Labels

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Freedom in Christ Lesson 8 - Forgiving from the Heart


 Freedom in Christ Lesson 8: Forgiving from the Heart  

Lesson 8 Podcast

Focus Verse:

Matthew 18:34-35 (NIV2011)
34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

.

Objective: To recognize what forgiveness is and what it is not, and to learn how to forgive from the heart.

Focus Truth: in order to experience our freedom in Christ, we need to relate to other people in the same way that God relates to us - on the basis of complete forgiveness and acceptance.

Welcome

Read aloud the following passages:

Matthew 18:21-35 (NIV2011)
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt, and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Read aloud the following passages:

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Ephesians 3:12 (NIV2011)
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Psalm 130:1-5 (NIV2011)
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. 

Why Forgive?

What, in your opinion, gives Satan the greatest opportunity to defeat Christians? Occult activity? Sexual immorality? Cults and sects?

It may surprise you but, in our experience, the biggest issue is an unwillingness to forgive. Nothing gives Satan greater opportunity to stop a church growing than bitterness and division.

A staggering number of Christians are walking around with unforgiveness. And it's usually because we haven't understood what forgiveness is, why we should do it, and how to do it.

Let's remember what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11:

Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven... I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

What is the worst thing anybody ever did to you? Have you got it in your mind? Here's the big question: why should you forgive that? That's the issue we're addressing today.

It is required by God (Matthew 6:9-15)

The first reason is simply because God tells you to.

This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us. (Matthew 6: 9- 12).

When you pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us”, if you think about it, you might not be asking for much.

Your relationship with God is tied to your relationship with other people. You really can't have a righteous relationship with God in isolation from your relationships with other people. As John says,

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20).

God wants us to learn to relate to others on the same basis that he relates to us.

Jesus continues in Matthew 6:14-15:

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sin, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

We need to be careful not to apply this wrongly. God relates to us in two ways: as a judge and as a Father. Because you are in Christ, your sins are forgiven, you are saved, and there is no longer any issue with God as judge. What's at stake, however, is your relationship with God as Father. If you have not forgiven someone, God won't let you be comfortable until you do. You will not move on. You will not bear fruit. Your final destiny is secure, but what's at stake are your daily victories and the potential fruit from your life.

It is Essential for Our Freedom

The most definitive teaching on forgiveness is in Matthew 18:21-35.

“Then came Peter to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Now, Jesus isn't suggesting that you keep tabs on each time you are offended until you reach 78, then get a gun and blow his brains out! He's saying that you just continue to forgive for your own sake. God doesn't want his children to languish in bitterness and be bound to the past.

The Extent of Our Own Debt

In order to forgive this freely we need to understand, first of all, the extent of our own debt to God. There's a story in Luke 7:36-50 where a Pharisee by the name of Simon threw a party and invited a lot of people including Jesus. A woman who had lived a sinful life slipped in uninvited.

She began to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, anoint his feet with oil and kiss them repeatedly. This irritated Simon who said, “Well, if he were a prophet he would know what sort of woman she is.” Jesus said, “Simon, I have something to say to you. Suppose someone had been forgiven a debt of 50 denarii and someone else 500 denarii, which one would love more?” He said, “Well I suppose the one who'd been forgiven 500 denarii.” Jesus said, “That's right. You see this woman. When I came to this house you didn't greet me with a kiss. She hasn't stopped kissing my feet since I came. You didn't wash my feet; she’s done it with her tears. You didn't anoint my feet with oil, but she has.”

Then He says, “Those who have been forgiven much love much. Those who have been forgiven little love little.”

How much have you been forgiven? Little or much?

No matter how well we may think we've done, the truth is our best is like a dirty rag before God (Isaiah 64:6). Without Christ, we all stand condemned. We've all been forgiven much though we may not realize it. But if we do realize it, will find that our capacity for loving others will increase.

Repayment is Impossible

Jesus continues in Matthew 18:

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him 10,000 talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

At this the servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.”

Do you know what it's like to have a debt that you can't pay?

10,000 talents was a huge sum, way beyond a lifetime’s earnings – A seven figure sum in today's terms. What Jesus is trying to show by using such a large amount is that repayment is not an option. There was no way the servant could possibly repay the debt!

How big was your debt to God? Far too large for you ever to repay.

So if the servant is to sort this issue out, another way has to be found.

Mercy is Required

And here's what happened:

“The servants master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.”  

And that's what God has done for you.

Let's define some important terms - justice, mercy, and grace.

Justice is rightness or fairness. In other words it is giving people what they deserve. God is just, it's part of his character. If he gave us what we deserve, we would all get hell.

Thankfully, God is also merciful, and he found a way to forgive and accept us without compromising justice. The punishment we deserve fell at an unimaginable cost on Christ.

Mercy is not giving people what they deserve. We are told to be merciful to others as God has been merciful to us (Luke 6:36).

But our generous God goes even further than that. He didn't just take our punishment on himself so that we could go free. He actually showers us with good gifts that we don't deserve.

Grace is giving people what they don't deserve.

God set the standard by his own example. So He expects us to relate to other people in exactly the same way. We are not to give people the retribution they deserve. In fact we are to give them the forgiveness and blessings they don't deserve, which is what the master did for the servant and what Jesus has done for us.

It all begins with the relationship that God has established with us: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

 ____________________________________________________________________________

Pause for Thought 1

Objective:

To understand that in commanding us to forgive others, God is only asking us to do what he has already done for us.

Questions:

Why are people, including Christians, often unwilling to forgive?

In order to understand how important it is to forgive others; we need to understand how much we ourselves have been forgiven. Discussed this idea.

Look at the definitions of justice, mercy, and grace period how does God come to us when we go wrong? How can we go to other people in the same way?

_______________________________________________________________________________

So That No Advantage Can be Taken of You (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

So the master took pity on the servant who owed the huge debt. He cancelled the debt and let him go. Jesus continues:

“But when the servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him 100 denarii.

A denarius is a day’s wages - so 100 denarii is about 3 months’ worth of income. That's not a small debt, but it was a lot less than the one he had been forgiven.

“He grabbed him and began to choke him. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded. His fellow servant fell on his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me and I will pay everything back.”

But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. “You wicked servant,” he said, “I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”

In his anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

The word used for “torture” usually refers to spiritual torment in the New Testament. It is the same word the demon used in Mark 5:7 when the demon said to Jesus, “Swear to God that you won't torture me!”

Jesus finished the story by saying perhaps one of the scariest things in the New Testament:

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Jesus warns us that if we don't forgive others from our heart, we will suffer some kind of spiritual torment. In other words, we are opening a door to bring the enemy's influence or spiritual attack into our life.

Forgiving from the Heart

To forgive someone from the heart means we have to be emotionally honest with God and ourselves and face the hurt and pain we feel.

In the Steps to Freedom in Christ we use a simple but effective formula. You go to God and choose to be emotionally honest with him by saying:

“Lord I choose to forgive, (the person), for (say what they did or failed to do) because it made me feel, (then tell God every hurt in pain you felt).

We encourage people to stay with this process until every hurt that is uncovered has been put on the table. We have to let God lead us to the emotional core where healing is going to take place.

I'm not pretending that this is easy or that it is not painful. But it's not a meaningless exercise. We do this in order to completely resolve the pain that we have been carrying around. We can't move on from the past until we choose to forgive.

