Step 1 – Filling the Void
1ST THINGS 1ST = STOP WITH WHAT YOU ARE BUSY WITH – STOP USING – STOP MISUSING – STOP ABUSING
There have been men and women who have given up an addiction out of sheer will power and determination. They counted the cost of something they did not want to lose and decided to stop abusing and being addicted. They had had enough of their spouse’s threatening and ultimatums. However, when you give up an addiction in your own strength with just your will power, you are not really delivered or set free because you still have the same spiritual problems that caused the addiction in the first place. It would be very difficult for you to break free of an addiction while still feeling unloved. In this case you would be in danger of what is called “cross addiction” which is where you lay down one addiction but pick up another, for example you give up smoking but then start drinking alcohol or eating too much.
WHAT CAN FILL THE VOID OF THE NEED TO BE LOVED UNFULFILLED?
As explained in the previous chapter, part of the mind-set behind addictions is the need to be loved unfulfilled which causes the lowering of serotonin levels in the brain. This begins the sequence of physical reactions that leads to the development of an addiction. Changing the external i.e. trying to quit an addiction without dealing with the internal need to be loved will not lead to permanent change. So how do we fill this void?
Within every person is a void which God purposefully created – which a lady called Sarah Jubilee appropriately called a “love cup”. We were created with a desire in our inner most being which only our Creator can meet and that is a thirst for love. Only His love can truly satisfy and fill this void so that we will never thirst again. Jesus said in John 7 v 37, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink” and in John 4 v 14 He said, “But whosoever drinks of this water that I shall give him shall never thirst; the water which I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
In the beginning Adam and Eve were put in front of two trees – and they had to choose from which tree they would eat from to satisfy their needs. In the same way, today we have the choice of two cups to drink from to satisfy our need and thirst for love: There is the cup of the world which offers temporary comfort, enjoyment, pleasure and fulfilment in many different ways – for example money and material possessions, food, wine and other alcoholic drinks, drugs, the love and acceptance of other people, sport, achievements, entertainment (Hollywood, music) etc. However the pleasure and fulfilment of the cup of the world only lasts for a short while…and you are still left thirsty and unfulfilled, and often in more torment and bondage (such as in addictions!). None of the things the world can offer can satisfy and fill this void because your love cup was created to be filled by only the love of God the Father through His Son Jesus! His love is like a fountain that never runs dry – it is pure, it comforts, it heals, it sets free and it satisfies you. When you bring your love cup to His fountain of overflowing abundant love, you will find the fulfilment you have been searching for and will be able to truly say, “Your love is better than wine!” (Song of Solomon 1 v 2).
1 John 5 v 21: Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life].
Have a look at your love cup. What is it filled with? Anything that you try to fill it with as a substitute for Him is an idol in your life. Would you be willing to empty your love cup of all the worldly things you have been trying to fill it with and allow Him to meet your needs and fulfil you? Jesus died on the cross to set you free and as He did this, every drop of His love was poured out so that you could be filled with His love. Are you willing to empty yourself the way He was emptied so that in your submission and obedience, He can fulfil the deepest, innermost part of your being that He created just for Him?
The AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) was an organization that was developed in the 1930s to help alcoholics. Their 12 step program was originally based on Biblical principles. In order to become a member you had to be born again and you had to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour because they knew that this was vital to obtaining freedom from the bondage of addiction. Today they have removed that entirely and the rest of the 12 steps hardly resemble the original program because it has been changed so much.
When the AA first started they had a success rate of over 80% but today, out of the two million people attending the AA worldwide, its success rate is down to 2%. The reason is because you cannot achieve anything worthwhile if you remove God.
John 15 v 4-5: “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”
Apart from God we can do nothing. I do not know how to offer you complete deliverance from addictions (or any disease or sickness) apart from God. Even though Alcoholics Anonymous has removed accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour from their program, they still acknowledge that it is impossible to overcome an addiction in your own strength, and that you need to rely on the strength of a “Higher Power.” Well let’s get specific about that “Higher Power”… there is only One God. Mark 12 v 32 “…There is one God; and there is none other but He.” He is the God that sent His son, Jesus to die for you on the cross. Jesus literally gave His life to provide a way for you to be restored to the Father; because of His work at the cross you have forgiveness of your sins, healing and freedom from all forms of bondage and captivity available to you.
Isaiah 53 v 5 tells of the work that Jesus did on the cross for you: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well being for us was upon Him and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.”
Jesus said in Luke 4 v 18 and Isaiah 61 v 1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good news to the meek, the poor and the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound… To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn, to give them a garment of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit.”
You cannot be completely delivered and set free from the bondage of your addiction without an intimate love relationship with the Father beyond the realms of empty religion. You have a God given void within you that only God can fill. Alcohol, cigarettes or whatever it is that you are addicted to, is a false comforter that will never satisfy you or fill that void. You have a deep spiritually rooted need to be loved and the prayer of my heart is that you would get to know the Father heart of God and His overwhelming love for you.
If you already know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then you can move on to the next chapter. If you have never invited Him into your heart and life, allow me the privilege of introducing you to Him and sharing more about where it all began…and the incredible price that He paid to set you free…
1. A simple story line to give a glimpse of the heart of God the Father:
A young boy once made his own little sailboat. The little boy painted the sailboat in his favourite colours and would spend hours playing with it in the shallow waters of a huge lake near their home. One day as he played the wind came up and blew the boat out of the reach of the boy and as he stood there he could only watch with tear filled eyes as the boat blew further and further away until he could see it no longer.
Saddened by the loss of his sail boat he reluctantly returned home, but day after day he would return to the water’s edge in the hope of being reunited with his boat. One Saturday morning he went to town with his dad and as he walked down the street he looked into the window of a second hand shop and there in the centre of the display stood his boat. He could not believe his eyes and he ran in and very excitedly told the shopkeeper that he was the proud owner of that boat and that he would be much obliged if the shopkeeper would take it out of the display and hand it back to him. The shopkeeper said, “Well son, I am sorry to hear your story but if you want it, you will have to buy it.”
