Are you ready to put a little more life into your life and be healed of what's holding you back from being all you know you can be in Christ? Then let's get started.
At this point, you should have filled out the three parts of your history that I had you create from Part 2. You should have a list of generational liabilities, a list for all the personal traumas that have impacted you over the years, and you should have a list of all your major personal sins. In this part I'm going to help you learn what to do with all that information. Just like a doctor asks for your family history to develop a well-rounded understanding of who and what he is dealing with, it's helpful to understand your historical family timeline so that we can know just what we're facing.
The key to being set free from your past is to first understand that the power of the past lies within you. And I mean that in every way it can be meant. The past's power lies within each of us and the enemy uses it to deposit a lie. It is this lie that we will seek to expose, like a bacteria that causes disease within the body. Remove the lie and the body begins to heal itself. This is why we're looking into the past: not to dig up bad memories or make us depressed at just how messed up we are, but to discover where, when, how, why, and who planted the lie. Once we discover that we can remove it and replace it with the powerful truth of our heavenly Father.
Once you have your list complete and can't think of anything else to add you can begin the process of auditing the list through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. You cannot see the lies, but the Spirit can. So the first thing you need to do is to take time to truly pray, maybe even fast, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in uncovering the lies that have been hiding in the deep recesses of your life. You will be lost without His guidance so don't underestimate this step.
After you're all prayed up and ready to go, find a quiet place where it's just you and God and go through each category, line by line. Starting with the generational liabilities, confess the sins of your forefathers and ask the Father for forgiveness for the previous generation and any actions that might be against the Most High. Look for any lies that might have been deposited into you from their sins. For instance, if you struggle with alcohol and your father was an alcoholic, one of the lies might be that you were bound to be an alcoholic because your father was an alcoholic. If there are any lies that come to you from this section, you must confess it and then immediately confess the truth from the perspective of Christ. For instance, in our last example, the truth would be "I reject the lie that I have to be like my parents in the sinful areas of their lives. I do not have to be an alcoholic and God sees me as already free from that generational liability." The main emphasis on this section is to confess the sins of your forefathers and to rebuke the devil from using those sins to influence your life. Draw a line in the sand and tell that serpent of old that he is no longer allowed to use the previous generation's sins to infect your life.
Removing the Trauma
Next, we need to go through the trauma section. This is where the culprit will most likely be. In almost every case that I've seen, a childhood trauma is what causes people's emotional satellite to be moved in such a way that their the picture on everything is distorted. Take your time on and pray through each one, asking the Father to instruct you on which lie was deposited. If you find yourself getting particularly emotional about a trauma when you think or pray about it, there's a good possibility that it's the origin of one of the major viruses causing much of the pain in your life. I've even seen physical ailments linked to these traumas since the emotional system is connected to the physical parts of our body.
I cannot over emphasize that the main goal of the enemy is to deposit a lie into your emotional system. This is how he derails and controls people: through their emotional "satellite." Once he repositions the satellite to receive his lies, the person will forever look at virtually their entire life through the lens of that lie. Everything gets colored through a our belief systems. People do what they believe. So if what they believe is a lie, then it will most definitely affect what they do and how they think. It's simple science to say that if we change the belief system we automatically change the behavior since the behavior is only a manifestation of the belief system.
As you go through each item you have written down in this category, write down what lie each of those traumas could have produced. One common trauma is sexual abuse. If a woman was violated in her youth, some of those possible lies could be:
~ Men cannot be trusted.
~ Men will only use me for what they can get.
~ I'm worthless.
~ I can't trust anyone.
~ Sex is dirty.
~ I can never be clean again.
These are just a few lies that the enemy can deposit in a young woman that will change the entire course of her life and future relationships. You'll know what the lie is in your situation because you've been living it since the time of the trauma. When you get to a particular trauma, state what you believe. If the belief doesn't line up with God's Word then you've found the lie. If you get angry or express any negative emotions about a trauma then the trauma isn't in your past but is still in your present, your now, actively stealing from your future. Feeling negative emotions is a good thing since it's simply the "check engine" light the Creator designed to tell you that there's a problem. Once you discover a lie and write down all the ones you've believed because of it, it's time for the next step: the removal of the lie and the replacement of truth.
I learned this next part from a good friend of mine, Dr. Craig Hill from Family Foundations Ministry. His expertise in this area has been a great help to me in my own ministry. What he does at this point is ask people to state the truth verbally, to pray and ask the Father how He thinks about you. And I concur. This is a powerful step. When the lie has been revealed, ask the Father how He feels about you and then speak the truth out loud. Write it down on your paper, as well. Cross out the lie and write down the truth. From our previous example it might look like the following:
~ There are men who can be trusted.
~ There are men who will treat me the way I deserve to be treated.
~ I am worth more than gold to the Father.
~ I can trust others.
~ Physical intimacy is a beautiful way for a husband and wife to connect.
~ I have been made perfect and clean in His image.
It is critical to declare these truths out loud and with passion, as if you're looking into the eyes of the enemy and declaring that he is a liar and making him face the truth, driving him back with every word. The truth knows how to do only one thing and that is SET....YOU....FREE. And this is the moment of truth. Once the truth is declared you must believe it by faith with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. This is where the enemy's power over you is broken. This is the moment where you get to be in control of your destiny with one single choice: will you believe the devil and his lies or will you believe what your heavenly Father says about you? Will you let your past and those traumatic moments define you or will you allow the cleansing, powerful truths of His love and promises define you? It really is your choice.
