Ghost Driver 4

The Ghost Driver carriage returned much sooner than anyone expected.

Maddened drivers raged upon each other and bullied for the reins, but each was powerless to take charge. Stubbornly the wagon made its haltering way toward a modest cottage nestled in a valley. A determined face pushed it on with the force of her own insistence.

As the horses stamped their uncomfortable presence a woman stepped from the carriage and stood, looking at the humble home. A woman stepped from the threshold and reached out her arms toward the visitor.

Tears streamed down both faces, but both were frozen in place. The younger woman turned her face away, struggling with internal torments of unbearable potency.

“You have come.” The older woman spoke, to break the spell of their meeting.

“She is dead.” The young woman measured her tears, as remorse, pain and anger fought for ascendancy within her. “She was thrown from the carriage in a wild moment and dashed to pieces under the hooves of these dreadful horses.”

The woman moved quickly from the cottage and embraced the stiffened body of the beautiful young visitor. “I’m so sorry”, she soothed.

“I am not”, the younger replied. “I hated her.”

“But she is your Mother!” The older woman urged.

“She was never a mother to me.” The words were bitter and pained. “She lived only for herself and did not care what I suffered under her wild will. She was never a mother to me. Never!” There were no tears with this, but cold hardness of heart.

“Well, now you are free.”

“No. I am not free. These wild urges surge in me more powerfully than ever. They have lost their slave and are determined to own me more than they ever owned her.”

“But that’s alright. We can help you get freedom.” The tone was filled with promise.

The visitor stood stiff, struggling with surging internal currents. “I do not want to forgive her. Hating her makes me feel better. And I don’t want to give up my will. I am afraid of being mocked as a servant to others. I like being admired and envied. Part of me wants to taunt others and prove that I am right. If I give up all this, I will face unbearable shame.”

The woman gently led the stunned guest toward the cottage, speaking tenderly as she did. “But you desperately want to be loved, don’t you.”

At this the visitor wept freely. She did desperately want to be loved and valued and cherished and be appreciated for more than her seductive beauty or painted eyes. She wanted the freedom to be as plain as a country servant and yet to be loved none-the-less. Her life as a raging beauty had never brought her such treasures.

Moments later the guest dropped hot tears into the mug of tea in her trembling hands. The warmth of the country kitchen and the sounds of children singing as they were busy with their chores invoked senses which were as intoxicating as they were foreign to her. This reality affirmed a expectation deep within her that such things must exist.

“You can stay with us, if you like. My son will deal with the horses and the carriage. He has done it before, for others. We can guide you and help you cut all the cords that enslave you. You can be as free as a bird and as whole on the inside as you could ever imagine.”

The woman’s motherly care was welcome, but uncertainties stormed against the situation now before the young woman. Could she endure such a change of her whole existence?

Through the window she watched a young man approach the horses, whip in hand. He was cautious, but not afraid. He spoke to them and presented the large whip to their view. They pulled back from him, but he held them from rearing up as they were wont to do. After a long and painstaking process they were led to take steps under the man’s direction. When unseen hands lifted another whip and phantom voices raised a cry of protest, the man simply stared them down until they were silent.

Finally the carriage was drawn into a yard and the horses tethered there. This was not the end of the process, but just the beginning, but a good start had now been made.

The young woman slumped into a chair and wept freely. Hope stepped one pace closer in her chest.

Thus began a long and wonderful season that would lead to a young woman shining with double beauty. She would one day display the beauty of her natural features and the richer beauty of a yielded spirit.

But that day was not to come without many a struggle, within the woman’s heart and between her and those who loved her. They would be tested and drained by the process, but their compassion for her would bring them through.

When the young man entered the room and slipped his woollen cap from his head the young guest nodded to him. He looked upon her differently to the way other men did. And immediately she was stirred. Something inside her demanded that she have alluring power over such males and one of her first struggles began right there.

Romantics speculate at this point that the young man and young woman made a lovely couple in due time. But that is to be distracted. The story is not about romance, but about Freedom. Don’t be distracted by emotional excursions when far more important matters are afoot.

The “Happily Ever After” sentiment of the Fairy Story cheats us of life’s reality. Life is not achieved by a romantic ending to a story, but by godly wisdom applied on a daily basis to challenges which mature us and deepen our grip on God and His grip on us.

