2019 = JOY. My Emotional Healing Testimony

Today I’d love to share with you my emotional healing journey, please note that this is the very brief overview because there is just SO much that God has done that I’m compiling it all to eventually release in a couple of books!

In February 2017 God invited me upon a deep inner healing journey and a huge part of that was dealing with the emotions that I had struggled with my whole life. Over the next few months God gradually unpacked grief, rage, hurt, pain, despair, fear, doubts, disappointments and so much more. Many times it felt like my heart would explode with the pain. I thought my mind would melt from the memories of despair combined with the emotion of hopelessness. I felt like my spirit was completely crushed beneath the weight of all I had endured and it was weak and failing me fast.

But praise God for He sustained me!

My heart full of pain was replaced with a heart full of grace and love.

My mind overwhelmed with despair has been renewed with hope and blessed assurance.

My ocean of tears filled with bitterness and great grief were replaced with tears of redemption!

My weak spirit is now steadfast and strong!

It was a journey where I needed to continuously cry out: “not my will but Yours my Lord!”.

God has taken me on a journey of embracing the fact that I‘m emotional and a couple of things that really helped were:

Firstly studying the life of Jesus and recognising the many INTENSE emotions He dealt with whilst here on earth and coming to the revelation that His emotions were centred in God.

Secondly studying James Goll who is a prophetically gifted man, he explains that prophetic people are extra-sensitive so that they can be receptive to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit. Sensitivity enables us to quickly perceive things in the spirit realm. I gained a great comfort from knowing that God wants people with sensitive soft hearts.

I’ve noticed that when we prophecy we feel the pain of others so that we can convey the heart of God. We can feel God’s pain or love or compassion for those we are speaking to so that we can engage appropriately. As emotional people we can be highly sensitive to the Holy Spirit which is a wonderful thing!

As God has patiently and gently taken me upon this journey I’ve seen a shift where I can now fully embrace my sensitive and emotional nature and allow God to use it for His great glory.

I wanted to share my story because I believe that God can heal every area of people’s lives – spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. God can make us WHOLE!

Larry Sparks, in his book “Ask For The Rain: Receiving Your Inheritance Of Revival & Outpouring”, explains it like this: “It’s not about who we are; it’s about Who He is in us and through us. If God is really inside of us, then everywhere we walk, we carry the rule, reign and administration of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

For God to do a work through us He needs to remove the rubbish and fill us to overflow with Him and His glorious presence, it is then that we will see as it is in Heaven unfold. It is a painful process but one that produces such freedom!

I felt prompted to declare over 2019 the following which has been inspired from Isaiah 61:

Jesus comforts and heals the wounds of the brokenhearted, He grants joy to ALL those who mourn.

He proclaims release from confinement and condemnation.

Jesus’s great sacrifice has freed us from every sin that would entangle and entrap us.

For those who are disheartened, Jesus grants the garment of praise.

Grasp hold of Jesus’ righteousness that makes you magnificently strong and full of integrity.

Jesus can rebuild that which seems destroyed and restore that which seems lost.

No longer will shame shadow you or humiliation be your name for a double portion will be restored to you and an everlasting joy bestowed upon you.

For our Lord God loves justice and hates robbery.

When others see our prosperity, they will know and acknowledge that we are God’s dearly loved and highly prized children.

Let us REJOICE greatly in the Lord, let our souls exult Him and His wonderful ways.

He clothes us in garments of salvation; covers us with the robe of righteousness; places a crown upon each of our heads; and adorns us with His goodness.

Just as the earth springs forth that which is sown into it, let us spring forth with righteousness and praise because we have the Word of God sown into our hearts producing a great harvest!

