DOING RELATIONSHIPS GOD’S WAY
Life is full of relationships.
Life is relationships! Like a fish must live in water, human beings live in relationships. The quality and health of the fish depends upon the quality of the water they must live in. The same is true for us. If the relationships we live in are toxic our lives will be full of pain and discord. Our relationships can be the source of our greatest joy or the place of our greatest pain. They can be enmeshed or invigorating, strained or rewarding, complex or burdensome.
Unfortunately, none of us get to pick our environment or the parents or the place we are born into. The generational iniquities that have been built up in our bloodline, the current world conditions, the socio-economic status of our parents, our exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our own unique set of gifts, our personalized collection of traits and traumas recorded on our DNA, our mental, emotional disposition, our spiritual orientation and our relationships with each other, all come together to form our character formation and the place from which we begin our journey back to the Father.
The most powerful part of that initial character formation and shaping comes from the relationships we have with the people that surround us, especially our parents. Their expectations begin to mold us. We are born soft and pliable, like wet clay. Our parents begin to conform us to themselves and their will. We begin to reflect the essence and expression of who we are based on how they treat us. We begin to see ourselves through the eyes of others.
We ascribe our goodness and acceptance to our performance and end up, for the most part, allowing the influence and values of others to control us in order to be ‘loved’ by them. When that happens, we become vulnerable to the fear of being rejected and end up allowing others to define us. In the process of seeking love and acceptance we get trapped into being used and manipulated to serve those who think we belong to them and our God given life and freedom is here for their exploitation.
THE SNAKE PIT
If those appointed to raise us are not kind or encouraging, our concept of ourselves ends up being driven by fear of rejection. We are being programmed by the experiences of the Snake Pit, even beginning in the womb, to adopt mindsets and survival skills set to avoid pain and shame. If the lies we are exposed to are not removed, they continue to grow and manifest for the rest of our lives as dysfunction, anger, defensiveness, depression, narcissism, victimization, self-pity, and an endless assortment of relationship issues that, in their final form, manifest as health problems.
And to make matters even more difficult, life must be lived in the context of spiritual warfare, in a Snake Pit run by the god of this world. This means we not only see ourselves through the eyes of others, we also see ourselves through the eyes of the Enemy who sets us up deliberately to fail and then accuses us of wrongdoing. Most of us do not realize, at least initially, the critical intensity and pressure that is put upon us by the Evil One. He is the Liar who has come to steal, kill and destroy us. He comes to destroy us in the ultimate separation, breaking up our relationship with the Lord God Himself, in order to lay his claim on us and take us to Hell.
Our relationship with God provides a sure foundation, a ‘Rock’ where love can stand and prevail in our relationships with ourselves and others as we live in the midst of the Snake Pit. The relationship we have with our Father determines the relationship we will have with ourselves. Our relationship with the LORD God is reflected in the peace and truth and security and love we have in the relationship we have with ourselves. The relationship we have with ourselves will define and determine the relationships we will have with everyone else.
The relationship we have with ourselves forms the basis for every other relationship we will ever have. If we do not like ourselves or are insecure about who we are, if our identity is not secure in Christ, we will have a hard time being transparent and confident in the relationships we are called to have with others. We will be in jeopardy of becoming the victims of the Liar because we have believed his lies.
We must realize that Satan desires to divide and conquer us, to set us up in opposition to ourselves, each other, and God. He uses his ‘divide and conquer’ strategy wherever he can to break up potentially good relationships. Wherever there a relationship between two things, people, ideas, geographic locations, etc., where there is even a slight difference, the Enemy comes in to use that difference to create discontent and conflict. His goal is to shred our relationships with one another, to create division and set us up in opposition to one another and to God.
This is why the Enemy uses our socio-economic status to set up division and injustice. Being born into an economic state of advantage does not make us better or more deserving than those born in a place of economic disadvantage though we are influenced to think that it does. This inequity, especially at birth, is deliberate on the part of the god of this world who uses those inequities to create a sense of inequality among people. Injustice, insecurity, comparisons, discontentment and conflict are Satan’s preferred rulership style.
