Stripped Naked For The New Year – PT III


Hey guys! It’a been an adventurous New Year for us, as we have been in Europe since January 1. I’m so very excited to see the fruit of this trip as it begins to manifest through the rest of this year. Mindy and I have a lot planned this year and many changes taking place. To keep up to date and to learn how you can support us with prayer and finances make sure to subscribe to my newsletter right here

In this post, I want to pick up on where I left off in regards to a series of four really intense encounters that I had with Jesus in the fall of last year. I shared two of these experiences in my previous two blog entries. Please go back and read them to get the whole story if you have not already. I feel like these encounters are very significant and applicable to what the Church of Jesus Christ is facing this year. God is doing a deep work in the church right now. Those willing to embrace the process and go through it will be forever changed and prepared for the next season.

The third encounter is similar to the first two. I’m in worship and Jesus shows up. Like, He shows up tangibly. I could feel His breath and the heat of His body. In the previous encounters, he stood there with this ornery grin, looking at me. But this time, He is there, but no ornery grin. He actually looked very concerned and almost sad. He looked at me for a moment and then he nodded as if to have me look down inside myself. For some reason, at that moment, I felt very afraid to look. Let alone to look down inside with Jesus looking too. Somehow, I knew that there was stuff there that I didn’t want to look at, let alone examine it together with “the Lord”. Jesus is so gracious though. He is never heavy-handed. He never strong-arms you into anything. So, he nods for me to look down into my soul again. By this time I’m feeling sick. I’m so scared to look that I just want to disappear. To put it in perspective, imagine that your darkest secret and your deepest hurt is one second away from being right in your face, and you know it. I wanted to throw up. Literally! Jesus nods a third time and I hear him say “It’s ok, let it go!” No sooner did I hear those words that I somehow found enough courage to look down.

When I looked down I saw this black chord that ran down into the deepest depths of my soul. Into the darkest place, you could imagine. I heard Jesus say again, “It’s Ok. Let it go.” But somehow, I found some weird comfort in keeping a death grip on this black chord. I knew it wasn’t good for me. I knew it was not what God wanted for me. But I also found it extremely difficult to let it go. A third time He tells me to “let it go!” With everything in me, I focus and open my hands to let it go. As soon as I did, Jesus grabs hold of this black chord and rips it up out of me. I physically felt it come from the deep pit in my stomach and with loud, hard cough it came out. I knew that I had been delivered of something but I didn’t know what.

I would soon find out. Throughout the next week, I would discover some things about me that I had never seen before. I was super edgy, irritable, and frustrated with everything and everyone. It truly was one of the ugliest times in my life as a Christian. I felt like I could not hear God. I felt like I had begun to see things in me that I absolutely hated and could not believe were there. All the years I taught on forgiveness as the doorway to deliverance and deep healing, and I still had a mess in me! I felt absolutely disgusted with how this stuff had influenced my relationships. It even made me ashamed, vulnerable and feeling like a fraud. Does that mean that everything I felt was true? No! But its how I felt. I have never felt so stuck and irritated in all of my life.

So, I did what I know to do. I prayed. I read the word. I prayed. I read the word. Even though I couldn’t hear him or feel his presence. Even though I felt like I was wasting my time and like I was alone. I exercised faith because it’s what I knew to do. By the end of the week, something began to shift. I was in prayer and God began to show me the fights that I had fought in my life. The drugs, the porn, the passivity, the alcoholism and everything else that had been a plague to me and my family. God showed me the chord that he pulled out of me was to unlock the unforgiveness that I had held. But hadn’t I already spent 15 years doing that?

I thought that I had repented for bitterness. I thought I had let that all go. But somehow there was this one thing left attached in there. There was that one thing that still had a deep dark grip in the deepest place in me. It affected me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It was the thing that triggered all of my safety mechanisms. It was “THE THING”.

The truth was that I held a grudge against the generations before me. The forefathers and foremothers in my family line that had opened the door to the demonic, which I now had to take a stand against. I’m not specifically speaking of my mother and father, or my grandparents or even my great grandparents. In general, I was resentful towards my family line for not fighting the fight. I felt like I had the responsibility of generations before placed on my shoulders, and now it was my job to make sure the next generations didn’t have the same fight. Another way to put it is I had become resentful for the spiritual inheritance that had come through my family line.

