Ghost Driver 2

Five years after their last meeting the young man, now not so young, once again caught a glimpse of the Ghost Driver carriage. He saw it speeding along a high road, with the whip cracking and the horses galloping, and the very faint impression of several ethereal drivers urging it along.

Later that same day he came across it again, standing in the shade of a cluster of trees beside a country road. The young woman was sitting quietly in the shade.

He approached her and then stood quiet and motionless.

She saw him approach but did not greet him. They were both unsure how to proceed.

Finally he broke the silence. “I see you still have your carriage and your drivers.”

She nodded as she gazed at her feet. He shuffled with uncertainty.

Help At Last

“I think I can help you”, he announced at last. She did not react.

“I have found the secret to being rid of these Ghost Drivers.” His voice quickly became enthusiastic. He had waited a long time to pass on this vital information. “I know how you get them and how to get rid of them.” She did not respond, so he continued, as if to assure her. “It has been done, you know. Many people have become free from a life like yours.”

She turned her head away, as if not wanting to hear more. He moved so she could see him.

“Don’t you want to be free?” She waited, still, before springing up and walking to the carriage. He followed. Beside the rig she nodded her head to indicate that he should look inside.

Another Passenger

He peered into the carriage and saw a small baby, sleeping in a basket.

“It’s too late”, she muttered as she walked away. He looked again at the baby and then followed her.

“You can be FREE!” He asserted. She turned and raged at him as she indicated toward the baby. “I cannot be free of HER!”

“You can both be free! Can’t you see I am telling you that you don’t have to be trapped by these ghosts?”

She returned to the place where she had been sitting and slumped herself back onto the grass. “He left me. He said he could not take it anymore. He left me and the baby. Now what am I to do?” She asked as one who does not expect an answer.

Try Freedom

“You could try Freedom”, he suggested. She did not react, so he took that as permission to explain.

“There is a man I found who knows of these Ghost Drivers. He has dealt with them before. And he knows where they come from. They are passed to us, as familiar acquaintances of our parents, or they come and introduce themselves to us. If we welcome them, or if we do not resist them, they claim a part of us. We agree by our invitation or acquiescence.” She did not respond to any of this.

“Over time they make demands of us, urging us to give over more and more of our life to their control. If we give in to their suggestions, such as to be angry, bitter, jealous, resentful, proud, selfish, or many other things, then their grip on our life becomes much stronger. Eventually they have their claws dug deep into our flesh and they drive us at their whim.” She put her face in her hands.

All of this gave her no hope, but only described her destruction.

Grow a New Life Within

“Our only hope is to grow a new life within. Since our old life has become a slave and must die to be rid of its masters, we need a new life spawned within us, from God. That new life lives in freedom from the things that drive our flesh.” She did not move.

“Once there are two lives within us we can then die to our flesh and deal with all those selfish, evil, hurtful and destructive things we once invited into our life. While our old flesh man dies, we are not hurt, but liberated. Our new man is all the more free to live a wonderful new life.” He finished this explanation on a high note, excited by the prospects. She, however, was unmoved.

“You make it sound too easy. But I know the tyranny of my masters. They will not give me up without much pain. I cannot face the humiliation and I won’t admit I was wrong. I won’t give up my claim for revenge against my husband, or my resentment of my parents, or my jealousy of my school friends. I won’t give up my pride in my own ability to survive and to succeed without God’s help. I cannot afford to give up such things without enduring unbearable pain and shame.”

“You will live in such slavery and doom yourself and your daughter to a life of misery?” He was astonished.

Cumalongnow!

With that, a loud “Cumalongnow!” rang from unseen voices and she dashed into the carriage which began to speed away. Her flight was so quick and determined that he hardly had time to see through the dust the gestures from spite, arrogance, defiance and the like, raging from atop the carriage. He also could not see the tortured look of despair in a face that knew the truth, but could not bear to face it.

Our young friend was saddened but not daunted. His new understanding of these things put him to recognising others of his acquaintance who had Ghosts driving their lives at times. Some only heard a “Cumalongnow!” on the rarest of occasions, while some were stirred by unseen voices almost every day.

