Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus

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A while ago, I read a post put up by a bitter feminist agnostic, titled “Why I left Christianity.”

I took my time to read it carefully because most “deconversion” stories provide clues into how people reject what they never had a proper understanding of. Like Gilbert Chesterton said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

Of course, it was filled with what I had expected:

“An elder in my church cheated on his wife many times; a pastor in my church abandoned his indisposed children and wife. I saw many things as a child,” and some other regular rhetoric of how bad Christians are (and apparently how morally superior she and her comrades are).

All her arguments were a desperate claw at reason. Her reasons for rejecting Christianity are as strong as a limp noodle.

But one fact stood out though: her gaze was not (and probably never) on Jesus Christ. I say this because I have walked that path before, and it leads nowhere.

In 2011, when I was seeking help for a problem I had, I joined an online Christian recovery program. It was a group made up of largely men and women from different backgrounds, with similar pasts seeking healing and victory over defiling habits.

We shared personal experiences, struggles and pain and received prayers, encouragement, Biblical instruction and accountability.

But months into my membership, things began to crop up; the ugly reality of the sin nature rearing its head in the group – hypocrisy, arrogance, deceit, hasty condemnations, strife, intrusion of privacy. Some members also had impure motives; they were there not to quit their habits of sin but to sneak people out through the backdoor back into their old ways.

My zeal soon waned, and since online piety can be feigned and counterfeited (in fact, anybody can be anything they want to be on social media), I began to flirt with my old pattern of living and fell flat again.

I was ashamed and I felt like a failure. It became clear to me that my personal will power and sincere intentions weren’t enough.

Though I received some encouragement from one or two friends on that path, it didn’t allay my sadness, shame and guilt. I slid into depression and nearly lost the will to live.

I decided to stop fighting. Christianity didn’t seem to meet my needs. It appeared to thrusts unrealistic expectations on me. As the sadness drifted, my heart became hardened against the Christian life. I left the group and severed my ties with these people.

It would take a couple of years before the Lord in His glorious mercy began to drew me again to Himself and helped me walk in victory. That is just one of the bad experiences I’ve had.

In retrospect, I can see why I fell. I was looking up to (sinful) people; I was trusting in a formula; I was fixing my gaze on myself and my abilities, but I wasn’t looking at the Lord Jesus.

I feel in my spirit that some of my readers are in this shoe. You’ve trusted in your leaders and they’ve shipwrecked your faith. You’ve trusted in a religious institution, but it has led you astray.

You’ve trusted in a rite or a format and it has left you in the gutter. You’re still being defeated by that unclean habit (hard drugs, sex, porn, vile affections, theft, occult snares, name it).

There’s a piece of the puzzle you may have missed:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).

In Greek, the word “archegon” (author) means founder or leader and “teleioten” (perfecter) means a completer and finisher.

Jesus has the power to rescue you and complete your faith. He sits before the throne of God to intercede for us. No human or religious intercession can match that of Jesus Christ. Only He has the power to completely deliver you.

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always live to intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25).

Many people miss this crucial step. They rush to the next prophet, the next deliverance minister, the next group therapy, the next retreat centre, the next “mercy land,” but they have never surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and directly ask Him to deliver them completely. They have never sought Jesus to cleanse them, remould them and fill them with power to live as children of God.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against seeking counseling, instruction and prayer ministry. But first things must come first.

We are to be “rooted and built up in him [Christ], strengthened in the faith” (Col. 2:7). That’s the key of a strong Christian life. A house that is not built on the rock cannot withstand the wind, storms and flood of life.

Your ability to stand in spite of how others fail you, persecute you or oppose you is directly proportional to how deep you are in Christ. The deeper your root in Christ, the more your branches extend and the stronger you become.

Many of the sinful habits we struggle with linger because we have not yet consecrated our lives to Christ and fervently dedicate ourselves to serve Him with all of our lives.

We are all in a race. A tasking one. Your church leader cannot run your race for you. Neither your friends.

Don’t let the floundering of people in the church divert you from the glory ahead. Follow Jesus personally with all your heart and He will work in your life.

The Ties that Bind

The Bible indicates that two or more persons can be spiritually joined together by ties or bonds. They are called “soul ties” – spiritual ties or supernatural linkages that bind people together. There are different types of spiritual bonds which I classify into:

1. Positive soul ties

(a) Godly ties

These are ties with which God binds His people together in love, compassion and peace. “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed” (Hosea 11:4).