Praying 2019 unfolds with much joy. Many blessings, Keona

The Greatest Story – Part 2: Immanuel

Mary’s exhausted body finally succumb to sleep but after only a few short hours she awoke with her heart racing. It took her a moment to remember where she was and as she tried to roll over a soft moan tumbled from her lips as her weary achy body made known its protest. Mary took a few depth breaths to calm her racing heart as she felt her sleeping baby next to her, she pushed herself up into one elbow and tried to stare at his beautiful face in the dim light. Jesus lay in a very unusual crib, a feeding trough, but he didn’t seem to mind as he slept soundly. Mary’s ear picked up strange voices mixed with Joseph’s voice and wondered what was going on. As if he had read her mind Joseph crept quietly to her side to check if she was awake “are you ok?”, Mary tried to sit up and Joseph rushed to assist her as she let out another moan of pain, Joseph’s face filled with concern “I’m so sorry that you’re stuck here in this uncomfortable place”, Mary caught her breath and replied: “it’s ok Joseph, you tried everything, at least we are warm and safe”. Joseph smiled and stroked Mary’s face “you’re really so special”, Mary smiled back at him “you’re pretty amazing yourself”. Their moment was interrupted by Jesus stirring and Joseph gently picked him up “I think someone else wants your attention also”. Mary smiled and reached out for her son. “I’ll grab you some food and then we have some unusual visitors that insist on seeing you and our son”, Mary looked at Joseph with curiosity but he was gone before she could ask for more detail. A few moments later Merry, the homeowner’s wife, came to check on Mary with some food, fresh water and more cloth for Jesus “did you manage some sleep”, Mary sighed “yes thank you and thank you again so much for your assistance I was really quite scared”. Merry smiled “I’m so pleased I could help. I’m sorry that this is the only space we have free at the moment.”. Mary smiled and replied: “I appreciate having somewhere warm and safe, thank you for your kindness.” The two women sat in silence as Mary ate and fed Jesus. Once Jesus had finished Merry helped Mary to change him into fresh swaddling and she rocked him as Mary laid back sipping her water. “I’m sorry that you can’t rest longer but as Joseph mentioned we have some very keen people who are insisting on seeing you and Jesus, is that ok?” Mary again was extremely curious but just smiled and nodded. Merry handed Jesus back to Mary and left to find Joseph. A few moments later Joseph returned with Rufus, the homeowner, and a group of men. The first man laid down a staff as he knelt next to Mary and she recognized it as a shepherd’s hook. Mary smiled and offered Jesus to the man but he just knelt with a look of awe upon his face. One by one the shepherds gathered around Mary and Jesus kneeling with strange looks on their faces. Finally one of them spoke “blessed Mary we thank you for allowing us to visit. We have quite an unusual tale to tell.” Mary’s eyebrows shot up and she noticed Joseph winking at her over their heads, as she nodded the shepherd continued: “we were out in the fields not too far away and it was just like any other night except one particular star seemed extraordinarily bright.” The man’s face lit up as he continued “then the most amazing thing happened an angel appeared and the brightness of the Lord God shone all around us. We were terribly afraid but the angel told us not to fear because he was bringing good news of great joy. He told us that we would find a newborn baby right here in Bethlehem, wrapped in strips of cloth lying in a manger. We of course wondered just what was so special about a new baby and it was as if the angel understood our thoughts because he explained that this baby is the One we have been waiting for, he is the Messiah!”
Mary’s eyes filled with tears at the shepherd’s words. Then all of them began to speak at once about how a choir of angels had filled the sky and one shepherd sung out the song he had heard:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV)
The first shepherd managed to get the others to quieten down so that he could explain “when the choir of angels left us we packed up and rushed straight here. It was easy to find you as the bright star led us here!”. The crowd that had followed the shepherds listened with amazement and pressed closer to see the baby that they spoke about. Mary hugged Jesus tightly to her chest and smiled as she allowed their words to sink deeply into her heart.

As the shepherds and the crowd disbursed Mary lay back in the straw to unpack all that they had told her, eventually her exhausted eyes closed and she dreamt about the choir of angels. She awoke to another crowd of visitors, at the sight of the distinguished looking men Mary felt unprepared and dishevelled. The men approached and knelt beside Jesus with a look of absolute wonder in their eyes. As Mary sat up straighter one of the men explained how they had been studying and searching. Mary gasped as one man reminded her of Balaam’s prophecy that her family had often recited:
“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.” (Numbers 24:17 NKJV)
Another man quickly explained that they had been closely watching the skies over Bethlehem because of Micah’s prophecy:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (Micah 5:2 NKJV)
They explained how they had been watching the skies year after year and had seen the dramatic changes. They had enquired with King Herod about the new born king but he had seemed shocked and disturbed by their news. Joseph gave Mary a concerned look as they both felt uneasy at the mention of King Herod.
As the men explained how the star had appeared and moved to where Jesus lay a great excitement bubbled forth, “today we meet a great King and we have prepared gifts for him”. Each man brought forth a small chest and presented them to Mary, with shaking hands she opened them one by one to find gold, frankincense and myrrh. Tears of gratitude rolled down her face and she thanked them for their kind words and generous gifts. The men visited with Mary, Joseph and Jesus for a little while discussing in great detail their journey and observations and then rested nearby.
The next morning they bid farewell to Joseph as Mary and Jesus slept and explained that they would not return the way they had come because they had all had dreams that warned them to not return via King Herod. As Joseph thanked them again he wondered if Mary was strong enough to leave also because the Magi’s words had increased the unsettled feeling in Joseph’s heart.

“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)

Picture – Westminister Church PCA

Read the visit of the Wise Men in Matthew 2:1-12

The Greatest Story. Part 1: Joy To The World

Mary had feared so many things about this pregnancy. She had feared when the angel had visited her…. Mary had awakened many months ago with her heart beat madly in her chest, a disturbing dream had gripped her entire body with fear and then someone had called her name in the dark of the night. Mary had been too scared to answer and then her room had been filled with a blinding light. Mary had held her arm up to her eyes in an attempt to block the light. As it had dimmed slightly Mary gasped and realised that someone had been standing in her room. Mary had called out: “Who are you?!”. The response had surprised her: “Mary, my name is Gabriel I have been sent from God with a message for you”. It was then that Mary’s entire body had trembled. Gabriel had continued his greeting to her: “greetings and grace to you, young favoured one. The Lord is with you!”. His words had meant to comfort her but Mary’s concern and confusion had grown as her mind raced to grasp the situation and the words. As if he completely understood her fear and confusion Gabriel had proclaimed: “Do not be afraid dear precious Mary, for you have found great favour with God.”

