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Freedom Conference (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 10
The next major crises came after 7 years of dating Mike. He was from a strong Irish Roman Catholic family, and I was from a strong evangelical (but legalistic) Brethren background. We loved each other, but faced strong religious resistance to marriage, so it was a heartbreaking on and off relationship. Eventually I discovered I was pregnant, and was gripped with fear and shame. Earlier I had made an ‘inner vow’, that I wouldn't face the judgment and condemnation other single pregnant Brethren girls had faced, so old strategies of self reliance kicked in. I decided to keep the pregnancy secret from family, and adopt out my baby. The enemy gives us all sorts of “easy” solutions to pain, but the end result of hiding under secrecy, suppressing my emotions, and giving away my first baby was hugely damaging to my soul. When we came before the Lord in repentance, and opened this part of our lives to Him, He poured in His grace, and has restored her to us.

He has been so good and so faithful to us. That first daughter came back into our lives when she was 18, and has been part of our family ever since. Mike even conducted her wedding ceremony; we prayed for them to have a child, led them to the Lord, baptised them, and took them on a mission trip in 2012. The stupid choices I made in sin and covering of secrecy, God has redeemed, and brought a wonderful testimony of His amazing grace. Our God truly does heal the broken-hearted and set captives free. He can do that for you! [Applause]

[Mike Connell] Praise the Lord. I want to just share with you just some things about bondages of the heart, and there's a whole area we could teach about it, so I'm going to have to just condense it and just give you some things that just get you think. While I share, I ask you just to be open and let the Holy Spirit drop back into your mind, if you have actually built a wall in your heart. In Proverbs 4:23 it says: keep your heart with all diligence, or be a watchman over your heart. When it's talking about the heart, it's not the physical heart, it's your inner man. Guard your heart. Guard the core motivator. Guard your inner life - and there's a reason that we're to guard and protect that life, because He says out of it flow the issues of life.

So in other words, the life you're living now, flows out of not just what you think, but what is alive and operating in your heart. Most people think if they could just change their circumstances, they would change their life, but actually the circumstances reflect the issues that are in your heart, so we need to change our heart, and that changes the way we interact with life, and how life comes to us, so it's vitally important we deal with the heart. Religion will only deal with the outside, so whenever you come under religion or under the law, the law will always attempt to modify your behaviour, but that's contrary to God's way.

God's way is to change you from the heart outward, not the outside inward. It's a different process, and so we're to guard our heart, because out of our heart we have imaginations, we have dreams, we have desires, but we also have other things that can get in our heart. I want to just list for you some of the bondages that come upon people's life, and they're very simple. I'm going to give you the heading, and define what each one is, and just give you an example of it, just so you can think about it in your own life, things that cause us to be locked up, bondages that cause us to be locked up. So let me just give you some of them now because if we don't get free of these bondages, own them and recognize them, we remain locked up, and evil spirits have the power.