Let us run with endurance how to be free from the grip of an abused past. The truth is, they deny what they have done.
And I don't have any hard data on this, but my suspicion is that abuse is continuing to increase in our society, because as we move away from God, as addictions multiply, abuse of course continues to increase. We live in a very, very hurting world. For those who are listening to the ministry of Running to Win today, would you be sure to get on the phone and call your friends and let them know about this series of messages? Because I believe that of all the messages I have preached, none touches the heart and the real core of people's problems and their pain as this series. And I want to thank you so much for helping us get this message to thousands upon thousands of people. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner?
That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course you need more info. Here's what you can do. Go to RTWOffer.com.
That's RTWOffer.com and click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And at the end of this message, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again, along with a story about what this ministry does in the lives of many listeners. As I speak today, I know I'm going to be talking to people who are going to experience a lot of pain. Whenever you talk about abuse, you bring to the surface a lot of feelings that lay there.
They lie there until suddenly they are exposed. I want to tell you that it's like a boil that needs to be lanced, and even though it's painful, eventually there will be healing. But I also want to say to some of you that maybe while I'm speaking, you may be tempted to break out and cry, and that's okay. The reason that God gave us tear ducts is because he knew that crying is good therapy.
You know, one of the things about abused children is that there is no place in their soul where they can cry their eyes out. And some of you who haven't cried for a while, you might like to do that today, and it's okay. Let's pray. Our Father, we want to thank you that you are indeed the God of miracles, and we ask you today for another miracle. For people who are listening to this message who have been bound by their past, today, in Christ's name, we're praying for their freedom. We pray that those who perhaps have gone through circumstances that they don't even remember well, but are very painful, that you might in a wonderful way reach down and heal them. In Jesus' name we pray.
Amen. I begin today with a letter that appeared in Ann Landers' column on the 30th of October of this year. After an introductory letter, a paragraph I should say, the letter says, My father, also an alcoholic, began to abuse me when I was five years old. I finally found the courage to tell my mother five years later. She called me a liar and a troublemaker. After several weeks of my pleading and crying, throwing up and having nightmares, she said, I'll leave it up to you.
I'll go to the police if you want me to, but they will probably put your father in jail and will probably all starve to death. Being an insecure, emotionally troubled ten-year-old, I couldn't face that burden, so I chose to let the abusing go on. A year later, my father stopped abusing me and began to abuse my five- and seven-year-old cousins who were living with us at the time. He died when I was 28. I did not cry at his funeral. My mother died nine years later, and I cried hysterically at hers and every day after for several weeks. I went for counseling, and I learned that I forgave my father because I came to understand that he was a sick man. But I couldn't forgive my mother because she didn't try to protect me against him.
My relationships with men have been awful. My drug of choice is food. I am now in a 12-step program and getting better, but Ann, please keep telling people who have been abused that silence is deadly. They must talk about it and get it out in the open.
Only then will healing begin. Abuse. Let me list a couple of kinds of abuse.
First of all, verbal abuse. If your parents told you that you were ugly, if they called you names and were critical of you, it may well be that those words and those ideas have gone into the very depths of your soul. A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were speaking to a singer who is rather well known, and she told us that that's the kind of father she had. She sang when she was five, but everything she did was wrong. She couldn't do anything right. She was ugly, and she was clumsy, and she was this, and she was that. Interestingly, this woman says, though hundreds of people tell me I can sing well, I cannot believe them because the little girl within me says, how could my daddy have been so wrong?
And even though her daddy died in 1984, she said, I want to be emotionally whole, but my daddy keeps getting in the way. Verbal abuse. What shall we say about physical abuse? I will spare you the horror stories that you read about in the newspapers. Perhaps some of you have read Dori Vanstone's book entitled, Dori, the Girl Nobody Loved.
Because of that book, she receives hundreds of letters, and I have read perhaps at least a hundred that she has sent to me. I cannot even begin to share with you the children who have been whipped and abused and beaten, tied to bedposts, locked in closets, parents who have tried to drown their children. The horror stories go on and on. What about sexual abuse? One third of all the girls born this year will probably be sexually abused, probably by some member of the family. It is said that you can take a hundred women, twenty-five of them will have experienced sexual abuse. What are some of the special needs of those who have been abused? First of all, there's a tremendous amount of anger.
Don't become critical of them. How would you like it if somebody stole your childhood? How would you like it if somebody stole a piece of your soul down deep within? Anger because those who should have been protecting them were abusing them and taking advantage of them and then worse, they were getting away with it.
