At Capturing Courage International Ministries we are called to work at the roots of difficulty and despair. Imagine, if you will, a tree. The tree has branches and on these branches there are fruits. The tree has a trunk and connected and below the surface of the soil are the roots of the tree.
Consider that the branches of the tree bear the bad fruit that we see in our communities. There is poverty, sexual abuses, injustice, corruption, educational difficulties, family breakdown, modern slavery, sex trafficking, and more.
Often, we look at these bad fruits and we are drawn to action. Now, action is always good and right and necessary, absolutely necessary. We must enter into these problems and make a better way for everyone involved.
At the same time, we must also begin to learn about the roots that are feeding these bad fruits. We might, after all, spend our entire lifetimes picking the bad fruit only to have it growing back again and again.
It is only in Jesus Christ, by his name, blood, and power, that we can remove the bad roots, that feed these bad fruits. The roots that feed bad fruits are things like selfishness, pride, bitter-root judgments, hatred, lust, idolatry, disobedience, fears, lies we believe, and more.
We read of the time to come in Revelation, “I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:3-5a
The entire plan of our Lord is to redeem, restore, and make new. And though there is a final and future reality to this plan of the Lord there is also the bringing of the Kingdom of God to earth here and now. We can participate in the healing and restoration of our communities and nations; this is, after all, the call of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to address the roots of our lives, our communities, and our nations. It is something that begins with us.
In 2 Chronicles we are told, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
It is imperative, as the body of Christ, that we take the time to wait on the Lord, asking him to reveal to us where we have participated in the roots that lead to our (corporate) bad fruits.
The more we can come in repentance and humility before the Lord, the greater will be the healing of our lands. The Bible is clear, it is the body of Christ, you and I, that are called to be salt and light in the world.
Imagine that you had a big pot of food. And into that pot you put just a bit of salt — it would make all the food taste better.
Imagine that you were looking into a dark room. You are unsure about entering that dark room for it looks scary and … dark. But imagine that you are wearing the light of the world, imagine that as you enter that dark room that the light you bring with you illuminates the room — the darkness goes away simply because of the presence of the light.
This is the call of Jesus Christ and of his gospel. He is good news to a world brought low by the weight of sin and roots that feed bad fruits. Jesus is the light that we wear as we enter into the difficulties around us. In Jesus we become salt that preserves and makes the whole world a little more glad.
There are many who do not yet know Jesus Christ. There are many who are not yet comfortable with repentance and humility. There are many who have not experienced Christ as the answer to their situations. But you have.
You, as a child of The King, are called to participate in the healing and restoration of this world unto Jesus Christ. And we begin by taking responsibility for what has gone wrong around us.
Consider Daniel who was an amazing man of God. In Daniel chapter 9 we find him taking responsibility for the sins of his people. Now, Daniel had been but a teenager when Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians (he carried no personal responsibility for those sins that had been committed many, many years before he was even born), and yet we find him in humility standing in the gap to declare and intercede and to make a way for both the spiritual and literal freedom of his people.
He was obviously past all blaming and condemnation. He had obviously invested in forgiveness and of trusting his own captivity to the Lord. And then, in great maturity and spiritual authority, he prayed and confessed and repented of the sins that had resulted in their captivity.
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to your servants and prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.” Daniel 9:4-6
Let me say it again, Daniel confessed to sins that were not personally his. Notice how many times he said ‘We’. He took on the sins of the people in order to bring them before the Lord in confession and repentance. We know today, that this was a participatory act in the heart of the Lord for the freedom of all peoples. We must learn from Daniel’s example.
In fact, the intercession of Daniel was a prophetic act foretelling the ministry of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus came and lived a sinless life and then took on 100% responsibility for the sins of the whole world.
We can also participate in this for our neighbourhoods, our communities, and our nations. As we come before the Lord confessing to our own heart sins, and then the sins of our the areas in which we live, we bring the healing of our Lord. We bring the heart of God to our nations. And we are all healed and made a little more glad. This is the work of the body of Christ. This is the salt and light that we are equipped and empowered to bring. And it all begins with confession and repentance from our heart and lips.
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 52:17
So, we look at the roots that feed the bad fruits found in our communities, and we ask the Holy Spirit to begin a deep cleansing and healing work, first and foremost, in our own lives. And as we find the Lord’s freedom and healing deep within our own judgments, our own hurts and hatreds, our own disobedience, and the lies that we have believed, we are then spiritually equipped and called to enter into confession and repentance for our communities and our nations.
In this place we stand in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ declaring freedom over our lands and the Kingdom of God begins to inhabit our lives and our communities here and now.
“God, we come in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We confess God that we have been believing lies about you and about this world. We have thought God that all the problems are about everyone else. We have not stood in the gap and taken on the responsibility for our lands or our people. We have been glad to let them perish in their sin. God forgive us. Give us eyes to see that we can take responsibility in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and that we can bring our personal and corporate sins to the cross where they are washed away by the blood of The Lamb. Begin to show us the strongholds in our communities and give us courage to take responsibility for these before you. We want to participate in your healing over this whole earth Father. Thank you. We bless your name.”
Note: to pray through sins to complete freedom and healing in the Lord click on this LINK to be taken to the healing prayer process that we use at CCIM. Gather as people of God and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the sins and bad roots that can be brought to the cross. Begin to take responsibility and to declare healing to your community. May the Lord bless you and may the Holy Spirit lead you.