controlled burns (addiction 4)

here are the slides from today … Goliath 14 – addiction (2)

We’ve been repeating this same question, “Lord, where am I weak?”  Today, we tweaked it to, “Lord, show me where I am giving the enemy an opening”.

And that’s the thing, these addictions we dance with are openings.  They are an invitation, an open door that your enemy will exploit.  Not “might” … but “will”.  He is crafty, he is cunning, he studies you, knows your weaknesses and he will exploit the openings you give him.  Make no mistake about this.  You’re playing with fire.  Literally.

If you have a family history of alcoholism, you’re playing with fire drinking on a regular basis.  If you know you have an issue with lust/temptation/other women, you are foolish to play around with pornography.  And let me say this for all of us, whether lust is an issue or not, pornography must be a “no go” area for all of us.  A man that says, “I don’t struggle with lust so I can take a peak at porn” is being foolish.  Maybe you didn’t have an issue but when you opened that door to take a peak, you invited the destroyer into your soul.

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My actions, my steps, my decisions in these areas … they are giving Satan dominion over my life.  Rather than giving God dominion over all my life, I am, instead, giving these areas over to my enemy.  I’m inviting him in and just asking for trouble.  He will gladly oblige my foolishness.

We’ve all done it.  Adam & Eve did it.  They gave the enemy dominion.  But that isn’t final.  As we’ve learned this entire series on Goliath Must Fall, Christ defeated Goliath. The Cross marked the turning point in the story, it marked the death of Satan.  His end is assured yet even though he is on his way to ultimate destruction, he is “dead but still quite deadly”.  He knows the end game.  He knows what Jesus did that resurrection day and so he is raging against humanity to strike as many blows at his ultimate enemy, God.

Scripture warns, “Don’t give the enemy a foothold”.  You have a territory God has entrusted to you.  Don’t invite the enemy in.  Don’t give him a seat at your table.  He’s a destroyer.  These addictions are very serious things – we don’t mean to make light of any of this.  If you struggle with pornography or lust or alcohol, that is real and powerful and it will be a battle to beat it.  But, it can be defeated.  Satan doesn’t have dominion over everything.  Jesus does.  Death holds no sting.  You can claim victory over the power of these addictions in Jesus name.  You can take back your territory, your Promised Land.  You can show the enemy the door and lock it behind him.  In Jesus’ name.

We talked this morning about controlled burns and how critical they are to maintain the health of a forest.  If left unchecked, small weeds in a forest become 30 foot tall briers.  Sweet gum trees pop up and multiply like rabbits.  A dense undergrowth grows.  If left unchecked, a non-managed forest becomes a disaster just waiting to happen.  The undergrowth grows, dead trees fall, the pines start to struggle and the forest is one lightning strike away from a devastating forest fire.  So, you manage the forest via regular “controlled burns”.  You burn out the undergrowth.  Get it out before it becomes a real problem.  Deal with it.  It’s messy.  It’s dirty.  It isn’t pleasant but there is reward on the other side = you get a healthier forest and bigger pines.  Growth comes after the burn.  (COME NEXT WEEK – we’re going to talk about that exact point)

controlled burn

You see the charred ground left behind from the fire.  But that’s healthy.  It promotes healthy growth and it is fuel for the future growth of the pines.

And so, the analogy for us is this … we’ve all got areas in our lives that are small problems today.  They are private things.  Things I believe I have under control.  Little things that “everyone does”“Healthy desires that all red-blooded men have”.  These are things we justify.  Things we rationalize.  And at their base stage, they are relatively harmless – or so they appear.  These things that we cordon off from God and don’t give him access to, they are areas of the forest untended and that’s where a real problem with devastating implications lurk.

Bill Gaddy gave a beautiful testimony to this exact thing this morning.  He had a private area of his life that started small and grew into a situation that erupted into a forest fire with collateral damage way beyond himself.  He begged us to not repeat his mistake – that if you have an area you struggle with, confess it, bring it out into the light, share it with other men you can trust.  Admit you have a problem.  Face it.  Deal with it now before it grows into a disaster.

These giants in our lives, they can go down.  They must fall.  They taunt us and tell us, “you’re never going to beat this, you’ll never be anything more than this addiction.”  That isn’t the case.  Goliath can go down.  You can’t take him down alone.  Only Jesus can but you’ve got to take the first step to surrender your life, give up these “private” areas, and give Jesus dominion over all your life – over your sex life, over your desires, over what you eat and drink and what you watch in entertainment.

Jesus wants to know how much of your life you’re willing to give Him.  He gave it ALL for you.  How much will you give Him?

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“It” has to go. (addiction must fall 3)

How are you doing with this?  Did you read the last post?  At Manschool when it started getting ramped up a bit, what did you do?  Zone out?  Dismiss it as “I don’t have a problem with this…”

Yes you do.  Sorry for the smack in the face, but … you do.  I do.  We all do.  We love self WAY too much.  Life is all about us.  We picked that up from Adam & Eve.  Thanks for that.

You have an addiction problem in your life.  At a minimum, as men, we’re all addicts to some degree to beauty, sex and the lure of Eve.  God gives us desires, yes, that’s true but we’ve twisted those desires to where they’re distorted and instead of being about her and her beauty, it’s all about us.  My needs.  My desires.  My lusts.  My satisfaction.  But for most of us, it goes way beyond that.  There are pockets of weakness in our lives of addiction that are taking a toll on us and all those we love around us.  It can be anger, control, success, money, sex, acceptance, approval of others, physical appearance, toys, pornography, alcohol, drugs … you name it.  Whatever the case may be, you’ve got some form of this rolling around in your life and it’s become a Goliath that taunts you and lies to you, telling you that “you’ll never be anything more than this addiction.”

Pay attention to this.  Read it several times …

“Most have no idea the warfare and seduction Satan wages against leaders and potential leaders.  He is relentless, he is patient.  He studies our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  He stalks our families.  He’s methodical.  Masterful at timing.  And if you’re laughing at this, he is laughing at you.

Leaders that are too sophisticated to reckon with the biblical realities of spiritual warfare will be eaten alive.  No leader gets away with secret sin and duplicity.  It’s always a matter of time.  God doesn’t play favorites.  Christ is serious about His church.  Repent.  Seek help.  Be restored.”

Beth Moore hits the nail on the head.  Maybe she’s talking about our President.  Maybe its a pastor.  Or a Senator.  Perhaps… it is about you and I.  You, my brother, are a leader.  You lead your home.  YOU are responsible for the spiritual leadership of the home.  Not your wife.  Don’t default it to her.  No, it’s on you.

It is time for “it” to stop.  Whatever “it” you have that is weighing you down and tormenting you and lying to you, it’s time for “it” to go.  Time for “it” to go into the fire. God wants to restore you.  He has so, so, so much “MORE” for you.  But you’ve got to be willing to give some things up.  The limiters in your life have to go.  Will it be easy?  No but what did you expect following Jesus?  It will take courage but there is great freedom on the other side.  So, I ask you…

What are you willing to throw in the fire and bury to never go back to again?

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Fear and your Promised Land

Why worship matters …

I’ve seen you move, come move the mountains and I believe, I’ll see you do it again.  You made a way, where there was no way and I believe, I’ll see you do it again.  Walking around these walls I thought by now they’d fall but you have never failed me yet.  Waiting for change to come, knowing the battle’s won, for you have never failed me yet.  Your promise still stands.  Great is your faithfulness.  I’m still in your hands.  This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet.  I know the night won’t last.  Your word will come to pass.  My heart will sing your praise again.  Jesus you’re still enough.

It matters.   So much.

The attack of the enemy will come.  We do not live in Eden.  There are giants in the land taunting us but we have to see beyond the giant.  We must cast our eyes upon the Victor.  We know the war is over – we know the the Winner.  Faith trumps fear – “yes, giant you are big and you taunt and yes, you can knock me down (if I let you) … BUT … I see beyond you and you’re already dead, you just don’t know it yet.  I do.  I’m looking past you to Jesus and He’s WAY bigger than you or anything you can throw at me.”

We win by faith.  We win by our worship.  We win by believing in our Promised Land. 