Injustice provides the justification for every war and conflict in human interaction. Satan deliberately highlights the differences between us, instigates an offence and incites a riot to create an injustice to sow discord among brethren and rip up our relationships with each other. He is especially fond of destroying marriages and families, because he knows they are vital to our sense of well-being and knowing we are loved.
WHAT THE HEART IS FULL OF
The Bible tells us that what the heart is full of the mouth will speak. The hurt and confusion we have experienced in our relationships with others is sourced in our hearts. It supplies the content for what comes out of our mouths. “There is death and life in the power of the tongue” (Pr. 18:21). There is great power in the mouth to through the power of our words to destroy or edify, to build up or tear down.
Whatever is lodged in our hearts and minds becomes the fountain from which our words are drawn. If the conclusions we made about life’s experiences in early childhood are not corrected, those experiences and our perceptions of them continue to be the framework and foundation of thoughts and emotions we will rely on for the rest of our lives. These misperceptions form the bedrock for our relationships and our mindsets.
Those mindsets and belief systems erected by the forces of darkness eventually become the strongholds that imprison us and bind others to the ideas that influence us. If our heart is full of pain and fear, the expression of that fear and pain will form painful and unfulfilled relationships. Those negative thoughts and feelings come from the Enemy himself who tempts us to believe one basic lie – that the thoughts we are thinking and the emotions we are feeling are our own. This is the work of the First Person Impersonator who is trying to confuse us into acting on our thoughts and feelings as if they are the truth simply because they came from us. He is the ‘stronger one’ Jesus refers to in Luke 11:21-22.
The Enemy knows truth and love are essential to a healthy and productive life. He knows that our connections with each other are critical to the moral fiber of society. That is why the Enemy makes relationships a primary target in his agenda to destroy the human race. The Enemy’s agenda is always to divide and conquer, and set us up in opposition to ourselves and each other. The Bible tells us we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places, (Eph. 6:12).
Relationships become the perfect battlefield for the conflicts because it is easy for the Enemy to create two sides to everything. And where there are two sides, the Deceiver wants to divide us in order to multiply disunity and fragment the social fabric of peace and good-will. Divorce, war, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, pain, sadness, and rejection all enter the spiritual arena to tear up our lives and tear down our relationships. Satan’s contempt for God is revealed in the actions and words he uses to persuade us to act against each other. He bribes and bullies his would-be followers to worship the gods of self and safety at the altar of fear and control where countless souls are crushed and sacrificed in his name every day.
Knowing God’s unquenchable love for human beings created in the image of God, Satan is determined to destroy those destined for Heaven and appointed to carry out God’s will on earth. The Devil knows those of us who take following Jesus Christ seriously. We are his only real threat to world domination. And because he is desperate to derail God’s plan for salvation which moves forward through godly relationships, Satan wages his vicious war against us by attacking our relationships.
He knows that we are most vulnerable to being defeated at the place where we are connected with each other. The strength of any chain is in its weakest link. Relationships carry the vital life links of love that secure our sense of safety and well-being. That destruction has weakened the generational bloodlines and begins with the conception of each new life.
The destruction of every good thing, including every child, begins with the disruption and disconnection of their relationships especially with their primary caregivers. Children are born weak and vulnerable. They are at the mercy of those who would love them and those who would exploit them. They come into the world believing those around them are good and trustworthy.
Discovering they are not accepted or made to feel rejected or unloved based upon the reactions of their parents causes confusion about their innate goodness. Rejection creates a love vacuum in their hearts. Rebellion addresses the pain of rejection with an attitude of “You cannot hurt me anymore because I don’t care!” The Evil One intends to fill that ‘love vacuum’ with every form of fear and false comfort he can in his effort to prevent us from ever knowing the love of God or the hope of His salvation.
Being cut off from love and safety makes the child vulnerable to bullying, blackmailing and bribery. When families are broken apart through divorce or death, the children and their sense of worth and destiny are ‘thrown to the wind.’ Their God given protectors, parents, and teachers of truth are stripped away as the Wicked One comes in, guised as fun and a friend. He sets up his classroom to teach them his fear-based lies and his false narratives on everything from creation to their final destination.
