Spiritual Abuse


"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. - John 8:36

I realized I am FREE. Free to dance, free to sing, free to love and free to be loved by myself and by others, especially free to experience all of God’s Glory and all of the Father’s love towards me. It was a powerful experience hearing my Father whisper in my ear, that He loved me!

Most believers I personally know, realize in the mind, that He loves us, but when we know it in the heart, freedom is the end result. He loves me even with all my faults and past bad choices and the many mistakes I have made and will continue to make before I die.  I AM LOVED!

It simply doesn’t matter to Him who I was. What matters is who I am today, His child, His son’s bride and He said I am free and I am, no more bondage no more baggage.
My suitcase is packed with lots of good stuff, grace, faith, power, and the Name of Jesus is on my lips. He has defined me according to His terms and His written Word and now it is time to be sent out to share the “Good News.”

Hum, what a journey these past nearly 40 years have been. I was not free prior to my life experience September 26, 1978. Oh no I was walking bent over with a very heavy burden on my shoulders, downcast, tormented and full of fear and failure. The good news, Jesus set me free.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; Therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1

YOKE: Serving to couple two things together, is used (1) metaphorically, (a) of submission to authority, Matt 11:29,30, of Christ's "yoke," not simply imparted by Him but shared with Him; (b) of bondage, Acts 15:10 and Gal 5:1, of bondage to the Law as a supposed means of salvation; (c) of bond service to masters, 1 Tim 6:1

Vine's Expository Dictionary

Because I am yoked with Christ I can walk in the freedom He provided on the Cross. And I can remain free. And I can speak and train others how to become free. I can love you, serve you and expose flesh that is in operation stealing your joy and His goodness and His freedom.

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." - Gal 5:13

Shortly after my first year being a believer I gave up my freedom to dance, sing, and just be silly because I was loved. I was trying to please the flesh. I wanted acceptance from other believers and the systems they set up for new converts to "be right with God" didn’t allow that type of worship or silliness.  Praise God today I am free! And freedom is always dangerous to the flesh. It is also dangerous to the devil because freedom means the Spirit of the Lord is upon me.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” - 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)

"Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?" - Isaiah 58:6

Today with the help of Jesus, I will keep standing firm and I will not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. My past yoke of slavery was rooted in fear. It was rooted in rejection. It was rooted in anger and bitterness both from the lack of love shown to me and from the things done to me that was not my Fathers plan.

It has been my journey with lots of long hard looking at and examining my own heart motives and being honest and truthful with self to find my freedoms in Christ. Every step has been worth the time, the test, and the mess I needed to face and learn from.

Some nuggets I learned along my journey.

We need one another and we need the testimony of one another in order to really find out where we have misplaced our own values. Where I once needed to believe others loved me, I am free to accept many do not and some never will. Today I really am okay with that. I am free to love them even if they don’t love me and I am free to shake the dust off my feet and walk on. I am free to be all God predestined me to be and you can be to.

    •    We are free to disagree. Honesty gives us the right to say, I don’t agree with that.
    •    We are free to be wrong, to fail and make mistakes.
    •    We are free to express love towards others and about our love of the Lord.
    •    We are free to cry, free to laugh, to huge and to say, NO, this is abuse.
    •    We never have to yoke with flesh again.

Most Christians easily understand the "flesh" when we think of the sin of this world system. Usually we think of sexual sins first, because they are always shoved in our face. T.V. radio, billboards, most entertainment goes against purity and devotion to your spouse, kids, family etc.

But, how easily do we see “flesh sins” within the forms of our church systems?

Quoted from: "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse"

Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining, or decreasing that person’s spiritual empowerment.

Spiritual abuse occurs when a leader uses his or her spiritual position to control or dominate another person. Overriding the feelings and opinions of another without regard to what will result in the other person’s state of living, emotions or spiritual well being.

It is spiritual abuse to use shame and guilt and fear to control or cause others to do what is wanted. Putdowns, name calling, belittling, comparing one person to another or asking, “What’s wrong with you?”

This belief system creates a yoke called,  self-focused, preoccupied with doing things right and keeping those who are in places of authority happy.

Manipulation is used and unspoken rules felt but often not even understood just known that they are firmly in place.

Idolatry is alive. It’s more important to be a good you name the church title______ than a loving Christian.

Preoccupation with fault and blame. Reaction is swift and furious toward the one who fails to perform the way the system deems necessary to prove your alliance to Christ which is actually a doctrine believed in this system.

Shame requires confession - sometimes not even real truth of offense, often deepening wounds  already unhealed. But it brings fear and control.

In a shame-based system the victims must learn how to deny any thought, opinion or feeling that is different from those of the people in authority.

Secrets are kept; Lies are believed, defenses strengthened and people remain stuck and unhealed. The abuser and the victim both suffer.

Many times horrible illegal misconduct is exposed about elders, pastors strong leaders, but the victim rarely is heard nor gets help. The parents are highly discouraged from going to the authorities that God set in place; no it must be handled quietly and discreetly only through the church system in place.

In the spiritually abusive system the Christian life, which should be joy filled becomes joyless. Disillusioned about God and spiritual things, yoked not to joy, freedom and love but man’s  rebellious set of rules and regulations.

Trusting others becomes more difficult. You feel like you lost your first love. Where are you JESUS!

The message you keep hearing preached and taught is simply it is your fault. You have missed the mark, confess your sins and try harder.

We are NOT to be busy bodies nor gossips, but we are to bring healing and life to those in need. That means we have to be able to allow deeply hurt and broken people a safe place to be heard, be listened too, and release some pain. God is in the healing business and when He is in the equation forgiveness and freedom go hand in hand.

Freedom came at a very high and painful cost for our Lord.  Let us find how to yoke only to the truth that sets us free.

It is for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. YOU were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. - Galatians 4:15, 5:1-7

Your Prayer

Heavenly Father,
I forgive those in my life who did not love me as your have required. I ask that you help me heal and  I declare with heaven that they are forgive them from my heart.  I truly seek your forgiveness towards their sins as well.  Fill me with the power of grace and the Holy Spirit so I might fully embrace your truths and learn to grown in the power of the love you shared on the cross for my life. I am yoked with you and walk in the light and the freedoms you created for your bride to walk in. I love you Lord.


~Lynda Bowers