The word covenant is not a word I find to be common language, except when one is specifically referring to scriptures in the Old Testament. However, in a recent dream I heard the Lord say, “Renounce old covenants!”
I know that God was not referring to every covenant, but He was specific in His intent. He did mention specifically covenants of regret. A covenant is a contract. He wants His people to renounce the agreements we have unknowingly had with the enemy. The word covenant can obviously be applied in a positive manner, such as a marriage covenant or the way God has chosen to honor His covenant with us. In a marriage, there is a promise and an intent of two parties in mutual agreement to live with one another and share in the stipulations of that contract that both parties agree upon. Even business contracts are often similar in nature. However, in this context the word covenant has a negative connotation. It refers to an agreement or a contract between two parties that is legally binding. Remember, Satan is a legalist. Every devil, including Satan himself, examines us for the legal right to enforce the negative consequences of our actions.
Dictionary.com offers several definitions of the word.
1. An agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
2. Law. an incidental clause in such an agreement.
3. In relationship to law, a covenant is a formal agreement of legal validity, especially one under seal.
It also means a promise to enter into a covenant between two people or parties, a pledge.
Let me reflect back on my dream. In the dream I saw myself asking a question, “Why have I been so angry?” Immediately it was as if I had been taken back in time, about 20-25 years earlier. The Lord was connecting the dots in my understanding about events that happened around that time, and what my emotional frame of mind had been at that time in my life.
During that time, I was incredibly broken. It was before I came to know Christ and I had been caught in the snares of a worldly lifestyle, an abusive relationship and a whole host of other problems resulting from making poor choices. At that time in my life, I rejected myself in many ways because I was emotionally and spiritually unhealthy. I was full of fear, anger and bitterness. Most of that was due to living in rebellion and separation from God, but the pain of a guilty conscience and depression were overwhelming. I couldn’t escape it no matter what I did. I repeatedly overdosed and almost died several times. I had no real will to continue to live because I was so full of self-hatred and hopelessness. I had many people that looked down on me and daily told me I was a loser. The enemy used others around me to degrade me with verbal assaults and condemn who I was as a person and a parent. The result is that I loathed myself and wanted to die. And so, I came into agreement with those voices. I agreed with the voices that told me how unworthy and unacceptable I was. I agreed with the voices that told me I was a bad parent and would never be good for my child. I agreed with the opinions of others that were disappointed in my conduct and had judged me, told me I was unacceptable and rejected me as a human being.
Fast forward to the present. God has set me free from so many things and has radically transformed the person that I am today. What I did not realize until I had that dream is that somehow, all this time later, (and after renouncing many, many things over an extended period of time), is that there was an old covenant between the enemy and myself that was still affecting me.
Healing comes in layers, and only God can choose the timing and the method of revelation that we each need so that we can experience greater levels of healing and freedom. In my dream, I had asked the question, “Why am I so angry?” This has been a question of my heart for some time in relationship to some areas of my life where I felt a disconnect and a lack of ability to nurture some close relationships that were very important to me. I’m not perfect but I hope my transparency will not hinder you, the reader, from being able to receive from me. In an area of my life that should come naturally, (parenting) I still struggle. I feel caught between the person I want to be, and yet unable to fully express the love, peace and joy that I know are mine in Christ. So, I’ve been asking the Lord for a while now to reveal the source of that block. That is what the dream was about. He came to answer the question of my heart and reveal why the block existed.
Apparently, the agreement that I had made with the enemy all those years ago was still a legal contract that the enemy was attempting to enforce. You may ask how that could be? I certainly asked that same question! Yet, this is what the Lord showed me. I took in certain lies and believed them, and they shaped who I became. There were still lies circulating in my belief system that told me I wasn’t a good parent and I wasn't good at loving. I had experienced a lack of love and nurturing in my childhood and I just didn’t have the previous experiences to draw from that would enable me to become the mother and person I wanted to be. Although those may be the facts, it wasn't the truth. The truth is, we are new creations in Christ and we don't have to remain the same. Scripture tells us that the old has passed away and all things have become new.