Once again the tears welled up but the young boy managed to say, “Please don’t sell it, I’ll be back, I want it back”. That week the young boy worked hard to raise the money by doing chores, he even emptied his money box and the next Saturday he was back at the second hand shop. He proudly handed over his money and the shopkeeper handed him the sailboat.
As the young boy walked out of the shop, clutching the sailboat he said, “Now you are doubly mine! First I made you and now I bought you!”
This simple story gives us a glimpse of the Bible’s story line and the heart of God the Father. In the same way He is saying to you, “You are doubly Mine! First I made you! And then I bought you!” Allow me to explain….
2. Who are we and why were we created?
1 John 4 v 8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Genesis 1 v 1:“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1 v 26 – 27: “26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. 27So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created Him. And God blessed them…31And God saw everything that He had made and, behold, it was very good.”
Psalm 139 v 14 and 17 – 18: “14I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Your works and that my soul knows very well!…17How precious are Your thoughts to me, oh God! How great is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake I am still with You!”
Zephaniah 3 v 17: “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Love is the essence of God’s character and is Who He is! And being so filled, consumed and overwhelmed with love…He desired somebody to share it with – and that is why He made man, to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him! Just as God walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, He desires to walk closely with us and for us to know Him intimately. So we were created by God and we belong to Him. Just as the little boy took such delight in the boat he had made, so God takes such delight in us! He looks at us as His creation and declares that we are very good – we are fearfully and wonderfully made! These Scriptures show how He rejoices over us with singing and continually thinks about us! It is very clear that God enjoyed spending time with man.
John 10 v 10: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance (to the full, until it overflows).”
When an engineer designs a smart expensive motorcar (for example a Mercedes), He will provide an Instruction Manual of how to maintain and look after the car in order to keep it in good condition. If you take this smart car and go driving on rough roads through the mountains, it will breakdown because it is being used in a way that it was not created for. In the same way, in the process of enjoying an intimate relationship with Him, God desired that we enjoy an abundant life in His blessing. So He gave a love letter – His Word (the Bible) which is His instruction manual of how to enjoy the abundant life He desired for us. Within this Instruction Manual – He shared His principles – for example 365 times He said, “Do not fear!” because being the Great and Intelligent Creator of the human body, He knows that it was not designed to live in fear. Medical research now understands that fear has caused over 100 major incurable diseases. Like driving a Mercedes on rough roads in the mountains, living in fear causes the human body to break down and be destroyed. So God gave us instructions in the Bible, not to give us a set of rules – but to give us wisdom in His great love for us so that we would not be robbed of the abundant life He desires for us – not only in our health, but in our relationships, marriages, family and all areas of life.
3. What went wrong?
Genesis 3 answers the question, “What went wrong?” The problem is that evil has entered the human race. There is an enemy called satan – who is the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy mentioned in John 10 v 10. Starting with Adam, satan has led all of mankind into sin which is disobedience to the instructions and principles of God’s Word. Not only is God a God of love, but He is also a Holy God and sin separates us from Him.
Isaiah 59 v 2: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
Romans 3 v 23: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
This verse confirms that the sinful act of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden has had an effect on all of mankind by separating us all from God. In the same way that the wind separated the boy and his sailboat, sin brought separation between God and man. God did not abandon us, we drifted away from relationship with Him. We are no longer living in the realm God intended for us.
4. As with the sailboat, sin comes with a price tag.
Not only has that sin separated us from God – but it has had terrible consequences because the Bible says that the price for sin is death.
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Now you may feel that the sins you have committed are not that bad and that you are a good person at heart who deserves to go to heaven. So allow me to ask you a few questions which I hope will provoke deep thought within you:
Have you ever told a lie? You may answer, “Yes, one or two – but who hasn’t?” Do you realize that it is not how many times that you lie that makes you a liar, but just lying once? Have you ever stolen anything, big or small? Jesus said that to look at a woman with lust is the same as committing adultery (Matthew 5 v 27 – 28). Have you ever done that? The Bible says that to hate someone is the same in God’s eyes as murder. Have you ever lusted or hated? Have you ever sworn or used God’s Name in vain? Have you ever had things in your life that are more important to you than the God who created the heavens and the earth? Have you loved God with all your heart and soul and strength all your life? Have you ever been greedy or jealous of other people’s possessions and coveted them? Have you honored your parents not on the basis of whether they are worthy or not but on the basis that they were a channel of your existence? On the Day of Judgment when God judges you by His ten commandments, do you think He will find you innocent or guilty?
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. You shall have no other gods but Me.
2. You shall not worship any other image or false idol.
3. You shall not use the Lord’s Name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not kill.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods.
Exodus 20 v 3 -17
If God finds you guilty, do you think He will send you to heaven or to hell? There are some that would say, “Oh God will send me to heaven because He is such a jolly good God. If God is love, why would He send anybody to hell? I now want to ask you: How many laws in your country do you have to break before the police arrest you? Only one! You have broken God’s law over and over again. Let’s imagine that in this country you have murdered two women and three children. You sold heroin and stole from a bank. You were arrested and at your trial the evidence against you became so compelling that everyone knew you were guilty – the jury, the prosecutor, the judge and even your own lawyer. Finally the judge said to you, “Will the accused stand. Do you have anything
to say before I pass sentence on you?” You then say, “Yes your Honour, I realize that today I have been exposed of my sin but I believe that you’re such a jolly good judge and that you’ll just let me off.” The judge will say to you, “You are right in one thing: I am a good judge and it is precisely because I am a good judge that I am going to sentence you to the most severe and full extent of the law!” You see, if a paedophile rapes an eight year old girl and he’s arrested and brought before a judge and the judge is secretly into pornography, and practices paedophilia himself and out of unsanctified sympathy serves a lenient sentence – the result is that the child rapist is soon out of prison, but this time he rapes your daughter and cuts her throat. You will not say that is a loving judge, you will say he is an evil judge. The God Who created the heavens and the earth is a pure, loving and Holy Judge, and He will thoroughly punish the breaking of His law with wrath and justice. Sin against an infinite God, and it will have infinite consequences.