One of the key points we need to understand when it comes to forgiveness is that the real issue is not so much between us and the other person but between us and God because He is the one who commands us to forgive. We don't even have to go to the other person in order to forgive them. In fact, the process of forgiveness doesn't involve them at all - it is between us and God alone.

Yes, Jesus did say that if we go to church and remember that somebody has something against us, we should leave our offering and go and be reconciled with that person. If you have offended someone else, go to that person, ask for forgiveness and put things right as far as you are able. But if someone has offended you, don't go to them, go to God. Your need to forgive others is first and foremost an issue between you and God. If you think about it, there is logic in it: because your freedom cannot be dependent on other people - otherwise it could not be guaranteed.

After you have forgiven, you may or may not be reconciled to the other person. That doesn't depend just on you. But whether you are reconciled or not, you will have removed the enemy’s ability to hold you back.

We Forgive to Stop the Pain

When you forgive, it is for your sake. You might be thinking, “But you don't know how much they hurt me.” But don't you see that they are still hurting you? How do you stop the pain? By forgiving.

If you went fishing and someone accidentally hooked your cheek when they cast the line, what would you do to get rid of the pain? Would you leave the hook in your cheek and go around shouting, “Look what they did to me... This hook is in my cheek... And it hurts... I will never forgive them”? That night you go to sleep with a hook in your cheek and you get up the next morning and it's worse. You go out and tell others the same story - but you leave the hook in your cheek.

Would you do that? No, you wouldn't. You would take the hook out of your cheek to relieve the pain!

By choosing not to forgive someone for what they did, we stay hooked to the pain of what they did. We think that by forgiving someone, we let them off the hook - but, if we don't forgive, we’re the ones with the hook in us.

Holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness is like swallowing poison and hoping the other person will die!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Pause for Thought 2

Objective: To prepare people for the forgiveness step in the Steps to Freedom in Christ by helping them understand that we make the choice to forgive for our own sake.

Questions:

What is your reaction to the idea that unforgiveness opens the door to the enemy's influence in your life?

“The longer you leave the hook in, the more pain it will cause you.  Discuss.

What do you think about this statement: “When it comes to forgiveness, the real issue is not so much between us and the other person, it's between US and God”?

___________________________________________________________________________________

What Forgiveness Is and What It Isn’t

Do you still have in your mind the worst thing that anyone ever did to you? Let's get to the crux of the matter.

On major reason that people don't forgive is because they don't understand what forgiveness is-and what it isn't.

Not Forgetting

It's not forgetting. You can't get rid of a hurt simply by trying to forget it.

You might say, “Well, doesn't God forget our sins?” God is all knowing - He couldn't forget if He wanted to. When God says, “I will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34), what He is saying is, “I won't take the past and use it against you. I will put it away from Me as far as the east is from the west.”

If a husband says to a wife, “I've forgiven you but remember, on January 10, 2013, you did this...,” do you know what he's actually saying? “I haven't forgiven you. I am still taking the past and using it against you.” So part of that commitment to forgive is about deciding not to bring up the past and use it against them ever again.

Not Tolerating Sin

Forgiveness does not mean that we tolerate sin. Does God forgive? He does. Does he tolerate sin? No, He can't.

This is most difficult when someone is in a situation where they are being sinned against continually, for example a wife who is being physically abused by her husband. In the past, some churches advised abused wives in effect, “Go home and be submissive.” What if that man beat up another woman in the church - would they tolerate that? Was it alright to beat up his own wife? It's not only wrong, it is doubly wrong because she's not just getting beaten up, she is getting beaten up by the one who is there by God's instruction to provide for her and protect her.

The Bible certainly tells wives to be submissive but that's not all it says. 1 Peter 2:13-18 and Romans 13:1-7 instruct us to submit to the governing authorities whom God has placed over us. They have put laws in place to protect that wife.  It is perfectly possible to forgive someone yet still decide to turn them over to the authorities to let the law take its course. The fact is that that kind of abuse tends to run in a cycle that simply goes on and on until someone puts a stop to it.

You have every right to put a stop to sin by laying down Biblical guidelines, or by removing yourself from a particular situation. That is not at all inconsistent with forgiveness.

Freedom In Christ presenter, Steve Goss shares this testimony:

A lady called Steve's office and told him that her Christian husband kept having affairs. She continually forgave him and took him back, but he kept having affairs. Steve advised her to forgive him but then draw a line in the sand and say that if he did it one more time, he must leave. That is not inconsistent with forgiving him. To be honest you feel a little nervous when you give that kind of advice. Well it worked. Steve met them again when they came on a marriage course he was running. He thanked Steve and told Steve that the line in the sand was the wake-up call he needed to get his act together and sort his life out.

If you don't put an end to a cycle of abuse it will just continue.

Not Seeking Revenge

The main difficulty we have with forgiveness is we remember the nasty thing that was done to us and understandably we want revenge, we want justice.

We somehow think that forgiving means we just have to sweep it under the carpet and say it didn't matter. But it did matter. Very much.

Listen carefully to what God says about this:

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19).

In no way is God asking you to sweep what was done under the carpet as if it did not matter. In fact quite the opposite.

He promises that if you hand the matter over to Him, He will ensure that it is not swept under the carpet. When you forgive, although you are letting the person off your hook, you are not letting them off God's hook.

“I will repay.” When you choose to forgive, you are taking a step of faith to trust God to be the righteous judge who will weigh what was done on the scales of justice and will demand that the scales balance.

Nothing will be swept under the carpet. God really will demand full payment for everything done against you. Everyone who's sinned against you will have to stand before God and explain it - either it will be paid for by the blood of Christ if the person is a Christian, or they will have to face the judgment of God if they are not. “I will repay” - God will settle every account someday.

You are choosing to take a step of faith and trust God with what happened, to hand all of that pain and those demands for justice and revenge over to Him safe in the knowledge that He will ensure that justice is done. In the meantime you can walk free of it.

Resolving to Live with the Consequences of Another’s Sin

And part of forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of someone else’s sin. You may say, “Well, that's not fair.” No it's not - but you will have to do it anyway. Everybody is living with the consequences of somebody else’s sin; we are all living with the consequences of Adam’s sin for example.

The only real choice we have is whether to do that in the bondage of bitterness or the freedom of forgiveness.

Conclusion

Forgiveness is to set a captive free and then realize that you were the captive. This is an issue between you and God. He commands you to forgive because He loves you. He knows that bitterness will defile you and others and cause you to miss out on the abundant life that Jesus came to give you and not become a fruitful disciple.

You may agonize about whether what they did was actually wrong, or you might think of reasons to justify what they did. Don't do any of that. The issue of forgiveness is not primarily about who was right and who was wrong. If you felt offended you need to forgive - regardless of any other circumstance. It's about clearing garbage out of your life and walking away from it. It's for your sake and in some ways has little to do with the person who hurt you.

You will have an opportunity to deal with this issue when we go through the Steps to Freedom in Christ. There are some guidelines on pages 122-125 of your participant guide that are well worth reading to prepare you for that.

Let's finish by asking the Holy Spirit to show us whether we have one or more people to forgive and resolving before God to do so.

 Lord Jesus, will you please show us if there is someone that we need to forgive in order to walk in the freedom you have one for us.

If you have become aware that you have people to forgive and you want to say to God that you are prepared to do that, then simply raise a hand.