He began to visit these people and to share with them the truth he now understood. Some, but not all, were open to his message. Some, too, gained complete freedom from masters that spoiled their life and marriage. Many a family thanked him repeatedly for the healing he brought, not only to the enslaved, but to the experience of them all.

From time to time he stopped to pray for a woman and a little girl, whirling around the countryside in uncontrolled urges and furies. What tragedy lay in store for them yet?

Getting the Picture?

The things that drive you are part of your life by your agreement. You agree to contracts either by your signature (you requested the good or service) or by your acquiescence (you did not object to the imposition forced upon you).

When fear sweeps over you, giving you a sample of its wares, you either buy in or your reject the goods as unsuitable for the life you wish to live. If anger sweeps over you, giving you a taste of its finest qualities, you either subscribe or you throw the sample away. This is how it works for all those things you have integrated into your life.

Of course, when you are very young you are more vulnerable and less likely to know what is going on. But even then, you knew by the way it made you feel, that the things you welcomed into your life were not things that made you noble and special, but things that made you evil and dirty.

More Control

Once those things have become travelling companions in your life they will seek permission to take greater and greater control of your life. They will suggest, “It’s a good time to be angry. I’d be really angry if I were you.” If you accept the suggestion you give over that much more of your will and life to the invaders, until they become Ghost Drivers of your life.

Freedom comes from reversing those invitations and contracts which we established with the evil influences. However it is most effectively done when we die to our old life, including all its contracts, and live out of the new life born in us by the Holy Spirit when we are saved.

If you missed the first part of this allegory you will find it at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/ghost-driver

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.

Born as a Free Man

Freedom is something that westerners take for granted. Consequently we don’t really know what it is. And consequently many Bible truths remain undiscovered, because we do not have a frame of reference for them.

The Son will set you free. The Truth will set you free. Stand strong in your freedom. A Christian slave is God’s “free” man. These Bible concepts are nothing more than mere poetry to most people.

John Freeman

As a young married man I had a friend from church named John Freeman. He and his wife were from some place in Scandinavia and his original name was hard for English men to pronounce. So he chose a new name when he came to Australia. He chose to be called a Free Man. So he took the name, John Freeman.

However, this man was not truly free. Several times he told me that he is not such a nice man as he presented to be. He seemed to be carrying some kind of shame and cloud from his past. He wanted to be a free man, and he had taken that as his name, but he was not free at all. His past mess was still in his heart.

Born Free

The book and film, Born Free, celebrated the freedom given to lions born in the wild. But it is not only lions who are born to be free. All humans are meant to be born as free people who can pursue their life with liberty.

John Freeman had been born free but he had somehow compromised that freedom, possibly through sin and failure. He tried to enshrine freedom by his new name, but the real freedom he had been born with was damaged and lost, somehow.

Buying Freedom

In some cultures freedom belongs to the minority. Israel in the promised land had various captive people’s living among them. These other nations were supposed to be destroyed, but were not. So those nations were slaves and servants to the Israelites. The Israelis had freedom, but not the others.

The same was true in the Roman Empire. Certain cities and places were considered to be the preserve of the Romans. Those who were born there were born as free men. Others could become citizens, but only at great cost.

The Apostle Paul was born in Tarsus, which was one of those places afforded citizenship status in the Roman Empire. So Paul was born as a free man. On one occasion, when he had been hastily arrested, his captors feared because they had imprisoned a free man.

“Then the chief captain came, and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? He said, Yes. And the chief captain answered, I paid a great sum for this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. The examiners immediately left him: and the chief captain was also afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.” Acts 22:27-29

Freedom Lost

You were not born to be slaves, but born to be free men. However it is possible to lose the freedom that is rightly yours. This is done by making wrong choices.

The Prophet Jeremiah challenged the nation of Israel that they were not born to be slaves, but he pointed out that they were slaves, because they had rejected God’s leading.