In John 16 v 8 the Bible says of the Holy Spirit: “When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”As you realize the reality of all of this, the Holy Spirit comes to deeply convict you of the enormity of your own sin and rebellion towards God. My intention is to wake you up to realize the real danger of judgment and the wrath of God that lies ahead of us for violating God’s law (Romans chapter 2). You need to realize that every one of your sins has been recorded by God and right now there is a terrifying sentence stored up against you. What are you going to do on the Day of Judgment when you stand before God, when His law comes in terror and when the eyes of God burn their way into your guilty soul, when the great books shall be opened and all your sin and shame shall be punished? I hope that you now have your self-righteousness annihilated as you stand speechless before a holy God.
5. What do we do now?
As a matter of fact there is nothing we can do from our side to reconcile us to our creator because God is so holy and His standards are so high. We cannot get to Heaven or earn God’s approval and acceptance by being a good person. Our most righteous acts are like filthy rags in God’s sight. Isaiah 64 v 6: “For we have all become like one who is unclean [like a leper] and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) are like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf and our iniquities like the wind take us away [far from God’s favor, hurrying us towards destruction].”
Much like the sailboat in the shop window we were left high and dry by the consequence of sin in our lives, that is separation from God and a death sentence.
6. What did God do?
This is where God stepped to the fore and drew salvations plan on the canvas of life with a brush dipped in an immeasurable bucket of love. Everything that was required for us to be reconciled to God was done in and through Jesus Christ God’s son.
7. God exhibits His Love – Jesus paid the price!
Hebrews 9 v 22: “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Romans 5 v 8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Galatians 3 v 13: “Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified).”
God has set a standard for the forgiveness of sin which is the shedding of blood. Due to our inability to pay the price for sin that would appease God, Christ had to come as sinless, spotless Lamb of God and die in our place to pay the price that God demanded so that we could be reconciled to God.
John 3 v 16: “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal lasting life.”
God (the greatest Giver) gave His Son (the greatest Gift) to whoever believes (the greatest amount of people) so that they can have eternal life. God’s plan to atone for our sin and restore us back into an intimate love relationship with Him – which has always been His desire from the beginning – was through His Son Jesus. This is how, like the little boy with the boat, He can say, “Now you are doubly Mine! First I made you…and then I bought you!”
John 14 v 6: “Jesus said I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. If you know Me [have learned to recognize Me], You will also know My Father.”
God not only loves us with a love that will never cease, but He wants to bless our lives and make it full and complete. He offers us life filled with His goodness here and now as well as eternal life in His presence.
8. Salvation is a free gift:
Ephesians 2 v 8 – 9: “For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not fulfilment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]”
There is nothing a man can do to make God love him more. Neither is there anything man can do that will make God love him less. You cannot work for God’s amazing grace. It is a free gift and you have to simply receive it.
John 1 v 12: “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become Children of God”
In order to be restored back into relationship with God the Father, we must receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. When we accept what Jesus has done for us by dying in our place on the cross, we become a child of God.
You can refuse to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life – for whatever excuse you choose to use. One of the most common excuses is that “Christians are hypocrites!” Yes, I agree with you. Unfortunately there are people out there who call themselves Christians but lead a double life, giving God a bad name. I deeply apologize to you on their behalf. However, when you stand before the Judgment Throne of God, it is just going to be you and God. He’s not going to be interested in what you have to say about other people, He’s just going to ask you one question and that is, “What did you do with my Son? Did you accept Him or did you reject Him?” You see, you are going to bow before Jesus one day and acknowledge Him as Lord. The Bible says that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 14 v 11 and Isaiah 45 v 23). You are going to acknowledge that He is Lord, the only choice you have is to do it now or when you stand before Him at the Judgment Throne – this determines where you will spend all eternity – in Heaven or in Hell. It’s your choice.
Jesus said in Revelation 3 v 20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.” Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart right now, but you must remember that the doorknob is on your side. He is a gentleman; He will not force His way into your life. You must welcome Him in. God is eager to bring restoration, healing and wholeness to your life, but He will wait for your invitation. Are you ready to ask Him into your heart?
9. How can I be put right with a Holy God?
Romans 10 v 9: “If you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.”
If you are ready to invite Jesus to be Lord of your life and give Him your heart, allow me to lead you in this prayer:
“Father, You loved the world so much that You gave Your only Son to die for our sins so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. I am a sinner – with heartfelt conviction I repent for my sins and ask You to forgive me. Your Word says that I am saved by grace through faith as a gift from You. There is nothing I can do to earn salvation and I humbly acknowledge my need for a Savior. I believe and confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe He died on the cross in my place to pay the price for my sin and that He rose victoriously from the dead and that He is alive today. By faith I receive Jesus Christ now as my Lord and Savior. I now invite you Jesus to come into my heart as I submit my whole life to you. Thank You for making me Your child. I believe that I am saved and will spend eternity with You! Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for me, and restoring me into a right relationship with the Father. From now on I will trust in You and live to love You.”
If you prayed this prayer, know that God received you with open, outstretched arms; Jesus now lives in your heart and all of Heaven is throwing a banquet to celebrate!! (Please read Luke 15 v 10 – 32). The Bible says that when one person who was lost is restored back into a relationship with God the Father, legions (which is an uncountable number) of angels celebrate! Not only have you taken a vitally important step towards freedom from addictions, but this has changed where you will spend eternity!
10. Where to from here?
Get to know God through spending time with Him daily:
Saying the prayer we just said together is not the beginning and end of it… it is only the beginning… it is only an introduction to a life-long personal, intimate, love relationship with a very real and awesome God. The next step is to get to know God. This should be the foremost desire and prayer of your heart:
Exodus 33 v 13: “Father show me Your ways, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding You more strongly and clearly].”