Lord God, we want to be free in Christ and we want to become fruitful disciples. We don't want the enemy to have any hold on us. So we say before you now, that we are resolving to forgive all those who have hurt us just as you have freely forgiven us. And the name of Jesus who died that we might be forgiven. Amen.

 ________________________________________________________________________________

Reflection

 Objective: To prepare for the forgiveness step in the Steps to Freedom in Christ.

(Leader’s notes: Spend some time praying together for those who have indicated they are ready and willing to forgive others when we go through the steps to freedom in Christ period there is no need to share anything hyphen just pray period.)

Discuss the following statements:

Forgiving has little to do with the person who hurt you.

Forgiving is not forgetting.

God will ensure justice is done.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Witness: How might this question of forgiveness challenge someone who is not yet a Christian?  Are there any ways you can demonstrate forgiveness to someone who does not yet know God?  

In the Coming Week: Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart by leading you into truth and starting to reveal to you the areas you will need to bring in the light when you go through the Steps to Freedom in Christ. 

 

 AFTER THIS LESSON - THE COURSE ASSUMES PARTICIPANTS HAVE GONE THROUGH THE STEPS TO FREEDOM IN CHRIST.   

I did a teaching on the Steps to Freedom in Christ and Podcasted a walk through of the Steps to Introduce People to the Process: Both the text and podcast are available  here:  

Steps to Freedom in Christ Teaching & Podcast Walk Through

I am also providing a copy of the Steps to Freedom in Christ here for your use: 

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

The Steps to Freedom

In   Christ

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Instructions

The Steps to Freedom provide a way for you to resolve personal and spiritual

conflicts through genuine repentance and faith in God. They are a means by which

you personally connect with God, who is the only one who can set you free and

heal your wounds from the past. The process will not embarrass you, and there is

nothing to fear. The purpose is to set you free in Christ by taking back places in

your life where the enemy might have gained access.

 

For those doing this study in a Life Group:

 

Dr. Anderson has video sections where he explains the content of the section,

asks participants to do a self-inventory based on the content, and then to do a

renouncing prayer for that section as a group.

 

You will see that this is hard to do in a group setting because it is a less private

environment and there is not enough time to do the self-inventories and

process the prayer contents.

 

If you do it as a group, do it over at least two group sessions and make sure

there is enough time for everybody to think and pray through the materials.

 

We suggest you watch the video session and read along with Neil Anderson then

each individual work through the repentance process on their own, at their

own pace, using this guide. Every step is explained so you will have no trouble

following through it.

 

We suggest you find a quiet, private place where you can process the steps and

pray the prayers out loud. Satan cannot read your thoughts, so it is important

that you speak your prayers audibly.

 

 

 

 

 

If you experience some mental interference, such as, “this isn’t going to work,”

“I don’t believe this,” or other blasphemous, condemning, or accusing

thoughts, just ignore those and continue on. They have no power over you

unless you believe them. Try not to pay attention to any interference from the

enemy.

 

Remember, you are a child of God and are seated with Christ in the heavenlies.

That means you have the authority and power to do His will and to stand against

the enemy. The steps don’t set you free -- Jesus sets you free, and you will

progressively experience that freedom as you respond to Him in faith and

repentance.

 

Successfully completing this renouncing process is not an end but a continuation

of your freedom process. Unless these issues are resolved, however, the growth

process will be stalled, and your Christian life will be stagnant.

 

Should anyone experience difficulties with the process or feel they need more help

in their freedom process, they should contact Freedom in Christ Ministries at https://www.ficm.org/get-help/

 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is

the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”

Ephesians 2: 8-9

 

If you have never received Christ, you can do so right now. God knows

the thoughts and intentions of your heart, so all you have to do is put our trust

in God alone. You can express your decision in prayer as follows:

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to

die on the cross for my sins. I acknowledge that I have

sinned and that I cannot save myself. I believe that

Jesus came to give me life, and by faith I now choose to

receive You into my life as my Lord and Savior. By the

power of Your indwelling presence enable me to be the

person You created me to be. I pray that You would

grant me repentance leading to knowledge of the truth

so that I can experience my freedom in Christ and be

transformed by the renewing of my mind.

 

In Jesus’ precious name I pray,  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparation

Processing the Steps can play a major role in your continuing process of

discipleship. The purpose is to get your firmly rooted in Christ. It doesn’t take

long to establish your identity and freedom in Christ, but there is no such thing

as instant maturity. Renewing your mind and conforming to the image of God

is a lifelong process. May the Lord grace you with His presence as you seek to do His will. Once you have experienced your freedom in Christ, you can help

others experience the joy of their salvation.

 

Begin the Steps with the following  prayer and declaration:

 

Prayer

 

Dear Heavenly Father, You are present in this room and my

life. You alone are all-knowing, all-powerful and

everywhere present, and I worship you alone. I declare my

dependency on You, for apart from You I can do nothing. I

choose to believe Your Word which teaches that all authority

in heaven and on earth belongs to the resurrected Christ, and

being alive in Christ I have the authority to resist the devil as

I submit to You. I ask that you fill me with Your Holy Spirit

and guide me into all truth. I ask for Your complete

protection and guidance as I seek to know You and do Your

will.

In the wonderful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen

 

 

Declaration

 

In the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command

Satan and all evil spirits to release their hold on me in order

that I can be free to know and choose to do the will of God. As

a child of God who is seated with Christ in the heavenly places,

I declare that every enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ in my

presence be bound. Satan and all his demons cannot inflict any

pain or in any way prevent God’s will from being done in my

life today because I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


 

 

Review of your life

 

Before going through the steps, review the following events of your life to

discern specific areas that need to be addressed:

 

Family History

Religious history of parents and grandparents

Home life from childhood through high school

History of physical or emotional illness in the family

Adoption, foster care, guardians

 

Personal History

Eating habits (bulimia, anorexia, compulsive eating)

Addictions (cigarettes, drugs, alcohol)

Prescription medications (what for?)

Sleeping patterns, dreams, and nightmares

Rape or any other sexual, physical, or emotional abuse

Thought life (obsessive, blasphemous, condemning, and distracting thoughts;

poor concentration; fantasy; suicidal thoughts; fearful; jealous; confused; guilt

and shame)

Mental interference during church, prayer, or Bible study

Emotional life (anger, anxiety, depression, bitterness, and fear)

Spiritual journey (salvation: when, how and assurance)


 

 

Step 1: Counterfeit vs. Real

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, please bring to my mind anything and  everything that I have done knowingly or unknowingly that involves occult, cult, false religious teaching, or practices. I

want to experience Your freedom by renouncing any and all false guidance.

In Jesus’ name I pray AmenNon-Christian Spiritual Checklist

(Check all in which you have participated.)


