and division seems to be the main area satan has been using to create division and weakness in the body of Christ. The way around this is continual time in God’s presence, repentance and being accountable to elders.

The law of Love

1 Cor. 13 4-8 is really the formula which builds and strengthens the body, but often harder than it seems. Agape love allows no pride and convicts us when refuse to be wrong. We say, “Why should I acquiesce to him/her?” The spirit of offense is strong and often uses the element of surprise. You’re caught off guard when he strikes and you’re trembling in anger. Offense must be taken captive by Christ’s authority.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

A fellow intercessor sister and I were praying about how to address various weak areas our brthren needed to address. I told her how disappointed II was about several incidents which occurred with very dear and mature prophetic Christian sisters in my circle. Each incident involved a disagreement where both parties responded in quick anger. There was no resolution and the two decided not to bother with each other again. This breaking of relationship and avoiding each other disturbs me and disturbs the delicate atmosphere of unity in God’s family. We may glibly disregard our decision to break relationship with a brother or sister, but that small offense breaches the circle of love. We may not immediately feel or see the sting of offense-rejection, but it’s seed  takes root nonetheless and it opens the door to other demonic strongholds.

Pastor Derrik Prince teaches how just one rejection can swing open a door allowing other demonic stronghold to take root. This is why repentance is so necessary. When we are unified in love, we operate in great power and achieve God’s greatest miracles, healing and deliverance. When we have disagreements so sharp that we cut off the relationship and go on our merry way, we lose the opportunity to grow in the area of resolving conflict. We are as iron sharpening iron and Father is pleased when we conquer that pride spirit and seek reconciliation and resolution. With God all things are possible and when we come together in prayer, with the intention of resolving and unifying, we will be building bridges and healing wounded or misunderstood hearts.

Let us never forget that satan is cunning and has studied mankind for eons. He knows exactly how to s get a toehold in even the most well-intentioned. Conquering offense can often be difficult for people raised in angry, alcoholic and dysfunctional backgrounds. They often have deep-rooted strongholds of unworthiness and inferiority. Their mothers may have scorned, “You’re no good” or “You’ll never amount to anything.” If these declarations are not renounced and broken off, those voices will continue to harass and maim. The child will grow up to be an adult who is fearful of constructive criticism of any kind. When questioned, they respond immediately with raised dukes to fend imagined, crippling blows to their fragile self-worth. Those voices taunt incessantly, threatening their marriage and/or family. These negative accusing voices come from the pits of hell.  Strongholds of rejection and unworthiness can only be banished by daily meditating and declaring God’s truth about His precious children  who are created to do good works!

Learn to address feelings of shame, anxiety and/or unworthiness with God’s word. For those of us who have been raised in abuse and unhealthy homes, we must make wholeness and God’s word a priority. Healing from unhealthy influences may need help from strong, positive mentors. Learn not to be ashamed and defensive when questioned or criticized. Learn to recognize pride when he it rises up. Pride separates, but love unites. Don’t let pride bar us from admitting we don’t have all the answers or we made a mistake. Be sensitive to Holy  Spirit’s nudge when ou quickly  respondi inappropriately, angrilly or with unwaranted suspicion. Give people the benefit of the doubt that they are not always out to get you.

Repentance (humility) are not dirty words and we should never be ashamed to get on our faces, cry out in deep humility and ask Father to reveal our shortcomings. Repentance is cleansing and we grow in His grace when we are transparent. In one of my group prayer battalions, we start out our conference call with confessing our sins and weaknesses to each other.  This was a new thing to me, but found after a few weeks, how it draew my sisters and I closer together and made us more compassionate and prayerful for each other!

Repentance should be as natural as doing a detox or fast for our physical bodies. When we cleanse our body through daily repenting, we do not hinder the flow of Holy Spirit or block Him from blessing us with His conviction and gracious deliverance! My prayer for the body of Christ, is that we work on being transparent and honest with each other. Sin and iniquities root and flourish when we keep our sins and weaknesses hidden. The Bible says we are to confess our sins and weaknesses with each other daily.  All too often,  I see and hear about episodes where our Christian brethren display rage and  are vindictive on Facebook and other public forums. This is a very poor witness to non-believers and grieves our heavenly Father. Especially damaging is strife and division about political issues and gossip. A wise, gracious person would have nothing to do with strife because it weakens the bond of fellowship. We need to share our views respectfully and if the disagreement is too intense, then we must agree to disagree and avoid the subject for the sake of peace.

Brothers and sisters, we need to get it together because we are in the end of the end times and time is short. The eternal destinies of millions are at the precipice of decision and our demeanor must be Christ-alluring, a fragrance in the stench of pride and worldliness. When we are dedicated to unity in our King Jesus, satan cannot get a toehold. Pride in us is insidious and let us remember that it sneaks up even in the best of us. Let us not be afraid to be wrong or uniformed and let us ask God for HIs divine wisdom!

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