The only way you get to know somebody is to spend time with them. As you begin your walk and life with God – it is absolutely vital that you spend time with God on a daily basis. Getting to know God by spending time with Him involves finding a quiet place where it is just you and God, where you can sit at His feet and just enjoy fellowship with Him. I often get on my motorbike and go and sit in the bush on my farm. Angus Buchan (the man who wrote Faith like Potatoes) lies in his maize lands where he talks with God (he calls his maize lands his green cathedral). Most people just spend time with God in their bedrooms. Wherever you go, it doesn’t matter, as long as you can get alone with God.
Speak to God – have conversations with Him in prayer:
Spending time with God involves talking to Him – that is what praying is. God is not interested in fancy religious, repetitive prayers- He’s interested in the simple prayers that come directly from your heart. If a man stands and absentmindedly reads a love poem off a piece of paper to a woman that somebody else wrote, it does not mean much to her. However, if he stands and looks her directly in the eye and speaks from his heart, it will mean the world to her, even though his words are simple and not as eloquent and fancy as the words in the poem that was written by somebody else. It is no different for God. Empty religion involves reciting repetitive prayers. A genuine relationship with God involves just simply and plainly speaking to God from your heart.
Jesus said in Matthew 6 v 5-7: “5Also when you pray, you must not do like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets that they may be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already. 6But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open. 7And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. 8Do not be like them for Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him”
As you continue in your conversations with God, over time you will learn to hear His voice speaking back to you.
Spend time daily reading His Word:
You also get to know God and learn more about His character through reading His Word – that is the Bible. The more you get to know God, the more you will come to genuinely love Him. The more you love Him, the more you will desire to live for Him and fulfil His will in your life – out of this naturally flows a life of obedience to Him.
Don’t Backslide – Stay on fire for God by living a life of obedience!
John 15 v 4 – 5 & 7: “4Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. 5I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in Him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. 7If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
The worst mistake you can make at this early stage in your walk and journey with God is not to spend time with Him on a daily basis. The reason this is such a big mistake is that it won’t be long before you get caught up in the worries and business of life, and you will soon backslide or fall away back into your old life or a life that is lukewarm (mediocre) for God at best. Many people pray the prayer of salvation above and name Jesus as their Lord but there was no real conviction or deep repentance in their heart – they never bother to really get to know God or develop a genuine relationship with Him. As a result there is no real change in their hearts and lives and they continue in the same sin and iniquity as before. These people will try to get into the gates of heaven but will be thrust into the jaws of hell. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name and drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you; Away from me you evildoers!” (Matthew 7 v 21 – 23).
These people learnt the principles of God and did great miracles, but never really got to know God. They never had a genuine relationship with Him and as a result they remained unchanged in their hearts and continued in their evil doing. They were never really saved. This is why I am taking great pains to emphasize that getting saved is not just a quick prayer and that’s it. You see, merely going through the ritual of saying the prayer we said together which is sometimes referred to as “the sinner’s prayer” doesn’t mean anything if it hasn’t lead to a change of heart, ultimately leading to a change in lifestyle, where we progressively get rid of sin in our lives!
1 John 2 v 3 – 4: “And this is how we may discern [daily by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]; if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments). Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.”
The Bible teaches that Jesus came to save us from the power of sin and its terrible consequences.
Titus 2 v 14 says that Jesus: “Gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds.”
Acts 3 v 26: “It was to you first that God sent His Servant and Son Jesus, when He raised Him up [provided and gave Him for us], to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness and evil ways.”
Therefore, whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord to be saved is obligated to leave their previous life of sin and iniquity. 2 Timothy 2 v 19: “But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and Let everyone who names [himself by] the Name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.”
Unfortunately modern churches of all varieties and brands have preached a “new age Jesus” who came primarily to save us from discomfort, unhappiness and negative experiences, and who panders to and serves our whims and needs. This counterfeit gospel preaches how Almighty God is supposed to serve us and provide a “life enhancement” service to mankind. As a result we begin to treat God as our own “Royal Butler” rather than Almighty, Indescribable and Awesome God! In other words, sure – I’ll serve God as long as it doesn’t cost me anything too extravagant, and just saying so (lip service) will get me to heaven! But in return I expect my life will get better and more secure. When you come before God on the final day, He is not going to check whether or not you have said the sinner’s prayer – He’s going to see whether or not you lived according to His Word. Did you do what He commanded you to do?
Jesus said in John 14 v 15: “If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commandments.” You can repeat the sinner’s prayer as often as you like, and renew your commitment to God over and over again but you only truly believe as much as you do! Simply talking about God and our beliefs doesn’t make us Christians any more than discussing the latest new vehicles make us a car. Nor does going to church! Only when we drive like a car and perform like a car and go like a car can we be considered a car!
Get plugged in to a good church
As well as spending time with God and getting to know Him, it is also important for you to straight away get yourself into a church. You cannot go it alone – you need fellowship, friendship and support from other men and women of God. A coal that is in a furnace burns brightly, but when it is removed from the fire and put on the grass on its own, it soon fizzles out. Likewise, if you stay out of church for too long, your fire and passion for God will soon fizzle out, and you will find yourself backsliding and falling back into the ways of the world.
Hebrews 10 v 25 “Do not forsake or neglect to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.”
Be careful what church you settle into. Unfortunately there are a lot of churches out there that preach a counterfeit, diluted, compromised and distorted gospel:
2 Corinthians 11 v 2-4: “For I am zealous for you with a godly eagerness and a divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For [you seem willing to endure it] if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the [Spirit] you [once] received or a different gospel from the one you [then] received and welcomed.”
Make sure that the pure, unaltered and uncompromised Word of God is preached in the church you choose to go to.
Part of the mind-set behind addictions is the need to be loved unfulfilled which causes the lowering of serotonin levels in the brain. This begins the sequence of physical reactions that leads to the development of an addiction as explained in chapter 1. Changing the external i.e. trying to quit an addiction without dealing with the internal need to be loved will not lead to permanent change. In the previous chapter we learnt how the only way to fulfil this need to be loved is through an intimate, love relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus. However, many times even Christians are not able to receive God’s love or identify with Him as their Father because of the damage done by an absent, unloving, harsh or abusive earthly father.