We do not come into this Snake Pit with any comprehension of the spiritual battle that is going on between God and the devil. We have no idea of how the rules of the Pit work. We do not realize Satan has re-written them to re-frame our goodness and worth based on the premise of what we ‘do’ as opposed to who we ‘are.’ The Pit quickly swallows us up in the mire of sin and shame. We do not understand or think through to the root of what we are agreeing with. If our being and our goodness are derived from our ‘doing’ then what hope do we have of every being able to do enough or be good enough to be loved when we live in a Pit filled with accusation and injustice?
And if love is based upon doing certain things, how will the conditional love given by the world not become the same standard by which we judge God’s love? And, how is love real love if it is conditional? That means I must work for it, like a pay check. I must earn it and prove I am responsible enough, or good enough or helpful enough to have it. We are quickly overcome by confusion. We are lost and do not know what the truth is about truth or about who we are or where to find it. We begin to create relationships with and follow anyone who shows the least bit of interest in us. We are being educated to eat out of the god of this world’s troughs of peer pressure and sin.
Relationships form the foundation for the communication of love and truth. Communication connects us with each other in our relationships. Love and truth are both essential in the sound and upright development of the child. “It the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3). How sad that the very things that make for life and peace are the most often removed from us by the Evil One and his Pandora’s Box of lies.
We long for safety in the treachery of the Snake Pit. We endeavor to bring justice in the places of injustice. We fight and are afraid. We bite and devour one another and wonder why we are consumed by one another! (Gal. 5:15). To make matters even worse, those who have been sent to protect and encourage us can turn around to be our worst enemies. Why?
The Bible tells us clearly, “We wrestle not against ‘flesh and blood’ but against ‘principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12). We wrestle against sin and forces of evil that are real and active in sabotaging our conversations and interactions with ourselves and each other. Obviously we do not realize, at least, not at first, how insidious and clever our Enemy is. He intercepts our own thought process and tricks us into thinking every thought we think we thought are thoughts we thought. His whole plan is to “set us up in opposition to ourselves” (II Tim. 2:24-26) and from there, set us up in opposition to everyone else.
Satan uses our words and actions against us and others. He twists perceptions into misperceptions. He filters simple words and actions through lenses of misunderstanding and offense to make mistakes and ignorance look like a deliberate act of aggression. He executes his plan to divide and conquer using words and expectations and silence.
He uses shame and pride to cover generational iniquities and bury injustices. This allows unresolved crimes to burst into raging fires of hatred and anger that threaten to burn down, not only our individual houses, but our whole family tree. Our family relationships are in danger of going up in smoke because a spark of revenge and unforgiveness threaten to ignite a lifetime of bitterness. The sins and iniquities hidden in past, buried in the waste baskets, stuffed in the closets of shame, burst into flame to claim the peace and prosperity of the next generation.
The Enemy uses the power of our words and actions, given to us by God, to instigate riots and rip up families because we are the ones who have been given the real and original authority. The only way the Enemy can work his agenda to destroy us is to get us to agree with him to destroy each other. His hatred for us is masterfully concealed in the flattery and fear he promotes to get us to do his bidding in fighting with each other.
He baits the hooks he uses to fish for the souls of men with the thing each one is the hungriest for. Is it justice you want? Then he infuriates you with the injustice to get you to take the matters of judgment into your own hands? Is it love you crave? Then he dishes up a sumptuous and seductive date with an immoral woman or an abusive man. Is it prominence and recognition you want? Then it is the big stage for you or a promotion orchestrated by witchcraft and false promises.
PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR
The Enemy uses fear to turn us against each other and destroy our relationships with one another. “Perfect love cast out fear” (I Jn. 4:13). Withholding love from one another is the only way fear can prevail. Fear brings torment. Breaking the law of Love breaks relationships. Getting us to break the law of Love is the fastest way Satan can get us to destroy us.
We must know and trust God’s remedies for healing our relationships are love and forgiveness. If we ever hope to overcome the evil and deadly effects of the Snake Pit we have been born into, we must learn to believe God for justice and release the offenses to Him. Forgiveness is the key to being set free from the consequences of sin and the guilt and accusation that plague us and our relationships. God is the Righteous Judge. He will bring justice and restoration to those who seek Him.