Mary had sat up straighter and focused her heart upon Gabriel’s words, she had fought hard against the fear gripping her heart. Then Gabriel’s words had granted her a great peace and the moment that Jesus was implanted in her womb she had felt as if peace had been implanted into her heart.

That peace was desperately needed as she had tried to find the words to explain to Joseph something that was unexplainable. Her heart had physically hurt as she watched disbelief and betrayal flash through his eyes. She hadn’t blamed him at all because her story was extremely hard to believe. She had tried to articulate the experience of seeing an angel and the message given. She had tried to explain that the Spirit of God had implanted the precious child within. She had wept for days wondering what his response was going to be. She had known that he could have accused her of adultery and that would mean being stoned, but her prayers had been answered and God had confirmed her story through an angelic visitor to Joseph. They had both wept tears as he had retold her about how close he had came to letting her go.

Mary reflected upon the fact that God had delivered her then and tried to ignite the peace in her heart. But as a strong contraction hit she felt a desperate need to find somewhere safe and fear began to creep into her heart. It was if this whole journey had been shadowed by fear and she had feared so many things.

Mary lifted her weary head, her dusty tear stained cheeks revealed just how painful and difficult the journey had been. She watched through her grit filled eyes as Joseph dragged her and their faithful donkey from place to place, she heard his desperate pleading for a room and wondered if they would ever find a place to rest. Mary cried out to God as another pain hit her abdomen, the birth pains had started as soon as the outskirts of Bethlehem had come into view and were much more frequent and strong now. Mary hadn’t needed to tell Joseph that the time of delivery was imminent because he had sensed it the first moment she had let out a soft moan. Joseph’s kindness, love and concern for her was evident in his pleas with each place they stopped. Joseph had almost exhausted all of his family contacts and there was only a handful of places to try. Mary’s pains continued regardless of the fact that she feared delivering her baby in the street with no shelter. Joseph looked at Mary with utter love and concern as he appologised:  “I’m so sorry we only have 1 more place to try”, Mary tried to smile but tears poured down her cheeks instead, she took a deep breath and mumbled “then let’s pray they can help us”. Mary tried to not get angry about the fact they had travelled for days and now there appeared to be no place for her to rest. She tried not to rage at the injustice of it all, how was she suppose to give birth? Was it to be on the back of the donkey? She feared that she really was going to deliver her child in the middle of the street! What if they could find some sort of shelter, but what? Under some tree if they could find one? Under a stall holder’s table? There simply seemed to be nowhere!

Mary had been afraid of many things but the conditions of her birth hadn’t entered her mind until now. The injustice of the Roman rule seemed personified in this moment just because they wanted to greedily grab every tax penny they could Caesar Augustus had issued a decree for a census to be taken of the entire Roman world. This ruling had forced her and Joseph to travel from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the town of Joseph’s ancestor King David. Mary had feared their journey through the frightening Jordan valley wondering if they would face a lion or a band of robbers, knowing that both would show no mercy or acknowledgement to the fact that Joseph had ties back to King David and that she was bearing the Messiah. Mary had felt such relief when they had made it through the dim forest without too many troubles. Joseph had done an amazing job of finding shelter at just the right moment, so Mary placed her trust in him once again and thanked God for getting them here safely. As they made their way to the last place on Joseph’s list Mary issued another desperate plea to God.

The man who answered the door tried to explain that he simply had no room but as Mary’s moans rung out in his ears a great compassion filled his heart. He quickly ushered them inside and raced to find his wife.

Mary tried to get comfortable in the hay but the smell of the animals around her made her stomach turn. She issued a prayer though because she was so grateful to have finally found somewhere to rest but if she was honest this hadn’t been what she had imagined. Her ears had registered that they were surrounded by animals but it had taken her eyes quite some time to adjust in the dim light to see them all around her. Mary now smiled at the three sheep who had quickly surrounded her, they had simply ignored Joseph’s prodding and she was grateful for their warmth and comfort. “Joseph” Mary cried out “I did not expect to give birth here!” Joseph apologised yet again to Mary and knelt down beside her “I know I’m so sorry”.