The lack of love from our earthly father and subsequent inability to receive God the Father’s love can many times become the need to be loved unfulfilled that leads us into the trap of addictions. Therefore the impact that our earthly Father has on our lives is an important area to understand and where necessary get healing, in the journey of breaking free from the bondage of addictions.
The top 3 purposes of the lives of every child of God is:
1. Salvation: To know Him and have an intimate love relationship with Him.
2. Sanctification: To become like Him – after salvation we need to go through the process of sanctification where we mature spiritually and from glory to glory are moulded into the image of Jesus.
3. Make an impact: God has a calling and destiny on our life where He has destined us to make an impact on the lives of others so that they may come to know Him too.
So in essence our purpose is to know Him, to become like Him and to make Him known.
When we are born as babies, we have immature behaviour: For example we are not able to feed or dress ourselves and our parents have to change our nappies etc. When we are small babies, it is ok for us to have this immature behaviour, but our parents’ desire for us to grow! If they still have to feed, dress us and change our nappies when we are 40 years old then there is a problem! At salvation when we meet Jesus at the foot of the cross and accept Him as our Lord and saviour – we become born again .And we are like babies spiritually with immature behaviour for example we have fear, guilt, shame, self-hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc.
After salvation, our Father’s desire is that we grow spiritually and go through the process of sanctification where we become like Him.2 Corinthians 3 v 16 – 18: “But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, freedom]. And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transformed into His image from glory to glory; for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit.”
As you spend time with God in His Presence and in His Word, you’ll find that He will begin to change you little by little – the Holy Spirit will take you on a journey of sanctification where He begins to mould you into the image of Jesus. This is where you begin to see a change in your character and life style. Instead of thinking, speaking and acting like the world, you begin to think, speak and act like God. Being moulded into the image of Jesus – means that the Holy Spirit, works out of us, our carnal, fleshly, sinful, worldly traits, and mind-sets, and works into us, the character and mind of Christ. As we become like Jesus, we start bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit which are the qualities of God’s character in our character.
Galatians 5 v 22 – 23: “22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His Presence within accomplishes] is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control.”
As we start developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our character, we start overcoming and walking in victory, and we become spiritually mature soldiers in His kingdom who start having an impact on other people’s lives for Him. In other words we start helping others overcome fear, guilt, shame, a low self-esteem etc. and come into a close love relationship with Him.
One of the purposes of marriage is to produce Godly children. The children are the fruit of that marriage and that is proof that the husband and wife exist because the children would not be there if the husband and wife did not exist! In the same way, when we show the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, it is the proof to the world that God exists and that is what draws them to also want to know Him when they see the love, joy, peace and victorious life that we have – and so we start making real impact.
So our Father wants us to grow up spiritually through the process of sanctification so that we can be set free and so that we can set others free. As Jesus said to Peter: “When you have recovered yourself, go strengthen the brethren…” However, the enemy does not want us to have a great impact for God’s kingdom – he wants to destroy us before we have the chance to do this. Now thinking in terms of strategy, if you were the enemy – when would it be easier for you to destroy a person? When he is a helpless baby or a child or when he is a grown up, strong, mature soldier who is skilled in battle? Of course you would take him out when he is a baby! That is exactly what the enemy does and this is how he does it:
THE ROLE OF THE FATHER IS TO BRING IDENTITY AND DESTINY
As I mentioned, one of the purposes of a marriage is to raise Godly children – and the role of the father and mother in this process is different: The role of the mother is to love and to nurture, and she treats her sons and daughters the same – she hugs her children, loves them, kisses them etc. The father does not treat his sons and daughters the same because his role is to establish identity and destiny. So for example he will rough and tumble with his sons, take them fishing, hunting etc. and do manly things – establishing his sons’ identity as men, whilst his daughter he will her put on his lap, tell her she is his beautiful princess, and treat her like a lady – affirming her femininity. We see the father bringing identity in our cultures – for example we take on the name of our father and when a woman gets married she takes on the surname (identity) of the man. We even see this with Jesus – two of the three times that God’s audible voice is heard in the New Testament – God the Father said: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!”In other words the Father said, “This is My boy! (that is identity) and I am happy with where He is going (that’s destiny).”
`Then literally 3 verses after God the Father said this at Jesus’ baptism, Jesus is lead into the desert to be tempted, and Satan says to Him: “If you are the Son of God…turn these stones into bread.” God the Father has just reaffirmed Jesus’ identity and three verses later, Satan came to attack His identity and try bringing doubt: “If you are the Son of God – prove it by doing something – turn the stones into bread.” We have been falling for the same lie – Satan attacks our identity and says, if you are somebody of value and worth, prove it by doing something…and we are driven into performance as we try to achieve, to make money, get the latest car, a fancy house, a PhD degree, wear designer clothes, look like a model etc. in order that we can be somebody of significant value and worth and we fall into the deception of placing our identity in what we do, instead of who we are. Jesus resisted the devil’s attack on His identity by quoting Scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone – but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” In other words, “I don’t have to prove anything! I am the Son of God because God’s Word says so!” In the same way, we do not have to prove our value and worth because our identity is in who we are in Christ as stated in the Word of God. Learning how to build a healthy self-esteem by firmly rooting your identity in who you are in Christ is what we will learn about in chapter 8.
In the customs of the Hebrew people of the Bible (and the Jewish people today) there were key times in a child’s life where the father would speak blessing over his children and reaffirm their identity and destiny. Let’s see how this played out in the families in the Bible compared to how it typically plays out in the world today:
When the father finds out the mother is pregnant, the father is delighted and places his hand on the mother’s belly and blesses the baby – and He says, “You are my beloved son (or daughter) in whom I am well pleased! You are a blessing! We can’t wait to meet you!” And so what does the baby feel? Even in the womb it feels love and acceptance.
