Four key obstacles to a Christ follower's maturation
By Dr. Marcus Warner, Marcus@DeeperWalkInternational.org
Special to ReSermon.com
Over the course of my ministry as a teacher and pastor, I’ve noticed three marks that distinguish a Christ follower who has a continually maturing and deepening walk with God. First, they are serious about Bible study. Second, they are serious about walking in the spirit. Third, they are serious about addressing their baggage.
At Deeper Walk International, we teach people how to understand the Bible, walk in the spirit, and recover from personal wounds. We have developed a tool we call WLVS, which stands for Wounds, Lies, Vows, and Strongholds. It sounds like a radio station, and we sometimes refer to it as WLVS Demonic Radio Network: Broadcasting all deception all the time.
When our heart gets wounded that pain creates fertile soil in which beliefs can take root. Think of two farmers who want to plant seeds. Farmer number one is the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, and he's got a bag full of Truth Seeds. Farmer number two is the father of lies, Satan, and he's got a bag full of deception seeds. The type of seed that I welcome and nurture in the wound of my heart will play a key role in how I subsequently live my life.
At this point in our recovery, we begin to reflect on the pain and often start making vows like, "I will never feel like this again. I will never go through this kind of pain again."
In one sense, this sounds perfectly reasonable. If we’ve just felt something painful, who wants to go through that again? On the other hand, the father of lies has an impressive track record of making deception seeds look reasonable, healthy, and even noble. Satan did this in the Garden of Eden, and he does this today with our wounds.
It may sound right to stiffen up and resolve to never feel this way again or never go through pain again, but often there is a dangerously embedded or attached vow that goes something like this: "I don't trust God with this part of my life anymore. I'm going to take control."
Both truth seeds and deception seeds have consequences, in that they sprout and grow into vines. One lady shared with me a painful memory in which her parents divorced when she was very young. We prayed together, asking God, "Lord, would you show me where I have believed seeds of deception because of this wound from my past?"
The grieving began. "It was my fault,” she said, eyes closed and tears streaming. “If I had been a better daughter, they'd still be together."
She went on to courageously revisit these memories, noting along the way where she had allowed seeds of deception to sprout and grow in her thinking. Now over 30 years later, she still struggled against these deception vines that choked her self-worth with lies that had become vows and strongholds like, "I'm not lovable. If I was more lovable, if they had loved me more, they would have stay married."
We then prayed together, "Lord, we know that these are coming from the devil, our enemy and we renounce them as false. In Jesus' name, please show me what the truth is."
Jesus began to show her new truth. "I have always loved you,” he told her. “I will never not love you. This didn't happen because you're unlovable. This happened because your parents have issues." The Lord began showing us truth seeds that we could confidently plant to combat the vines of deceit. Those seeds took root and today she is enjoying a deeper walk with God because she courageously confronted her wounds, lies, vows and strongholds.
This essay was excerpted from a sermon delivered by Dr. Warner to Pathway Community Church on February 14, 2016. To see the sermon in its entirety, click on the play button below. Note that closed captions are available, courtesy of ReSermon.com.
By English: Cpl Erik Villagran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons