“It is dangerous to have a prophet in your life, Sister.” My pastor’s Bolivian accent made the words he spoke take on a portentous undertone. Though he was telling me of times he had delivered prophetic messages that had not been heeded, it felt suddenly as though his words were meant for me.
My pastor, his wife and their youngest son had come to my home to continue a project God had laid on his heart to help me with. As we were waiting for the family to gather for a light meal, we were discussing a conference I had watched online. It had been an amazing conference with much to discuss, but one of the things I was telling him was how Bishop C.M. Wright had spoken a message on being “whole” in God. Bishop Wright told of spending thirty-some years of his life in misery, with his ministry affected, because of being molested as a child. He had not ever been able to completely heal, though he had brought it to God many, many times. We also heard from other ministers that were dealing with things from their past that hindered their wholeness and thereby their service to God. I told my pastor how even those ministers that seemed to “have it together” and were men with great names, had such pain in their lives that it came close to crippling them. It was then that he told me how God had spoken to him about wounds in certain ministers lives and that he had gone to speak to them about what God had revealed to him. Some received what he had to say…others did not. Part of the healing, he explained to me, was to speak of it, whether that meant to ask someone for forgiveness or give someone forgiveness or to confess deep issues to the one God sent. It was then that the casual conversation took a different turn. I could tell he was feeling, as I was, that God was trying to speak to me through what he was saying… for I was not “whole” and suddenly, he knew it.
The Conference I was speaking of was “The Apostolic Conference 2014”, hosted by Parkway Pentecostal Church, Madison MS. www.parkwaychurch.net Under the visionary leadership of Senior Pastor Jerry W. Dillon and Associate Pastor Jason W. Dillon and their talented team, the annual Apostolic Conference was designed to encourage and strengthen the North American Missionaries and Church Planters of the United Pentecostal Church International. This wonderful church, with their own funds and the financial support of individuals who hold home-missions workers and church planters near and dear to their hearts, provide a much needed refreshing yearly to a large group of pastors and their families. Not only do they provide top notch speakers for the three day event, but they also provide the registered attendees meals and lodging and treat them like kings and queens.
You could cut one down and make a flute out of it, but they were fragile and so were easily damaged. The reed was common and grew in such abundance that if the reed was damaged, they would just toss it away.
I was able to tune in to their on-line streaming from my home for much of the event. After their Thursday evening service, I was led to pray for many backsliders that came to my heart. As I prayed, I spoke to the Lord, my Jesus. I said, “Lord, you said in your Word that, ‘A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.’ (Isaiah 42:3) Lord, these backsliders are bruised reeds and smoking flax. Lord, you see the tiny spark left of their flame, you see the little strength they have yet, Jesus, I ask that the breeze of your Holy Ghost flow over them, that they be stirred, that they be renewed and restored.” I prayed over each person that came to my mind for their restoration. I prayed quite a while like this, so you can imagine my amazement the next morning, when Chester Wright used this scripture as his reference verse. Needless to say, I perked up.
Chester Wright told about reeds, how they were plentiful and grew by the water and were hollow. You could cut one down and make a flute out of it, but they were fragile and so were easily damaged. The reed was common and grew in such abundance that if the reed was damaged, they would just toss it away. He said flax was also common and inexpensive and that flax could be twisted and used as wicks for oil lamps. He said when a lamp’s oil would run out and the flame would die, the wick would smoke, so even the poor people would just quench the life from it and throw the wick away, but as the scripture says, and as I had prayed the evening before , Jesus does not give up on us, even though we be of little worth in our own minds or in the minds of others, He does not break and cast aside those that are bruised or damaged and will not quench the spark in those that have lost their flame. Chester Wright said that God’s will for us was to be “whole”.
Over the course of the conference, Chester Wright and David Shatwell had a great deal to say about wounded, damaged people. The danger of an open wound in a person’s heart/spirit was that the wound could be used by the adversary as a portal to gain entry and to bring torment into the life of the wounded person. This kind of torment of the mind brings a self-loathing and shame which causes us to be a spiritually disabled people. As Bishop Wright stated, you can’t help others until you are whole yourself. One thing that both Chester Wright and David Shatwell said was that they spent years hating themselves, trying to shake this thing that tormented them, trying to be free of it. David Shatwell said he had fasted and spent hours in prayer and hours in the Word to get it off of his back. Chester Wright spoke eloquently, saying, “You don’t know what’s wrong with you. You don’t know why it happens to you. You don’t know how to fix it. You spend much of your life paralyzed, afraid it’s going to happen again.” They both said that they didn’t know what was wrong with them or what they did wrong to be in that state. Chester Wright especially described how he hid his pain from others, assuming (probably correctly) that he would be counted a pariah if people knew his struggle, but it only took the Holy Ghost ten minutes to deliver him once he was desperate enough to want it. He tells of the evening, through the ministry of Rev Lee Stoneking, that he was delivered from that spirit of torment he had lived with for 33 years.
Chester Wright taught at great length about how different things like unforgiveness, grudges, fleshly strongholds, brokenheartedness, bruises and calamities can be points of access to Satan. One thing he said about the brokenhearted spoke to me. He said that a feather has almost no weight, but that if you have enough of them on you, they can crush you. Like the feather, hearing about your worthlessness day after day after day after day, will at some point crush you. He spoke about the wounds that no one sees because they are a blow that causes internal bleeding that can kill you.
I listened to the live-streaming and took notes as I listened. (I recently bought the CD’s of the entire conference to listen to again and to take careful notes.) I prayed with the men of God through each session and God touched me in a marvelous way, yet…here I was, sitting with my Pastor, a prophet and knew that God had caused him to tell me these stories of great men that God had sent him to, to give to them a Word of wounds they carried that needed to be bound up and healed. I knew in my heart of hearts I had to confess to him my struggles that I had told no one of so that I could be delivered. As Chester Wright said, you can get forgiveness for sin but torment has to be cast out. I said to my pastor, “So, even though I’ve talked at great length to God and have confessed to Him every detail and left nothing out, I still need to talk about it?” As he nodded affirmatively, his wife walked into the dining room, oblivious to the conversation taking place. As she sat down, she saw the tears that had begun to flow down my face. I reached my hands to her and she took them. My hands shook as I attempted to put into words what I had never spoken before. It was not easy to verbalize the torment and fear of the torment I had suffered. I also needed to ask forgiveness from both my pastor and his wife which was also very difficult to express. As I talked, my pastor wept with compassion and because he knew the toll it was taking on me to speak. I believe he prayed for me. I cannot remember. I do know that, from that moment on, I have been essentially free. Both David Shatwell and Chester Wright cautioned that healing is a process. First the wound must be bound up and closed, then healing takes place. Rev. Wright said the highs and lows level out, the rough places are made smooth, but it’s a process and as most processes do, it takes some time. As for me, I immediately knew I was free. I immediately felt freedom from that thing that had haunted me. There are times that nasty little demonic imp tries to disturb my peace, but I learned from David Shatwell to say, “JESUS, TODAY, YOU WILL SAVE ME!!!”
Like Chester Wright said:
“How many good people have we run off because they just couldn’t get it right? They needed our help, but we couldn’t give them what we hadn’t received. How bad do you want revival? You can’t give what you haven’t received. If you don’t have faith for your wounds to be healed, you can’t have faith for their wounds to be healed.” “God wants you to be whole!”
Don’t feel alone in your struggle. There were 200 or 300 people in the ministry present for these seminars and most were deeply affected by these messages of wholeness. I suggest that you go to the website and order the DVD’s or CD’s of the entire conference. Listen to the whole thing and get serious with God. If you have no one in your life that you trust to talk to, contact these people. They will put you in contact with someone who is themselves, “Whole”.
Isaiah 42:1-9 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.