My journey to freedom began quite some time ago. Growing up in a Christian home, I always knew about Jesus. I knew that He was the Son of God, and that He came to die for the sins of the world. As a child, I was even ready to accept Christ into my life as Lord and to be baptized.
Fast forward to my teenage years, and I had the kind of relationship with the Lord where I would turn to Him whenever I needed anything, but immediately after He answered my prayers, I would find excuses or reasons to explain what had happened rather than accepting that Jesus had come through for me. I always knew that He existed, but I told myself that I would “get right” with him later on in life. I thought I needed to “live while I’m young” before I surrendered my life to God. This led to me coming into agreement with many things the devil was throwing my way, such as homosexuality, lust, greed and many other forms of perversion. I was convinced that I didn’t need a Savior, that I was perfectly fine on my own.
I had been under the impression that the things of this world were the only things that could satisfy me. I never understood the measure of freedom that can be found in the name of Jesus. In the summer of 2018, I had my first real encounter with the Lord since I had fallen away from Him as a teenager. I was at a wedding, and I began having a panic attack (something that had occurred previously that week). My mother began praying for the Lord’s peace to cover me, and instantly the attack ceased. This encounter got me thinking about whether or not it was time to accept Jesus, and then that fall, the Lord met me right where I was. I was studying at UNB Fredericton, and the Lord broke in and wrapped me up in His love, like a blanket. In that moment, I knew for certain that He was real and that nothing could ever change His love for me. I was still struggling with everything from my past at that time, and I didn’t understand the freedom that is freely accessible to all of us. This went on for quite some time. I was baptized in December of 2018 without the understanding that baptism is a death to self (Romans 6:3-5). I had the understanding that it was simply a public declaration of my faith, and so after my baptism I had no idea what was next. I was searching for the next milestone, the next “public declaration.” I was wandering in confusion, still living as my old man. In March of 2019, I encountered the Holy Spirit in a life-changing way at Eastgate House of Prayer. For the first time in my life, I felt the healing presence of the Lord, and I felt free from all my past strongholds. These strongholds began to creep in again when I moved to Ottawa for the summer of 2019 and struggled to establish a community of believers while juggling school. There is such a gratefulness in my heart for that season, because while I may have been overcome by darkness at times, there were still many powerhouses of the Lord who continued to speak life into me every time I saw them.
Upon returning home at the end of the summer, I had been battling the same demons that had tormented for me a long portion of my life. I had moments of breakthrough, but the lies kept creeping back in and I didn’t know what to do. In November of 2019, I finally received the breakthrough that I had been searching for. I developed a deeper understanding of the covenant that we live in through the mini school of the Spirit put on at Eastgate House of Prayer by Dean Briggs (IHOPKC). I knew that I had to be baptized again with the understanding that when I went down into the water, everything from my past including my past self would die, and when I was raised, I would be raised to newness of life and no attack from the enemy could possibly stick. This new revelation, combined with a teaching on freedom from a missionary at Eastgate House of Prayer, allowed me to understand what Jesus meant when He said in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” Jesus came to set us free from anything and everything that we may be struggling with. He came so we may have life, and life more abundantly (John 10:10). This life more abundantly that He speaks of does not entail being wrapped up in all of our old bondage. We are to leave it all behind and never look back.
On January 1st, 2020, I was baptized into this newness of life. Everything from my past died, and Jesus is transforming me by the renewing of my mind. The measure of freedom that He has given me continues to amaze me and I am expectant that He will continue to give me a greater measure of freedom with every day that passes.