Fear is a giant – one of the most common giants that must fall.  Fear can taunt us and harm us.  Fear can get a foothold in our lives and begin to dominate us.  Fear can demoralize us and ultimately diminish God’s glory in our lives – i.e. the way we reflect God’s glory.  The way we show the world who God is and our ability to walk out our testimony – that’s what is lessened.

It doesn’t always look like fear.  Are you anxious, nervous, worried, stressed or feeling dread?  Are you tense or having stomach problems?  Is sleep very hard for you?  There’s a good chance fear is at work.  Fear chews away at our lives and erodes our sense of confidence and well-being.  It robs us of sleep and rest.  Fear blinds us and steals our praise.

Fear seeks to obscure our view of God and crush our confidence.  It will yell insults to try to convince us that we’re going to live with this giant the rest of our lives.

The opposite of fear is not being bold and courageous.  The opposite of fear is faith.  Faith beings by us saying, “I have confidence in God that He is bigger than this giant.”

Americans are the most medicated culture in the history of mankind.  We take prescriptions by the millions for worry, stress, anxiety, despair and terror – all cousins of fear.  Some get medication from their doctor and some from a bottle.  But the end goal is always the same.  We want to take the edge off.  We want to decompress.  We just want to forget about the things that are troubling us for a while.  We want to not be afraid.  The answer for fear is seldom as simple as saying, “fear, go away in Jesus’ name.”  Fear is symptom of a deeper cause.

Goliath was a champion.  He had a record, a history and that’s significant because a lot of us have a history with our giants.  These giants didn’t just show up this morning.  You’ve been battling some of these for years, decades.  Ever heard these voices?

Remember when you went to that retreat and promised how your life was going to change?  Guess what, it didn’t.

Remember that time you thought you were going to be all big and bold and you lit a candle by your bed and said, “the light of God is with me?”  Too bad sucker, I still won out on that day.

Remember that time you went to church and they had that message on life change, and you thought you felt something different that day?  Nope, nothing changed.  Won’t then.  Won’t now

That’s the voice of your Goliath.

He harassed them for 40 days and 40 nights.  He came out every morning and every night.  He started the day taunting, and he ended the day taunting.  He started the day demoralizing and diminishing, and he ended the day demoralizing and diminishing.  Giants are relentless.  They don’t take days off.

So, we must battle.  It isn’t one quick prayer and this is behind me.  No, he’s far too crafty for that.  He will come back.  This is daily.  It is drawing upon the Vine.  It is worship.  It is soaking in God’s Word.  It is daily conversation with Father.  It is preparing before you go into toxic environments, girding with prayer and inviting God in ahead of you.  It is a process.  Day by day.

God paid it all – for you – you are incredibly valuable.  You have a Promised Land – the area God created you for where you can thrive and cast glory to God.  The enemy is trying to dominate your thoughts, mind, will and emotions to keep you from seeing your creative value and seeing the price Heaven paid for you.  Bad fear is chronic and debilitating – that is not from God.  It’s a controlling spirit by the devil to keep us off our promised land.  Once I understand that isn’t me, but a separate identity, I can begin to take authority over it.

By believing this and pursuing our Promised Land, we keep our eyes on God and what He believes about us and there is no room for the roaring lion.  When he roars, we roar back!

Goliath (2) – You have a role to play and it isn’t to live a “safe” life

First, here is the article from John Eldredge on Normandy…  http://andsonsmagazine.com/29/normandy-pilgrim-war#.WcufZ-QzWM8

If you go to http://www.ransomedheart.com and click on “more in podcasts” on the right side of the screen, there are two podcasts (August 14 and 21) on his Normandy trip where he talks about what he saw.  The podcasts are better than the text.  You will gather more from them.

Second – here are the slides from last week and this week … Goliath

Please look at the slides – some great verses are listed in there that you will need as a part of your armor.