Out-of-body

experience

Ouija board

Bloody Mary

Occult games

Magic Eight Ball

Spells or curses

Mental

telepathy/control

Automatic writing

Trances

Spirit guides

fortune-telling/divination

on

Tarot cards

Levitation

witchcraft/wicca

/sorcery

Satanism

Palm reading

astrology/horoscopes

Hypnosis

Astral projection

seances/mediums/

channelers

Black or white magic

Blood pacts

Fetishism/crystals/

charms

Sexual spirits

Martial arts

(mysticism)

Superstitions

Mormonism (LDS)

Jehovah’s Witness

New Age (teachings,

medicine)

Masons

Christian Science /

Mind Science

Unification Church

(Moonies)

The Forum (EST)

Church of Scientology

Unitarianism /

Universalism

Silva Mind Control

Transcendental

Meditation (TM)

Yoga (religion, not

the exercise

Hare Krishna

Bahaism

Native American

spirit worship

Islam

Hinduism

Buddhism

(including Zen)

Black Muslim

Rosicrucianism

False gods (money,

sex, power,

pleasure, certain

people)

Other

(non-Christian

religions; cults;

movies; music;

books; video games;

comics or fantasy

games that glorify

Satan, which

precipitated

nightmares or

mental battles; and

all other

questionable

spiritual

experiences

including spiritual

visitations and

nightmares)

 

Once you have completed your checklist, confess, and renounce every false religious

practice, belief, ceremony, vow, or pact in which you were involved by praying the

following prayer aloud :

 

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have participated in:

{ specifically name every belief and involvement related to  all that you have check above },

and I renounce them all as counterfeits. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I may be guided by You. Thank You that in Christ I am forgiven.

 Amen

 

Satanic Worship

People who have been subjected to satanic ritual abuse (SRA) need the help of someone who understands dissociative disorders and spiritual warfare. If you have

been involved in any form of satanic worship, say aloud the following Special

Renunciations. Read across the page, renouncing the first item in the column entitled

“Kingdom of Darkness,” and then announcing the truth in the column entitled

“Kingdom of Light.” Continue down the page in this manner. Notice that satanic

worship is the antithesis of true worship.

Kingdom of Darkness Kingdom of Light

I renounce ever signing my name over to Satan or  having my name signed over to Satan.

I announce that my name is now written in the Lamb’s  book of life.

I renounce any ceremony in which I have been wed to Satan.

I announce that I am the bride of Christ.

I renounce any and all covenants I made with Satan.

I announce that I am under the new covenant with Christ.

I renounce all satanic assignments for my life, including duties, marriage, and children.

I announce and commit myself to know and do only the will of God and accept only His guidance.

I renounce all spirit guides assigned to me.

I accept only the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I renounce ever giving my blood in the service of Satan.

I trust only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I renounce ever eating flesh or drinking blood for satanic worship.

By faith I symbolically eat only the flesh and drink only the blood of Jesus in Holy Communion.

I renounce any and all guardians and satanist parents who were assigned to me.

I announce that God is my Father and the Holy Spirit is my guardian by whom I am sealed.  Li

I renounce any baptism whereby I have been identified with Satan.

I announce that I have been baptized into Christ Jesus.

I renounce any and all sacrifices that were made on my behalf by which Satan may claim  ownership of me.

I announce that only the sacrifice of Christ has any hold on me. I belong to Him. I have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb.  AMEN.


 

 

Step 2: Deception vs. Truth

 

We find the strength to walk in the light of honesty and transparency before God and

others when we know that God loves and accepts us just as we are. We can face reality,

acknowledge our sins and not try to hide. Begin this commitment to truth by praying

the following prayer aloud . Don’t let any opposing thoughts, such as This is a waste of

time or I wish I could believe this, but I can’t, keep you from pressing forward. God will

strengthen you as you rely on Him.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, You are the truth and I desire to live

by faith according to Your truth. The truth will set me free,

but in many ways I have been deceived by the father of lies

and the philosophies of this fallen world, and I have deceived

myself. I choose to walk in the light, knowing that You love

and accept me just as I am. As I consider areas of possible

deception, I invite the Spirit of truth to guide me into all

truth. Please protect me from all deception as You “search

me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious

thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead

me in the everlasting way” [Psalm 139: 23-24]

In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen

 

Prayerfully consider the lists in the following three exercises, using the prayer at the

end of each exercise in order to confess any ways you have given in to deception or

wrongly defended yourself. You cannot instantly renew your mind, but the process

will never begin unless you acknowledge your mental strongholds or defense

mechanisms, which are sometimes called flesh patterns.

Ways you Can be Deceived by the World

Believing that acquiring money and things will bring lasting happiness

(Matthew 13;22; 1 Timothy 6:10)

Believing that excessive food and alcohol can relieve your stress and make you

happy (Proverbs 23: 19-21)

Believing that an attractive body and personality will get you what you need

(Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:3-4)

Believing that gratifying sexual lust will bring lasting satisfaction (Ephesians

4:22; 1 Peter 2:11)

Believing that you can sin and get away without any negative consequences

(Hebrews 3: 12-13)

Believing that you need more than what God has given you in Christ (2

Corinthians 11: 2-4, 13-15)

Believing that you can do whatever you want and no one can touch you

(Proverbs 16:18; Obadiah 3; 1 Peter 5:5)

Believing that unrighteous people who refuse to accept Christ go to heaven

anyway (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11)

Believing that you can associate with bad company and not become corrupted (1

Corinthians 15: 33-34)

Believing that you can read, see, or listen to anything and not be corrupted

(Proverbs 4: 23-27; Matthew 5:28)

Believing that there are no consequences on Earth for your sin (Galatians 6:

7-8)

Believing that you must gain the approval of certain people in order to be happy

(Galatians 1: 10)

Believing that you must measure up to certain standard in order to feel good

about yourself (Galatians 3: 2-3; 5:1)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been deceived by [confess the

items you checked above] . I thank You for Your forgiveness,

and I commit myself to believe only Your truth.

In Jesus’ name I pray Amen


 

 

Ways You Deceive Yourself

_______Hearing God’s Word but not doing what it says (James 1:22)

Saying you have no sin (1 John 1:8)

Thinking you are something you are really not (Galatians 6:3)

Thinking you are wise in this worldly age (1 Corinthians 2: 18-19)

Thinking you can be truly religious but not bridle your tongue (James 1:26)

Thinking that God is the source of your problems (Lamentations 3)

Thinking you can live your life without the help of anyone else (1 Corinthians

12: 14-20)

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have deceived myself by [confess

the items you checked above] . I thank You for Your

forgiveness, and I commit myself to believe only Your truth.

In Jesus’ name I pray Amen

 

Ways You wrongly Defend Yourself

Denial of reality (conscious or unconscious)

Fantasy (escaping the reality by daydreaming, TV, movies, music, computer or

video games, drugs, alcohol)

Emotional insulation (withdrawing from people or keeping people at a distance

to avoid rejection)

Regression (reverting back to less threatening times)

Displaced anger (taking out frustrations on innocent people)

Projection (attributing to another what you find unacceptable in yourself)

Rationalization (making excuses for your own poor behavior)

Lying (protecting yourself through falsehoods)

Blaming yourself (when you are not responsible) and others

Hypocrisy (presenting a false image)

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have wrongly defended myself by

[confess the items you checked above] . Thank You for Your

forgiveness. I trust You to defend and protect me.