“Is Israel a servant? Is he a home-born slave? Why is he spoiled?” Jeremiah 2:14

The answer is that Israel is not a servant or a home-born slave. So he should not be exploited by others who have power over him.

“Have you not procured this to yourself, in that you have forsaken the LORD your God, when he led you by the way?” Jeremiah 2:17

Israel had lost its freedom by forsaking God and rejecting His leading.

Preserve Your Birthright

You are born to be free. So don’t despise your birthright. Esau did that and could not get back what he lost, despite his bitter tears.

If you think nothing of your freedom it will become the ‘nothing’ that you think it is. So don’t be irresponsible with your freedom. Some people have paid an enormous price for theirs, and people have paid a terrible price to give you yours.

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.

Sovereignty Banned!

As I have reviewed the subject of personal sovereignty with you in recent months I have sought to open your eyes to the special privilege you have of doing business, directly and personally, with the God of all creation. Our greatest authority comes from the highest official – and so coming under the direct authority of God gives us authority that cannot be trumped by lesser beings.
True sovereignty, however, is not found in asserting personal rights, attending assertiveness training courses, defying authorities or the like. True sovereignty is all about you being in direct, personal relationship with God. He is the ultimate sovereign citizen of the universe. No-one can contend with His authority. When you are an intimate friend of God, falling at His feet and living only to do His will, you can walk in the fullest expression of your personal sovereignty.
Much of what others might think of as exercising their personal sovereignty may well be rebellion, arrogance, defiance against authority, self-will and ignorance. Please avoid such things.
Now, as I have pointed out, a person who truly walks in their personal sovereignty is able to exercise power and influence greater than governments, regimes and armies. That is the reason, I suggest, that evil regimes are so determinedly antagonistic to Christian faith and the Bible.
There is no more empowering experience and no more sure way to establish a person’s personal sovereignty, than to have them enter into personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no more empowering resource than the Bible. When people live by faith in God, through Jesus Christ, committed to the Bible as the inerrant word of God, they are empowered and willing to exercise personal freedom like no other people. Evil regimes, therefore, run the risk that divinely empowered people will be able to challenge them in the same way Elisha challenged the King of Syria, or David brought down Goliath. No evil regime wants to have young people in its own domain who can exercise greater clout than the dictator, nor some lonely prophet who can topple their power.
Have you noticed that communist and other dictators are quick to ban the Bible, restrict Christian worship and punish people of faith? It is a trade-mark of many regimes. They ban the Bible and Christianity, because they are trying to do away with personal sovereignty.
Notice this quote from Horace Greeley: “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” The ‘human freedom’ identified by Greeley is that right to stand before God. A person who can stand confidently before his maker is the freest person on the planet. He may be in prison, outlawed, or otherwise oppressed by man, but his soul and spirit are free, even freer than the dictators who incarcerated him.
Napoleon also recognised the incredible power inherent in the Bible and the faith that springs from it. He said: “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”
For that reason Bibles have been taken to oppressed people, as part of the process of setting those people truly free. The Bible has the power to liberate souls, and consequently to liberate peoples and nations.
Note, however, that in the West there has been a subtle banning of the Bible. It is no longer allowed to be read in schools as it was when I was a boy. A weekly Bible lesson was conducted in my classes, by the school teacher, as part of the class curriculum. That small inculcation of the Word of God had its effect, especially when combined with the many other places where the Bible was spoken and its teachings propagated. But today much of that sowing of the Bible has been made illegal, and we have a generation more ready to succumb to tyranny than we had before. We have a people closer to losing their human freedom.
I, for one, am keen to propagate the Bible and its teachings. I also encourage every one to explore their personal sovereignty before God. I want whole generations committed to walking with God, according to the Word of God, living by faith in God, obedient to the will of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, so that they can build the kingdom of God and turn back the forces of oppression which aim to enslave them and their children.
I commend to you your personal sovereignty. Don’t let anyone ban it or rob you of it. Pursue God. Read the Bible. Put your faith in Jesus Christ. Humble yourself before God. And live the destiny God has uniquely created for you. I challenge you to do so, in Jesus’ precious and powerful name. Amen.