God Has A Sense of Humor
I want to share one more post on forgiveness and being released from past hurts. I have posted on the subject during the previous two days - however, this one reveals, to some extent, the sense of humor God has.
A couple of years after insisting that I forgave the man I held responsible for so much pain in my family, and enabling me to do so, (read about it here), the Lord led me to Christ For the Nations Bible Institute in Dallas, Texas. It was there that I became much better grounded in the Word of God, learned to pray, became a true worshiper, embraced a heart for the nations, and met my lovely wife, Ceci. It was a great two years.
Shortly after arriving, to my surprise I ran into the son of the man I had hated so strongly. His son was also there as a student. Tom (not his real name) happened to be in the cluster of 15 or 20 students that became my inner circle there. I wouldn’t say he became a best friend, but we were definitely friends. He was a few years younger than me and had no idea of the past hatred I once held for his dad. I’m sure he was completely unaware of what had even taken place a few years prior to this. Tom had gotten into drugs and alcohol while in high school and became horribly addicted. He had come to Christ and was attending the Bible institute to help firm up his walk with the Lord. I found it very encouraging that I could relate to this young man with no feelings of awkwardness or resentment.
About six months into my time there, Tom had a bit of a relapse and used some recreational drugs, which was obviously against the very strict policy of the Institute. The Institute wasn’t legalistic. However, it was not a rehabilitation center and was not equipped to deal with drug addiction and rehabilitation, so they were very firm in their stance. To violate the policy meant dismissal, with their help in finding a place more suited to ministering to them.
The Dean of Men, who would be making this decision and doling out the consequences, called me to his office. I knew him somewhat from some on-campus prayer meetings I had attended. He was very strict regarding the school’s policies, but was also very prophetic. He prayed regarding situations of this nature, asking Holy Spirit to give him wisdom and guidance. I had no idea why he was summoning me to his office.
He explained what happened with Tom, and spelled out the normal consequences for the offense. “I want to give him another chance, however,” he stated. “I believe his heart is right. He is a friend of yours, isn’t he?” he asked.
“Yes” I said, “he is a friend.” I felt truly spiritual being able to say that, and was very satisfied with myself. Not that I was proud, you understand. My assumption was that the Dean was about to ask me if I thought it was a good idea to give Tom another chance.
“I have noticed you in the prayer room and observed you praying on occasion,” he began. I was, indeed, attempting to become an intercessor. I certainly wasn’t an expert, but I was passionate. “I am willing to give Tom a second chance,” he said, “if you are willing to take him on as a personal assignment. You must take him to the prayer room every day and pray over him, teaching him to pray, and helping him get free from his addictions.”
Did I mention that this Dean was very prophetic?! He knew nothing about my past with this young man‘s father. But had he ever heard from God! I said yes, and left the room astounded. I’m not sure what my exact words to the Lord were when I left the dean’s office, but it was something like this, “Well, God, You sure do have a sense of humor.”
“I do,” He said. “But I’m doing more than being humorous. I’m finishing the job. Drive the nail into the coffin of your past. Make satan pay. Overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21) You are free in your heart; now seal it with your actions.”
I was able to do what I had been assigned to do. I dragged this young man to the prayer room every day - actually, he had no choice - and prayed over him, as well as making him pray, for an hour or so. Surprise, surprise! It worked…for both of us. We chased off his demons and buried my past pain. Only God. Tom became free and was able to remain free - to this day, I trust.
Overcome in the above verse (Romans 12:21), is the Greek word, nikao. It means “to conquer, prevail, overcome; even legally - to win in a court of law.” It’s a wonderful word describing our God-infused ability to be overcomers in life. There is one place, however, where Holy Spirit evidently decided this word was not strong enough to describe the overcoming nature He has given us.
Romans 8:37 tells us: “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us,” (NASB). It is almost as though as this revelation is breathed into Paul by Holy Spirit, so he can pass it on to us, he is overcome by the strength of what he is seeing. As he searches his mind for the correct word, Paul comes up empty and finally has to take two words and make them one: hupernikao, translated above as “overwhelmingly conquer.” This Greek word is used nowhere else in the New Testament.
The prefix huper means “overwhelmingly, over, beyond, exceedingly, excessively, more than.” Our English word, hyper, comes from this Greek word. Paul, overwhelmed with emotion and excitement, shouts with his pen, “We are hyperconquerors! We overwhelmingly conquer! Our conquering ability is excessive, over the top!”
Holy Spirit wants you to win over, conquer, your past. “Through Him who loved us,” Paul goes on to say (Romans 8:37b). Everything God does is motivated by His heart of love. He’s a giver, a blesser, a healer, a destiny-provider. When He asks us to release, let go of past offenses, He is actually saying, “Here’s how I can get rid of this pain. Let me have it.” Forgiveness, releasing the person who hurt you, is one of the ways God erases the negative side of the ledger. He moves your pain into the asset column, making it serve you!
You can do this. Let it go!
Pray with me:
Father, we thank You for Your determination to heal, equip, and strengthen us for success. You have a plan for each of us and You are determined to accomplish it. We pray the prayer of the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24). (“Hurtful way” could be translated “way of pain.”) Show us any pain in us that could keep us from accomplishing everything You planned for us.
We want clean hands and pure hearts. We pray now for our brothers and sisters who struggle with things they have experienced in the past. Help them to let go. Pour Your grace into them, enabling them to release it all to You. You are such a good Father. You will release and heal them completely.
And we pray that in the coming revival, we will be healing agents. We ask You for wholeness, and an anointing to produce wholeness. We can be the generation that heals our land of racism, division, and strife. Start in us, Your people and anoint us to be Your “able ministers of the new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Expose all evil that is used to divide us as a nation. Expose those with wrong motives, who do so. Raise up leaders in all segments of our society who are healthy and whole, not bitter and determined to live in the past. They try to divide us, not heal us. Deliver us from their leadership, we pray. And we ask it all in Christ’s name. Amen.
We declare that we will walk in the wholeness of Christ, and minister His wholeness to those in need.
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