Lastly, if you want to watch Todd White’s full talk at Gateway Church, here is the link … If you want to watch just what we showed today, fast forward to 4:30 minutes in and watch for 2-3 minutes

We covered a ton of material this morning.  Fast.  I don’t want to linger too long on this discussion of us living in a world at war.  Don’t want to glorify it, don’t want to over-emphasize it.  However, a core truth is this, we do indeed live in such a world.  Just watch the news at night.  The world feels like it is about to come apart at the seams.  The acceleration of hatred, division (NFL), animosity, political correctness and fear is shocking.  I mean, it is FAR worse than it was just a year ago.  If you don’t understand this, you’re going to have a very hard time interpreting your story or understanding the goodness of God.  In the insanity of this world, the constant noise, the demands on your time and the pressures of money/work … it is very easy to miss God’s voice.  That’s the enemy’s intention.  God is at work and He speaks but you’re going to have to fight through the noise and opposition to get to the Source of Life.

Satan was cast out of heaven and to the earth he came.  This is his domain, his stomping grounds.  You do NOT live in Eden.  You live in a cesspool and a swamp filled with cottonmouths.  The result of all that is we all battle Goliaths in our lives – Fear, Rejection, Comfort, Anger, Addiction, Self – just to name a few.  They are symptoms of a bigger problem … our sin nature and this world we live in.  The big risk and frankly, the design of the enemy is that you take these Goliaths and curve in upon yourself.  That you would embrace “comfort” as your goal for life.  Seeking comfort at every turn, a man will quickly turn inward on himself.  Toys, nicer vacations, creature comforts, living a safe life?  Inward.  A raging pornography addiction … inwardly focused.  Living with fear at all these possible risks?  You turn inward to protect self.

One of the great costs of war is that you turn in on yourself.

THAT is what we want to defeat.  Christ did not come and die on the Cross for you to live a comfortable, safe life.  He came to save and then to lead the saved into the battle to fight for others.  What did He do with the Disciples?  He taught them, trained them, equipped them and then scattered them so the Gospel could spread.  Todd White brilliantly reminds us in that clip …

God did not save you so you can fill a church.  No, He says He wants you to be the church.  You house Me.  Holy Spirit wants to completely possess you to make you a detriment to the devil every day – so you can destroy the devil’s works everywhere you go.  It’s an exciting Christian life.  It’s no about getting into heaven one day.  It’s about heaven getting into you so that you can destroy hell every day of your life, everywhere you go.  Jesus didn’t pay the price for me to then go hide in four walls.  He paid a price for me be a warrior and conduit to destroy hell.          

YOU have a role to play.  It is time for Goliath to fall.  A life focused on my “self” and my “comfort” is a very small life.  The big life is the life that empties itself and leaves nothing on the field.  It is a life that fires all the arrows in your quiver.  It truly is a LIFE LIVED OUTWARD.  A beautiful thing.

Go do it.

Goliath MUST fall (1)

Manschool got off to a great start today.  If you missed it, don’t worry, we will catch you up to speed next week and conclude the opening segment.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.   But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.  Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.  For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.  Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!  But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!  He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”         Revelation 12:7-12

We’re going to go after some very tough things this fall.  There are Goliath’s in all of our lives.  For me, it is fear.  Others struggle with rejection, addiction, comfort, self, anger, etc.  These Goliath’s mock us.  They are 9 feet tall and dare us to challenge them.  Their voice has power over our lives.  It is time to break the power of the giant.  It is time for Goliath to fall.

Americans are consumed with fear.  Terrorism, cancer, running out of money, not having friends, children going crazy, violence, etc. but do you know what is our number one fear (according to Chapman University’s “Study of American Fear”)?  By far, almost twice the #2 response, Americans are most afraid of corrupt government officials. Amazing.  We’re more worried about what we’ll do to ourselves than we are terrorists or Kim Jung Un’s nukes.

That’s funny and sad but regardless, we’re consumed with fear as a nation.  We have so much and yet we’re paralyzed with fear.  Why is that?

In part because even though you and I were made for Eden, we don’t live anywhere close to Eden.  This world is a deep, dark swamp full of snakes and alligators.  The air is barely breathable.  This summer as I was processing through a lot of warfare in my life, the worship music from Bethel and my summer journal of scriptures were like oxygen to me.  Crazy days full of stress and worry and cranking Bethel as I was in my truck and drawing upon the words of praise were sometimes all that got me through the day.

