Tearing Up Strongholds

It's been 42 days. I decided to fast from my most beloved hobby, my work, my passion, because I knew I had turned a good thing, a gift, into a god-thing. I started my fast from writing wondering what God was going to do with those six weeks.

I wasn't sure if I was ever going to write again. I felt heartbroken by God and his refusal to answer my prayers for success and prosperity. He used this fast to bring some critical truth's to light.

Words have power, whether you're a writer or not. There is life and death in the tongue with the words we speak (Proverbs 18:21), we'll be held accountable for every careless word we speak and justified by them (Matthew 12:36-37), and what we speak in the natural manifests in the spiritual realm (Matthew 18:18). Until we break off what's already been spoken, what is spoken will have little to no effect.

In short, words matter.

The written word echoes. Jesus spoke many things, most of which were not recorded in scripture, and yet there's a reason the words that were chosen to be written were written.

There's a reason John recorded the fact that Jesus wept at Lazarus' grave even though he knew he would be risen in a matter of minutes. Or why the genealogy of Jesus was so crucial to record in the gospel book to the Jews (Matthew). Even after thousands of years, those words are just as powerful as they were when first penned.

Yesterday I read from a stack of poems I'd written six to seven years ago. They were riddled with vows and judgments I made about God, myself, my writing, those who had hurt me, and even those I had yet to meet. What grieved me was how every single vow and judgment made had come to fruition.

I had such little faith anything would come of my writing, and I had simultaneously made it an idol. Despite my dogged obedience to the Lord in the religious aspects of my faith, I had no concept of his all-consuming love for me that he so longed to lavish on me. I could memorize scripture, but would not accept the truth of those words for my own heart. I could say all the right words, but would not believe them for myself.

I ripped every poem into pieces as I renounced those inner judgments and vows, the lies, and spoke and claimed the truth of scripture over my life. I didn't do it alone. In the simple witness of five of my beloved sisters in the faith, and the prayers of others who couldn't be there with me, put an end to the lies that prevented me from opening my heart. Their love and perseverance reflected the Father's heart toward me.

I could see in their eyes, even as I could hear in their voice, my Father speaking to my heart the things I'd read a hundred times that I'd wrestled to believe in the past.

"You are forgiven."

"You are precious."

"You are beautiful."

"You are loved."

As we prayed, I faced the monster that spent 28 years stealing my joy, and after confessing my sins, vows, judgments and naming the trauma that happened to me (for years I minimized and ignored it) I felt the Strong Tower of my Father standing behind me. It was no longer my battle. I could stand, sheltered in the wings of my Father, justified by the blood of Jesus, with confidence.

I AM forgiven.

I AM precious.

I AM beautiful.

I AM loved.

The enemy had to go. As my tormentor sulked away, I looked up at my Father with a resounding peace. There would be grieving to do, there would be times of hurt when memories surface but, like a scar, they would fade. As long as I continued to repent, the enemy had no legal right to continue tormenting me.

My memory will not be erased because my past is part of my ministry. A ministry I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I've been called to. Though I'm not sure how or when it will begin. The torment, however, is over. The shame is gone. For no other reason than because I have decided to claim what is rightfully mine, justified by Christ alone.

Writing remains my passion, but as I pick it back up again I'm finding it's nothing more than a tool I use to advance the gospel. A very fun tool. Used carefully and correctly, it will move mountains. I needed to see how I'd used my own tool as a weapon against myself, change my perspective and repent in order to move forward with it for God's glory. That could only happen by first laying it down.

I would bet there are things you need to confess, vows and judgments you've made, that need to be renounced and replaced with the truth of scripture. Not your interpretation of it, as I did, but the undeniable truth of God's word. I invite you to seek the Lord's guidance in this matter and use resources such as this to help you along the path to freedom.

I have to admit, there were some poems that were difficult to tear up because, quite honestly, they were really well written! But the words held a negative power that I refused to give to the enemy as a foothold. It's time to write some new words.

As I pick up the pen, and as my fingers dance across the keyboard, I look forward to sharing the light and wonder Abba calls me to share with you.

A friend burned all those ripped up pages this morning for me and sent me this video - praise God!

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