In Jesus’ name I pray Amen


 

Statements of Truth

1. I recognize that there is only one true and living God who exists as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is worthy of all honor, praise, and glory as the One who made all things and holds all things together. [Exodus 20: 2-3; Col 1: 16-17]

2. I recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. I believe that He came to destroy the works of the devil and that he disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public display of them, having triumphed over them. [John 1: 1, 14; Col 2:15; 1 John 3:8]

3. I believe that God demonstrated His own love for me in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. I believe that He has delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to His kingdom, and in Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Rom 5:8; Col 1: 13-14]

4. I believe that I am now a child of God and that I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies. I believe that I was saved by the grace of God through faith and that it was a gift and not a result of any works on my part. [Eph 2: 6,8-9; 1 John 3: 1-3)

5. I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. I put no confidence in the flesh, for the weapons of warfare are not of the flesh but are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds. I put on the full armor of God. I resolve to stand firm in my faith and resist the evil one. [2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6: 10-20)

6. I believe that apart from Christ I can do nothing, so I declare my complete  dependence on Him. I choose to abide in Christ in order to bear much fruit and glorify my Father. I announce to Satan that Jesus is my Lord. I reject any and all counterfeit gifts or works of Satan in my life. [John 15: 5,8; 1 Cor 12:3]

7. I believe that the truth will set me free, and that Jesus is the truth. If He sets me free, I will be freed indeed. I recognize that walking in the light is the only path of true fellowship with God and man. Therefore, I stand against all of Satan’s deceptions by taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ. I declare that the Bible is the only authoritative standard for truth and life. [John 8: 32,36; 14:6; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Timothy 3: 15-17; 1 John 1: 3-7]

8. I choose to present my body to God as a living and holy sacrifice and the members of my body as instruments of righteousness. I choose to renew my mind by the living Word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. I put off the old self with its evil practices and I put on the new self. I declare myself to be a new creation in Christ. [Rom 6: 13; 12:1-2; 2 Cor 5:17;  Col 3: 9-10]

9. By faith, I choose to be filled with the Spirit so that I can be guided into all truth. I choose to walk by the Spirit so that I will not carry out the desires of the flesh. [John 16:13; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18]

10. I renounce all selfish goals and choose the ultimate goal of love. I choose to obey the two greatest commandments; to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul,  mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. [Matt 22: 37-39; 1 Tim 1:5]

11. I believe that the Lord Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, and He is

the head over all rule and authority. I am complete in Him. I believe that Satan

and his demons are subject to me in Christ since I am a member of Christ’s body. Therefore, I obey the command to submit to God and resist the devil, and I command Satan in the name of Jesus Christ to leave my presence. [Matt 28: 18; Eph 1: 19-23; Col 2: 10; James 4:7]

 

Step 3: Bitterness vs. Forgiveness

We are called to be merciful just as our heavenly Father is merciful [Luke 6:36]

and forgive others as we have been forgiven [Ephesians 4: 31-32]. Doing so sets us free

from our past and doesn’t allow Satan to take advantage of us [2 Corinthians 2: 10-11].

Ask God to bring to your mind the people you need to forgive by praying the following

prayer aloud :

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the riches of Your

kindness, forbearance, and patience toward me, knowing

that Your kindness has led me to repentance. I confess that I

have not shown that same kindness and patience toward

those who have hurt or offended me [Romans 24]. Instead, I

have held on to my anger, bitterness, and resentment toward

them. Please bring to my mind all the people I need to

forgive in order that I may now do so.

In Jesus name, I pray. Amen

Make a List

On a separate sheet of paper, list the names of people who come to your mind.

At this point don’t question whether you need to forgive them. Often we hold things

against ourselves as well, punishing ourselves for wrong choices we’ve made in the

past. Write ‘myself” at the bottom of your list if you need to forgive yourself.

Forgiving yourself is accepting the truth that God has already forgiven you in Christ. If

God forgives you; you can forgive yourself!

 

Also write down “Thoughts Against God” at the bottom of your list. Obviously,

God has never done anything wrong, so He doesn’t need our forgiveness; but we need

to let go of our disappointments with our heavenly Father. People often harbor angry

thoughts against Him because He did not do what they wanted Him to do. Those

feelings of anger or resentment toward God need to be released.

 

Review what Forgiveness is

 

Before you begin working through the process of forgiving those on your list,

review what forgiveness is and what it is not. The critical points are highlighted below.

 

Forgiveness is not forgetting. People who want to forget all that has done to them will find

they cannot do it. When God says He will remember our sins no more, He is saying He will not

use the past against us. Forgetting is a long-term by-product of forgiveness, but it is never a

means toward it. Don't put off forgiving those who have hurt you, hoping the pain will go

away. After you choose to forgive someone, Christ will heal your wounds. We don't heal in

order to forgive we forgive in order to heal.

 

 

 

Forgiveness is a choice, a decision of the will. God requires you to forgive, so we know that it

is something you can do. Some people hold onto their anger as a means of protecting

themselves against further abuse, but all they are doing is hurting themselves. Others want

revenge. The Bible teaches “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” [Romans 12:19].

Let God deal with the person. Let him or her off the hook because as long as you refuse to

forgive someone, you are still hooked to that person. You are still chained to your past,

bound up in your bitterness. By forgiving, you let the other person off your hook, but he or she

is not off God's hook. You must trust that God will deal with the person justly and fairly,

something you simply cannot do. But you don't know how much this person hurt me! No other

human really knows another person's pain, but Jesus does, and he instructs us to forgive

others for our sakes. Until you let go of your bitterness and hate, the person is still hurting you.

Nobody can fix your past, but you can be free from it. What you gain from forgiving is freedom

from your past and from those who have abused you. To forgive is to set the captives free and

then realize you were the captive .

 

Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person sin. We are all

living with the consequences of others’ sin. The only choice is to do so either in the bondage of

bitterness or in the freedom of forgiveness. But where is the Justice? The cross makes

forgiveness legally and morally right. Jesus died once for all our sins. we are to forgive as Christ

has forgiven us. He did that by taking on Himself the consequences of our sins. God made Him

who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in

him [2 Corinthians 5:21]. Do not wait for the other person to ask for your forgiveness.

Remember Jesus did not wait for those who were crucifying him to apologize before He forgave

them. Even while they mocked and jeered at Him, He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” [ Luke 23:34.].

 

Forgive from your heart. Allow God to bring to the surface the painful memories, and

acknowledge how you feel toward those who have hurt you. If your forgiveness doesn't touch

the emotional core of your life, it will be incomplete. Too often we are afraid of the pain, so we

bury our emotions deep inside us. Let God bring them to the surface so He can begin to heal

those damaged emotions.

 

Forgiveness is choosing not to hold others sin against them anymore. Bitter people

commonly bring up past offenses with those who have hurt them. They want the offenders to

feel as bad as they do! But we must let go of the past and choose to reject any thought of

revenge. This doesn't mean you continue to put up with the abuse. God does not tolerate sin

and neither should you. You will need to set up scriptural boundaries that put a stop to further

abuse. Take a stand against sin while continuing to exercise grace and forgiveness toward

those who hurt you. If you need help setting scriptural boundaries to protect yourself from

further abuse talk to a trusted friend, counselor, or pastor.

 

Don't wait until you feel like forgiving. You will never get there make the hard choice to

forgive even if you don't feel like it. Once you choose to forgive, Satan will lose his hold

on you, and God will heal your damaged emotions.


 

 

Make the Choice

 

Start with the first person on your list and make the Choice to forgive him or

her for every painful memory that comes to your mind. Stay with that individual until

you are sure you have dealt with all the remembered pain. Then work your way down

the list in the same way. As you begin forgiving people, God may bring to your mind

painful memories you've totally forgotten. Let Him do this even if it hurts. God is

surfacing those painful memories so you can face them once for all time and let them

go. Don't excuse others’ behavior even if they are close to you.

