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Friday, October 3, 2014

Curable Wounds (Teaching sermon from Sept. 2014)

Life has its way of injuring us, doesn’t it? Have you been wounded? Does the injury you carry seem incurable to you—a hurt that seems too deep to heal? Have you lost hope for relief from the pain you are bearing?

Maybe it was a criticism that cut you deep at an early age. Maybe it is a recurring offense from someone very important to you, a relative, a friend, a teacher or even a pastor. Maybe it’s a laceration or scar from a past abuse; physical, sexual or Spiritual. I’m talking about a wound that remains buried most of the time, but pops up to the surface when the circumstances are just right. For a reason that you can’t explain you get angry, feel resentment, rejection or self-pity - somehow that you’re different, not worthy of that job, not worthy of God’s love because of some seemingly awful thing that you’ve done or are doing. If that fits you, then this message was custom made for you!

I’m here to tell you that there is nothing you can do or have done to make God love you any less! – and likewise there’s no good thing that you can do to make Him love you more. God loves you ‘Just the way you are'. God loves you more than you can possibly comprehend - because we, as human beings, are limited by our humanness, our fleshy parts just can’t grasp it. It’s only when we get outside ourselves and let the Holy Spirit operate in and through us that we can even begin to scratch the surface of understanding how much God loves us. The Word of God proves out how much He loves us:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”

Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you are carrying such a wound, a wound that you think is incurable, as well as its recurring pain, tonight is your night!  Everything is about to change for you! Our God is the God of the turn around and He’s about to turn your life
around! Give God a shout of praise right now!

A Physical Wound

When I was a kid of about 12 I began to study Jiu-jitsu and in the third level of Jiu-jitsu there’s a throw called the “Tomoe Nage”, and the Tomoe Nage is primarily a defensive move and is used when you have an opponent coming at you head on. You simply use his momentum to throw him over your head by grabbing his hands, sticking your foot in his gut and just laying down and throwing him backward, over your head in one motion – you see this in a lot of James Bond movies – it’s a basic Judo move learned at the Green belt level and there are variations on up through Black belt.

Anyway, the instructor picked me to demonstrate this move on and when he threw me I hit hard on my lower back, an injury which permanently ended my Jiu-Jitsu training.
Some 31 years later, in 1999, I took a fall down a flight of stairs that not only re-injured that wound but also herniated two disks and chipped my tail bone – something that plagued me with intense pain for the next 13 years. I say 13 years because I don’t have it any more! 

Those that have heard my testimony know that I grew up with minister parents, surrounded by Christian leaders in my house on a regular basis. I was saved at 14 and over the next three years had witnessed incredible healing miracles first hand in my parent’s home church. Cancers ran away in fear and people were set free from every possible wound you can imagine. When I was still a teen I got involved in the music business and it ruined me. Within 3 years I was completely out of control, doing drugs, drinking, carousing – drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. I was lost – and I stayed that way for 40 years. 

In 2012 I made my prodigal return and one Saturday night about 5 weeks later I pulled my back out. The next morning was Sunday and nothing could keep me from going to church! It took me 10 minutes to walk to the shower and as I stood there crying in agony, I remembered the words of Jesus in John 14:12-14, when He explained that it was time for Him to leave them and go to be with His Father but if you believe in Me, everything I have done you will do and even greater things, IF it is to the Glory of the Father and IF you ask it in my name – I WILL DO ANYTHING YOU ASK!!

I claimed my healing in Jesus name, shut off the water and stepped out of the shower. I went from excruciating pain to zero pain in two steps! Give Him praise!!

A Spiritual Wound

Luke 6:45 tells us that we speak with our mouth that which fills our heart. In other words, if we have underlying issues, even hidden issues, going on we will say or do things that can hurt others, sometimes without even realizing it ourselves. 

Likewise our thoughts are a reflection of what is happening deep inside us. Our truest feelings come out in our thoughts, whether we speak them or not our thoughts tell us the truth about ourselves, how we really are down deep. Remember out of the ten commandments (which we are still bound to!), nine are related to the physical but the tenth – thou shalt not covet - is all about what we think. Thoughts can be aimed at others or ourselves – but we’re talking tonight about those that manifest in us inwardly. I’m talking about thoughts of anger, resentment, rejection, revenge or retaliation, thoughts of depression and so on. Do you know the Bible tells us that we can defeat our own negative thinking?  The Word of God gives us authority to defeat our own negative thoughts!

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 instructs us that “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not physical, but mighty through (the Spirit of) God for the pulling down of strong holds.  We are destroying imaginations and everything raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”

Isn’t that awesome? That God loves us so much that He imparts HIS Spirit into us to combat our own thoughts? The important thing in battling our thoughts is dealing with the cause of those thoughts.