“It’s ok” Mary gasped and Joseph reached for her, “do you want me to try and move those sheep away?”. Mary shook her head “no it’s ok I appreciate the warmth and softness of their wool, it’s actually kinda comfy now”. Joseph smiled and stroked the head of the sheep closets to him  “This journey has made me think a lot about my ancestor King David, he probably slept in a place like where you’re sitting right now”. Mary smiled and nodded unable to speak as another pain gripped her stomach. When the pain finally eased Mary gasped out for help. Just then the homeowner’s wife came rushing to Mary’s side with comforting words. She was soon issuing orders to her husband and Joseph who acted quickly and obediently to the commands issued.

A little while later the sheer terror of the past few hours melted away as Mary gazed into her newborn son’s eyes. Her body felt heavy from the arduous journey, the hours of pain and her arms shook slightly as she reached out for her son. Mary smiled as she watched Joseph gently hold and coo at Jesus, she desperately wanted to enjoy some quiet and calm but surrounded by animals and strangers she felt on high alert.

Joseph had urged her to get some sleep but the adrenaline was still racing through her veins, her racing heart refused to slow down and her tired eyes simply wouldn’t close. Mary shifted in the blankets and lent back into the warmness of the sheep around her. Her trio of comforters hadn’t left her side despite many attempts by Joseph and the owners to shift them. Eventually Mary had managed to convince Joseph that they were a comfort to her and so their presence still remained. As she laid back the companion to her right lifted her head to gaze at her, Mary reached out and stroked the curious nose “I’m ok” she whispered quietly. The sheep looked around as if checking all was ok, looked back at Mary and sighed. Despite her exhaustion Mary laughed, it was as if these three mild creatures had taken on the role of being her personal body guards.

“For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!” Luke 2:11-12 The Passion Translation

sheep

Mother and Baby Picture – Pixabay

Sheep Picture – Pixabay

Joy To The World – Jeremy Riddle – YouTube video

Notes: This story is inspired by the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus. I hadn’t ever really considered what the journey would be like between Nazarene and Bethlehem and I was surprised when I read Los Angeles Times article explaining that the journey was fraught with danger. Joseph and Mary had to contend with a long (90 miles/144 kilometres) difficult journey and possibly content with things like lions, bears, wild boars and bandits.

When Joseph and Mary finally made it there would have been such a sense of relief but then to find no shelter would have been terrifying. Mary would have longed to be around people she was comfortable with and also to have some skilled people on hand such as midwives. Giving birth is a dangerous thing especially back in those days when mortality rates were much higher. For her to have been surrounded by animals is very likely and believable. As James Cooper explains homes in those times were built with at least 2 levels: the ground floor was used by the family during the day but was where the animals slept at night while the family slept on the first level. Sometimes there was even an upper room which was a guest room on the roof.

Forgiveness Series – Part 7: Staying Free

Wow this has been an epic journey. I pray that as you’ve studied and pressed into God, freedom and healing has been released to you. Galatians 5:1 declares that Christ has completely liberated us, we are not partially but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth, stand firm and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past. So let’s look at ways that we can stay free:

Our hearts

One way that we can stay free is to guard our hearts because it determines the course of our lives, we need to pay attention to the welfare of our innermost being for from there flows the wellspring of life (see Proverbs 4:23).

We need clean hearts because they can store up evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander and these things defile us (see Matthew 15:18-19).

It’s vital that we store up good things in our hearts because:

  • whatever is in our heart will determine what we say (Matthew 12:34 & Luke 6:45)
  • we produce good things from the treasury of a good heart (Luke 6:45)

Jesus urges us (in Matthew 22:37) to love the Lord God with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our minds.  Meaning that every passion and desire we have needs to bring honour and glory to God; we are to extend every ounce of energy towards serving God; and every thought needs to be worthy of praise.

Our minds:

Romans 12 encourages us to surrender our lives to God, to become His sacred living sacrifices. We’re urged to live in holiness so that we experience all that delights God’s heart. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to inwardly transform us through a complete and total reformation of how we think. This will empower us to discern God’s will as we live a beautiful satisfying and perfect life (Romans 12:1-2 TPT paraphrased).

Sound great doesn’t it? I think that we all desire to live a beautiful satisfying and perfect life.

Let’s live lives with our hearts and thoughts continually filled and fixed on all that is:

  • authentic and real
  • true and confirmed by God’s Word
  • honourable, admirable and worthy of respect
  • beautiful and respectful
  • pure, wholesome and holy
  • merciful and kind
  • things that bring peace

Let’s fasten our thoughts on God’s glorious works and praise Him always (Philippians 4:8)

Another way that we can stay free is by building our relationship with Jesus:

I love Paul’s letter in Ephesians 1 and it is my prayer for you: I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know Him through your deepening intimacy with Him. I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of His calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that He finds in us, His holy ones! I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your life will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him to the place of highest honour and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! (Ephesians 1:17-20 TPT paraphrased)

Perseverance 

You may find yourself still struggling and I want to remind you that it’s a journey. Keep pressing into God because Matthew 7:7-8 urges us to ask and KEEP on asking because it will be given to us (if we ask for things that line up with God’s will and plan for us); seek and keep on seeking and we will find those things that we’re looking for. Because

  1. those who keep on asking will receive
  2. those who keep on seeking will find
  3. and the ones that keep on knocking will find that the door opens to them

Here is a prayer that you can pray to stay free:

Thank You Jesus for completely liberating me, I’m not partially but completely and wonderfully free! Help me to always cherish this truth, to stand firm and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of my past (Galatians 5:1).