So, as you make your own journey from here keep an ear attuned to the cry of Ghost Drivers who have already gained a hold on you or who come along with the promise of gain, so they can drive you at their will. Refuse the “Cumalongnow” call of the tormentors and prepare yourself for the “Come up here” call of the Lord, taking you into His presence.

To read the earlier instalments in this important story of slavery and freedom click the following links:

Part One: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/ghost-driver

Part Two: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/ghost-driver-2

Part Three: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/ghost-driver-3

Rejection 1 and Inner Healing

About forty years ago God began a work of healing my heart. That work completely revolutionised my life and became the platform for so much of who I am and how I bless others.

So it is my delight to share something of what the Lord taught me through that process. I have already explained the Steps to Release which outline the journey which God led me through. Those steps became the template for my personal and ministry capacity to gain freedom. What I present in this Rejection series is the more personal journey of my own deliverance from rejection.

My Journey

I discovered that I was a victim of feelings of inferiority and rejection which devastated my personal, social and spiritual life. God graciously opened my eyes to His Word and to the work He wanted to do in me.

Once I had experienced personal freedom I was keen to help others find freedom too. Many of those that came to me for help were also victims of rejection, inferiority, insecurity and related issues. Helping them come to freedom expanded my understanding and enabled me to see the more complete picture of what could be called a ‘rejection syndrome‘.

As I escorted people through the journey to their freedom I began drawing stick figures to illustrate what I suspected they might have been encountering. Those simple drawings were scrawled out over and over again and people would often point at the page and say, “That’s Me!”

When I met cartoonist Rig Bell, in the early 1980′s, he offered to create images that were better than my clumsy stick figures. He took my sketches and came back with the pictures which you will see in this series.

Setting Things in Order

Obviously there is a great deal I could teach about Rejection, Inner Healing, Deliverance and the like. Years of experience and so many different testimonies have given me a broad concept of some of these issues. However, my concern is to simplify things and set them in order, so that anyone could grasp them and apply the truth to their life.

The simple presentation which I will break open to you in this series is not the final word, nor all that could be elaborated on. It is simply my attempt to make the subject clear and practical.

My Inferiority

I have vivid memories of my desperate feelings of embarrassment, insecurity, blushing, self-consciousness and inferiority. I could tell you stories about how I lived with the intense sense that people were watching me and that I must be self-aware at all times. I was afraid to look people in the eye. I would blush and go red like a beetroot, blinking at 90 miles per hour, with tears streaming down my face.

I could not tell my teacher I needed to go to the bathroom (toilet), so I invented belly-aches so she would suggest I go to the toilet. I developed the habit of checking my watch as I walked, to create an air of having something important to do. Yet I would look at my watch about every four paces, out of sheer torment at the thought of people watching me.

It was pretty weird, but it was ‘normal’ to me. I didn’t know any different. I just had to live with that and I also had to develop my compensating strategies.

An Extrovert

Despite my intense inner feelings of inferiority I had a strong desire to be up front and in the limelight. That created great tension, which I dealt with by sheer bluff and determination.

I created several coping strategies, such as out-staring people, forcing myself into the limelight and throwing myself into things, and making more of my strengths than was reasonable, to compensate for my limitations.

My compensation strategies worked very well. I became a class-room hero. I championed the debating team. I excelled in lead roles in the school musicals. I represented my school and district in national public speaking competitions. I was the best joke teller in the school.

Still Broken

But for all my extrovert performance I was still broken on the inside. I needed God’s love and His grace to deliver me from things too powerful for me. I needed His wisdom and the truth of His Word to break the chains of my slavery.

And all my efforts to set myself free only became another layer of problem which I had to undo in the process of walking into freedom. I later discovered that the defeatist, extrovert and rebel can all be variations of hurting people. Despite the life pattern which is chosen as the survival or coping mechanism, these people are still hurting on the inside, because they are still broken on the inside.

Rejection Series

So, welcome to this Rejection Series. There will be more than two dozen articles and as many pictures, which will unfold the drama of my own journey and the truth of God’s gracious deliverance available to all.

If you suffer from rejection, inferiority, self-pity, extroversion or rebellion, or if you have a heart to help others, you will find this series an effective tutorial on how to lead people into self-awareness, truth that sets them free, and ultimately, to God’s deliverance. If you are searching chrisfieldblog.com for these posts you will find them labelled first as ‘Rejection’, then numbered in order. Enjoy.