So, Lord, as we desire to seek your will in “Doing Relationships God’s Way” , we ask for divine wisdom to understand the biblical foundations of our relationships and opportunity You have given us to be in relationship with each other. Examine our relationships in the light of Your Law of Love. Realign us in the truth of Your Word and heal our relationships. Forgiveness us and give us the grace to forgive one another. Let Your love mend our broken hearts and restore even physical health to our bodies. If ‘hurt people hurt people’ then ‘healed people help people’. You are faithful to complete the work You have begun in us, so thank you for healing us and hearing our prayer, in Jesus Name. Amen
RELATIONSHIP BOOKS & CD’S
These ‘set up’ prayers have proven to be invaluable in providing protection for us and our families as we enter into spiritual warfare in behalf of others and ourselves. We cannot emphasize enough, the importance of using these prayers regularly, at the start of every new day and every time you begin a counseling session. Each word has come to have significance although these prayers are only a model of how to pray. You can surely pray your own prayers using your own words. Nevertheless, under all circumstances, we urge you to prepare each time of ministry by taking the time to pray.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I thank You, Lord God, for this day. I thank You that You are in control. I thank You for this place and I ask You to fill this room with Your peace, Your power, Your protection and Your presence right now. I ask You to seal the perimeters of our time and space with Your precious Blood, that Your will be done here, on earth, right now, as it is being done and declared in heaven. I bind the operation of the Enemy and forbid his attempts to confuse, confound, disrupt, interrupt, distract, hinder, delay conceal, steal or resist the work and revelation of Jesus Christ.
I ask You to tuck ______ into the palm of Your Hands, that they will feel Your peace and sense Your presence, and hear Your voice. You said, ‘My sheep know My voice’. I bind the powers of darkness arrayed against _________ and forbid them to call for reinforcements to the strongholds or to network with those in the strongholds. I bind the strong man, the familiar spirits, and any who hold assignment over ________. I forbid your operations against ________ . I render you powerless and inoperative, and command you who keep the strongholds to prepare to leave the temple dwelling place of the Most High God in _______. I command that the Light of Your Truth and the Sword of Your Word make manifest the hidden works of Darkness, and separate them from every part of us.
I also pray for divine favor, that the Blood of the Lamb to cover each one of us, our families, those who pray for us and work with us and have come to us for help in the past. I pray for those who love us, and for protection of all that pertains to us and them. I pray that You would keep us in our words, our conversations, our relationships, our communications, our thoughts, and our perceptions, that the Enemy cannot get into our lives to bite, divide, devour, destroy, deceive or separate us in our fellowship with each other and with You.
I pray that we would all rightly divide Your Word of Truth, and that the thoughts and meditations of our hearts would be acceptable in Your sight. I declare, according to Your Word, that “no weapon formed against us will prosper” and that any curse that has been sent against us, either in word or deed, made either ignorantly or intentionally, will fall to the ground and be covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ, that the Enemy cannot use it against us. I pray that those who have cursed us will be blessed with a revelation of Your truth that would set them free.
Your Blood cancels out the agreements and contracts my generations past have made with the Enemy. I declare his continued operations in my life through those lies to be illegal. I command that the familiar spirits who works through those agreements to be separated from me and my descendents and their lies be exposed by the light of Your truth. I also ask that You would give us a deeper revelation of Your truth and keep us in good health. Watch over us and keep us safe. Keep us from the hindering spirits and make the thieves put back all that they have stolen from us. Cover our vehicles, our travel, our finances, our property and the work of our hands, that we might enjoy the fruit of our labors. Let the gifts of Your Holy Spirit work freely in and through us that we might be used to make disciples and bring the good news of rescue and salvation to those lost and hurting.
I thank You, Lord Jesus, that you are the Wonderful Counselor. I ask You to come right now to give us Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You as we cry out for discernment and rest our hope fully in You. Amen.