 

Don't say, “Lord please help me forgive”. He is already helping you and will be with

you all the way through the process. Don't say, “Lord I want to forgive”, because that

bypasses the hard choice we have to make. Say, “Lord I choose to forgive these people

and what they did to me”. For every painful memory that God reveals for each person

on your list pray this prayer aloud:

 

Lord Jesus, I choose to forgive [name the person] for [what he or she did or failed to do] because it made me feel [share the painful feelings, such as rejected, dirty, worthless,

inferior]

 

After you have forgiven every person for every painful memory, pray this prayer as

well:

 

Lord Jesus, I choose not to hold on to my resentment. I

relinquish my right to seek revenge, and I ask you to heal

my damaged emotions. Thank you for setting me free from

the bondage of my bitterness. I now ask you to bless those

who have hurt me.

 

In Jesus name I pray. Amen .

 


 

Acknowledging the Truth about Your Father God

Before we came to Christ, thoughts were raised up in our minds against the true

knowledge of God [2 Corinthians 10:3-5]. Even as believers we have harbored

resentment toward God that will hinder our walk with Him. We should have a healthy

fear of God (awe of His Holiness, power & presence), but we fear no punishment from

Him. Romans 8:15 reads, “For you have not received the spirit of slavery leading to

fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as Sons by which we cry out,

‘Abba Father!’”  The following exercise will help renew your mind to a true knowledge of your  Heavenly Father. Read through the list:

I Renounce the Lie that God is distant and disinterested.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is intimate and involved [Ps 139: 1-18]

I Renounce the Lie that God is insensitive and uncaring.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is kind and compassionate [Ps 103:8-14]

I Renounce the Lie that God is stern and demanding.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is accepting and filled with joy and love. [Zeph 3:17; Rom 15:7]

I Renounce the Lie that God is passive and cold.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is  warm and affectionate [Is 40:11; Hos 11; 3-4]

I Renounce the Lie that God is absent or too busy for me.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is always with me and eager to be with me [Jer 31:20; Ezek 34:11-16; Heb 13: 5]

I Renounce the Lie that God is never satisfied with what I do; impatient or angry.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is patient and slow to anger [Exodus 34:6; 2 Peter 3:9]

I Renounce the Lie that God is mean, cruel, or abusive.

 I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is loving, gentle, and protective of me [Ps 18:2; Jer 31:3; Is 42:3]

I Renounce the Lie that God is trying to take all the fun out of life.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is trustworthy, wanting to give me a full life. He will his good, perfect, and acceptable for me [Lam 3:22-23; Rom 12:1-2]

I Renounce the Lie that God is controlling or manipulative.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is full of grace and mercy; He gives me freedom to fail [ Heb 4: 15-16; Luke 15: 11-16]

I Renounce the Lie that God is condemning and unforgiving.

 I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is tenderhearted and forgiving; His heart and arms are always open to me [Psalm 130:1-4; Luke 15:17-24]

I Renounce the Lie that God is exacting, or perfectionist.

I Choose to Believe the Truth that God is committed to my growth and proud of me as His beloved child [Rom 8:28-29; Heb 12: 5-11; 2 Cor 7:4 ]

I am the apple of His eye! [Deuteronomy 32:10]


Step 4: Rebellion vs. Submission

Prayer

 

Dear heavenly Father,

 

You have said that rebellion is as the

sin of witchcraft and insubordination is as iniquity and

idolatry [1 Samuel 15:23] . I know that I have not always been

submissive, but instead have rebelled in my heart against

You, and against those You have placed in authority over

me, in attitude and in action. Please show me all the ways I

have been rebellious. I choose now to adopt a submissive

spirit and a servant’s heart.

 

In Jesus’ name I pray Amen

 

From the list below, allow the Lord to show you any specific ways you have been

rebellious and us the prayer that follows to confess those sins He brings to mind.

 

Civil government, including traffic laws, tax laws, attitude toward government

officials [Romans 13: 1-7; 1 Timothy 2: 1-4; 1 Peter 2: 13-17]

Parents, stepparents, or legal guardians [Ephesians 6: 1-3]

Teachers, coaches, and school officials [Romans 13:1-4]

Employers -- past and present [1 Peter 2:18-23]

Husband [1 Peter 3:1-4] or wife [Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:7]

( Note to Husbands: Ask the Lord if your lack of love for your wife could be fostering a rebellious spirit within her. If so, confess that as a violation of Ephesians 5:22-33)

Church leaders [Hebrews 13:7]

God [Daniel 9:5-9]

 

Prayer

 

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been rebellious toward

[name or position] by [specifically confess what you did or

did not do] . Thank You for Your forgiveness. I choose to be

submissive and obedient to Your Word.

 

In Jesus’ name I pray Amen


 

Step 5: Pride vs. Humility

Pride comes before a fall, but God gives grace to the humble [ James 4:6; 1 Peter

5:1-10]. Humility is confidence properly placed in God, and we are instructed to “put

no confidence in the flesh” [Philippians 3:3]. We are to be “strong in the Lord and in

the strength of His might” [Ephesians 6:10]. Proverbs 3:5 urges us to trust in the Lord

with all our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding.

Use the following prayer to ask God to show you where you may be prideful.

 

Prayer

Dear heavenly Father,

You have said that Pride goes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before stumbling. I confess that I have focused on my own needs and desires and not others’. I have not always denied myself, picked up my cross daily and followed You. I have relied on my own strength and resources instead of resting in Yours. I have placed my will before Yours and centered my life around myself instead of You. I confess my pride and selfishness and pray that all  ground gained in my life by the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ would be canceled. I choose to rely upon the Holy Spirit's power and guidance so that I will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. But with humility of mind, I choose to regard others as more important than myself. I acknowledge You as my Lord and I confess that apart from You I can do nothing of lasting significance.   Please examine my heart and show me the specific ways I have lived my life in Pride.  In the gentle and humble name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen

 

To the list below and use the prayer following to confess any sense of Pride the

Lord brings to mind.

Having a stronger desire to do my will than God's will

leaning too much on my own understanding and experience rather than

seeking God's guidance through prayer and his word

relying on my own strength and resources instead of depending on the power

of the Holy Spirit

being more concerned about controlling others than in developing self-control

being too busy doing seemingly important and selfish things rather than

seeking and doing God's will

having a tendency to think that I have no needs

finding it hard to admit when I am wrong

being more concerned about pleasing people than pleasing God

being overly concerned about getting the credit I feel I deserve

thinking I am more humble, spiritual, religious, or devoted than others

being driven to obtain recognition by attaining degrees, titles, and positions

often feeling that my needs are more important than another person's needs

considering myself better than others because of my academic, artistic or

athletic abilities and accomplishments

having feelings of inferiority appearing as false humility

not waiting on God

other ways I have thought more highly of myself than I should

For each of the above areas that has been true in your life, pray aloud :

 

Prayer

 

Lord Jesus,

 

I agree I have been proud by [name each item you checked above] .

Thank You for Your forgiveness.

I choose to humble myself before You and others.

I choose to place all my confidence in You

and not to put confidence in my flesh.

 

In Jesus’ name I pray.