Holy Spirit help me to guard my heart because it determines the course of my life, I know that I need to pay attention to the welfare of my innermost being because from there flows the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).

I ask You to cleanse my heart from all evil thoughts such as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lying, slander and any other things that defile me (Matthew 16:18-19). Wash my heart in the blood of Jesus and return it to me whiter than snow with no spot or stain of sin.

I desire to produce good things from the treasury of a good heart (Luke 6:45).

I desire to love God with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my mind.  I want every passion and desire to bring honour and glory to God; I will extend every ounce of energy towards serving God; and I’ll fix every thought on Him so that it will be worthy of praise (Matthew 22:37).

I surrender my life to God, I desire to become His sacred living sacrifice. I want to live in holiness so that I can experience all that delights God’s heart. Holy Spirit I invite You to inwardly transform me through a complete and total reformation of how I think. Please empower me to discern God’s will and live a beautiful satisfying and perfect life (Romans 12:1-2).

I endeavour to live my life with my heart and thoughts continually filled and fixed on all that is:

  • authentic and real
  • true and confirmed by God’s Word
  • honourable, admirable and worthy of respect
  • beautiful and respectful
  • pure, wholesome and holy
  • merciful and kind
  • things that bring peace

I fasten my thoughts on God’s glorious works and I will praise Him always (Philippians 4:8)

I pray that the Father of glory, the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to me the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know Him through my deepening intimacy with Him. I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of my imagination, flooding me with light, until I experience the full revelation of the hope of His calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that He finds in me, one of His holy ones! I pray that I will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power which is made available to me through faith. Let my life be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through me! That is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him to the place of highest honour and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! (Ephesians 1:17-20).

Lord I ask for perseverance to keep pressing into God and I hold fast to the promises in Matthew 7:7-8, that those who keep on asking will receive; those who keep on seeking will find; and the ones that keep on knocking will find that the door opens to them.

Thank You Lord for doing a great work in my life. Let me move forward today with deep gratitude and thankfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I think it’s important to finish this series with the words from Jesus:

Heavenly Father dwelling in the heavenly realms

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give me this day my daily bread.

Please forgive my sins, as I forgive those who have sinned against me.

Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!

(Paraphrased NKJV, TPT & NLT Matthew 6:9-13)

Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. Many blessings, Keona

Picture – Pixabay

Forgiveness Series – Part 6: Generations

The choices that we make affect the generations and this is evident in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT): “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

This verse explains that choosing life affects us BUT also our descendants. Heavy stuff I know but we can pass onto the generations spiritual blessings or curses. That’s why it’s VITAL for us to get our lives right before God because then we can pass on wonderful blessings!

The call to choose between life and death firstly comes in accepting the precious gift of salvation which is extended to us through Jesus Christ and then daily making choices that bring life. The thing I’ve found is that choosing daily the life options can be really hard. My sister lives next to a gorgeous river and on the surface it looks calm and peaceful but there are many dangers lurking beneath. It regularly floods which brings trees floating down the river, most times these large logs float on the surface but some can linger just beneath, and it is not until you jump in and find yourself straddling a log that you discover it. I’ve found that some choices are like that. On the surface they look like a good choice but suddenly I find myself hitting sin and wondering where I went wrong. The thing about sin is that we can inadvertently find ourselves in a situation that we never intended to fall into because sin can easily and quickly entrap us. The wonderful news is that when we repent and ask for forgiveness Jesus sets us free from the sin.

When it comes to looking at our family line it is not a name and shame exercise but rather an acknowledgement that something has gone wrong and we want God to intervene and rectify it. It’s a deliberate choice to make a stand and ask God to break the oppression. For example I have suffered heredity issues (endometriosis) which indicates that there is something in my family line that has occurred. I have studied and prayed into generational blessings and curses and found that it is important to do a couple of things:

  • Identify the issue
  • Decide that the issue will stop with you
  • Pray for forgiveness for the generations before and for yourself.

Let’s look at each of those in more detail:

Identify the issue

There is a great book that can help you here ‘Strongman’s His Name..What’s His Game?’ by Drs. Jerry & Carol Robeson which unpacks the various issue we face and helps us to identify the root issue. For example during my adrenal fatigue battle I felt SO hopeless, I suffered from insomnia and depression. Drs. Jerry & Carol Robeson identify the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3) and suggest Matthew 18:18: to bind the spirit of heaviness; and loose the Comforter, garment of praise and oil of joy (John 15:26, Isaiah 61:3).

