New Book Release: Ken Howerton’s Say Father: Lessons in Spiritual Warfare from a Deliverance Ministry Pioneer
If this quick excerpt from SAY FATHER makes you raise your eyebrows then you should…
The fourth door of access for the enemy is the door of inner vows and judgments. The Bible gives us stern warnings about these things.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1,2
“Let what you say be simply “Yes” or “No”; anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37
These verses make it clear that whatever judgments and vows I send out will come back on me. To understand how serious that is, let’s see what these words mean.
Often times we make vows in reaction to something we don’t like. We may say things like, “I’ll never drink beer like my dad,” or “When I grow up, I’ll never miss my child’s performance at school.” Sentences that begin, “I’ll never” or “I’ll always” are often good clues that you’ve made vows. It seems like you’re saying a good thing, but what is really happening is you are saying in your heart that you are in control of your whole life. The truth is you don’t know what will happen in the future. Only Jesus does. Besides, you don’t control your life anymore.
Remember, when we give our lives to Jesus, we’ve been bought, and we are no longer our own. It’s not bad to want to do right things, but a vow usually rides alongside with a judgment. What is a judgment you ask?
Thinking you know what is in the heart of someone else or that you know what they are thinking puts you in the place of God. He is the only one who knows what is truly there. Can you imagine pushing Father off the throne in Heaven and taking over for a while? Well, in a way, that’s what you are doing when you judge.
A judgment raises you up above someone because you think you are better and won’t blow it like they have. Sounds like pride to me. You see, Father set things up so that if you judge, you get judged the same way. How can that be? When you step off of the good path Father planned for you, you head out on your own into the unprotected woods.
Imagine judgment as shooting an arrow at someone. In the spirit realm, it is like there is a string tied to the arrow that is attached to you. The enemy gets to work in the place you shot the arrow. That’s bad enough, but that same enemy can walk on that string right back to you and work on you too. Curses work this way as well, but we’ll get to those later.
Imagine again that judgments are like eye glasses. What if my best friend forgets my birthday? It hurts my feelings, so I make an inner vow and judgment. I may say, “He’s so un-thoughtful. He wasn’t even thinking of me and only thinks of himself. I will never expect anything from him again so I don’t get disappointed.” Well, now guess what? Even if he does something wonderful and thoughtful for me, I can’t fully receive it or appreciate it because I will see everything he does through the “un-thoughtful” lenses I am wearing. I’ll likely decide what was going on in his heart and feel like he could never do enough to repay me for what he’d forgotten before. So he can’t make things right with me, and I can’t feel better about things. Ugh, we both lose.
But wait, there’s more! The Bible says I’ll be judged in the same way I judged my friend. Because I’ve disobeyed Father and stepped off the path of righteousness, the enemy has the right to work me over and make me appear un-thoughtful to other people. It may not be exactly like the vow or judgment I made, but it will be similar. For example, I may not be judged for forgetting a birthday, but it will be something in the same neighborhood as that. I might be judged as un-thoughtful or mean because I didn’t show up for something. I didn’t mean to miss it, other things just distracted me. Where do you think the distractions came from? Uh, huh. The enemy set me up! It wasn’t in my heart to miss it, I just blew it. But I sure may get judged for it, just like I judged my friend.
On a more serious note, what if child abuse or something ugly like that has led to a judgment? Can Jesus help that too? Of course, nothing is too terrible for Him to forgive or rescue you from. He sees you with love, just like He sees the one doing the sin with love. Nobody wakes up one morning when they are little and decides they want to hurt their children someday. No one ever says, “Gee, when I grow up, I want my kids to be scared of me.” It is usually the opposite. People make vows to do something good, and the enemy is empowered through the vows to do something bad.
Never forget that Satan and his demons are evil. Father is good, and love and is always working to rescue us. Remember, Jesus gave us the authority to destroy the works of the devil. It is time to quit griping at Father or believing He’s bad. It is time for us to live like Jesus paid for us to. It is time to repent, be rescued, be empowered, and go to war for other people.
“Father, please forgive me for judging (insert name here, often a parent) __________________. Please forgive me for being so prideful and thinking I knew what was in their heart. Only You know that. I forgive them for ___________________________. I renounce the judgment (what you thought and/or said) _________________________________________ and destroy the power of those words. Please remove the glasses of judgment from me and show me Your TRUTH. Open my eyes to see them as you see them. Please heal me inside and out. In Jesus’ name, any evil spirit that gained access to me through this must leave! Holy Spirit, please fill me up.”
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