Years ago at a Christian Booksellers Convention in Orlando, I interviewed Dennis Jernigan, one of my favorite singer/songwriters. He had written a book as a companion to his CD “This is My Destiny.” The book went by the same name with the subtitle of Finding Your Identity in Christ.
Dennis Jernigan had been delivered from homosexuality and was married with nine children. He didn’t keep his past a secret but presented it often as part of his testimony.
During the interview we discussed spiritual freedom. He brought up Psalm 107:1-2.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His loving kindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so whom He has set free from the hand of the adversary.”
He expressed it shouldn’t matter what he had been set free from—that he had to tell his story. Otherwise, “how are others who are in the same bondage going to know they can be free if someone who’s been set free doesn’t say so?”
When I asked Dennis if his being set free from homosexuality was instantaneous or a process he answered, “yes.” He explained this concept using the story of Lazarus.
When Lazarus came out of the grave, “he was as alive as he would ever be, but he could be more free.” His problem was that he still had his grave clothes on. Although others may settle for this, Dennnis said that he didn’t want to “just scoot around on my tiptoes in my grave clothes. I wanted them ripped off, so I could run around and tell, ‘This is what God can do!’”
When I walked away from that interview, I realized I wanted that too–to tell others, “This is what God can do!” as far as the freedom I had experienced through Christ. I knew also that freedom was a process, and that I was not yet completely free.
I wasn’t as free as I wanted to be, but I was so much more free than I used to be.
On the evening of my interview, I attended Dennis’s concert at a local church. What impressed me about his singing was that he did not just sing to you. He sang (as he put it) “songs over you.” He sang healing songs that went deep into the soul.
One of his songs that has deeply affected me is “Who Can Satisfy Your Soul?” (Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTQaU5IFMS8)
That evening God set me even more free. Dennis asked us to pray before one of his songs and ask God to give back what the enemy had stolen. I wept as I thought about the enemy stealing my childhood which because of certain circumstances and events had been filled with fears, insecurities, and a sense of feeling unloved and unprotected.
“How can you give my childhood back to me?” I asked the Lord tearfully.
“Let me be Your Daddy,” was His answer.
He showed me I had been turning to food for comfort and to fill other emotional needs rather than turning to Him. I confessed I had a problem trusting Him.
God promised me that whatever I lacked in my childhood He would make up to me even though I was now an adult—if I would fully turn to Him and strive to depend completely on Him.
I have. And He has.
That’s what God can do! And He can do it for you!
What about you? Are you still in your grave clothes longing to have them removed? Do you want to be on the other side of freedom declaring to others, “This is what God can do!?” Lean in close to Him and allow Him to set You free. He wants to free you even more than you want to be free. Will you let Him do it?