In the world, the Father says, “You are what???Pregnant!!! Oh, my gosh, we are not even married! Get rid of it – we can’t let this ruin our lives!” And often the father is never to be seen again! He says “I want nothing to do with the baby!”So what does the baby feel in the womb? Rejection – fear, abandonment, guilt, shame. 25
In the Jewish custom: The father is there to hold the baby as it comes out and he says, “You are my beloved son or you are my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased!” He then speaks a blessing over his child. So once again, the baby feels loved and accepted – and begins its life in blessing.
One of the biggest mistakes we have made in medicine is to take the father out of the delivery room, as we have been robbed of the tremendous impact of a father being there when the baby is born to speak blessing over it. Furthermore, what often happens in the world is the father may for example say, “It’s a girl? Ahhh I wanted a boy!” The baby feels rejection and fear, guilt, shame again.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The next key time in a child’s life is the first day of school. In the Bible: the father puts his son or daughter on his knee and says, “Today is your first day at school. I want you to know that I am so proud of you and I love you! Even though we are taking you to school, we will be there to pick you up because this is your home and you belong with us!” The child feels loved and accepted, and goes to school with confidence and excels in everything he/she does.
I was blessed to have a loving mother and father and a stable childhood. I had a Greek grandfather who believed that there are two “rings” that you must put on your children’s fingers that nobody can ever take off – and that is the ring of education and the ring of confidence. They used to purposefully speak words of life into me on a regular basis, telling me how clever I am, that everything I do will prosper and be a success etc. And so on my first day of school, I walked off with confidence whilst my mother was crying!
In the world the first day at school is a night mare! The kids scream and cry, hold onto their parent’s legs and literally drag along the ground in fear of letting them go because they already have so much fear and rejection, they think their parents are going to leave them behind. This has been the cause of many cases of asthma which is caused by the fear of abandonment. They are many children who were dropped at boarding school and when their parents drove off they never thought they would see them again. And so we have had to help them get delivered from the fear of abandonment that came in at that time, and they were healed during ministry on that level.
COMING OF AGE
The next key time for a child is coming of age at 13 years: in the Hebrew and Jewish culture, the father throws a celebration party and puts his son or daughter on his shoulders and again reaffirms blessing, identity and destiny. In the world, the father is often not even there or has played a very little role in the child’s life. So by the time they are teenagers, they have a lack of identity and destiny. They have a low self-esteem and are struggling with peer pressure as they try to find out who they are and they have no direction…only fear, rejection, guilt and shame – which has lead the child into rebellion and a search for love in all the wrong places.
And so instead of growing up in the spiritual maturity of love and the characteristics of God where in adulthood we are becoming mighty warriors that make an impact in His kingdom, we go into a deepening spiral of bondage of fear, guilt and shame.
1 John 4 v 18: “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of the doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
OUR IMAGE OF GOD THE FATHER IS AFFECTED BY OUR IMAGE OF OUR EARHTLY FATHER
Apart from bringing identity and destiny, another important role of the Father is to reflect the Father heart of God to his children. In other words God designed it such that as children we gain an understanding of the concept of how to have a relationship with God the Father, through the experience of a relationship with our earthly Father. A very true saying is: “A son cannot find a father is God, until He first finds God in his Father.”So because of this, our image of God the Father is affected by our image of our earthly father. Therefore, if our earthly father was harsh and abusive, we will subconsciously develop a distorted image of God the Father, where we think He is a harsh and abusive and we will think that God is an angry, judgemental condemning God who is waiting for any opportunity to punish us and strike us with a lightning bolt as soon as we mess up. If we had to achieve in order to measure up and receive love and acceptance from our earthly father, we will also end up trying to earn the love and acceptance of God the Father through works and performance. For example: getting involved, in all sorts of activities in churches or charities, etc. to earn, “brownie points”, with God. A true story: There was one man who was the son of a millionaire. As a teenager he was very irresponsible – he would go out drinking, and every time he smashed the latest BMW car that his father brought him, his father would just buy him another one. Then when he grew up he got saved, but his image of God the Father was the same i.e. it was affected by the experience and the image he had of his earthly father – he thought he could just be irresponsible and expected God to bail him out.
So for many people – because in their hurt God has that same “horrible name father”, they think that He is like the other one… and so now God the Father is guilty by association. When Jesus taught us to pray, He began with: “Our Father…” and we get a block right there because we want nothing to do with “father”! “Father – ugh what father!!”And so people struggle to identify with God as Father – they can pray to and have a relationship with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit, and maybe even pray to “God”… but they cannot pray “Father”. They cannot identify with God as Father and therefore they are not able to receive His love.
CHECK MATE IN ONE STRATEGIC MOVE
Not being able to receive God’s love creates a major problem: latest medical research is tracing back 87 – 95% of diseases to various toxic mind-sets upstream in our thought life. The toxic mind-sets that lead to disease can be traced back to a breakdown in relationship on one of three levels:
A breakdown in relationship with God
A breakdown in relationship with ourselves
A breakdown in relationship with others
The foundation of the kingdom of God is relationship. And so the foundation of satan’s attack is to destroy our relationship with God, ourselves and others. So healing begins with restoring your relationship with God yourself and others…or put another way: loving God, loving yourself and loving others. Somebody once asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is and His said, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. Then the second greatest commandment is like it – love your neighbour as you do yourself – upon this depends all the law and the prophets”. In other words Jesus said, “What it is all about is loving God, loving yourself and loving others!” This is true even in the area of health. The key to healing in one word is “love” because when you love God, yourself and others, you won’t have any of the toxic mind-sets that cause disease! However you cannot love others if you don’t love yourself: just as you cannot pour water into a glass from an empty jug, you cannot give out love to others if you don’t have it in you. The problem with many marriages today is two people who don’t know how to love themselves, are trying to love each other. You will have a very hard time getting along with anybody else if you don’t get along with yourself – you may put on a happy, friendly, polite mask but that is a fabricated personality because you are hiding .And you won’t be able to love yourself, without first receiving the love of the Father!
So when you end up with a breakdown in relationship with God where you can’t receive His love because of the damage done by your earthly father –you will end up with a breakdown in relationship with yourself because now you can’t love yourself, and then you will have a breakdown in relationship with others because you find it so hard to give and receive love without fear. And now that you have a breakdown in relationship with God, yourself and others the stage is set for all the toxic mind-sets that cause disease. So just like in a game of chess, in one single strategic move the devil got “check mate” – just by attacking your relationship with your father.