For most of my life whenever I thought of my mother I had mixed ‘feelings’ about her. I knew she loved me very much but somewhere in there was feelings of abandonment, rejection, resentment and sometimes anger. This continued for all of my adult life until last year. One of the primary functions of my ministry is setting people free from these kind of wounds and so I went for training in a new form of setting souls free from oppression. The only prerequisite was that I had to go through it myself so when I got in with the ‘counselor’ I told him I was good – I had nothing to deal with. I had spent seven straight days, 24/7, in repentance when I came back to the Lord and had exhausted everything – even the things I couldn’t remember I laid at the cross. He says well then let’s just pray together. The funniest thing happened when we began to pray - the Lord showed me where those thoughts about my mother came from. It all went back to two events in my young life. One when I was 5 and the other when I was 16. 
I was born out in the country in Kentucky and even though we had a neighborhood swimming pool in our little town, I had never learned to swim. I wanted to. I could see that the other kids were having great fun in the pool – but I was too afraid. My entire family moved to Plantation, Florida – up outside of Ft, Lauderdale – when I was 5 and the first year we didn’t have a pool. We were waiting for our new house to be built and so, for that first year, we would visit an uncle across town who had a pool in their apartment complex. Again I was faced with the fear I had of the water – and I was a whinny, whiny little brat too – ok I was a cry baby, yeh.  Whenever anybody would try to get me to go in I’d cry and carry on something horrible. Well, one day my uncle had had enough. He grabbed me and threw me in the deep end and yelled ‘swim!’ 

Obviously I made it to the side but the Lord showed me, almost in slow motion, that when I was struggling in the pool, I was wondering why my mother didn’t come to my rescue. He showed me that my uncle kept her from it, forcing me to make it on my own. In that instant feelings of abandonment and rejection came flooding over me and I began to cry, just as if it were happening all over again.

Immediately the Lord brought to memory the next event, I was 16. Now, I was the youngest of four kids and my father had died when I was 18 months old – I never knew him. And my mother had remarried. One day they called me in to talk to me and informed me that if I had aspirations of going to college that they were not going to be able to help me financially. They had helped the other three kids through college and there just wasn’t going to be enough money to help me. Again, I had feelings of rejection and abandonment and anger all rolled up in one. That is when the Lord showed me that Satan had told me the biggest lie of my life and one that I believed for 42 years! I was different from everybody else! My mother and step-father didn’t love me the way they loved my brothers and sister!  There was something wrong with me!  I wasn’t worthy! 

The Lord showed me how I had been deceived and the weight that I had carried for all those years just dropped off! There was such a peace that came over me I can’t describe, then the Lord Jesus put His arm around me and comforted me, assuring me that I would never again have those mixed thoughts about my mother, that I would only remember her with the love that she had always shown me all her life, that none of what had happened was her fault or mine – I was set free, and the same thing can happen to you tonight!

Is Your Wound Curable?

You have to ask yourself one question, “is my wound curable?”  There’s no psychologist on the planet can help you. No Pastor that can take the hurt away. Nobody can do this for you but the Lord Jesus! The prophet Hosea told Ephraim that he wouldn’t get healing from the King of Assyria. Hosea expresses the correct response to the wounds we experience: “Come, let us return to the Lord, for He will heal us and it is the same today as it was for Ephraim. The Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! Is your wound curable? Say it:  my wound is curable! MY WOUND IS CURABLE!  I claim my victory in Jesus!

If you sincerely go before the Lord, bare your soul, and ask Him to show you where your negative thoughts, feelings and behavior come from He will shine His spotlight on the issue and set you free. The Lord Jesus Himself will provide the remedy for that which is humanly incurable. Do you want your wound healed tonight? Are You Living in the Wilderness or the Promised Land?

Manna is a basic provision, wilderness food – just getting by. Just getting by is living with the pain of your wounds, accepting that they are part of who you are.
The promised land has gold, silver, good soil, milk & honey - the land of promise and plenty. The land of freedom. For most the issue is that when we try to step into the promised land, which requires work and action on our parts, we panic and go running back to the wilderness to what is ‘comfortable’ because we know that God will provide the manna, the 'basics' for survival. 

Living in the Promised Land, Kingdom life, requires us to step out, working the word of God. We must learn how to work the land, plant the seeds and cultivate the crop. It requires us to step out of our 'comfort zone' in the here and now of just existing in the wilderness and demands that we take action - labor and sweat in the fields in order to grow in Him. It’s not comfortable to hang yourself out there but I promise you until you do, you will not see the desired fruit of your Christian walk.

You can be free tonight. Or you can run back to what is safe, and spend the rest of your life in the wilderness, licking your wounds, living in pain with lies that the devil has implanted in your thoughts, your words and your actions. 

You know what I say? To hell with the devil!
Say  My wound is curable!   My wound is curable!
I claim my victory in Jesus!
By the blood of Jesus I am set free!

Tonight we go before the Lord and ask Him to show you the lies that Satan has implanted in your life – and we break those chains forever.


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