Personal breakthrough comes when you deal with your past hurts and turn to God.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
The Bible tells the story of a man, Jephthah, who despite being rejected by his birth mother, unwanted by his stepmother and a reminder of shame to his father, led a life of breakthroughs when he reached out to God.
This was the story used by Mike Connell, senior pastor of Bay City Outreach Centre in Hastings, New Zealand, to exemplify how God helps His people overcome rejection and shame when they call upon His name.
Connell is no stranger to the congregation of City Harvest Church. Since its early days, he has been making yearly visits to minister in its weekend services, bringing with him the anointing of God for inner healing and deliverance.
Last weekend, Connell’s message once again dealt with the inner hurts of humanity as he ministered in CHC’s main church services at its Jurong West premises. A total of six services were held, three each on Saturday and Sunday. Because of the tight schedule of back-to-back meetings, Connell devoted a substantial amount of time for ministry in the last service on each day to ensure that members who needed ministry could come back for prayer.
Connell started the sermon by sharing with the congregation that God has a great destiny for all of them no matter what kind of background they come from. His sermon centered on the biblical character of Jephthah who possessed a less than honorable family background, being born out of wedlock and subsequently rejected by his own family.
But Jephthah rose above the injustices he faced in life and in his deepest need, turned to God and cried out to Him for blessing. Jephthah took the necessary steps to deal with the shame and bitterness in his life and eventually went on to become a judge over Israel. He was also remembered in the book of Hebrews as a hero of faith alongside Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Connell declared that holding on to bitterness hinders one from entering into their destiny because God needs to work with the hearts of His people before He can bring them into their breakthrough. God wants to heal hurts and bitterness of the past, so that the believer can advance in his walk with Christ, living out the gospel victoriously.
“When you have unforgiveness in your heart, it’s like drinking poison and hoping someone else will die,” Connell said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
At the end of the service, Connell gave an altar call for salvation and many people responded to the love of God. The weekend was also a time of great rejoicing as those who came back for ministry in the last service of each day received prayer and personal breakthroughs.
Connell’s trip to Singapore also included a week of teaching and ministry at CHC’s School Of Theology where he lectured on topics such as moving in the gifts, prophecy, inner healing and deliverance, at times engaging the students in practical sessions in the area of ministering to others.