August 7, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake
Everybody has a story – something which defines them, shapes them, moves or inspires them. From a spiritual perspective, our stories might have roots in a salvation experience, a physical healing, an emotional breakthrough or an encounter with the power of God.
Mine is of the latter variety. Allow me to share my story with you…
I was saved when I was ten years old. There was no fanfare, and I don’t remember the exact date; I just know that I asked Jesus into my heart. Later, when I wondered if He was there – I asked Him in again.
Fast-forward thirty years. I was a wife and stay-at-home mom who had worked varying degrees of part and full time jobs throughout the years. Our income level was now comfortable enough that I could have and do almost anything I wanted. Outwardly, I had a very nice life. And inwardly, I was miserable.
I understood by now that youth is fleeting, that things do not bring happiness and that for me, even being a Christian is not enough. I saw no personal victory, my prayers went unanswered, I had no peace, I had no joy. Finally, having never really experienced the presence or power of God, I wondered if He truly existed. I picked up a gun and contemplated suicide, then set it down and wept and wept. I wept because I so badly wanted to end my life, but couldn’t because of the emotional wreckage it would have left in my family. What I felt was beyond depression – it was hopelessness.
How did I get here, you ask? Well, you would need to know that I have three sons and a daughter. They were born in another country and joined us when they were a few months old. And something was wrong with my daughter. Or I should say, something was wrong with me. For I decided the blame lay with me, because everyone else seemed to get along with my daughter except me.
I did try. And I did love her, of course; she’s my daughter. But it was so hard. By this point, she was almost thirteen years old, and it was just so hard. From the time she was a tiny baby, she had rejected almost anything I said or did for her. She didn’t seem to like me; she, in fact, seemed to loathe me. She preferred to be in daycare, at a friend’s house – anywhere except home with me.
She told friends and their parents things about me that weren’t true. She lied and stole. She told more lies about the lies she’d told. I thought it would be easier. I thought I would be kinder. It was not easy; I was not kind. I had prayed and prayed and reached out for help in any way that I knew how; nothing had worked and no one knew why. Now, almost ten years later, I still sometimes cry when I tell this part.
And then we heard of a woman who might be able to help, might be able to pray with us. Maybe, someone suggested, our daughter might be influenced by a spiritual dynamic, something of a similar nature to the physical characteristics we inherit from parents. This person was careful not to reference generational sin – something we had never heard of and would have been sure to reject.
It could only have been God who caused me to agree to talk with this woman. This was way beyond my comfort zone, yet somehow I sensed truth, sensed the first glimmer of hope. The Lord revealed to this woman when we met with her that an extremely strong generational curse of hatred from daughter to mother existed. We met again. She prayed with my daughter. I cried many tears. We were set free.
I was the leper who goes back to say thank you to Jesus. (Luke 17:11-19) I could not get enough of this God I’d discovered, and of His power and His love. Soon after this, God revealed to me that I was about to be taken home. I understood that if we hadn’t received His intervention, I would have died. Two other people experienced forms of this revelation; I knew it was true.
I did not choose my story; it seems to have chosen me. Sometimes stories can be like that.
The Next Story
You should know your story. It’s like the first ring out from where the rock hits the water. The Lord knew every detail to my daughter’s and my story, but until I knew what He knew, it did me no good. Then to get to the next ring and level of effective life in God, we must learn about the next story.
One thing my story gave me is compassion – compassion for those who have never heard of generational sin, and for those who have rejected it and other spiritual truths. I know some use scripture to “disprove” generational curses, yet I know firsthand they exist. I liken it to not needing to believe in gravity to fall down. We must have compassion for those with skinned knees whether or not they believe in gravity – the message being one of love.
No matter how we might try to explain the gospel of salvation, its message is still one of love. Ephesians 5:1, 2 says:
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
We imitate God when we express His love through intercession. Isaiah 9:6 tells us that Jesus the Son embodied the Father. And scripture also tells us that Jesus bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors. (See Isa. 53:12.) Therefore, if we are to be imitators of God and His Christ like love, we will be willing to offer up the sweet-smelling sacrifice of intercession, like Jesus. (See also Rev. 5:8.) God loves and intercedes for those who don’t know, don’t care about, or have rejected His truths. And so should we.
As imitators and intercessors we move to the next story by becoming literate in the history of what surrounds us. Literacy in this sense means competence or knowledge in a specific area, and history of course refers to past events and trends connected to someone or something.
At a national level, we should have some basic knowledge of the freedom and spirit that our country was founded upon. Even well known phrases such as “One if by land, and two if by sea” (1) can inspire us in prophetic intercession for our nation. In the epic poem in which this phrase is found, it’s as if an unnamed watchman from his post in Christ Church (2) held the fate of the nation in his hands. What rich prophetic insight that contains!
And we should know at least the basic history of people groups and governing systems in our areas and nation. As Americans, do we have knowledge of the key elements surrounding the Trail of Tears (3), the rudiments of our constitution and its implementation (in 1789), and the essential events and people groups that shaped the regions where we live?
These types of stories all form rings and layers in allowing our intercession to go to another level. Don’t be afraid to do research or tap into people who already have. Nahum, in his prophetic vision, proclaimed, “Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace!” (1:15)
As watchmen, we stand in the high place to proclaim God’s purposes in intercession. The Lord knows every detail in the next story, and He will reveal it to us as we seek and ask. (Matt. 7:7-11)
Faith for Provision
In God’s kingdom, faith rules. The righteousness that we seek comes not from ourselves through the law, but by faith in Christ. (Phil. 3:9) In 1 Kings 17, Elijah the prophet illustrated a faith principle I believe we will see played out today.
The Lord provided for Elijah in time of drought, but he had to take action and obey. Twice he followed the Lord’s direction to be first fed by the brook, and then by the widow in Zarephath.
But he had to persist. The brook dried up, and the widow’s son died. Through it all, we see Elijah’s faithful persistence and heart of intercession. And he did not give up until the Lord heard his cry (vs. 22).
We have already seen some economic drought and shaking, and we must continue to trust the Lord for provision. Since the downturn in 2008, there has been some measure of recovery, and it’s easy to get complacent. I believe that would be a mistake.
I have heard repeated warnings against getting into more debt – unless, of course, God is in it. We should also be encouraging one another to continue getting out of debt. What I sense is not on the level of urgent alarm – more like a gentle warning.
There is no reason for fear, but we need to be listening to the Lord and His prophets. Words of economic assurance are easy to come by, but we must be able to distinguish between the true word and the false. (Jer. 14:14)
Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. (Phil. 3:20; Heb. 11:10) As intercessors literate in our stories, we can bring the government of heaven down into these earthly spheres. And in so doing, we can participate in this magnificent prophetic promise:
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isa. 9:7)
1. Pray that the church would become imitators of God and rise to the call of intercession. (Eph. 5:1, 2; Isa. 9:6, 53:12; Rev. 5:8)
2. Pray for the people groups in your area who have suffered injustice – particularly Native Americans – and intercede for their deliverance from any generational curses and demonic oppression. (Eph. 5:2)
3. Pray that those in the body of Christ would know their stories, and share them at the proper time for His glory. (1 Tim. 2:6, NIV)
1. Consider researching at least one local or national story as the Lord directs.
2. Continue the process of reducing debt, and determine not to take on any additional debt unless the Lord is in it.
(1) A phrase from the poem Paul Revere’s Ride, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
(2) Old North Church (officially, Christ Church in the city of Boston), the location from which the famous “One if by land, and two if by sea” signal is said to have been sent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_North_Church
(3) Click here for a brief history of the Trail of Tears.