 

Amen


 

 

Step 6: Bondage vs. Freedom

We resist the devil by rejecting his lies. We must walk in the truth and put on

the full armor of God [Ephesians 6:10-20] Sin that has become a habit often may require help from a trusted brother or sister in Christ. [James 5:16] Remember, confession is not just saying “I’m sorry.” It is openly admitting, “I did it.” Whether you need help from other people or just the accountability of walking in the light before God, pray the following prayer aloud :

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, You have told me to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust. I confess that I have given in to fleshly lusts that wage war against my soul. I thank You that in Christ my sins are already forgiven, but I have broken Your holy law and I have allowed sin to wage war in my body. I come to You now to confess and renounce these sins of the flesh so that I might be cleansed and set free from the bondage of sin. Please reveal to my mind all the sins of the flesh I have committed and the ways I have grieved the Holy Spirit.

 

In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen

 

The following list contains many sins of the flesh, but a prayerful examination

of Mark 7:2-23; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4: 25-31 and other scripture passages

will help you to be even more thorough. Look over the list below and the scriptures

listed, and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind the sins you need to confess. He

may reveal others to you as well. For each one the Lord shows you, pray a prayer of

confession from your heart. There is a sample prayer following the list.

 

( NOTE: sexual sins, eating disorders, substance abuse, abortion, suicidal tendencies

and perfectionism will be dealt with later in this step. Further counseling may be

necessary to find complete healing and freedom in these and other areas.)

 


Stealing

Quarreling/fighting

Jealousy/envy

Complaining/criticism

Sarcasm

Lustful actions

Gossip/slander

Swearing

Apathy/laziness

Lying

Hatred

Anger

Lustful thoughts

Drunkenness

Cheating

Procrastinating

Greed/materialism

Others:_________

_____________

_____________

_____________


Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have sinned against You by [name the sins] . Thank You for Your forgiveness and cleansing. I now turn away from these expressions of sin and turn to You, Lord. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

 

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Resolving sexual sin

 

We are responsible to not let sin reign (rule) in our mortal bodies. We must not

use our bodies or other people's bodies as instruments of unrighteousness [Romans 6:

12-13]. Sexual immorality is not only a sin against God but also a sin against our

bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 6:18-19]. To find Freedom

from sexual bondage begin by praying this prayer :

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I have allowed sin to reign in my mortal body. I asked you to bring to mind every sexual use of my body as an instrument of unrighteousness so I can renounce the sexual sins and break the sinful bandages.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

As the Lord brings to your mind every immoral sexual use of your body,

whether it is done to you (rape, incest, sexual molestation) or willingly by you

(pornography, masturbation, sexual immorality), use this prayer to renounce every

experience you can think of.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I renounce [name the sexual experience] with [name] . I asked you to break that sinful bond with [name] spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

After you have finished, commit your body to the Lord with this prayer.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I renounce all the uses of my body as an instrument of unrighteousness, and I

admit to any willful participation. I choose to present my physical body to You as an

instrument of righteousness, a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to You. I choose to reserve the sexual use of my body for marriage only. I reject the devil's lie that my body is not clean or that it is dirty or in any way unacceptable to You as a result of my past sexual experiences. Lord thank You that You have cleansed and forgiven me and that You love and accept me just the way I am. Therefore, I choose now to accept myself and my body as clean in Your eyes.

 

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 


 

Pornography

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have looked at sexually suggestive in pornographic material for

the purpose of stimulating myself I have attempted to satisfy my lustful desires and have

polluted My Body, Soul and Spirit. Thank You for cleansing me and for Your forgiveness. I

renounce any satanic bonds I have allowed in my life to the unrighteous use of my body and mind. Lord, I commit myself to destroying any objects in my possession that I have used for sexual stimulation, and I turn away from all media that are associated with any sexual sin. I commit myself to the renewing of my mind and to thinking pure thoughts. Fill me with Your holy spirit that I may not carry out the desires of the flesh.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Homosexuality

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I renounce the lie that You have created me or anyone else to be homosexual

and I agree that in Your word, You clearly forbid homosexual behavior. I choose to accept

myself as a child of God, and I thank You that You created me as [man or woman] . I

renounce all homosexual thoughts urges, drives, and acts, and I renounce all the ways Satan has used these things to pervert my relationships. I announced that I am free in Christ to relate to the opposite sex and my own sex in the way that You intended.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Abortion

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I was not a proper guardian and Keeper of the life you entrusted to

me, and I confess that I have sinned. Thank You that because of Your forgiveness,

I can forgive myself. I commit the child to You for all eternity and believe

that he or she is in Your caring hands

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Suicidal Tendencies

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I renounce all suicidal thoughts and any attempts I've made to take my own life

or in any way injure myself. I renounce the lie that life is hopeless and that I can find peace

and freedom by taking my own life. Satan is a thief and comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I

choose life in Christ, who said He came to give me life and give it abundantly.

Thank You for Your forgiveness which allows me to forgive myself. I choose to believe that

there is always hope in Christ and that my heavenly Father loves me.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

 

 

 

Drivenness and Perfectionism

Prayer

Heavenly father, I renounce the lie that my sense of worth depends on my ability to

perform. I announce the truth that my identity and sense of worth are found in who I am as Your child. I renounce seeking the approval and acceptance of other people, and I choose to believe that I am already approved and accepted in Christ because of His death and

Resurrection. I choose to believe the truth that I have been saved-- not by deeds done in

righteousness, but according to Your mercy. I choose to believe that I am no longer under

the curse of the law because Christ became a curse for me. I receive the free gift of Life In

Christ and choose to abide in Him. I renounce striving for perfection by living under the law. By Your grace, Heavenly Father, I choose from this day forward to walk by faith in the

power of Your Holy Spirit according to what You have said is true.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Eating Disorders or Self-Mutilation

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I renounce the lie that my value as a person depends on my appearance or

performance. I renounce cutting, abusing myself, vomiting, using laxatives, and starving

myself as a means of being in control, altering my appearance, or trying to cleanse myself of evil. I announced that the only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cleanses me from sin. I

realize that I have been bought with a price and that my body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, belongs to God. Therefore, I choose to glorify God in my body. I renounce the lie that I am evil or that any part of my body is evil.

Thank You that You accept me just the way I am in Christ.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Substance Abuse

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have misused substances [Alcohol, Tobacco, food, prescription or

street drugs] for the purpose of pleasure, to escape reality, or to cope with difficult problems.

I confess that I have abused my body and programmed my mind and harmful ways. I have

quenched the Holy Spirit as well. Thank You for Your forgiveness. I renounce any satanic

connection or influence in my life through my misuse of food or chemicals. I cast my

anxieties on to Christ, Who loves me. I commit myself to yield no longer to substance abuse,

and I choose to allow the Holy Spirit to direct and empower me.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen


 

 

Step 7: Curses vs. Blessings

Scripture declares that the iniquities of one generation can be visited on the 3rd

and 4th Generations, but God's blessings will be poured out on thousands of

generations of those who love and obey Him [Exodus 24:2-6]. The iniquities of one

generation can adversely affect future ones unless those sins are renounced and new

spiritual Heritage in Christ is claimed. This cycle of abuse and all negative influences

can be stopped through genuine repentance. Jesus died for our sins, but you

appropriate the forgiveness and cleansing only when you choose to believe Him, and

you experience it only when you repent. You are not guilty of your ancestors’ sins, but

you were affected by their influence. Jesus said that after we have been fully trained we

will be like our teachers [Luke 6:40], and Peter wrote that you were redeemed from

your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers [1 Peter 1:18]. Ask the Lord to

reveal your ancestral sins and then renounce them with this prayer.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, please reveal to my mind all the sins of my ancestors that have been

passed down through Family Lines. Since I am a new creation in Christ, I want to

experience my freedom from those influences and walk in my new identity as a child of

God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Lord, I renounce [confess all the family sins that God brings to your mind]

 

Satan and people may curse us, but no curse will have any effect on us unless

we believe it. We cannot passively take our place in Christ; we must actively and

intentionally choose to submit to God and resist the devil, and then he will flee from

us. Complete this final step with this declaration and prayer.

