Recently I posted my testimony of deliverance to the IHOP Testimonies page and felt like it was what I was suppose to do. They read it from the stage the very next night and would have called me on stage to tell it in person had I been able to go that night. Still, I felt the power move as they read my testimony from the stage and I was so frustated that I couldn't tell the whole story myself.
The testimony submission form said a maximum of 200 words per testimony and so I had to cram it all into 200 words and cut out a lot of parts. So here is the full version, for the world to read.
About two weeks after the Awakening Services started I was at one of the meetings, don't even remember what day, but I was standing in the crowd, feeling nothing. They called out people who needed physical healings to come forward and I thought to myself, 'well I don't need that, but Lord, if I could ask anything of You I would have You clear my mind'.
Many times in my past I have asked Him to wipe my memories clear. I have a photographic memory which allows me to recall things from my past, even my wild years in High School and all the bad movies I've ever seen. Mostly perversions is what I recall and was asking the Lord to wipe them clean. Perverse scenes in movies, perverse thoughts that come from the movies and so forth, they would come at me a lot. Especially when I was in church, or doing ministry, or when I was suppose to be focusing on the Lord, these thoughts would come into my mind and I would feel instant shame and guilt.
Then the accusations would begin from there, that I was filthy and disgusting and that the reason I couldn't control these thoughts was because I was filthy and perverted, and I believed the accusations. They (the accusers) also said things like, 'how could you think something like that when you are in church, you are pathetic and sinful'. It was crippling to say the least and I could not forgive myself as a consequence.
Even as I have grown in the Lord, these thoughts have always been there, and it was such a source of shame that I never told anyone about them. Not my mother, not my husband, no one knew.
Mike Bickle is always saying that when we sin, to repent quickly and press delete because God forgives us that quickly and presses delete. Well I could never do it. I was always repenting, but never pressing delete and I would keep myself at a distance from the Lord for days sometimes in punishment for my lack of control over my thought life. I would repent over and over for the same things because I could not forgive myself and I thought it was all me.
So I prayed that night in the Awakening Service for God to clear my memory of all the bad things, and He did. I felt a shift and my mind instantly felt clear (that is the only way I can describe it) and I thought to myself, 'was that it, did it just happen'. So I waited a few days, no thoughts, no accusations, no guilt.
Then, one day I was sitting on the couch holding my newborn, Kalei, and a thought tried to come in, a perverted thought, and I was so aware of it and knew it was coming from 'outside' of me that I instantly rebuked it, and it left quickly. That gave me some confidence in my new found freedom and then that same Sunday Mike Bickle preached on the Enemy's Fiery Darts and how Satan will not want to give up the ground that he has lost in your life. He will try to enter and reclaim that territory that he once held and that we must stand in our identity in Christ and contend for our breakthough. It all made so much sense.
These thoughts were never mine. Yes, I had bad memories and had watched bad movies, but I was not the one taking my mind there in the middle of church. It was the enemy throwing it in my face and making me feel ashamed to keep me from knowing who I truely was in Christ.
Since this realization I have had victory after victory over the enemies attempts to put these thoughts back into my head. My mind is so clear and with it has come so many other unexpected results.
I can now read my Bible and enjoy it. I could never love the Word before this time. I always knew that I should love it because people always told me so, but I never did. Now my hunger for it is growing daily and I can not get enough of it.
My prayer times are also growing more sweet. Less time sitting, fighting to keep my focus on the Lord and more time actually talking to Him and hearing back from Him. It is a true gift, an added gift to the freedom I have been given.
Another thing that I was never able to do before is see myself as His true daughter. Now that I see myself as clean before Him, I have more confidence in the things I ask for, and I have more faith to receive them. Also, when I do sin, I am quick to recognize it, repent and for the first time, press delete without guilt or shame hanging over me for days afterward.
It truly is freedom and without that guilt and shame to hold me down, the enemies attacks against me are less and less able to come in. I see them more quickly for what they are and bind them, rebuke them, and put them out. In general, my discernment for spiritual things is heighten now too. I see more often the sneaky undertone of the enemy in seemingly harmless forms and can steer more clear of it.
With all of this has come a new level of worship in my heart as well. I am His daughter, and He has given me authority, and so I am full of praise and joy like never before.
I share all of this with my friends and family because I am convinced that I am not the only one to be held back by overwhelming guilt and shame. It could show itself in many forms, mine was thoughts, not actions from my past, but they enemy used them to accuse me and I believed the accusations about myself and therefore could not allow myself to truly believe that God loved me and would hear me.
In my head I knew He loved me, because everyone said so, but in my heart I did not believe it was like I was family. More like a naughty servant who had come back and He had accepted her back, but could never forget her betrayal and so always held her at arms length.
The truth is, He never saw me that way, He always wanted me in His arms, and for the first time I am able to let Him hold me, to love me, and I trust it.
One scripture that the enemy twisted to use against me however was the one that goes like this: 'It would have better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.' (2 Peter 2:21)
The accuser told me that often because I had known God when I was young but then chose to turn my back on that in High School to have fun, and that even though I had come back to the Lord after High School, it could never be the same again for me. It was worse for those who left the knowledge of God for the world. That is NOT however what that scripture is saying, it is talking about False Teachers and those who knew the Lord and fell away, never to come back to Him. On the day they are judged, it will be worse for them.
Yet the story of the Prodigal Son is the scripture that I should have been reading. He does not make us live as servants to pay for our betrayal against Him. If we leave Him for sin, but then realize our error and turn back to Him wholeheartedly He welcomes us back wholeheartedly as sons and daughters and loves us as if we had never left. It is that way for me, and it can be for you to, even now.
Blessings to you!