Scott free. Anger. Secondly, shame. Will you remember this? That there is within the heart of every little baby boy and every little girl an innate belief that mommy and daddy are right. So that if a parent abuses his child, either physically or sexually, the little baby, the little child begins to think I'm getting exactly what I deserve.
If my parents call me names, it's because that's who I really am. And they take upon themselves all the guilt, all the shame, all the hurt, all of that emotional pain, all becomes contained in that little body. Remember also that abusers, particularly sexual abusers, always tell the abusee, the one who is being abused, that it's their fault too and make them appear as if they're accomplices. And when it comes to sexual abuse, because we are constructed in such a way by God, there is such a thing as being stimulated sexually and the person who is abused may come to actually enjoy the abuse. And so the guilt becomes formidable because they say I'm partially responsible, maybe I'm totally responsible. The other thing is a psychological principle.
Remember that you and I perceive that other people see us the way we see ourselves. I remember reading a story of a girl who was abused by her father in the evening. The next morning he woke up and at breakfast acted as if nothing happened. She said I went to school the next day. She said I thought every single one of my classmates could see right through me and see all the shame. It was as if there was a plaque on her forehead, damaged, goods, shameful, impure, unclean. Secondly, yes, as I mentioned, there's a lot of difficulty with guilt and shame. But thirdly, abused children, unless the abuse has been resolved, listen carefully, abused children have a great amount of difficulty of developing close and intimate relationships. If you've been abused and if that abuse is something that you have never come to terms with, it is entirely possible that you will have two unconscious agendas. The first will be to set out to prove that everybody is untrustworthy.
You understand why, don't you? If those who had protective custody of you, your father who should have intervened for you, who should have cared for you, who should have loved you, if he has abused you and taken advantage of you, the very one in whom your little heart trusted betrayed you. You may set out to prove that everybody is untrustworthy and you may become so critical, so untrusting and so uncaring because that's a hidden agenda.
But you have a second hidden agenda. It is to prove that nobody can possibly love you. After all that shame and all that guilt has been heaped upon you, you say to yourself, nobody can really love me and you set out to prove that and you will set up circumstances that will make it impossible for people to love you. You will test your relationship to the limit. You will make demands that are absolutely unreasonable. You will expect this and you will expect that. You will expect things from your partner and from your friends that they can never possibly give you. And then when they begin to pull away because of the impossibility of that relationship, you'll say, see, it's just like I told you. You're just like all the rest. Nobody really loves me.
Everybody's all the same. Folks, people who have been rejected almost inevitably unless they've come to terms with that rejection do things that make further rejection inevitable, sometimes almost totally necessary. Now my dear friend today, if you have had abuse in your background, if you have never dealt with that abuse, it will constantly interrupt all attempts at normal living.
You'll think it's gone and then suddenly it appears. Let me ask you something. What can Christ do for you? What can Jesus do for those who have been abused? I'm going to ask you to turn today to Isaiah chapter 61. And I ask you to turn there because one day when Jesus was here on earth, he went into the temple in Nazareth and he read a passage of scripture. This story is recorded in Luke 4. It says that the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was given to him and he began to read. And Isaiah 61 is the passage he read. So let's go right back to the source of Christ's text.
This is what it says and it's speaking of him. The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted. Do you feel afflicted today?
Do you feel as if you were afflicted in your past? There's some good news. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted. Now why do you bind up a broken heart? We know why you bind up a broken leg. The reason is because the doctors will tell us it's important that healing take place properly and that the leg will be set well. What Jesus is saying is God has sent me to take people's hearts and set them so that they can be healed properly. So that the open wound can become just a scar and they can continue.
Now the question is how does he do it? I must tell you that in context Isaiah is speaking about the fact that the Jews were taken into captivity. They were hauled off to Babylon and the Babylonians mistreated them and God is talking here about a period of deliverance. And how that God is going to set the prisoners free. Already it happened in our Lord's life spiritually speaking but politically it also happened in the experience of Babylon.
I should say the experience in Babylon. And that's why it says to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners. He's talking about actual prisoners in a geographical area called Babylon. But Jesus Christ gives us the permission to take this text and also to apply it to ourselves. And what I'd like to suggest today is that the Jesus who politically set the Jews free is the Jesus who emotionally and spiritually can set you free. And there are three aspects to the deliverance that are mentioned in this text. First of all it says he frees us from our captors. Freedom to prisoners. The favorable year of the Lord. The year of Jubilee when people could leave.