WORDS OF WARNING
When asking Jesus for things do not feel that you must make it complicated. He is more than willing to help us. The Devil is a different story. He is very legalistic. With him, it is best to dot the “i” and cross the “t”. Though we might resist the idea of being that specific in identifying the Enemy, and in dealing with him, it is necessary to be bold and as firm as possible in naming him. Do not be double-minded or apprehensive in binding him.
Though Jesus has given us power over all the power of the Enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt us, it is not wise to move in any kind of haughtiness or arrogance against this foe. He is clever and you and I, in our human understanding and wit are NO match for him. Because the Enemy has gained access into our lives through the sins of our generations past, it is important that we get our own lives cleaned up before we start working with others. He may still have strongholds of fear and deception in us of which we have no knowledge. When you begin to deal with him in others, the Enemy will begin to attack you in some part of your life, if he can. It is best to approach war with the gates of your fort closed and the interior secured.
PRAYER FOR THE RELEASE FROM SELF-HATRED AND SELF-REJECTION
Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to You right now and ask You to forgive me for rejecting, hating and despising myself. I ask you to forgive me for the judgments I have made against myself in listening to the lies of the Devil. Forgive me for using his description of who I am to describe my life. Forgive me for using his counsel to guide my life. I ask You to forgive me for believing him instead of You. I ask you to remove all the judgments I’ve made against myself in listening to him and have mercy on me.
I ask You to take the Sword of Your Truth and remove from me all judgments and the consequences of the judgments the Devil has made against me for judging myself. Remove from me all the judgments and consequences of the judgments I have made against myself including agreement with the spirits of self-hatred, self-rejection, self-judgment, self-destruction, self-reliance, self-preservation, self- condemnation, condemnation, doubt, self-doubt, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, perfectionism, failure, death, infirmity, chaos, confusion and unforgiveness toward self. I ask you to give me a deep revelation of Your love for me and peace in my relationship with You. Thank You, Jesus.
PRAYER FOR SELF ACCEPTANCE
Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to You right now and ask You to forgive me for rejecting and despising myself. I repent. I come before You to declare, before heaven and earth, that I change my mind and repent of embracing the lies the Devil has formulated against me. I refuse to believe the liar and his lies any longer. I choose to release and forgive myself for despising and hating the creation You made in making me. I choose to live and breathe and have my being in You and give You glory. I choose to let Your Holy Spirit reflect Your image in and through my life and conduct. I agree with the instructions You gave my body to “live”. I no longer choose death.
I take authority over my body, and in Your Name, Lord Jesus, I command all liars, deceivers, destroyers, and every spirit of confusion, and rejection that operate in my body, mind, heart, soul, will, emotions, and spirit, and all that pertains to them, to leave my body. I am the temple property of the Living God and will have no fellowship with the hidden works of darkness! I ask You to forgive me for hating myself and opening the door for the Enemy to bring judgment against me using my own words to do it. I choose to live and ask You, Lord Jesus, to cancel all vows and death wishes I uttered against myself in wanting to die.
I ask You to form Your image and reflect Your purposes in and through me. Loose me from judgments I have held against myself in listening to the counsel of the liar who uses those judgments to use me to sabotage my own life by holding me in unforgiveness toward myself. I choose, by an act of obedience, to forgive myself even as You have asked me to forgive others. I come to You, Lord Jesus and submit myself to Your care. I yield myself to Your workmanship and commit my salvation to You for safe keeping.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for making me, me. I am Your idea, and I come into full agreement with Your idea for making me who I am. Thank You for making me just the way You wanted me, and for placing me in time and place as You desired. You are the Potter and I am the clay. Let me be satisfied to be a vessel made in Your Honor and fit for Your use. Thank You, Lord Jesus for this life. I give it back to You. Fulfill all the destiny and dreams, and all Your purpose and desire for my life in making me, that I may, on that Day, hear You say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.” Amen.
PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS
Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to You right now and choose, by an act of my will, and with my heart, to forgive ______, for the crimes they have committed against me. I release them from the judgments I have made against them and forgive them for their failure to love and protect me. I forgive them for the betrayal and the injustices they committed against me. I release my case against them and the injustices they committed against me, to You, Lord Jesus, and the Court of Heaven. I ask that You would consider my complaint and bring forth a righteous resolution and a just settlement in this matter in favor of truth, justice and mercy.
