I’ve had this testimony on my heart for a few months. I typed it up last week and have been praying about whether to post. We received many confirmations in Sunday’s sermon, but kept praying to be certain we should share.
In 2004, during our first season of extended fasting, we experienced a truth we were previously ignorant to. We were rudely awakened to the reality that fasting not only sensitizes us to God’s side of the spiritual realm, but to the entire spiritual realm. We not only began to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly and experience His tangible Presence, but we were also sensitized to hearing more clearly from the enemy and feeling his presence as well. Had God not clearly revealed to us what was happening we could have lost our minds.
Through this time of the enemy being increasingly exposed to us, the Lord began to teach us about the anatomy of deception ~ revealing strategies the enemy uses to deceive people and lead them away into the captivity of sin. We’ve probably all seen comical illustrations of an angel and a demon perched on the opposite shoulders of a person, vying for his or her attention, agreement, and cooperation. This is an amusing way to portray the very real and potentially deadly spiritual battle which occurs in each of our lives with very real spiritual beings.
The things God showed us are applicable to understanding and fighting spiritual warfare in order to overcome any area of temptation, deception, attack, and sin; but this testimony involves a specific issue in the spotlight in our nation and the world, regarding a truth from God’s Word that has been increasingly challenged and rejected in our day. As he has done since the beginning, the enemy always comes to challenge God’s Word, hissing in our ears, “Did God really say…?” He does everything he can to attack the Word because he knows it/He is his ancient foe, holding the power to destroy his works in our lives. We must hold to the Truth of God’s Word in order to avoid being deceived. This story illustrates how the Lord is able and willing to help us get to the root of areas where we’ve already been deceived, exposing the strategies the enemy used to lead us captive into sin, so that He can heal us, deliver us, and set us free.
On one occasion we were ministering to someone who was deceived regarding his sexual identity. He was not fighting the deception by renewing his mind to the truth of who God created him to be based on His Word. Instead he had embraced the idea that God made him this way and had been deceived into thinking this was an acceptable lifestyle consistent with Christian faith. We always ministered to him in love, but the Lord was challenging us to love him enough to speak the truth to him about his beliefs and lifestyle. We desperately needed wisdom to know how to speak the truth in a way that would penetrate through every layer of deception he had embraced. We knew he was part of a church that promoted his beliefs and had heard many Scriptural arguments in the past against his point of view, yet remained unmoved. We also knew the truth that God had not created him this way and that this lifestyle was still against His Word and will. But we needed more than wise and persuasive words; we needed a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (I Corinthians 2:4) ~ we needed SUPERnatural Help!
Based on the things the Lord had taught us about spiritual warfare and the anatomy of deception, I began to pray for God to give me a supernatural word of knowledge to reveal the exact time in his life when the door was first opened for the devil to deceive him in this area. When I first began praying for this revelation, I kept hearing a specific age in my heart, and felt the Lord was telling me he had been molested/sexually abused at that age and that through this the enemy began sowing seeds of deception in his heart and mind regarding his sexual identity. As I continued praying and seeking the Lord, one day I had a vision (a picture) come to mind of him at this young age with a circle of boys standing around him. I was not sure if the Lord was telling me that he had been abused by multiple boys at different times, or if, as this appeared, he was actually abused by multiple boys simultaneously (such as a gang situation).
Being so new at hearing from God in this way, I continued praying over this for months asking for further confirmation if I was truly hearing from Him. Instead of telling Jesse what I believed God had spoken and shown to me, I asked him to pray about it too, hoping God would confirm these things by revealing them to him as well. But Jesse wasn’t getting any revelation when he prayed. So, I finally took a deep breath and a leap of faith to send our friend a message, sharing what I believed God showed me and of His desire to heal him from these things that happened which opened the door to this deception in his life. After I’d sent the message, I panicked, afraid that if I was wrong, he would feel further justified in discrediting and rejecting the truth of God’s Word about this issue, as well as about the gifts of the Spirit. So I pleaded with Jesse to pray again and just ask the Lord to tell him what age our friend was when the door was opened for him to be deceived in this way. Jesse went to pray and returned with an answer ~ the exact same age that I believed the Lord had told me (which I had never told him)! This confirmation brought me immense relief and peace.
Within a few days our friend responded, telling me the things I said were true. He had been molested/sexually abused at that age by a group of boys. Though he was amazed that the Lord had revealed this to us and grateful for the things we shared, he was still not ready to turn away from his way of life and walk through the process of healing and restoration with the Lord (though others we know have been delivered and healed). We continue to pray that the knowledge that the Lord supernaturally revealed this information to us in response to our prayers has planted seeds of Truth in his heart that will continue to grow until they uproot every plant the enemy has sown in his life and produce a harvest of righteousness. We pray this revelation will help him truly come to believe that God did not create him with those feelings and desires, that this is not his true sexual identity, but rather a deception that entered his life through the open door of wrongs, woundings, and abuse committed against him in his childhood. Knowing these truths is critically important for those who need to be set free from deception and have their identity restored to what God created and intended them to be.
Again, the same applies to every area where any of us have been led into bondage to sin by the lies of the enemy. Only when we know the Truth can we begin to identify the lies the enemy has sown in our hearts and minds that have grown until they’re exalted above the Truth of God’s Word in our lives. When we know the Truth we can begin to take the lies captive, cast them down, and bring them into obedience to Christ (II Corinthians 10:3-5) ~ exalting Jesus, His Word, and will back to the throne of highest authority in our lives and bringing all areas under His Lordship.
to be continued… (see part 2 here)
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