I know that might sound crazy. Or over the top. But it’s what happened. It was ugly in my heart. It was totally unfair to place blame like that on anyone. In fact, you have to know the immense gratitude for the generations before me that did make a way for me to live a better life. I’m truly grateful. The problem was not with them but with me. I quickly repented. I had no right to place blame on anyone for any of it. My perspective was totally skewed and I had no idea that it was even that way. Again, the issue was not with anyone else at all, it was within me. Somewhere, I had picked up a twisted perspective and allowed resentment to take root in me until I was bitter over it.

But Jesus delivered me. I had an instantaneous uprooting of that stronghold while encountering Jesus. He loved me enough to pinpoint the yuck in me. He was so gracious to not allow me to carry that the rest of my life. As he pulled it out of me, it unlocked such deep healing inside of me that I can’t even begin to explain it. I shed years of tears and wept for generations of my people who fought an impossible fight. My heart then shifted to such gratitude for the goodness of God, that He means good for my family line. He always had the generations of my family on his mind and heart. Somewhere deep in me, a breach was restored. There was a reconciliation that brought peace in my soul. A peace that I had not known before.

God began to show me through this deep purging and house cleaning some things about the church. As I said before, its all for our good. Not just our good, but for those about to be birthed into the Kingdom. The Church needs to be a safe place for those who have not yet come. There is another thing. There is a multitude of “Christians” inside and outside the church who are upset with the “generations”. Who place blame on the condition of the Church on the forefathers and foremothers who came before. Many feel like the Church is a mess and wonder how is it our responsibility to clean it up? Or have resolved that “it’s just not my responsibility, I didn’t make this mess!”

I got news for you! First of all, you don’t get Jesus without the Church. They are as one. As a married couple. You don’t get the bridegroom without the bride. That’s like saying you want a relationship with me but not my wife. Guess, what? That’s not how it works. You get them both. Maybe this season of purging and healing is so we can become the Bride without spot or wrinkle that Jesus is coming for. Maybe, we need to shift from being part of the problem to part of the solution! Jesus is coming in this season to deliver and heal His Bride. In case you don’t know what deliver means, it simply means to kick the devils out. Bitterness is devilish. It creates strife and sickness. But it’s time. We need to quit criticizing and blaming the state of the “Church” on everyone (the generations before us) and get engaged as “the Church” and become part of the solution.

Many would read this and think this is exposing too much personal business. Or you might think wow, that dude was messed up, but I’m good. Or maybe right now the Spirit of Truth is stirring some deep things in your belly that needs the rip chord pulled on. The unlocking on the inside that allows for the deepest freedom and healing in your life. I get the sense that this is going to increase throughout the year. Either way, I feel no shame in sharing. I believe this scripture:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they loved not their lives unto the death. – Romans 12:11

I’ve come to a place that I’m willing to testify about Jesus even in the ugliest of places. I’m learning to “die” to my pride and let my life go for the sake of others and in obedience to the Lord. This is a call. A call to a new level of obedience, freedom, and righteousness. It’s a call into a new level of reverence for God. Will you answer the call with me?

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. – John 15:16

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. – Galatians 5:13

Pray with me. Jesus come and encounter me in a greater measure. I open my heart, mind, and soul to your Spirit. Search out the deep things in me. Cause me to repent of the things that bring conviction. Cause me to let go of the devilish things that have brought me comfort. Lord, I ask you to invade the hidden places. The secret places that hold the deepest secrets. I don’t want any secrets before you. Have it all. I choose to forgive all those who have hurt me. I let go of my perceived offenses and skewed perspectives. I command anything attached to this root of bitterness towards the generations in my earthly family or the “Church” to go right now in Jesus name. I thank you that I have a heritage and lineage in You. I repent for my disconnect and blame on the church. Show me how to become a part of the solution. Show me how to become a healthy member of Christ’s body. Heal me, Lord. Allow the tears for my forefathers and mothers to flow. Allow a burden for the future generations to fall upon me that I will respond to the call. Purge this temple. Heal the deep place. In Jesus mighty name! Amen!

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