There are also many free online options such as: The Upper Room Fellowship – spiritual issues behind sickness & disease

Another area that can cause hindrance is unhealthy soul ties, these are formed through a very close relationship or when a commitment is made to another person through a vow or agreement. Great Bible Study.com explains that soul ties are formed through sexual relations; close relationships; and vows, commitments or agreements. Soul ties can be a healthy (godly) thing such as sexual relations when married but can be formed through an unhealthy relationship or premarital sex. This is again a choice between life (healthy relationships) or death (unhealthy relationships) and it’s vital that we focus on relationships that strengthen our walk with God and not draw us away from Him.

For further details check out “Seductions Exposed – The spiritual dynamics of relationships” book by Dr. Gary L. Greenwald.

Prayer will also help you to discover issues, as you spend time pressing into God and listening to Him, He will reveal and help you to pray.

Decide that the issue will stop with you.

You have to make a very conscious decision that you want the problem to end. Remember James 4:7 that when we submit to the authority of God and resist the devil by standing firm against him, that he will flee. We see here that we are to submit to God and take a stand against the devil’s schemes and destructive plans for us and our family members.

Pray for forgiveness for the generations before and for yourself.

As I just mentioned we can find ourselves trapped in sin either of 2 ways:

  1. We make a conscious decision or
  2. We inadvertently get trapped.

Again it’s important to not get into the name and blame game here but rather just acknowledge very briefly that somewhere along your family’s line the issue has entered in. This is not an opportunity to judge family members but rather lift them up to God. You can pray a very simple prayer such as:

Lord God, I choose to forgive myself and those in my family who have partnered with and passed on the spirit of infirmity. Lord I ask that where sickness, disease, pain, depression, anxiety and depression currently reign that You would take complete sovereignty. Holy Spirit I invite You into my life, into my family and into the lives of those I love to do a mighty work. Jesus You came so that we could experience complete salvation and I believe that is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wholeness. Enable us to walk in the great freedom that You alone offer. In Jesus’ name I invite the Holy Spirit to walk back through my family line and my husband’s family line to break curses and collaboration with the enemy. Jesus cleanse my family line and my husband’s family line with your precious blood. Holy Spirit I invite You to minister to our family members and ask You to set them free.  In the name of Jesus I break the limiting spirit and declare that Jesus promises us Life and Life in abundance (John 10:10)!!!

Holy Spirit I ask You to remove the lies of the enemy from our minds and our spirits. Break the chain of communication between evil spirits and ourselves, let us hear Your sweet voice of truth Lord God. Release us from the residue of the spirits of infirmity and restore to us the joy of salvation and great strength in Jesus’ name.

If there is anyone that we (my family and I) need to forgive I ask You Lord to bring their face or name to our minds. Lord help us to choose to forgive and I ask for Your help to let go of bitterness; wrath; anger; animosity; slander; malice; spitefulness; and enable us to deny our fault-finding nature.

I hand to you any unholy soul ties that we may have and we break free through the blood of Jesus. We send back to the other person or persons any part of them that we have retained, we send it back washed clean in the blood of Jesus. We call back any parts retained by other people, we receive it back washed clean in the blood of Jesus. I declare that this is done (clap).

Loving Heavenly Father I ask You to reveal to each of us just how much You love and cherish us. Help us to fully know how treasured and special we are. By Your great love we are set free, by Your transforming grace we are made new, and by Your mercy we are changed forevermore.

In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.

Many Blessings, Keona

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‘Starts With Me’ -TobyMac – YouTube Lyrics Video

‘Free Indeed’ – Timothy Reddick – YouTube lyrics video

‘Free indeed (You said I am)’ – Houghton Israel – YouTube lyrics video

‘Horizon (A New Day)’ – TobyMac -YouTube lyrics video

Further resources for you:

https://www.bible-knowledge.com/battle-verses-against-demonic-attacks/

https://www.bible-knowledge.com/deliverance-from-spirits-of-infirmity/

Forgiveness Series – Part 5: Truly Free

There is a wonderful promise in John 8:36 that when Jesus sets us free we experience true freedom:

“So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.” AMP

“So if the Son sets you free from sin, then become a true son and be unquestionably free!” TPT

I believe that true freedom comes when we let go of the emotions that result from being hurt.

Letting Go

After we’ve done the hard part of forgiving someone we then need to take it a step free and let go. Choosing to forgive is a powerful thing but we ALSO need to release the emotions that have festered within us. Ephesians 4:31-32 urges us to let go of all bitterness; wrath; anger; animosity; and deny our fault-finding nature. We are to let go of slander; malice; spitefulness and refrain from verbal abuse. By allowing God to help us let go of all of those things we can develop a kind nature; become helpful to those around us; we can have a tender heart full of compassion and understanding; and we’re given the ability to readily and freely forgive others just as God, through Christ Jesus, has forgiven us.