So now the top 3 purposes for your life cannot be fulfilled:
- It is very difficult to know Him and have an intimate love relationship with Him – because you cannot receive His love or identify with Him as Father.
2. Instead of becoming like Him and being moulded into the image of Jesus through the process of sanctification where you mature spiritually –you are developing toxic mind-sets causing you to break down spiritually as you go deeper into the bondage of fear, guilt, shame etc.
3. And instead of making an impact on the lives of others so that they may come to know Him too – being in spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical bondage yourself, you cannot have much of an impact on the lives of others and you get sick before you can fulfil God’s calling and destiny on your life.
So this area of a breakdown in relationship with God the Father because of the breakdown in relationship with our earthly father is a critical area to address in disease and as mentioned at the beginning of this chapter is many times the basis for the low self-esteem and need to be loved unfulfilled in addictions.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
There are so many people who are serving God who are not even sure that He loves them. It is head knowledge, but they can’t truly believe it as a revelation in their hearts. Often these are the people that had an earthly father who was harsh, abusive or unloving in some way. And they struggle to identify with God as Father because of the pain and rejection from their earthly father. Then when I start talking about God as Abba Father or Daddy or Pappa, if they have not been healed, there is something inside them that gets as irritated as it can be because they have never experienced that and it irritates them because they want it. Pastors and doctors who teach these principles hold conferences all over the world where they ask the audience this question, “How many of you growing up as children do not remember your earthly father saying to you these words, “I love you”? Would you raise your hands?” What has almost always been found over the past 30 years is that over 90% of people raise their hands because they never heard their earthly father say, “I love you.” I have also gotten the same result in every conference I have been to. In one audience, there were 26 different nations present and 95% of them raised their hands because they had never heard their earthly father say those words. This is in every church in the world. You can walk into any church and statistically over 90% will raise their hands. One Zimbabwean girl said to the pastor during ministry time, “In all my entire life, even as a Christian, you are the first human being to look me in the eye and say those words, “I Love you”. I’ve never heard those words in my entire life.” If you have a breakdown in your relationship with God because of the failure of your earthly father to represent Him, you may think that you are the only one. I want you to know that you are not alone in the void and the pain that runs so deep. You are not alone in the fear and rejection that has been there from your childhood. This is in epidemic proportions in our society.
In his book called “Bringing up Boys” James Dobson told the true story of a greeting card company who went into a prison. On mother’s day they decided to bring the men in prison cards to send out to their mothers. There was such a response from the men that they had to go back to the factory and get more cards just to keep up with the demand. Due to the success of this effort, on father’s day, they came back to the prison with cards for the inmates to send to their fathers. Not even one man came to get a father’s day card. Many of them had no idea who their fathers were. This is a tragedy.
As mentioned earlier, the voice of God the Father is only recorded three times in the New Testament and that is at the baptism of Jesus with John (Matthew 3 v 17), at the time when Jesus was praying to the Father about being re-glorified after the resurrection and the Father’s voice is heard, “I have glorified it and I will glorify it again” and at the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17 v 5). Two of three times where God the Father’s voice is heard audibly, here is what is recorded about Jesus: “This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been delighted].” Other translations say, “This is my Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.”
Ladies, forget about the fact that you didn’t hear your father say “I love you”, if you had just heard your father say these words to you, “You are my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased,” your heart would be singing forever. If the men had heard their father say to them, “You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased,” their hearts would be singing forever.
This one issue of an unloving earthly father accounts for well over 70 different incurable diseases. Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, leukaemia and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma are four examples. When there is verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse attached to it or performance, perfectionism, legalism, control and force involved, the diseases that manifest are even worse. This is what is behind most cases of a severe allergy disorder called multiple chemical sensitivity and environmental illness and certain pain disorders such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. Statistically from the secular medical community, 75% of people with irritable bowel syndrome are females who were physically or sexually abused by their fathers.
THE MANDATE OF A FATHER AND HUSBAND TO LOVE
The Bible says that pure and unblemished religion in the sight of God the Father is to take care of the widows and orphans and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world (James 1 v 27). While we are talking about separation from God as the basis of many diseases, let’s define who is fatherless and who is a widow. We always think of this as the father or husband having died. However, that is not everything that there is to the fatherless and a widow. You can have the father at home and he may as well be dead for all that he brings into the spiritual well being of that family. In that family, those children are fatherless. A woman can be married to a man and be a spiritual widow for all that he brings into that relationship. He doesn’t represent the Lord as a husband. He is a roommate at best, if that. I haven’t mentioned the verbal abuse and control that comes and then he commands her to submit sexually because he has an urge. There are many sicknesses that are over 80% female. The women are not doing too well and the problem is the husband and fathers on this planet are not representing God the Father to their families as they should.
The Bible says that the man was not created for the woman but the woman was created for the man. That is a horrible scripture in today’s society because the men have not taken care of the women like God intended them to. When the Bible says that the woman was created for the man, it is not in the chauvinistic sense of legalism, control, damage and victimization. It means that the woman was created for the man as a helpmate. It doesn’t mean that the men are greater than their wives or the wives are greater than the men. It means there is an order of government. The purpose of that government has been misunderstood. That government is protection, safety and love. That government is where the wife feels like she is the queen because the Bible says that the man who finds a wife, finds a good thing (Proverbs 18 v 22). The men have not treated the females like the treasure and prize that they really are.
There are many marriage books that have been written. However God gave two simple nuggets of wisdom. He told the wives to respect their husbands, because that is what a man needs most. And then He told the husbands to love their wives because that is what He created a woman to receive. Women were created by God to be nurtured, loved, covered, cared for, protected and made to feel safe so that she can be a helpmate and mother without fear. When the Bible says that the woman is the weaker vessel, it is not a derogatory statement that says that she is inferior. It simply means that there is something stronger than her to protect her namely a loving male and the men haven’t always done a good job of that. Part of the problem in the home is that the man doesn’t love himself. The Bible says that a man who loves his wife loves himself (Ephesians 5 v 28). That means that if the man is not loving his wife, he doesn’t love himself – he has self hatred.
