Freedom Conference (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 10 of 13
Let me just finish with this story and then I want to give you just while I'm sharing this story just an opportunity, have a think about where you've come from and have a think about relationship, your relationship with your father, your relationship with your mother. If they're - now neutral is not honour. There is no neutrality in the kingdom, see? The Bible says we've passed from death to life when there's love flows out of our heart, see? So there's no neutrality, so if you're in a place where you've got this wall of reserve and you're kind of neutral and you're sort of avoiding a parent and there's a wall in your heart and as you pray for them you don't even really want to pray for them because as you pray for them it's a bit difficult to pray. You know, I got that stuff that keeps rising up - say oh, God bless 'em, you know? When you try to come to God as a father - well I relate to Jesus, I don't kinda connect with the father too easily you know?

You see this plays out over and over in our life. It just keeps playing out. It just - there's no end to how it plays out in your life, so if you recognise there's reserve, there's a withholding, I don't actually hold my father and mother in my heart and say thank you God for them, I see that they were damaged, I see that they were broken. They just did all that they could. That's all they did. At least I will honour them because they were the first representatives. I'll leave it to you to sort it out but as for me, I'm going to retain a heart that's free from bitterness. I'm going to walk and extend grace to them and honour to them. Honour is my gift. I will value them and I'll start to communicate and connect in a different way. Think about that. I know there's all sorts of variations of that and you have to figure out what God wants you to do in all of that. I'm talking about today getting your heart free.

Now let me just share with you. [Pauses] Joy shared the testimony yesterday and she shared a number of things, but one of the things that - I remember I said that I'd judged my father in my heart. This was something I had to come to grips with and to repent off and renounce the judgement and in the end I was able to honour him, value him. We were able to honour him in very special ways and my whole relationship with him changed towards the end of his life when my heart become free, but we had made mistakes also and one of the big mistakes that I made in my connecting and relating with Joy was that we become involved sexually before we were married. We had a pregnancy- for those of you who weren't here when we shared the testimony - and a daughter was born. I never got to see her. Joy just shut down her emotions on it. She had the pregnancy, had the baby and the baby girl, Josephine, was adopted out. In those days the laws were so totally - they just shut down any possibility, any possibility of ever being able to reconnect again and within about a year of that I had repented. I'd come to Christ. My heart had changed and one of the things I had to deal with was the dishonour of my daughter and I came before the Lord and I deeply repented that I had failed to embrace her, to celebrate her, to take responsibility for my mistakes, to actually stand up and give leadership to Joy at that time.

So I repented deeply of that. I repented of any bitterness that was in my heart. I made a commitment before the Lord. I said God, I know you're a God who does miracles so I know one day you will restore our relationship, that one day I'm going to meet this daughter again. So I covenant before You that on that day, whatever position, role or whatever I have in life, I will not deny her existence, dishonour her by rejecting her. I will actually make her welcome and make it public - and I had no idea there was a call of God on my life. I had no idea I'd become a Pastor, no idea that 18 years later I'd be pastoring a church and we ministering and so on and God spoke to us to write a letter in because the law suddenly changed. We were doing a marriage renewal and we'd talked together for the first time about this issue. We'd resolved it between us. We'd got it out into the open. It'd been sitting there defiling our marriage all those years and Joy had judgements against me and I had bitterness in my own heart and we just put it all right, got it out in the open and opened up our hearts to be free.