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THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY
I turned 60 this year. As I look back over the last year of my 50’s, I realize that I have really been struggling with the idea of entering my 60’s. Mild depression, a defeatist attitude…like I am nearing the end. It affected my work, and the way I interacted with my family, friends, and even God.
Obviously 60 isn’t that old. However, there has been this voice that has been dogging me for some time now. So where does that voice come from? As I was bringing this situation to Jesus, I was reminded that my father died suddenly when he was 68 years old, almost 30 years ago. My wife and I were having lunch with some friends in CO last summer and I brought this situation up to them. I asked him if they thought there could be some kind of an agreement that I had made having to do with my dad dying in his 60’s? He said, um, yeah, that is a really common. I had never even given that a thought. Later that day I spent some time asking Jesus for clarity about what I had been agreeing to about my dad’s early departure, and the effect that it had had on me entering my 60’s? He led me to break the agreement that just because my dad died in his 60’s, that doesn’t mean I will. I’m not sure I felt 100% sure at that time, but I did feel like it was a critical step in me getting perspective.
Later that week I was leading a work crew for a Wild at Heart boot camp. During one of our morning gatherings one of the young men that was on the work crew asked if he could pray over me? I eagerly invited him to go ahead. Now, I need to tell you that I had not shared what I had been going through over the past several months, or about the conversation I had with our friends I earlier in the week.
He began to pray saying that what he sensed Jesus was telling him to pray over me, was that the best part of my life, and ministry was still ahead of me. I nearly fell off of my chair.
When he finished I shared with him and the others what I had been struggling with over the past year. We were all blown away by what had just happened.
There are so many beautiful parts to this story, and the reason I shared it with you is because I believe this is how God works through His body.
Here are few things to consider for yourselves.
- When you are struggling with some aspect of life, it is so important to ask God for awareness. Over my lifetime I can remember many situations where I stayed in a funk for long periods of time, but never asked Jesus the “why” question. I am getting better at asking, and then taking time to listen.
- Invite others into your story. This is why community is so important. Being vulnerable with people I trusted, and sharing what I was struggling with, cleared the path for the Spirit to bring clarity about what was going on.
- Once you discover where you have been making agreements with the Accuser, break them. It is easier than you might think. Jesus, I break the agreement that because my dad died in his 60’s, that is going to happen to me. By the blood and authority of Jesus Christ, I break that agreement. Satan loves to pin us down with those kinds of lies, and if we don’t break them, they can affect us for a life time.
- Put yourself in situations where you are with other men and women who walk intimately with Jesus. That young friend, who I had only been with a few times over the past three years, has the kind of walk with God that allows him to sense the Spirit’s nudging. He then was confident enough to ask if he could pray over me. I believe that those words he prayed were directly from Jesus, and so much hope, joy, freedom, and life came from that short prayer.
I don’t know what lies are dogging you today, but I do know that The Trinity wants to free you from them. You are a child of God, and He desires for his children to walk in freedom.
If this story has stirred something in you, and you sense that there are lies that are keeping you from walking in freedom, invite Jesus into what you are struggling with. Then find a trusted friend(s) that you can share it with. If you don’t have such a friend, you can always reach out to me. I would love to help you walk through it.
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