When slaves were out from under the stress of their masters and set free. Now I would like to say to you today that Jesus is still available to take you out from under the destructive control of your captor. Who is your captor? First of all it may well be an abuser. Someone who abused you. May I say it?
It may be your parents. About three weeks ago I had lunch with a man here in Chicago who does not attend this church. He's out in one of the suburbs. The best way I can describe him is emotionally numb. He has no feeling. That does not mean he's hard-hearted. He cannot cry.
He can express no emotion. He was brought up with a mother who was erratic, irresponsible, a hypochondriac, vicious, spoke only evil of him continuously. Interestingly as we were eating he said do you know that for me to be a success I must fail?
And I said oh come on explain that. He said you must understand he said that my mother the only dream my mother ever had for me was failure. She called me names and told me I would fail.
She hated men and she hated me. After we spoke together and we went out into the parking lot I put my arm on his shoulder and I said you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna pray for you right here. And I said I want to believe God along with you that God is going to rid you of all of the destructive influences of your mother. Let us break the authority and the power of your mother over you.
It's the first time I had prayed that way but we prayed together asking God to deliver somebody from the influence of his mother. Secondly your captor may be a past sexual partner or for that matter a present one. There was a young woman who was resisting all of the advances of a man who wanted to go to bed with her. Young Christian girl. The man in anger took her took advantage of her and raped her. Do you know what happened to that young girl? She became the total slave of this man. It did not matter how badly he mistreated her. It did not matter whether he continued to sexually abuse her.
Nothing mattered. He would threaten her and she was totally under his control. Totally his slave.
His captive. Now you tell me how can that happen? Well I want to explain to you how it happens. The Bible says that when two people come together sexually they become one flesh. They become one person in effect.
Doesn't mean that they lose their personalities. But body, soul, and spirit they are united. Paul says that even happens when a man has a relationship with a prostitute.
Low commitment sex. Still there is a unity. God binds people together. It doesn't mean that they are married by the way because marriage also constitutes a covenant. And you see therefore as two people like this have a relationship it is possible that if one man has a demonic spirit not only can there be transference of demonic spirits during that relationship but there can be a tremendous amount of transference of control because you're one. And what that young lady needs to do is to gather together with a number of other people and say in the name of Jesus Christ we destroy, we smash, we break all destructive influence that this evil man has over you. Why do women who are abused seek out men who abuse them? There are several reasons for that by the way.
First of all because a woman feels so filled with shame that she thinks that if a man really has his head screwed on correctly he will abuse her. But also there is demonic seductive powerful control. Let me tell you something if you've been involved in sexual experiences outside of marriage you not only have to ask God to cleanse you though I trust that that has happened but sometimes you also need to destroy in the name of Jesus the destructive influence of what I call a soul tie. Souls that have been tied together in a sexual relationship and all that needs to be broken and put behind you so that you can be free and begin to concentrate in your life to do what God has called you to do. A person with immorality in their background oftentimes find that they are torn emotionally and the reason for the tearing is because their soul has been joined to other partners that must be broken in the name of Christ. This is Pastor Luther I have a very heavy heart for all who are listening today hearing this message and thinking about how it applies to them because of their past and I want to thank you so much for those of you who pray for this ministry and these messages that go to thousands upon thousands of people. I have in my hand a letter from someone who says I recently heard your messages on forgiveness and forgiving others. I then prayed for 10 days that God would bless those who hurt my family.
He's even talking about a murderer. It was hard but then I felt God's healing in my mind my heart and my soul and I shared your sermon with my sister especially the one that was the spark to ignite me getting on my knees. You my friend have a part in these testimonies.
Those of you who support this ministry. You are a part of what we are doing and I want to thank you so much for that partnership. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? Endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts and of course the amount that you give is entirely your decision. Here is what you do because you do need more info.
I hope that you have a pencil handy. You can go to RTWOffer.com. That's RTWOffer.com and when you're there click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us right now at 1-888-218-9337. I'm going to be giving you that contact info again but once again from my heart to yours thank you so much for your prayers for your support standing with us holding up our hands so to speak giving glory to God for this ministry that touches the lives of so many. Here's what you can do to get more info to become an endurance partner.
Go to RTWOffer.com and you've probably heard me say RTWOffer is all one word. RTWOffer.com click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Next time you'll gain more understanding of what drives an abuser. Also, Pastor Lutzer will explain further how Christ can comfort, free and vindicate those who've been abused. Thanks for listening. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
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