Why is that?  Because (back to Revelation 12), you and I live in a world at war.  You may not like talk of Christian warriors or warfare in general.  I get that but you’re naïve to think this world isn’t full of it.  You live opposed every single day as a believer in Christ Jesus in this world.  In fact, He said, “you will be despised because of Me.”  The Scripture says it … “whoa to the earth and the sea because the devil has gone down to you!  He is filled with fury because he knows his time is short.”  Satan is furious, he hates God and he’s coming after God’s children.  Not to get us as much as he is trying to inflict pain on God.

So, be alert.  Understand this.  Without grasping the magnitude of what we’re up against, how can you possibly interpret your life?  If God is love and Jesus is kind, how do you handle a cancer diagnosis, a pregnant daughter, a lost job, friends who take glamorous trips and have ideal lifestyles?  When everything seems stacked up against you and the message from religion is “God is good.  Jesus is love.  Peace on earth”, you’re going to have a hard time reconciling your life and how it isn’t working out so great. When your wife scrolls Instagram and Facebook every night and she watches HGTV and sees beautiful kitchens totally remade, she is assaulted with “Why can’t our life be as good as all my friend’s lives?  Why do all their children seem to turn out so perfect?”

Then you hear that voice that says, “You’re never going to make it through this, this is too big to overcome, you might as well give up, this is where it all falls apart, you’re never going to recover from this, something bad is going to happen to you, this is never going to work out, God has completely forgotten about you, don’t even think that there is a way through this, I wonder what other terrible things might happen, no one cares about you, no ones pulling for you, the worst thing that can happen will happen, God has abandoned you, you are never going to survive this, you should feel afraid, you are heading for disaster, there is no hope..”  What do you do with that voice?  We’ve all heard it.  We hear it all the time.  Can you drown it out, live in denial, medicate it?  No, it’s coming after you.  The enemy is there whispering this assaults over you and your wife and your kids. 

You need to understand that you were made for Eden and find yourself living in a cesspool.  This is his world.  He was cast down here and he’s wreaking havoc on lives constantly.  You are opposed and there is an enemy who is trying to come after you all the time.

Next week, we’re going to talk about what to do with that and what our role is here on Earth.

Please join us.  Some of us are about to experience a major victory and new insights into the role God has for us.

He prepares a table before me…

Here is the Louie Giglio talk we watched (again!) this morning.  I started the tape at about 17 minutes.  I encourage you to watch this again.  I strongly encourage you to watch this with you wife.  Put the kids to bed, turn off the TV and invest in the spirituality of your marriage and in so doing, build a deeper level of intimacy with her.

The talk is so good, I can hardly put words to it.

In the context of his talk, I encourage you to go and read this blog post…

A Letter To Satan Concerning My Daughter’s Seizures.

Morgan Cheek writes powerfully on this blog of the journey God has taken her and her husband on as they raise twin girls with severe genetic issues.  (Her husband Hugh is from Columbus).  This is a journey they cannot escape.  There is no “prosperity Gospel” to deliver them from this.  Great pain accompanies their journey.  But God.  But God is present with them.  He walks with them and prepares a table before them in the presence of their enemies.  The situation may never turn around.  God never promises us a pain free life in this fallen world.  It does not make our God … not good.  He is good.  He is present.  They are surrounded by all sorts of enemies but God is present and He has prepared a table for them and He is enough.  He is all and He is enough.  Read the blog post and see how Morgan battles the enemy by calling out his lies and reading back to him scripture and Truth he cannot deny and will flee from.  In so doing all this, Morgan is not giving the enemy a seat at her table.  She’s locked tight her eyes on the Creator of these precious girls and the comfort and provision of God is all she needs.

Lastly, tying in with all of this … what is it that God wants from you?  What does he want?  I’ve talked to you about my “high horse”.   Here’s our buddy Vlad on his “high horse” but you know what, it’s us.  We’ve got life figured out.  We’re in control.  We always have the answers or we pose acting as if we do.