You see, many of the men weren’t loved by their fathers either and so their identity and destiny was not reaffirmed. They didn’t have fathers that were proper role models to show them what a man of God looks like. For most of you the dinner table on Sundays was guillotine night. You came to the table with “Sit down; shut up, it’s time for judgment.” No wonder you have gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome because you couldn’t even sit down and have dinner in peace. The men learned to be hard from their earthly fathers. However, God can take the hardness of your heart and give you a soft one if you ask Him to and if you allow Him to (Ezekiel 36 v 26).
It is the men who hold the keys to this planet. When the men finally decide to represent God the father to their children and represent the Lord Jesus as husband to their wives, revival is about to begin. Until the men decide to be a mirror image of heaven, as a father and a husband, we are stuck in every generation with over 70 incurable diseases. Some of the husbands and fathers need to get onto their knees before their wives and children and repent for their ways – for having opened the door for the enemy to oppress their wives and children and for their hardness of heart. If you would just do that, you would get rid of many of the diseases in your family and you would be spending less of your hard earned money on doctors. When a father, repents to his children and when a husband, repents to his wife… the destiny of mankind is about to be changed.
If you are a man and you are reading this book, I’d like to take a moment to impart something to your life if you will allow me to. As a doctor, I’d like to give you a picture of how you can change and undo the damage and devastation of your generations. Before your wife is ever your wife, she is a daughter of God the Father. Therefore she is entitled to the honour that any daughter of God the Father deserves. If you don’t treat her right, do you really want her Father on your case? You don’t. Before she is ever your wife, she is the betrothed wife of Christ and she is entitled to all the respect that the betrothed wife of Christ deserves. If you don’t treat her right, do you want her Husband to be on your case? Before she is ever your wife, she should be your best friend and therefore you shouldn’t need a night out with the boys. I know I am stepping into uncomfortable territory here but encourage you to think this way because the Father and the Son can see you and hear you.
1 Peter 3 v 7 commands husbands to love their wives – when a man treats his wife badly, his prayers are cut off from God and nothing really works out well for him in life.
1 Peter 3 v 7:“In the same way you married men should live considerably with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honouring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favour) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]
Right here we see a block to healing. If you are not treating your wife with love, don’t waste your time praying for healing – because your prayers are cut off from God. This is “tough stuff” but it is vitally important.
You men are wives too you know – you are wives to Jesus. You can learn how to be a better wife to Jesus by being a better husband to your wives. Your homes need to be an oasis of peace and a safe haven for your wife and children. Your home should be your first church. Women were designed to follow a loving spiritual leader who demonstrates the Father heart of God to his family.
THE TRUE IMAGE AND CHARACTER OF GOD THE FATHER
This area of separation from God the Father, because of the failure of an earthly father to represent Him is big in disease. We have got to deal with it and move on and be vulnerable again without fear. We need to get our warped image of God the Father sorted out and get to know His character for Who He is as described in His Word.
Man-made religion paints the image of a condemning God who is a mean old man sitting on the edge of His throne waiting to teach us a lesson as soon as we step out of line. However, that is not the image and character of God that the Bible portrays. God is a loving God. He is full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness. His mercy is new every morning and His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness reaches to the skies! God is not sitting on the edge of His Throne waiting for an opportunity to punish you – He is earnestly waiting for an opportunity to bless you and to be gracious to you.
This is a word for those of you who are struggling with a breach in relationship between you and God the Father: Isaiah 30 v 18: “And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favour, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship!]”
What a wonderful Scripture! If you will take a moment to think about it, it will bring you tremendous hope. This scripture reveals a lot to you about the character of your God. For those of you who have difficulty in identifying with the Father, I hope that this will increase your faith and enable you to approach Him as your Daddy. God is literally sitting on the edge of His seat, looking for an opportunity to bless you, to be gracious to you, to show you mercy and loving kindness.
Psalm 36 v 5: “Your mercy and loving kindness O Lord, extend to the skies, and Your faithfulness to the clouds.”
Psalm 103 v 8 – 9: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness. He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge”
Psalm 136 v 1: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His mercy and loving kindness endures forever!”
The rest of this Psalm goes on to say that “God’s mercy endures forever” 26 times. If God tells you that His mercy endures forever 26 times, are you going to finally get the message?
1 John 4 v 16 says that “God is love” and that is the very essence of His character! If you want to know more about God’s character, go and study Jesus in the Bible because Jesus said “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 12 v 45). Jesus said I’ve come to show you the Father. When Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn in two and now you can fearlessly and confidently and boldly approach the Father’s Throne!
Hebrews 4 v 16: “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to His throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favour to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
This is an important teaching for some of you because you have been avoiding the Father like the plague. And if you do ever speak to Him in prayer, you approach Him as though He is about to strike you with a lightning bolt. I want to reintroduce you to your Father. I want you to stop avoiding Him. I want you to come boldly before His Throne. Do you know what boldly is? You crash on in because He’s your Daddy and you want to talk to Him! Barge in! You are a son or daughter of God by faith and you can boldly approach His throne in time of need! He’s your Father – go bug Him! Talk to Him! All prayer is, is conversation with your heavenly Father. You don’t have to make it so super-spiritual…it’s time to just be real and just be you with your Daddy. When you approach your Pappa when you pray, you can say, “Hello Father, I know You – You are love, You are full of compassion, abounding in mercy and loving kindness. Your mercy is new every morning and Your mercy endures forever. You sent Your Son to die for My sins. I love you Daddy – You’re my Pappa…I want to ask You something…” And away you go!
Romans 8 v 15 – 16; “For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more into the bondage of fear, You have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing son-ship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit [assuring us] that we are children of God.” LET HEALING BEGIN
TAKE THE NEXT STEP WITH ME !