Walking into the conference room at an office building across town from where we lived, I made my way past rows of folding chairs and took an aisle seat near the front. A few women were sitting quietly with their Bibles; others were visiting with the person seated next to them. Those standing were tall and regal apparently prosperous and self-confident. Appearance was a huge issue with me and I always strived to look my best, but obviously my clothing did not come from the Regency Room at Rich’s, nor did I frequent the hair salons and spas in fashionable Buckhead. My hunger to know God overcame the intimidation that I felt when I was in the presence of people who looked as though they had it all together. Knowing that God had accepted me “just as I am” gave me the boldness to go into places beyond my comfort zone.
The fashionably-dressed Bible teacher stepped to the podium, greeted us and began her in-depth study in Ephesians. To this day I have no idea what anyone thought about the tears that coursed down my cheeks. My mind was being washed with the water of the word that I heard that day, and I knew that my behavior would have to change. How could I as a human-being imitate the Creator of the Universe? As the speaker expounded on Ephesians 5 I saw it! Although I had numerous issues with my earthly father, I had patterned myself after his image; I tried to imitate him because I desperately desired his approval. An exchange of “learned behavior” for a “new behavior” began that day. I wanted to imitate my Heavenly Father who already approved of me…not because of my performance, but because he loved me before the foundation of the world.
In the name of Jesus, I tear down, demolish, annihilate, crush and smash wrong, ungodly strongholds (thought patterns) handed down to me from my forefathers. I capture and bring into obedience mindsets that are in opposition to the Word of God. Forgive me for exalting my family culture, customs and traditions above your Word, and loving the world more than I love you. Forgive me for being stiff-necked, stubborn and rebellious, and insisting on having my own way. I repent of and renounce selfishness and self-centeredness. Father, I thank you for loving me, and for cleansing me from all unrighteousness in the strong and majestic name of Jesus. Amen.
Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6