And if you’re ever so lucky, God will come along occasionally and knock you off that horse.  Here is how it starts …

and how it ends …

and Praise God!  Now you’re humbled and you are in a place where you can look at your life in a fresh way and now you’re able to listen.  So here is how life looks …

These nice little boxes tucked up on the shelves.  Each of those boxes are the things we “control” – career, 401(k), home, wife, kids, sex life, our time, our money, our stuff.  As life goes along, we manage these things, take control of them, pretty them up, make them appear as if all is perfectly in order.  Perhaps family is the best of these – pretty wife, two perfect kids, right schools, right attitudes, “everything just seems to work out for them”.  Life’s good.  “I’ve got this under control and life figured out”.

BOOM.  High horse time.

My daughter turns up pregnant.  God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies and if I will just sit at the table with Him and lock tight on Him, He has me.  But no, I turn away.  I turn to my shelves.  I take these things and take control of them and get busy getting the shelves of my life in perfect order so all the world will look and see “wow, he has it figured out”.  The enemy will strike here.  He won’t play fair.  He’ll even use scripture to trick us.  “You’re just being a good steward of the talents God’s giving you.”  You see, even in that, he’s tricking us to turn from God and think “I can do this on my own”.  The liar tells you that “you don’t need God,  you’ve got this”.  

So, enough time goes by and I’m lulled to sleep and my pretty little life, all tucked nice and neatly up on those shelves gets blown up when my daughter turned up pregnant.  Not only was she pregnant, she moved in with the boy and a way of life far removed from the home she grew up in. What then?  What of the pretty little family all nice and neat?  Five weeks later, her older sister told us she was pregnant too.  Double Boom.  Face plant off the high horse into the mud.  The perfect little family was now being rocked.  The facade was broken.

I will say that through all of this, we’ve been humbled.  On December 1, we thought “there is no way we’re ever going to make it through this.”  45 days later with both of them pregnant, now we really knew, “there is no way we can do this”.  But God.  God has turned this mess into a miracle.  What seemed insurmountable four months ago has passed.  God got us through it.  We walked those days in a way we’d never walked before with God.  Will our “perfect” little life ever be “perfect” again?  No.  But you know what, now that I look back, I don’t want that kind of perfect.  I want the God perfect.  I want to give it ALL to Him – “Lord do with all this whatever You will”.  I never again want to walk another day up on a high horse thinking I’ve got it all figured out.  I want to walk my days the way we did in the worst of that storm when each day was radically dependent on God showing up.

So my question to you is simple – What does God want from you? 

God wants it all – your time, your money, your sex life, your kids, wife, job, retirement “plan” – the whole thing.  We want to keep control of most of this up on our shelves – we turn our back on God and his table and turn to our shelves saying “No God, I’ve got these things under control, I just need you over here in this other area”.  Nope.  Oh no.  God wants it all.  The more stuff you keep away from God up on your shelves as you fine tune, shine, polish and present as perfect … the more idols you’re worshiping and the less you’re locked tight on Him.

Morgan Cheek has no choice.  She cannot “do” being a Mama to those two little girls alone.  She’s desperate for a Savior and she’s seated at the table He has prepared for her and those girls in the midst of her enemies.  The road ahead looks daunting and it is but in the swirling vortex of the enemies that surround her, there is a table and The Good King prepared it and sits there with her.

Push into this.  What does this say to you?  Where are you in this.  

Let me hear from you.

 

 

Dealing with agreements

If we come to accept the lies and distortions of our enemy or the world, we often take the next enslaving step of making agreements …thus giving him a stronghold in our lives.  Satan wants to control our thoughts and actions and bring as much destruction as he can.  Agreements are his chief tactic.

There are some military themes to this statement.  Of course!  We are indeed talking about the tools of warfare.  If we make an agreement with the Liar, we become enslaved to it.  And we cede to him the high ground via the stronghold he has over our lives due to our agreeing with his lies.  In warfare, you never want the enemy to have the high ground.  In spiritual warfare, it is our agreements with lies that give the enemy this unfair advantage.  We open the door to this by engaging with him and listening to his lies rather than listening to Father.

