The little boy steps up to bat only to strikeout. His Dad shouts from the stands, “What’s the matter with you? Anyone could hit that ball!” The young boy determines never to play sports again. He doesn’t realize that God gifted him with athletic ability. He never got the chance to find out.
The teenage girl comes home after a night of partying. She knew she should have never slipped off alone with that boy. He had a reputation for taking advantage of girls. Morning comes, and her mom asks if she’ll be ready soon to head out on a family picnic. She declines. “Not feeling well,” she says. Once the house is empty, she sits in front of her mirror and yells, “I hate you! You’re so stupid! You’ll never overcome this!”
A young husband plans a romantic getaway with his wife. But as soon as they arrive at the hotel, he turns on the TV to watch a ballgame. Immediately she hears the words running through her mind; “God hasn’t made you happy. Sam hasn’t made you happy. Come with me, and I’ll make you happy.” This dear woman believed a lie and inwardly vowed that she would/could never fully trust her husband or God again. That young husband was my guest recently on Susie Larson Live.
Dr. Sam Storms joined me to talk about his book, “Understanding Spiritual Warfare: A Comprehensive Guide.” Dr. Storm writes:
Ann never told me about how my actions had affected her. She never mentioned vowing in her heart not to entrust her soul to God or me. For the next eighteen years, I lived in ignorance of the entire event. She never said a word about the voice that echoed in her mind every day: “God hasn’t made you happy. Sam hasn’t made you happy; come with me, I’ll make you happy.” It’s important to understand that, despite this experience, we had a reasonably good and stable marriage. We genuinely loved each other and had been blessed with two wonderful daughters. But Ann was plagued almost daily with the consequence of the inner vow she had made.
It would be a full eighteen years later when Ann would find herself at a conference where God moved her to receive prayer. And she was miraculously set free in the most unsensational yet beautiful way.
How do you know if an inner vow is still impacting you today? Ask the Lord to show you what you cannot see. Ask Him to search your heart and reveal any internal “agreements” you’ve made with the enemy of your soul. They may sound something like:
• I will never trust another man
• I will never take another risk
• I will never fully trust God
• I will never open up my heart fully to another person
• I refuse to make any new friends
• I will never be loved
• I will never be good at anything
• Nobody cares about me (therefore, I will care for myself)
• I can never succeed, so I won’t even try
As you search your heart and spend time with God, He will reveal what you need to know.
Call to Me, and I will answer you. I will tell you of great things, things beyond what you can imagine, things you could never have known.
You must know, dear one, that God wants you set free more than you want to be set free. When His Spirit takes up residence in your soul, He works continuously for your restoration! He is committed to your freedom.
It might be wise to seek a godly counselor, mentor, or pastor to pray you through this prayer. But you can just as easily pray this prayer on your own. Read this powerful passage:
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Let’s pray together.
I come to You today as Your child, Your joint-heir. You overcame, and because I belong to You, I will overcome! I submit to Your authority, Your rule, and reign in my life. I claim total protection from the enemy as I pray this prayer. In fact, in the Name of Jesus, I forbid the enemy to speak or influence this time of prayer! I claim my place in the Kingdom by the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ. And now, O, Lord, I confess, that in a moment of weakness, I made an inner vow that is in direct conflict with Your heart and Your plans for me. Father, forgive me for making the vow that I will never___________________. I did not know what I was doing, Lord. I do now. I renounce this vow, and I reject the lie associated with this vow. I want everything You have for me! In the Name of Jesus Christ, I cancel every attachment to this vow and declare it null and void. I declare that the opposite is true! I am_____________________(make your faith declaration here). I am loved, called, and chosen by God. His promises are true for me! Jesus’ victory on the Cross was enough for me! Thank you, Jesus, for winning a sound victory on my behalf. Help me to receive all You have for me and believe everything You say about me. In Your precious Name, I pray. Amen.
Laura Harris Smith recently offered some excellent advice for refuting the lies (and even our agreements with) the enemy. She bought some washable markers and wrote biblical truths on her mirror that contradicted every lie. And every time she looked at herself, she saw God’s Word spoke those truths to herself. Great idea.
Jesus is profoundly committed to your healing and wholeness. May you follow where He leads.When you make an inner vow