But why is letting go so important? When we hold a grudge, nurture anger, harbour resentment, or cultivate bitterness we give the devil an opportunity to lead us into sin (Ephesians 4:27). When we hold onto those dangerous emotions and fan them into a flame we’re actually allowing satan to manipulate us. I know that this is true because I’ve seen it unfold in my life. I’ve had a small spark of anger and when I haven’t dealt with it I’ve seen it suddenly leap into a roaring fire. When I’ve sat stewing and brewing on wrong emotions I’ve seen them poison my attitude. I’ve seen the sad and devastating result of my out of control anger affecting those around me, I can tell you now I have regrets. But I’m so pleased that God has helped me work through all of that.

I know that my out of control emotions have poisoned my heart. There is a warning in Hebrews 12:15 that the root of bitterness (resentment) causes trouble and poisons the heart.

But why is the health of our heart so important?

A crushed heart = sickness and depression.

A broken spirit saps our strength because when our heart is crushed we struggle with sickness and depression. Jealousy and envy stored up in our hearts eats away at our lives like cancer in our bones. BUT there is of course Good News because a happy cheerful heart brings healing to both the body and the soul.

A happy heart = good medicine for our bodies, spirits and souls.

A tender tranquil heart makes us healthy because a joyful mind brings healing (see Proverbs 14:30 & 17:22).

I completed a devotion on the YouVersion Bible app titled: “Holy Emotions – Biblical Responses to Every Challenge” by Carol McLeod. I loved how she simply unpacked some wonderful truths such as:

“It is a simple equation that God gives us to deal with those irritable and troublesome hunks of humanity: Love + Prayer = Victory. There is an anecdote for bitterness and wrath; it’s called kindness. There is a way to overcome anger and clamor; it’s known as being tenderhearted. There is also a way to conquer slander; it’s recognized as forgiveness. We bless with our tongues, with our heart attitudes, with our emotions and with our actions.”.

As I read that I was reminded that I can’t do any of this in my own strength so when I pray I invite God into my heart to change me and allow His heart of love, compassion and grace to become my heart.

I love the promise in James 4:7 that when we submit to the authority of God and resist the devil, by standing firm against him, that he will flee. That reminder has helped me so much when those little sparks of anger flash in my heart. I surrender my anger to God, I ask for His help and focus my attention on God’s amazing grace. My journey of inner healing has revealed so many ugly aspects of my character but as I’ve allowed God to go deep and heal me I’ve also seen His truly amazing grace at work. I’ve experienced James 4:8-10 which urges us to come to God with a remorseful heart for then He will draw close to us. When we cry out with deep grief over our sin asking Him to wash our sinful hands and purify our unfaithful hearts He will. When we humble ourselves in full repentance He lifts us up and gives us purpose once again.

Words of Life

When our heart is healthy we can then release words of life and healing to others.

Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 urges us to not use foul or abusive language. Rather everything we say should be good and helpful, so that our words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. We need to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. We’re urged to be kind to each other; tender-hearted; and extend forgiveness towards others just as God, through Christ, has forgiven us.

Proverbs 18:21 warns us that death or life is in the power of the tongue.  This means that the words we say can either build someone up (bless them by bringing life) or tear them down (curse them by bringing death through condemnation or hurt).

Now that we understand the importance let’s spend time inviting the Holy Spirit to implant within us His goodness through prayer:

Lord, I let go of all bitterness; wrath; anger; animosity; and I deny my fault-finding nature. I let go of slander; malice; spitefulness and I’ll refrain from verbal abuse. God help me to completely let go of these things so that I can develop a kind nature and become helpful to those around me. Develop within me a tender heart full of compassion and understanding. Grant me the ability to readily and freely forgive others just as God, through Christ Jesus, has forgiven me (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Holy Spirit I ask You to remove the root of bitterness as I let go of all feelings, especially resentment. I don’t want those feelings to trouble and poisons my heart any longer (Hebrews 12:15).

Lord a broken spirit has sapped my strength; my heart has been crushed and I struggle with sickness and depression; jealousy and envy are like cancer in my bones eating away my energy. Holy Spirit come and heal my broken spirit and restore to me strength; please grant me a new heart and remove all traces of sickness and depression; I ask You to remove all jealousy and envy from my life and revive me in every area of my life that has been affected. Grant me a happy cheerful heart which will bring healing to both my body and my soul because a happy heart is good medicine; please grant me a tender tranquil heart that brings health; and a joyful heart that brings healing (Proverbs 14:30 & 17:22).

Lord, I ask You to cleanse my mouth so that I no longer use foul or abusive language. Let everything I say be good and helpful, so that my words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. I ask for Your help to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Empower me to be kind to others; tender-hearted; and quick to extend forgiveness towards others just as God, through Christ, has forgiven me (Ephesians 4:29, 31-320.