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, the new has come into being." 2 Corinthians 5:17
I know this scripture well but in certain areas of my life and belief system I was still operating in an old mindset. Somewhere along the line I had rejected this truth in regards to my parenting ability, so unbelief prevented me from this scripture becoming a reality in that part of my life. Not everything, mind you, just parts of it. What I found to be true is that I would repeatedly have this negative self-chatter in my head that focused on my short comings rather than giving myself credit for the things I was doing right. Not regarding everything, but towards certain things that were very important to me. As I started to examine those sort of thoughts last night, the Lord told me to reflect on the things I could honestly say I was doing well. I was surprised at the list I was able to make, considering I can be extremely hard on myself. Then I wondered how on earth I had allowed my thoughts to be taken captive all this time, unraveling the good with the negative, critical, harsh and hard judgments I made against myself. I realized I had not only judged myself, but I was holding my young children to some standards that were pretty difficult for them to meet at times. I found myself yelling a lot more than I wanted to, and felt like I kept blowing it every time I opened my mouth. I wanted off the merry-go-round but didn't know how to make it stop!
In my dream, the Lord brought several people to pray for me and they told me to break the old covenant I had with regret. I said I didn’t know I had made a covenant with regret, but the person in my dream said, “It doesn’t matter if you did it knowingly or unknowingly, you still need to renounce it because the enemy is enforcing it!” That shocked me. As many of you know, I write a huge amount of prayers that deal with renouncing things like this, but that one caught me in a blind spot. We all have blind spots, and I think that was the point the Lord wanted to impress upon me. The enemy hides from us, so it’s the Lord’s job to drive him out of hiding. That’s why we will experience certain areas of our lives where we just seem that for the longest time we can’t seem to get a victory. God shows us the problem, often by making us miserable with our own frustrations and limitations. Then when we get around to asking the right question, He will come with the revelation that helps us understand how to get free.
When the enemy hides from you, God will send those things that will sting your conscience and release a certain amount of pain associated with it, because He wants you to hate that part of your behavior. He is showing you something that the enemy is using against you to keep your heart and mind and your true identity in captivity. This is one of the ways that God leads us out of old behavior and into our true identity in Christ. The new you is better!
“Moreover, the LORD your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed.” Deut. 7:20
"I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. Exodus 23:28
The things that God is driving out are the enemies of your soul that separate you from who you are in Christ.
In John 8:32, Jesus told his disciples that if they continued in His word they would be His disciples, but on their part they would have to learn how to resist evil, obey His commands and trust Him. In doing these things, they would come to understand His teaching, be led by His Spirit, and also learn where their hope and trust were truly anchored – in Him. Jesus’ response is this: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
I feel like this is not just for myself, but for many others, too, because the core principle is applicable to more than just myself. What I understand about covenants is that they are binding until you do something on purpose to break them. When the Lord told me to renounce regret, what I understood (even from a previous dream years ago regarding this topic) is that regret is a spirit, but it’s also an assignment from the enemy. It’s not just a feeling or an emotional response; it’s a demonic entity. As such, we cannot afford to think that we can just shrug off the emotional aspect of it and be done. We must do something intentional to cut off the attachment and demonic assignment. Apostle John Eckhardt, who I consider to be one of the foremost authorities on healing and deliverance, writes about a spirit that also calls itself “Past.” (Eckhardt: Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual, Charisma House, 2014). Regret and Past are witchcraft spirits that have an assignment to keep people locked up in the pain of their past. I had dealt with things of that nature in other areas of my life and thought it was finished. Yet, I had not recognized that in a different area of my life that revolved around parenting issues, I still had a stronghold in my thought life that needed to be torn down.
