Inner Vows

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Inner Vows (April 17,1997)

by Teresa Seputis

Jesus "went about healing the sick and setting free all who were oppressed by the devil..." We want to learn to do the works Jesus did as we learn to walk out His Lordship in our lives. So we should be motivated to see Christ's freedom in each other's life ... both from physical afflictions and from any oppression that the enemy may have over any of us.

Inner vows is a big, long and complex subject. The basic gest of it (oversimplified) is that we see a behavior we don't like in another, generally (sometimes unconsciously) judge/condemn them for it. Then we make a promise to ourselves (such as "I'll never be like that" or "When I grow up, I'm gonna be like XXX" (the opposite of what we saw) or "I will never do YYY" or "I will always be sure to ZZZ"...) The bottom line is that we put a lot of emotional and/or spiritual energy (generally tied in with hurt and unforgiveness) into this "promise" we make ourselves. This is usually done when we are very young and frequently we don't even remember these self-promises as a adult or the unforgiveness or condemnation (or other sin attitudes) behind them. Most people do this in some area or another.

Now, the enemy can come along and say -- "So-and-so has sinned. They have harbored unforgiveness in their heart towards person XXX" or "they have judged this person in a way that they were not allowed to so, which is a sin" and that is followed with "Since they have sinned, I have a legal right to send a demon to torment them until they deal with that sin in their life". A side effect of a inner vow is that usually the person ends up becoming percisely what they have promised themselves they never would become. Another side effect is that this type of promise can hold us back in an area of our lifes and prevent us from becoming who God has called us to be. There is NOT a demonic attachment every time we make a judegment (against another or against self) but it can happen and frequenly does. The enemy, once they have arrived in the situation, begins to build a stronghold... to build upon the situation and try to get us to sin deeper (attitudes of resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness instead of extending Christ's forgiveness and seeing His power and healing and restitution come into the situation). The more unforgiveness/bitterness/rage/sin the enemy can move us into by building upon the hurt, the stronger his position in our lives becomes and the more influence he can have over us in that area. Sometimes this enemy stronghold results in physical problems or afflictions as well.

Typically this type of thing is dealt with by inviting the Lord to shine His light into the situation and to bring up those areas where we have been hurt so deeply that we develop attitude sins. Then we confess our attitude sins to the Lord and renounce them, breaking the enemy's legal right to be there because when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrightenousness. Then we choose to extend forgiveness to the person and ask the Lord to bring His healing into the situation.

If you are ministering to a person in this type of situation, you typically break the yoke that the enemy attached to the situation this time. Typically when ministering along these lines, the Lord will bring up other related issues and will heal a set of things at once. As He brings His healing into our pain, then there is freedom to truely forgive and the situation no longer has any power over us.

If you are in a deliverance situation, you typically deal with many issues (which usually resolve back to being hurt, having a sin that has not been dealt with or harboring bitterness or unforgiveness in someone's life -- or else deal with a traumatic experience that has left a grip of terror on the person). After the issues are all dealt with and the demon has no more "legal right" to be there, you command it to leave in Jesus' name and it has to go. Then you pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the person in those areas.

I should point out than many times the inner healing portion is successfully minsitered without deliverance and it is quite effective and powerful in breaking an enemy yoke off of a person's life.

One last thing. The Stanfords point out that usually an inner vow happens when we are fairly young and are mistreated by an important family member, such as a Mother or Father or Grandparent or sister/brother. The Stanfords attach a special significance to any attitude sins against a parent, tieing it back to the commandment to "honor mother/father so that it may be well with you and that you might have a long life." They teach that if you don't honor your parents, then it cannot go well with you in that area of your life. (I am not entirely sure if I "buy" this last part, but it is an important principle in their teaching and an underlying premise of their teaching.)

Well, this is a quickee summary and leaves out a lot of important stuff, but it does give one an idea about what inner vows and how to minister to them.

The bottom line is that Jesus commands us to forgive when we've been hurt. If we don't forgive, then resentment, bitterness and sometimes even hate build up in a person's life and that gives the enemy a stronghold. If the person makes themselves promises because of the pain/resentment/unforgiveness, then that self-promise can backfire and become a bondage or yoke in their lives... they can be "sentenced to act out percisely (or become) what they did not want to become". Or that self promise may turn into a yoke that holds them back and keeps them from realizing their full potential in an area of their life.

I hope this info is helpful. Blessings...

- teresa

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-- Do not republish without written permission from <> --

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