Steps To Release

Nearly 40 years ago I journeyed through a process of being set free from a variety of personal problems. Insecurity, fear, pride, immorality, attitudes and other things were brought to my attention and graciously dealt with.

The eventual end result of that process is the Steps to Release which I formulated as my ministry tool for helping others and myself step into personal freedom. What I want to do is share those steps with you, as part of the Christian Counselling material that you can apply to yourself or in helping others.

The Steps to Release are taught in my first book, Family Horizons, available from http://familyhorizons.net/html/shop.html

Several things prompted me to define these steps into a workable process which I can apply widely and share with others. While at Bible College in 1978 I shared my testimony of release and inner restoration with some of the students. Two girls, Janet and Jean, asked me to explain how God had set me free. I was unable to do so. They taunted me with the challenge that I had no right to share about my freedom if I couldn’t also show others how to enter into freedom too.

When I reflected on their challenge I remembered a discussion I had with my older brother. We had both encountered the infilling of the Holy Spirit at about the same time. A year or so later I said to my brother, “You know how God gets inside your life and starts dealing with you once you’ve received the Holy Spirit?” He looked at me and told me he had no idea what I was talking about. I tried to explain myself but he could not relate to my descriptions of having God convict me and reveal things to me. Up to that point I had assumed that everyone who received the Holy Spirit had the identical resultant experience.

So, when those fellow students challenged me to define God’s dealings in my life I went to prayer. I asked God to remind me what it was that He had done in me and how He had done it. I had no clear idea at first. I just took it all for granted and expected that everyone else was on the same journey of transformation which I enjoyed. Now that I knew each of us were on uniquely personal journeys and that my journey had produced some fruit others wanted to sample, I looked to the Lord to remind me how He had done His work in my life. There had been about seven years of various impacts, so I had to revisit that journey.

Piece of piece God began to awaken my memory. I began to remember specific preachers and sermons which were part of God’s work. I recalled various Bible verses which touched me at a deep level. I also remembered my responses to what God seemed to be saying deep within me.

My journey had been a deeply personal one. It touched my fears, pride, selfishness, vulnerabilities, inner pains, insecurities, shame, hurts and more. But as I recalled God’s gracious dealings a clear pattern began to emerge. God had taken me on a journey. It was a profound and personal venture that led me through my own personal quagmires and ruins into the glorious light of a new day in His presence.

There are many anecdotes I could share about the various stages of that journey, and in time I may well use them as illustrations here and there. What I think I should do is give you a summary of the overall journey then take the time to give you a more detailed description of the various steps in future posts. So for now, here is a summary of the landmarks that have become my Steps to Release.

1. The first thing I had to do was admit my need. This did not come easy, but I now see it as an essential element of the journey.

2. The second thing I had to do was identify the real problem, not just the symptoms. In the process I found it extremely valuable to uncover the root cause of the problem, such as an initiating event, if at all possible.

3. Once the problem had been identified I was led to take three important steps to deal with it. So the third thing I had to do was to repent of any part I had in bringing the specific problem into my life.

4. The fourth thing I had to do, and so the fourth step in my Steps to Release, was to forgive all those who were part of the problem. This includes those who caused the problem and those who added to it after the fact.

5. Then the fifth thing I was led to do was to renounce the evil of the situation. This is effectively the legal process of breaking the connection between the problem and me.

6. Having attended to those three steps of responsibility, repentance, forgiveness and renouncing, I could then enter into the spiritual warfare process of resisting the evil. This is the sixth step. I would break the power of the evil associated with the problem.

7. The final, seventh step is to fall at the feet of God. Another way to describe it is to cast my cares on Him, because He cares for me. This is the process of giving to God the ruin of my life and all that remains as a consequence of the problem which existed in my life. God is invited to take charge and to heal, restore and re-invigorate my life for His purposes.

8. If, after going through those steps the issue was not completely resolved I would see two things to do. One is to repeat the process, looking for even greater insight into what the problem is and where it came from. I would also be more diligent in working through the related steps. The other thing to do is to join forces with another Christian of strong faith who would add their faith to mine in working through the issue.

Well, that’s an introduction. I’ll elaborate at some time in the future. Meanwhile there is enough in this summary to empower you to tackle some of your problems. So go to it.