The Lord spoke to me recently and clearly about something in myself that needed to be laid to rest. I committed to post it on all of my media platforms. Here it is:
Having been raised by parents who pioneered in both inner healing and prophetic ministry, I grew up under fire as unjust criticisms and accusations were hurled at them by fellow Christians at a time when these things seemed so new to most in the church. This often caused devastating pain and hurt that no one who has not experienced it can hope to understand. In defense, and in the attempt to reassure themselves, the language my parents used around our home was often, “Well, those people are just sick! We have the best and it’s just not recognized.” And then there was criticism spoken of others, at least in the privacy of our family, though seldom or never in public. I honor my parents for bearing up under it all and determining to keep on being outwardly giving and loving, no matter what, even when it involved their enemies.
Lately, as I’ve sought the depths of holiness and healing for the sake of the kingdom and my Lord, the Holy Spirit has revealed the fullness of something in myself that I’d never seen before because it had been so deeply programmed into me in the heat of childhood persecution and pain aimed at our family. Deep down inside has been a root of that old defensive hubris I grew up with, that we Sandfords are right where so many are so wrong. Please know that in this confession I’m speaking only for the condition of my own heart and not that of my siblings. This deep “root of bitterness” in me has created distance between me and others in the prophetic and charismatic world where God desired relationship, and it has locked up areas of my own heart where I have longed for freedom. It has led to some attitudes I now find disgusting that I have held toward other leaders, even when I didn’t speak them out loud.
Although the root was wounding suffered at a very tender age that produced insecurity and a need for validation, the need for validation in adult life too often manifested in a form of arrogance that I believe has affected many who may not even know they were affected by it. The important thing is that God knows and I know. I am therefore humbling myself to openly confess this sin before the world in repentance and I am asking forgiveness of the body of Christ and of my fellow prophetic voices. I am coming to cherish the contributions of many I once discounted to some degree. Some are now becoming friends I trust.
Holiness matters and it goes well beyond the traditional list of moral issues. Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” This heart is broken. Because I affect so many people nationally and internationally, I felt I needed to say this openly on my platforms. Where sin in leadership is concerned, John Wimber used to speak of, “full disclosure at the level of one’s influence.” So here it is, for all the world to see. Holiness matters…