Recently I have become a grandmother for the second time. I have had the pleasure of holding my new grand baby and loving on her, and to be honest, it’s that flashback feeling so many parents experience when they look at their grandchild and feel like they’re holding their own children all over again. But, with that joy also triggered a twinge of regret at not having been the parent my older daughter needed when she was young. So many times I’ve wished I had a do-over with my daughter and go back and try to correct mistakes I made along the way. I wish I could undo the pain I caused her. I think that somehow knowing she still struggles with heart issues because of things I was responsible for, has held me in a place where maybe I was even still holding myself accountable for all that. What I've come to realize is that regret is also a form of self-punishment, whether we intend it to be or not. I had to choose to, once again, forgive myself. I had to tell myself that I was released from my past and I would not continue to hold onto any regret. I broke that agreement once and for all. Maybe as you read this something is speaking to you about your own need to let go.
One thing I’ve realized is that we can’t change the past. In fact, regret over the past is not always tied to our own failures and mistakes, but a feeling of what we had hoped could be. It’s tied to things that we longed for but never became a reality. Even as I'm writing this I know that's a big one for a lot of people. Hopes and dreams that got lost along the way or just plain destroyed. Regret can take many forms. It can be tied to people, situations or relationships. Sometimes people need to renounce soul ties to individuals that they feel are tied to regret, loss or disappointment. Regret is defined as feeling of remorse or sorrow for one’s actions, but it is also to think of something (or someone) with a sense of loss, disappointment or dissatisfaction. It is distress of the mind, or sorrow for what has been done or failed to be done. It is, in a sense, hope deferred that made your heart sick with unrealized longings. It involves wrongs that were committed or errors that were made, and it means to lament, mourn, sorrow and grieve. The strongman spirit over all of these is the spirit of heaviness. Well, guess what all these things do? They rob a person of joy, peace, love, patience, kindness and contentment. All those good things are replaced with criticisms, judgments, impatience, harshness, restlessness, irritability and lack of peace. Sound familiar? It was for me. Maybe for you, too. If that’s your struggle, then the good news is, now you know how to direct your prayer. But, before I offer a prayer, I want to encourage your heart.
Many people turn to others to seek help from their emotional pain, and though that is not wrong, I urge you to be careful about others that simply agree with you. If a person never really works towards freedom and healing they will stay stuck in wilderness seasons of their lives and left with the misery that tends to make a person feel bitter. You can break free with God’s help. God knows the hurt, pain and longing in each of our hearts. Although we cannot change past events, we can put our trust in God. He can make all things new, which I translate to mean, He can give us something new that fulfills the longing in our heart. He can heal the areas of our brokenness so that we no longer feel the pain any more, but enjoy life and those he has put in our life so that we truly become whole. He is the healer of sorrows. The One who wipes away our tears. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience His touch. He wants to heal. His promise is to bind up our wounds and restore us, to give us a good future.
Your current state of life is not all that He has for you. Look to Him as your hope. He is the Creator and can create all that you need to make you whole.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11,12
Whether I came into agreement with the enemy knowingly or unknowingly, I now take the authority you have given me and break all ungodly covenants with the spirits of darkness. I renounce and repent for any agreements I have made in the spirit realm with demonic entities known as Regret, Past, Shame, Sorrow, Grief, Criticism, Bitterness, Unforgiveness, Irritability, Strife, Anger and Heaviness. Let these spirits be bound in the name and authority of Jesus Christ and sent back to the abyss created for them. I choose to forgive myself and anyone else that I have held responsible for my pain and disappointment. I forgive myself for any pain, offense or disappointment I have caused others. I also renounce any ungodly soul ties to (Declare names of individuals) that are connected to feelings of anger, disappointment, unforgiveness, loss and grief over lost hopes and dreams. I submit to You, Lord, and resist the enemy. I command all demonic spirits to leave me now and never return. I ask Your Holy Spirit to continue to release revelation that will lead me into greater levels of freedom and inner healing. Let peace, love and joy be released in my life now. I also ask You, Father, to create the new things in my life that will continue to bring healing, wholeness, contentment, peace and joy, in Jesus name. Amen.