This is a bond fostered by the Holy Spirit and it’s geared towards a godly or benign intent. This is the kind of tie we see between David and Jonathan: “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan” (1 Sam. 18:1 ESV)

There’s no evidence that David and Jonathan had sex for their souls to be so joined. It’s atrocious to find some modern gay advocates gnawing their unwashed fingers through the Bible to point at David and Jonathan as biblical gay icons because of the statement: “Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women” (2 Sam. 1:26).

Really, it takes someone with a perverse spirit to see this scenario in such a grossly distorted and perverted fashion (That’s a topic for another day).

In the New Testament, Christians are commanded “to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). This bond is sustained by the Holy Spirit in every believer. This is something we all need – a fellowship of Believers who love and care for one another regardless of status, race or tribe.

(b) Marital bond

This is a covenant link that is formed when a man and woman come together sexually to become one flesh. Jesus said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Matt. 19:5).

God created sex as a powerful force to sustain the marriage bond and participate in the creation of life. The devil too understands this, thus, one of the first things he did was to pervert both the physical and spiritual aspects of sexuality.

Though the secular world has trivialized sex; thrown chastity to the winds; distorted marriage and reduced humanity into ‘animals’, the coming together of two people in the act of sex is not merely a physical act.

A spiritual link is formed between two people through sexual acts and when this is abused outside the confines of a godly marriage, it results in one common problem in many marital relationships today: incomplete ‘leaving’ and incomplete ‘cleaving.’ Both spouses are unable to truly bond with each other as they should, because they still have unbroken ties to other persons (or themselves) before or after they got married. This leads us to:

2. Negative soul ties

(a) Illicit sexual bonds

1 Corinthians 6:15 says “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” This passage also applies to sexuality and it comes in different forms:

  • A negative type of soul link is formed through premarital and extramarital sexual affairs and the more sex partners a person has, the more soul links (and demons) he acquires. So, when a “swinging single” eventually gets married, these spiritual factors may cause some problems.

A victim may find himself/herself emotionally entangled to his/her ex-lovers even if they are married to someone else. Some would have fragmented minds. Others could experience strong, tormenting sexual urges that make them seek their old sex partners when they were unbelievers. Some would find themselves constantly dreaming of them.

I heard of a man who before marriage had been with many women. His wife said after they got married, every night for several weeks, she would have vivid visions of different women coming over to share their bed until she began to learn how to address it through spiritual warfare.

The usual front line of satanic attack is sexual seduction. This is because the enemy understands the power of sexual soul ties. He knows that once you become one flesh with his own agents, it will be fairly easy to bring you down because the luggage of unclean spirits inhabiting them is transferred to you and they start to mess with your mind. These soul ties enable demons to move from one person to another and they can be traced in the spirit realm.

In Numbers 25, after Balaam’s effort to curse Israel failed, the next strategy was to send the women of Moab into the camp of God’s people. When the children of Israel began having sex with them, the next step was to join them in Baal worship. Talk about soul ties. This is why when you see a fervent Christian who dabbles into promiscuity, it’s only a matter of time before he’s backslidden.

  •  Sexual ties are also formed through rape or child molestation. In Genesis 34:2-3, after Shechem the Hivite raped Dinah, “his soul was drawn” to her even though she was an unwilling victim.

Many victims of sexual assault or molestation are held in bondage to their past even if they later became Christians. I have come to realise that sexual molestation doesn’t always stop at one experience. Even when a victim keeps that experience hidden, s/he still ends up being molested by other people s/he meets later in life, if not addressed.

These folks don’t have to know the victim’s childhood history because there seems to be a “link” established in the victims’ soul through their first sexual abuse which invariably attracts the demons in other perverts to them.

It’s not an accident that ladies that were abused as children are curiously drawn to men who physically, verbally and sexually abuse them and they tenaciously cling to them. Psychologists call this Stockholm syndrome. When a person is unwilling to break out of controlling, abusive and destructive relationships, he is bound by negative soul ties.

  •  This also comes into play with those who have engaged in homosexuality and lesbianism. This is why they often return to their sexual sins and former partners even if they claim to be married to a “straight” spouse.

(b) Selfish or Inverted soul ties

These ties are forged by a person with his own flesh. The victim’s soul is spiritually “locked” up within himself and is unable to normally connect with others.

He/she may be an admirable, charismatic or socially exposed fellow, but because of this soul tie, his/her intimacy would be like a running tap blocked with a cork – unable to form intimacy with anyone. This can be a result of a traumatic experience. A guy wrote to a Vanguard columnist, describing his abuse:

We had to leave the school premises to his house, and immediately he finished doing the thing to me, he told me to do what he did to me, to him. I had no choice but to have sex in return. Afterwards, he gave me money. I felt ashamed of myself and could not look him in the eyes. I was angry that my parents had caused everything that happened, because if they had been able to pay the examination fees, I would not have found myself in that situation.