Lord I heed to the warning in Proverbs 18:21, that death or life is in the power of the tongue.  I want my words to build others up because I want to bless them and share the amazing gift of Life that You’ve given me. Please stop me from speaking words that will tear others down, I don’t want to curse people by bringing death through condemnation or hurt.

Lord Jesus I want to walk in Your ways and so I invite You to come and teach me. Holy Spirit I invite You to come and touch my life and do a great work within. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.

Many blessings, Keona

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Forgiveness Series – Part 4: Keys of Forgiveness

As I mentioned in my previous post I found it hard to completely let go of angry-Keona and I unfortunately found her rearing up her ugly head more times than I would have liked. One of the first keys of forgiveness is remembering that it is a process and a journey that we allow God to take us on. I absolutely love Corrie ten Boom’s testimony and when it comes to forgiveness I love the wisdom that she shares: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned at 80 years of age, it’s that I can’t store up good feelings and behavior–but only draw them fresh from God each day.”

There is no way you or I can possibly forgive others without God’s help, I know that I desperately need His forgiveness and love and grace and mercy and ….  much more to flow in my life each and EVERY day so that it can overflow to the lives of those around me!

“Forgiving others takes the power of God. We can’t do it in our own strength. But Jesus can help us. If you are struggling with unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone, cry out to God to help you. Seek counsel, talk to a trusted mature Christian or your pastor. If you know someone was sinned against in a significant way and worked through it and came to a place of forgiveness, get together with them and seek their insights.” Dennis Vargas

We see here that Dennis identified more keys of forgiveness that available to us:

  • The power of God
  • Jesus’ help
  • Others – we can find help from mature Christians

The power of God

Choosing to forgive is something only we can do, God cannot force us to do it BUT He will prompt and invite us to forgive because that is His heart for us. Choosing to forgive is the start of forgiveness from our heart. Then we need to let go of the emotions attached to unforgiveness, surrender them to God. It’s important to remember that God is the Lord of forgiveness so He will most definitely assist us.

“When we forgive, we aren’t dismissing the pain or betrayal that’s taken place. We release the offense to a God who is no stranger to pain or betrayal. Forgiveness declares that grace is greater than bitterness or resentment. It doesn’t give a shred of power to our offender. It sets us free.” Tiffany Bluhm

Jesus’ help

“His grace enables us to forgive those who have caused the deepest wounds. Forgiveness is not done in our strength, but is the result of partnering with Jesus.” Amanda Lindsey Cook

Remember Jesus was able to cry out for forgiveness for those who hurt Him. Jesus knows what it’s like to be betrayed and sadly I know we’ve all betrayed Him many times. It’s important to remember the real power of redemption – that Jesus’ sacrifice purchased for us. It is through the blood of Jesus that every sin is broken, every spot and stain can be cleansed from our lives and we can find wholeness. It is because of the blood shed on the cross that we are restored and reconciled to God (Colossians 1:20).

Others – we can find help from mature Christians

There may be some matters in our lives that are too hard for us to handle alone, this is where we can ask for a mature Christian to assist us and pray for us and with us. We can confess our false steps; our offences; and pray for others so that we may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayers of a righteous believer can accomplish much when they are made effective through God’s dynamic and tremendous power (James 5:16).

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you”. C.S. Lewis

When it comes to relationships that affect you on an ongoing basis I encourage you to spend time seeking God’s wisdom.  Boundaries are healthy and hurt can come when the right boundaries are not in place or are not clear. Also, there may be some relationships that simply need to end, this can be for a short-term period or for an extended period, please seek God’s heart on the matter.

Here’s a prayer that you can pray:

Lord where anger and resentment has reigned I ask You to minister to those areas of hurt, remove all residue of anger and fill me with lovingkindness. I desire to be “filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5 NLT).

I acknowledge that I need wisdom to know how to forgive and how to interact with others in a healthy way. Lord I ask for a mind that is filled with things that honour and glorify God, help me to fix my eyes firmly upon holiness and righteousness. I want to love those around me with a genuine and grace-filled love, so I can serve them well. I want to be quick to forgive and be someone who restrains from offending others. I want to be a person of virtue who lives in fear and adoration of Jesus. I want the Holy Spirit to be my Teacher, my Refiner and Strengthener.

I want to serve the Lord in a way that reveals my immense gratitude for all that He has done, is doing and will do. I want to be salt and light – bring life and light to people and situations.

I declare that “The forgiveness of God doesn’t just flow to me, it flows through me. Because I am forgiven, I can forgive others.” (Pastor Steven Furtick)

Lord God I ask You to direct me throughout my journey so I can experience Your good and perfect plans for my life. Reveal the life-paths that are pleasing to You. Escort me along the way; take me by the hand and teach me. For You are the God of my increasing salvation and I entwine my heart into Yours! I rely upon Your perfection and faithfulness to be my bodyguards, for You’re my hope and I trust in You as my only protection (Psalm 25:4-5, 21 TPT paraphrased). In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Many blessings, Keona

Image – Pixabay