Coming Before the Throne
You're in your prayer closet. You're no longer part of this earthly system of time. Prayer is outside of time. You're before the throne of Yahweh. This is when you declare before the courts of God that you are, by faith, going back to the moment in time when the trauma occurred. You're going to rebuke the enemy for trying to dislodge your satellite and plant those lies, and you're going to declare the truth right then and there. You're going to be like a defense attorney that gets to travel back in time to defend the helpless. You're going to use the power that's been invested in you through the Blood of the Lamb and you're going to rewrite history with that Blood. In reality, we are closing every single door that the enemy opened through trauma by rejecting his lies and accepting the truth.
When the Trauma Came Through a Person
Many times the traumas we experience in life are a direct result of the decisions of those closest to us. If your trauma was the result of something someone close to you did to you, then there's one more step that is critical for you to be set free from the lie. It won't be enough to declare with your mouth. You must follow the same scriptural pattern for salvation and believe what you're saying with your heart. This will be very difficult to do if your trauma, anger, bitterness, and hurt comes directly from another person. So let's tackle this for a minute.
The final step in ridding the past from your present is to truly forgive and let go of the trauma. Yeah, I know. You've heard that before. Easier said than done, right? You've SAID with your mouth that you forgive the person who hurt you and in some cases you might have even convinced yourself that you really meant it. But your heart still feels the hurt which is the dead giveaway that you haven't forgiven at all. So what do you do? You look for another lie. In this case, there are two of them. The first is that you have the right to judge the situation and determine that the person could have made a different choice. As easy as it is to make such a judgment due to the fact that some traumas are truly horrific, we cannot stand in the judgment seat when it has already and only been assigned to Christ. So how do we get our minds to stop judging? By understanding the difference between the real person (the spirit-man) and the fallen person (the soul).
Every person is really made up of two different sides: The spirit-man and the soul-man. The spirit-man is that perfect man that is made in the image of God. It is the man that comes through in sparks of glory, exhibiting the nature of his Creator in between the sabotaging blows of the soul-man. The spirit-man would never hurt others. It would never rape, molest, verbally abuse, kill, or destroy. It only knows how to love. The fallen side of man is the result of the fall of Adam and the influence of the "principalities and powers of this present darkness." It is this side of a person that is shaped by its environment, its upbringing, its parental heritage, its own trauma, sins, etc. The soul of the person that hurt you has been damaged by the storms of this life and is itself hurt. And hurt people hurt people.
In other words, the lie is that those people that created the trauma in your life were not under the control of their soul-man. Ever since the corruption of sin, virtually everyone does whatever their mind tells them to do. The moment man sinned, his soul-man was infected with the virus of sin and so it bows to the will of that virus. The soul-man of every person is deathly ill. The real person didn't hurt you because it would never intentionally hurt anyone; it's made in the image of God. It's the soul side that's sick and was the instrument of damage in your life. And when you realize this and understand the distinctive difference between the two sides, you can only have compassion for them.
The autopilot reaction of the soul and how it affects our behavior is more powerful than you might realize. For instance, did you have a choice to react to the trauma that was cast upon you any other way than you did? Have you not carried that trauma with you from that day until today, holding onto anger, bitterness, hurt, shame, etc.? Did you have a choice or were you on the autopilot of your own mind because you simply knew no better? The will of the soul-man can virtually never be overcome until it is confronted by new spiritual truths that will change the belief system. This, in turn, will give the mind a new choice and opportunity for a different path. Until the soul is given this new information to release itself from hurt, it will continue to cover it by hurting others.
When we realize that the cause of all trauma, sin, and suffering in the world originates with Satan himself and that most of mankind is just producing fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that the real person, that tiny spirit-man inside each person that is waiting to grow would never hurt anyone, we can easily begin to feel the compassion for the individual that leads to forgiveness and the removal of our own hurt. Once we understand this, we understand that we have been in control of our own hurt all along. Our lack of understanding of how our minds perceive and judge situations in our lives is actually what causes the pain, not the actual act itself. For a further and more detailed explanation of this concept, I encourage you to read the series How to Stop Pain NOW, especially Part 5 which focusses on forgiveness.
As we close the trauma section, the two main components to focus on are:
1. Expose the lies and proclaim the truth.
2. Truly look at those who've hurt you as broken and suffering from an illness. This will allow you to have compassion for them, knowing that no sin ultimately goes unpunished. Stop allowing your mind to judge past events and accept them as things that happened in your life that were beyond your control. All judgment of the past will result in anger, bitterness, shame, and the very pain you're trying to get rid of. The moment you can have compassion for those who hurt you will be the moment you step off the Judgment Seat of Christ. And the moment you stop judging the past will be the moment you are finally start living in the NOW, free from the pain of yesterday.
Letting go of the past is not an intellectual decision. It's the mind that's the problem to begin with. It is the part of you that is judging the past, and that's what's causing the pain. In order to let go of the past so that the trauma has no more power over your now, you must trump the mind with the emotions of the Spirit. Humans are driven by emotions. But believe it or not, emotional pain is driven by the intellect of the mind. The mind is the one choosing to accept the pain and respond to it because it has chosen to judge the situation from a superior position, a position that will only result in pain. So the only way to rid the mind of its power to judge and dislodge its choke hold on our lives is to introduce new information into it that will trigger compassion, the only emotion powerful enough to allow the mind to partner with the heart to truly forgive. When this happens, you will be totally free.
In the next part, we will unpack the process for the final category of personal liabilities and begin the process of rewriting our formula to bring us to a place of a net positive which I call peaceful joy.