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Testimonies from Korea

05/04/2013 2 comments

Our experience in Korea this year was awesome, as usual. This year our translator was gracious enough to translate several testimonies that came in after we left. Here are a few.

The first testimony is from our teaching and ministry on Generational Iniquities.

“As Fount and Lynda were teaching, I realized I was experience the pain of my grandmother who had abandoned her family. I confessed the iniquities of my ancestors (Lev. 28:40) and forgave my father and my uncle who had caused me pain. After the school, I talked with my cousin about the situation and realized I was really free from this bitterness. I now have joy because of what God has done and courage to continue receiving from him.”

The second testimony is a result of our teaching on lies we believe because of a traumatic experience in childhood. These experiences often leave behind a belief (on the feeling level) that is contrary to the truth of who we are and what abilities we have.

“All my life I have believed I can’t do anything, that I’m ugly and would be better off dead. Today I confessed my sin of believing the lies and living as though they were true. I forgave the offender and myself and renounced the lies I had believed. Father God spoke to me, ‘You are free now; you have the victory and I am waiting for you with open arms.’ I am really free now.”

The third testimony came from our teaching on the emotional wounds we sustained in childhood abuse. We encourage people to connect with Jesus in the painful situation and allow him to bring healing.

“I had many wounds from my parents while growing up. I felt something very special when I forgave my parents. After ministry, I saw a picture of Jesus holding my hand saying, ‘I was there with you, and I will help you overcome.’ I told him I was not confident. He said, ‘I will be with you to bring you into fullness.’ I saw myself as a little girl in prison. When I forgave myself, the little girl was released.”

This final testimony is related to our teaching on Word Curses. When important others speak negative words against us, we often begin to think we are worthless and abandoned.

My father used to tease me while I was young. I felt lonely, afraid and rejected, like no one cared about me. While Fount and Lynda were praying for us, I realized my parents did the best they could with what they had. After I released my parents, our Father gave me a word, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isa. 43:1). Now I am free.

As usual, we encourage you to share this blog with others who might be encouraged through them. If they desire to be notified as new blogs are available, they can enter their email address above to the right.

Looking Forward,
Fount Shults
President and Founder
On Word Ministries
http://onword.org

Make a Sound 7: Call to Reconciliation

In the last few blogs we considered the effect of words, specifically words spoken in agreement with the Word of God. Our purpose is to prepare a people for a world-wide event of reading the Bible out-loud to one another in small groups. In this blog we will consider the need of good relationships. Other blogs are available on this site, and information on the event is at http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

God’s Word created the heavens and the earth. The Holy Spirit hovered over God’s good creation to bring order out of chaos. The history of the world was moving from disorder to order. The words of the serpent, “Hath God said,” changed atmosphere of the world God created, and those words changed the direction of history when Eve acted on them. The direction of history began to move from life to death rather than from death to life.

The words spoken out-loud from the cross, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing,” restored the original direction of history. At that time God reconciled the world to himself, “not counting their sins against them” (II Cor. 5:19). Those who receive these words enter into a personal history that moves from death to life, from chaos to order. Those who reject these words of reconciliation remain on the road from life to death.

Man’s refusal to receive the word of reconciliation does not alter the heart of God. He is still reconciled to the world even though many in the world have not entered into a new life with him. Our refusal is not all-powerful; God’s offer stands in the face of man’s rebellion.

As we join Jesus in this act of forgiving others “out-loud,” our atmosphere and the direction of our relationships will change. But if we want others to admit they were wrong before we offer forgiveness, reconciliation cannot happen. In our unforgiveness we actually stand opposed to Jesus’ words from the cross. We are choosing to move from order to chaos in our relationship with others.

We can choose to move toward reconciliation even if others are refusing. Reconciliation can be in our heart even if the other is not responding to our forgiveness. That’s the way our Father is. He remains reconciled to a world that refuses to be reconciled with him.

What does this have to do with reading the Bible out-loud together? Our voice carries our spirit. If our spirit is wrong toward others while we read God’s Word, we cancel out the potential effect of the reading. It’s an astonishing truth that our words can make void the word of God (Mk. 7:13). The word remains valid, but we put ourselves outside its power to work in us and through us.

Our voice is a vehicle of our spirit. If we read with a spirit of resentment and bitterness, our resentment will go into the atmosphere with our words. Reading the Bible out-loud will affect the atmosphere positively only as we read with a spirit of reconciliation.

Let’s get our relationships right before we gather to read the Bible to one another. Honor, respect and affirmation is in order at all times, but especially now. Since we are “one spirit with him” (I Cor, 6:17), we can participate in the ACTS of God in our present world, but only if we join him in a spirit of reconciliation. To accomplish that, we must join him in his WORD of reconciliation.