I ask that you would bless both of us with a deeper revelation of Your love for us. If the person being forgiven is deceased, we ask that God would give their descendants a deeper revelation of His truth. I ask that You would release me from all the judgments and the consequences of the judgments that have come upon me and my descendents because of any unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger I have held against them. Release me from becoming like the thing that I judged and hated in them.
I pray that You would release me from all the judgments I have made against myself in listening to the lies of the devil and using his counsel to bring these matters to justice, including listening to retaliation and resentment.
Forgive me for taking matters into my own hands and not listening to You. I ask You to have mercy on me, and remove the hurt and pain and confusion. I trust You, Lord Jesus, to establish justice and give me Your peace. Vengeance is Yours and I trust in Your justice. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen!
FORGIVENESS OF GOD
Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to You right now and ask You to let me see my true heart. Forgive me for listening to the Accuser who perpetrated lies against You, defaming Your character and identifying You as the One responsible for my destruction. Forgive me for believing his lies about You. I ask You to release me from the lies Resentment has told me about You, and open my eyes to the truth about where You were and what You were doing when the Enemy was raging against my life. Thank you for Your faithfulness to me, and Your Divine Protection in keeping Your promise to never leave me or forsake me. Amen.
A soul tie is like having two signatures on a contract. You cannot execute that contract, to sell the house, for example, if only one person is willing to sign. Many times we have formed soul ties with a person through sexual contact, physical or emotional abuse, and or the exchange of experiences, expectations and words. Though there are many legitimate relationships into which we can enter, there are boundaries which must be respected for each person to maintain their dignity and integrity as a person in that relationship. Putting others first is a form of idolatry. Controlling them is a form of slavery. Ask the Lord if your soul has been inappropriately tied to any person or thing and if so, how. Pray this prayer to unhook yourself from any unholy alliances you may have formed either intentionally or inadvertently with someone that are keeping you from going forward in your life.
People who are divorced benefit much from praying this prayer to release themselves and their former spouse from the vows of their marriage covenant. You are merely completing the dissolution of the transactions in the spiritual world that have been recognized in the natural world.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I come to You right now, Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God, and ask You to break any soul ties operating in my life that bind me or restrict me from freely serving You. I do not want my soul to be tied to anyone else but You, Lord Jesus. I ask you the take the Sword of Your Truth, which is Your Word and cut the ties that bind my soul to ______. I ask You to release me from any vows, covenants, oaths, promises, expectations or exchanges between me and ______ and that every exchange made between us will be canceled and all attachments between us will be broken.
I give back to ____ right now, by the power of Your Spirit, all the parts of (himself, herself) including all the parts of (his, her) body, mind, soul, will, spirit, being, expectations, emotions, and circumstances that were given to or exchanged with me in our relationship. I also take back to myself, right now, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, all the parts of me that were given or taken in our relationship. I take back to myself, all parts of me, including all parts of my body, mind, soul, will, spirit, being, expectations, emotions, and circumstances. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to separate me from __________by the Sword of your truth. Make me one with myself, and at peace with You.
Thank You for setting me free to be the person You have created and called me to be for Your glory. Amen.
PRAYERS FOR THE INTEGRATION AND REUNIFICATION OF THE FRAGMENTED PARTS
After you have mediated the transaction between Jesus and the broken part of the heart and the person agrees to give (his, her) burden of procuring safety, or establishing righteousness, or determining the boundaries of responsibility to Jesus, the person is ready to pray. Jesus will give them His peace, joy, eternal life, and the revelation of His truth, etc. in exchange for their burden. As they agree to the transaction, the deal is done. This is how we pray for them;
Dear Lord Jesus,
Father God, I pray, right now, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son, that You would knit this broken part of ______’s heart back into the fullness of Your perfect plan for (his, her) life. I ask You to reveal to (his, her) heart, the fullness of Your truth in this matter, that they would be free indeed from the pain and hurt and rejection and fear of the past. I command all demonic programming and every system including all back up systems operating under the counsel of Fear that control ________to be dissolved by the Blood of the Lamb. Amen.