“…After that day, another problem started for me. It seemed as if everything died in me that very day… now I don’t have any friend at all. The same applies to female friends as well. I have lost all emotions and interest where friends and relationships are concerned.”

Unless this guy gets help, he will find intimacy very difficult. The intense shame and anger fixated into his mind by that abuse have made his soul inverted.

This can also happen in the case of masturbation, an act which undercuts one of the purposes of human sexuality: to relieve loneliness. Thus, sexual fulfillment and intimacy in marriage may pose an uphill task for many involved, because they have created a covenant link to always please their sinful flesh first.

Unless they renounce such selfish ties, those addicted to it also observe they find the act more satisfying than sex with their own spouses. It results in “incomplete cleaving.”

(c) Direct demonic linkages

In this case, a demon steps in when (a) or (b) becomes a besetting sin, and attaches itself to the victim through the cords of their sins. The class of demons known for this are called “spirit husbands” or “spirit wives” – because they bind themselves to their victims, sexually wear them out and war against marriages.

These demons can impersonate anyone, especially former or present lovers known to their victims. Some are resident in their hosts while others come from outside, but they bind themselves to their victims and feed off of them.

People involved in the occult commonly have sex with demons. It’s believed that a female demon (succubus) draws seed from men and changes to a male partner (incubus) to molest a human female.

Another type is when a person has a link with a familiar spirit or demon spirit guide. I read a man’s testimony years ago. His sister died about 3 years prior, but in his dreams, he kept seeing her playing and discussing with him and at times, he’d see a sort of rope joining them together.

During a church service, his pastor invited all who have such experiences to come forward for prayer. He responded, and they were prayed for. He said after that day, the only time he saw her again in his dream, she was standing at a distance and waved him goodbye and he did the same and the dream stopped abruptly.

Was that really his dead sister? No, it was a familiar spirit.

(d) Ungodly, non-sexual ties

These are negative ties that emerge from relationships in which strong bonds are formed. These could be parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, mentor-student relationships or friendships which could degenerate into emotionally and spiritually destructive relationships.

When you are in a relationship with someone who stands between you and all that God wants you to be, or uses your mutual bond of affection to control or manipulate you, you are getting into ungodly soul ties. This can happen so subtly even in the name of a parent-child relationship which borders on manipulation.

The sad reality is that many people have passed through life either dominating or being dominated by others. They are being pushed here and there even though they have a mind of their own and know what to do. Many of them can’t make any meaningful decision unless they first consult that person to whom their soul is tied.

(e) Occult ties

These are ties wielded by an occult individual, group or organization to exert demonic control over their victims. These links are forged by rites, sexual and/or non-sexual acts, but generally function as dark bridges through which demons can pass from one person to the other.

From the Bible, we can see that almost every instance of reference made to pagan worship is associated with sexual sins. In Western witchcraft and satanic covens, ‘The Great Rite’ or ritual sex is often performed during which male and female members engage in sex orgies.

This is often done to raise a ‘cone of power’ – an etheric energy generated in occult magick circles. Sexual rites are also performed during higher level initiations to pass the mantle of evil spirits to the intending.

There is also Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) during which dozens of sexual contacts are forced on a victim (usually a child) in a ritual setting. It’s done to break the victim’s mind – through drugs, torture and sexual brutality – so as to allow powerful demons enter them and become their power totem or guardian, which others can use to work the occult through the child.

Through demonic links, the satanists control the victim, making him/her their puppet. Even if the victim doesn’t get involved in the occult later in life, s/he is still a mind-controlled slave for satanic elites and other covens.

Generally, there’s an occult bond that binds every witch and wizard together making it very easy to know and work with one another even when they change their geographical location.

People involved in Masonry and Mormonism can also have spiritual ties binding them to these groups through temple rites, baptism, Lodge oaths, initiation rites etc. which may need to be broken.

Finally, these can be dealt with by:

Repenting of the sin through which negative soul ties were formed. Renouncing vows, oaths, pacts or covenants and rash commitments you’ve made or that was made on your behalf and prayerfully cancel their effects upon your life.

It’s also necessary that you walk in forgiveness. This particularly applies to those who have been sexually abused or emotionally drained by dominating relationships. You can’t break yourself free from people whom you still hold in unforgiveness.

Verbally renounce and break every negative soul tie in the name of Jesus. Note: It’s not necessary to remember all the names of former partners to do this, once you make a broad statement (e.g “I break and renounce soul ties forged with every person with whom I had sex with”), it’s taken care of.