The Holy Spirit will brood over our reading only as we cooperate with him in his agenda to reconcile all things to himself. To do that, we must read his Word out-loud in a spirit (attitude) of forgiveness and reconciliation.

http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

Looking forward,
Fount Shults

Return to Intimacy 4

In our first blog, (Trouble Hearing from God), we learned that there are laws in the social world. If we disregard the laws, our relationships are damaged just as our face is damaged when we disregard the law of gravity. In Return to Intimacy #1 we saw the need to receive Father’s forgiveness, and then we learned to forgive others in #2. We saw in #3 that intimacy is only possible when both partners are open, and that Father has proven himself trustworthy as one who is open to you even in your shame.

Now we turn to the next step: Recognizing and renouncing the lies we have believed. Here we speak of lies we feel are true even though we know in our mind they are false. We call them “heart-felt beliefs” Our words and our behavior in moments of stress always come out of how we feel toward the situation. The fact that we know better is revealed when we regret our words or our actions. The problem is that it’s too late when we notice the words or deeds were wrong.

Our life flows out of what we feel in our hearts (Prov. 4:23). As long as we feel like (believe) the lies are true, we will continue to say and do things we know are inappropriate. It is the heart-felt beliefs that influence us to do things that do not bring glory to our Father. Paul defined sin as falling short of (failing to reflect) the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). With this definition even preaching can be sin if we use preaching to glorify ourselves.

The major category of lies we believe is what Arthur Burke calls legitimacy lies. These lies have to do with what makes us feel significant. “I am significant when I can drink more than the next guy,” or “I am significant when I can make my wife submit.” The most atrocious of these legitimacy lies are the religious lies. “I am significant when I pray longer, preach better, worship more enthusiastically than others.” The first lie causes one to drink too much. The second causes one to be harsh with his wife. The third breeds religious pride and hypocrisy.

The difficulty is when we try to discover the lies we have buried in our hearts. We are not consciously aware of these heart-felt lies. They swim around under the surface waiting for an opportunity to devour the bait the enemy throws in the water. We seldom think about it, but a fisherman lies to the fish, “This is good for you,” the fisherman says. The desire for food is not the fish’s problem. The fish believes the fisherman’s lie.

So how do we bring the lies to the surface of consciousness so we can renounce them and break their power over our life? It’s really simple. Listen to your inner conversations with yourself. But don’t just listen for words. The language of the heart is imagery. Pornography works on the imagination by presenting pictures that say, “This will really make you feel more like a man.” When you believe that lie, you’re hooked by the other fisher of men.

Spend some time asking Father to show you the lies you have believed. Journal his answer and write out the lies. Take them one at a time and repent for ‘believing’ that lie and for living your life as though it were true. Forgive anyone who may have contributed to your believing that lie. Receive Father’s forgiveness and allow him to cleans you of this iniquity (I John 1:9). Pause to receive deeply in your spirit. Don’t rush this.

Then renounce the lie and verbally break its power over your life. The final step is to listen to Jesus and the Spirit of Truth as he shows you the truth that will replace the lie. When he shows you, journal his answer and review it daily until it settles in your spirit.

Return to Intimacy 4

In our first blog, “Trouble Hearing from God,” we learned that there are laws in the social world. If we disregard the laws our relationships are damaged just as our face is damaged when we disregard the law of gravity. In Return to Intimacy #1 we saw the need to receive Father’s forgiveness, and then we learned to forgive others in #2. We saw in #3 that intimacy is only possible when both partners are open, and that Father has proven himself trustworthy as one who is open to you even in your shame.

Now we turn to the next step: Recognizing and renouncing the lies we have believed. Here we speak of lies we feel are true even though we know in our mind they are false. We call them “heart-felt lies.” Our words and our behavior in moments of stress always come out of how we feel toward the situation. The fact that we know better is revealed when we regret our words or our actions. The problem is that it’s too late when we notice the words or deeds were wrong.

Our life flows out of what is in our hearts (Prov. 4:23). As long as we feel like (believe) the lies are true, we will continue to say and do things we know are inappropriate. It is the heart-felt lies that influence us to do things that do not bring glory to our Father. Paul defined sin as falling short of (failing to reflect) the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). With this definition even preaching can be sin if we glorify ourselves by it.

The major category of lies we believe is what Arthur Burke calls legitimacy lies. These lies have to do with what makes us feel significant. “I am significant when I can drink more than the next guy,” or “I am significant when I can make my wife submit.” The most atrocious of these legitimacy lies are the religious lies. “I am significant when I pray longer, preach better, worship more enthusiastically than others.” The first lie causes one to drink too much. The second causes one to be harsh with his wife. The third breeds religious pride and hypocrisy.

The difficulty is in discovering the lies we have buried in our hearts. We are not consciously aware of these heart-felt lies. They swim around under the surface waiting for an opportunity to devour the bait the enemy throws in the water. We seldom think about it, but a fisherman lies to the fish, “This is good for you.” The desire for food is not the fish’s problem. The problem is that it believes the fisherman’s lie.