Words have power …

The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.  Proverbs 13:3

Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18: 21

The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble.  Proverbs 21: 23

I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.  Matthew 12: 36-37

The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.  Proverbs 13:3

You know these things.  The Word warns us about our tongue.  Our words can either align us with God or with Satan…

Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?  Amos 3: 3 (The Message)

The constant message that keeps coming through to us throughout this series and throughout what we’ve been doing at Manschool for years is this … Who are you listening to?  Who told you that you were naked?  Why do you keep bringing up these past sins to Father?  Why the shame?  He’s forgiven you.  It’s gone.  It’s as far as the east is from the west.  It’s done.  Finished.

And yet, the Liar continues to whisper.  If you engage, if you give him a seat at your table, he’s going to take you right back into the shame and the sin and the “I’m such a failure”.  And, we’ll start making those agreements.

So, how do we break these agreements?

  • Ask god to reveal them
  • Identify lies behind them
  • Confess and ask forgiveness
  • Receive his forgiveness
  • Embrace truth (renounce and declare truth)
  • Ask god to free from the power of agreements.

And we engage in listening prayer with Father.  We invite him into our lives, into our story.  “What’s there Father?”  “What accusations have I agreed with and buried?”  “Unearth it Lord.”  “Show me”.

PRAYER TO BREAK AGREEMENTS

This an exercise in prayer to break those agreements we’ve made with the enemy.  You’re asking God to reveal these agreements to you.  When He reveals them…break them.  They will come to you in prayer sometimes in hearing sentences in your heard like “you’re such a ____ idiot”.  It may be a feeling and God will remind you of a persistent feeling of shame, guilt or fear.  Sometimes, you’ll actually remember a scene and play it out again in your mind.  It may be a scene of a father wound, something an older brother did to you or against you, a wound from your Mom or a grandparent, teacher, coach, boss or old girlfriend.  You’ll have that scene rush back to you in vivid detail.  Other ways agreements will be revealed – what are the phrases you constantly say to yourself?  You know, your own self-talk, things that you thought were just you speaking.  “You’re a failure”.  “You’ll never match up”.  “You are a disappointment”.  “You can never do anything right”, etc.

Lord, I come under the refuge of Jesus Christ.  I am safe in the shelter of God.  I take my refuge in your Cross, your resurrection and in your ascension. 

I simply ask you, Spirit of Truth, reveal to me, show me the agreements I have been making.

Strip away the fog.  I bring the work of my Lord Jesus Christ, the power of His Cross, His shed blood, the power of His resurrection, the power of His authority and His throne against all numbness, dullness, malaise, all forms of fog, all veils that are surrounding my spirit, soul, body or mind.  I cut off this numbness.

Jesus, you say I have the mind of Jesus Christ.  I unite my mind to your mind, my heart to your heart, my will to your will.  Again Holy Spirit, show me.  What are the agreements I have been making with my enemy?  What lies have I believed?

(silent…listen…be still)

show me Lord Jesus, show me.  Expose those things.  Come.  Shine your light here…

(silent…listen…be still)

As you start to get clarity … break them in Jesus’ name.

Lord, show me the agreements I’ve made – even just today or this week.  Show me the agreements I’ve made about you Father.

Show me what has hounded me all my life.  What is it Father?  What has hounded me all my life?

(silent…listen…be still)

I break this agreement, these agreements in the authority of Jesus Christ.  I renounce it.  I renounce all the ways I’ve given the enemy a place in my life.  I renounce it.  Jesus come into these places.  Bring Truth.  Bring Life.

If this is connected to a wound, Jesus come into this wound and heal.  I renounce fear, self-hatred, confusion and disqualification.  I renounce every agreement I’ve made as a man that I can’t do this, that is “too much”.  I renounce every agreement I’ve made that I’ll never trust anyone again.  I renounce every agreement I’ve made against You Father – that You don’t come through, that I can’t trust You, that You don’t really love me.

I renounce every agreement I’ve made with fear, agreements I’ve made with safety and control.  Forgive me of that.  I renounce every agreement I’ve made with my enemy both known and unknown, both seen and unseen in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ.  I break these agreements.  I submit to God.  Spirit of Truth search this out, show me.  I send all this to my Lord Jesus Christ.

In your name, AMEN.