 

Declaration

I here and now reject and disown all of the sins of my ancestors. As one who has been

delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God's Son, I

declare myself to be free from those harmful influences. I am no longer in Adam. I am now

alive in Christ. Therefore I am the recipient of the blessings of God on my life as I choose to

love and obey Him. As one who has been crucified and raised with Christ and who sits with

Him in Heavenly places, I renounce any and all satanic attacks and any assignments

directed against me and my ministry. Every curse placed on me was broken when Jesus

Christ became a curse for me by dying on the cross [Galatians 3:13]. I reject any and every

way in which Satan may claim ownership of me. I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who

purchased me with His own precious blood. I declare myself to be fully and eternally signed

over and committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, having submitted to God and by His authority, I now resist the devil and I

command every spiritual enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ to leave my presence. I put on the

armor of God, and I stand against Satan's temptations, accusations, and deceptions.

From this day forward I will seek to do only the will of my Heavenly Father.

Prayer

 

Dear heavenly Father, I come to You as Your child, bought out of Slavery to sin by the blood

of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are the lord of the universe and the Lord of my life. I submit my body to you as a living and holy sacrifice. May You be glorified through my life and body. I now ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I commit myself to the renewing of my mind in order that I may prove that Your will is good, acceptable, and perfect for me.

I desire nothing more than to be like you. I pray, believe, and do all this in The Wonderful Name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

Amen

 

Maintaining Your Freedom

 

It is exciting to experience your freedom in Christ, but what you have gained

must be maintained. You have won an important battle, but the war goes on. To

maintain your freedom in Christ and grow in the grace of God, you must continue

Renewing Your Mind to the truth of God's word. If you become aware of Lies you have

believed, renounce them, and choose the truth. If more painful memory surface,

forgive those who hurt you and renounce any sinful part you played. Many people

choose to go through the Steps to Freedom again on their own to make sure they have

dealt with all their issues. Sometimes new issues will surface. The process can assist

you in regular “house cleaning”.

 

After going through the Steps, people commonly have thoughts like these:

“Nothing has really changed. I'm the same person I always was. It didn't work”. In

most cases you should just ignore these thoughts. We are not called to dispel the

darkness, but to turn on the light. You don't get rid of negative thoughts by rebuking

everyone; you get rid of them by repenting and choosing the truth.

If you would like to continue growing in the grace of God, here are some

suggestions:

 

1. Get rid of or destroy any cult or occult objects in your home [Acts 19:18-20]

2. Get involved in a Life Group Ministry where you can be a real person, and be

part of a church where God's truth is taught with kindness and Grace.

3. Read and meditate on the truth of God's word each day.

4. Don't let your mind be passive, especially concerning what you watch and

listen to (music, TV, movies, and the like). Actively take every thought captive

to The Obedience of Christ.

5. Learn to Pray by the spirit.

6. Remember, you are responsible for your mental, spiritual, and physical health.

7. Commit to spending time daily with God through devotions, scripture reading

and memorization and prayer.

 

 

 

 

Daily Prayer and Declaration

Dear heavenly Father, I praise You and honor You as my Lord and Savior. You are in control of all things. I thank You that You are always with me and will never leave me or forsake me. You are the all-powerful and only wise God. You are kind and loving in all Your ways. I love You and thank You that I am united with Christ and spiritually alive and Him. I choose not to love the world or the things in the world, and I crucify the flesh and all its passions.

 

Thank you for the life I now have in Christ. I ask You to fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can

be guided by You and not carry out the desires of the flesh. I declare my total dependence

upon You, and I take my stand against Satan and all his lying ways. I choose to believe the

truth of God's word despite what my feelings may say. I refuse to be discouraged; You are

the God of all hope. Nothing is too difficult for you. I am confident that You will supply all

my needs as I seek to live according to Your word. I thank you that I can be content and live

a responsible life through Christ Who strengthens me.

 

I now take my stand against Satan, and I command him and all his evil spirits to depart from me. I choose to put on the full armor of God so I may be able to stand firm against all the devil's schemes. I submit my body as a living and holy sacrifice to You, and I choose to

renew my mind by Your Living Word.

By doing so I will be able to prove that Your will is good, acceptable, and perfect for me.

In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ I pray

Amen

 

Bedtime Prayer

Thank you, Lord, that You have brought me into Your family and have blessed me with

every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Thank You for this time of

renewal and refreshment through sleep. I accept it as one of Your blessings for Your

children, and I trust You to guard my mind and my body during my sleep.

27

As I have thought about You and Your truth during the day, I choose to let those good

thoughts continue in my mind while I am asleep. I commit myself to You for Your

protection against every attempt of Satan and his demons to attack me during my sleep.

Guard my mind from nightmares. I renounce all fear and cast every anxiety upon You, Lord.

 

I commit myself to You as my rock, my Fortress, and my strong tower. May Your peace be

upon this place of rest.

 

In the strong name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray.

Amen

 

 

 

 

Prayer for Spiritually Cleansing a Home, Apartment or Room

After removing and destroying all objects of false worship, pray this prayer allowed in

every room :

Heavenly father, I acknowledge that You are the Lord of Heaven and Earth. In Your

Sovereign power and love, You have entrusted me with many things. Thank You for this

place to live. I claim my home as place of spiritual safety for me and my family. And I ask for Your protection from all the attacks of the enemy. As a child of God raised up and seated

with Christ in the Heavenly places, I command every evil spirit claiming ground in this

place--based on the activities of past or present occupants including me and my family--to leave and never return. I renounce all demonic assignments directed against this place. I asked You heavenly Father, to post Your Holy Angels around this place to guard it from any and all attempts of the enemy to enter and disturb Your purposes for me and my family.

Thank You, Lord, for doing this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

Prayer for Living in a Non-Christian Environment

After removing and destroying all objects of false worship from your possession, pray this

allowed in the place where you live.

 

Thank You, Heavenly Father for a place to live and to be renewed by sleep. I asked You to

set aside my room as a place of spiritual safety for me. I renounce any allegiance given to

false gods or Spirits by other occupants. I renounce any claim to this room by Satan based

on the activities of past or present occupants, including me. On the basis of my position as a child of God and a joint Heir with Christ, Who has all authority in heaven and on earth, I command all evil spirits to leave this place and never return.

 

I asked You, heavenly Father, to station Your Holy Angels to protect me while I live here.

In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

 

Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18-19, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be

enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches

of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of

His power toward us who believe”. Beloved, you are a child of God [1 John 3:1], and

“my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”

Philippians 4:19. The critical needs are the “being” needs such as eternal or spiritual

life, which He has given you, and an identity, which you have in Christ. In addition

Jesus has met your needs for acceptance, security, and significance.

 

Memorize and meditate on the “Who I Am In Christ” truth daily. Read the entire list

aloud morning and evening for the next few weeks. Think about what you are reading

and let your truth of who you are in Christ renew your mind.

This is your inheritance in Christ.

 


No comments:

Post a Comment