So how do we bring the lies to the surface of consciousness so we can renounce them and break their power over our life? It’s really simple. Listen to your inner conversations with yourself. But don’t just listen for words. The language of the heart is imagery. Pornography works on the imagination by presenting pictures that say, “This will really make you feel more like a man.” When you believe that lie, you’re hooked by the other fisher of men.

Spend some time asking Father to show you the lies you have believed. Journal his answer and write out the lies. Take them one at a time and repent for ‘believing’ that lie and for living your life as though it were true. Forgive anyone who may have contributed to your believing that lie and receive Father’s forgiveness and allow him to cleans you of this iniquity (I John 1:9). Pause to receive deeply in your spirit. Don’t rush this.

Then renounce the lie and verbally break its power over your life. The final step is to listen to Jesus and the Spirit of Truth as he shows you the truth that will replace the lie. When he shows you, journal his answer and review it daily until it settles in your spirit.

Return to Intimacy 2

07/09/2011 1 comment

Review: We learned to repent of our wrong response to those who wounded us or disappointed us, and we received Father’s forgiveness and cleansing. Now we will look at the second step: Forgiving the offender.

Forgiveness is a major key to freedom. The demonstration of this truth is Jesus on the cross: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Our Father closed out the old age with forgiveness and, in the resurrection, he inaugurated the new age. We can’t even begin our journey upward until we receive forgiveness from God. All true freedom begins at the cross.

Our first step is to receive Father’s forgiveness. We can only give what we have, what we have received. Those who have difficulty forgiving have not yet fully received the forgiveness available through Jesus Christ.

In order to return to intimacy, then, we must first recognize our wrong response to our fellowman and receive God’s forgiveness. Then we must forgive as we have been forgiven. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

I was ministering to a young father who was tormented in his mind. I discovered he had bitterness against his own father. I explained that he would have to forgive his father before he could be free. Even though the Bible is very clear on this point, he refused to forgive. He actually ended up on the floor beating his fist (like a 2 year old) and saying, “I will not forgive, I will not forgive.”

I drew his attention to how our Father has forgiven from the cross. After about ten minutes he finally got it. When he received Abba Father’s forgiveness he was able to forgive his father. The transformation was immediate. His torment was gone. I didn’t have to do battle with any demon. The act of forgiving his father set him free.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean “It’s okay.” Jesus on the cross didn’t say “It’s okay.” What we have done to put him on the cross will never be okay, but it is covered. “Love covers a multitude of sins.” What others have done against us is not okay. We are not called to excuse people’s sin, we are called to forgive. To be like Jesus means to bear the pain of sin against you without resentment, to take up our cross and follow him.

Return to Intimacy 1

In our last blog we spoke of blocked intimacy and its effect on all our relationships, including our relationship with God. Now let’s look for the solution to the problem.

Return to intimacy is related to repentance and forgiveness. We begin our journey back to the Father when we see things differently. We discussed this at length in our latest book, Invitation to Intimacy. When the prodigal son realized how good his father was, he was ready to begin the journey back home. In that moment he suddenly saw things differently, in his mind his father was no longer one to be avoided. That’s the picture of repentance in the context of Luke 15.

A broken relationship with our fellowman affects our relationship with God, as we noticed earlier. A good time to deal with those broken relationships is on our way back to Father’s embrace. In fact, if we are having trouble getting back to God, it may be because of those broken relationships. We can never experience the fullness of Father’s embrace until we deal with the painful and disappointing situations of the past.

Most of us have simply stuffed the pain and learned to live as though everything is fine. Since we are able to get through life with a measure of success, we assume there’s nothing we need to deal with – until we try to develop an intimate relationship with God. Then we come face to face with our inadequacy. No matter how hard we try, we can’t find intimacy with God. Where is he? He’s on the other side of our broken relationships.

When we consider our early years we come to realize that our parents did the best they could. They were dealing with their own issues while they were raising us. But this awareness alone is not enough to return us to intimacy. Another insight is needed: We responded in a wrong way to their inability to care for us the way we needed.

We may have responded the best way possible for a child or a youth; but as adults we must put aside those childish ways of dealing with conflict. Our way of coping with the situation may have been the only way available to us at that time, but Abba Father has designed a superior way for those who follow his Son. His way is repentance and forgiveness.

So our first step toward renewed intimacy is to confess our wrong response to the one who wounded us or disappointed. We need to be specific in this confession. Was your response to get angry and rebel, to withdraw into yourself, or to compromise your integrity by doing the wrong thing just to keep peace? These response may have been the only option for you when you were little, but it’s still wrong. Pray the following:

“Father I confess that my wrong response to those who wounded me was a wrong response. You said if I would confess my sin, you would forgive me of the sin and cleanse me of the iniquity (I John 1:9). I receive your forgiveness and cleansing.”
(Pause to receive his forgiveness and cleansing. Take your time.)

In our next blog we will look at step two in returning to intimacy.