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Another Full Circle Brings Healing to My Heart

Jesus said, “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life!” (Luke 14:26)

This verse along with many others were used out of context during my 13 years of spiritual abuse that began 25 years ago.

I was reminded of this fact at the very conference I attended last week, Write to Publish, where I first met Carla Williams … the wife of Tim Williams, the villain in my story. The enemy’s plan to deceive me with not only this Scripture, but so many others out of context and I found their evil intent was well underway as I was drawn into the net.


Yet, 12 years ago, God opened my eyes to the deception I was under and ever since then I have asked Him to redeem and restore every scripture, song, and practice that had been hijacked by the enemy through this time in my life.


Over these years of healing, layer by layer, I’ve begged God to make the Scriptures used as a weapon brand new me. To restore the musicians and authors they used to prove their theology was sound when it was anything but.


So much of this is a reminder of how the enemy uses credible things to try to prove himself right in our eyes. After all, he quoted scripture, right? So, it only stands to reason that false preachers would do the same, choosing well known performers and authors to hold up as a standard that (supposedly) agrees with the agenda they promote for their own selfish gain.


Tim Williams held up Michael Card’s and Keith Green’s lyrics, and Andrew Murray’s book Humility to prove his doctrine true. He used cherry-picked Scriptures to do the same.


The lyric to Michael Card’s song, “God’s Own Fool,” affirmed their teaching when placed within their context of bondage:

So come lose your life for a carpenter’s son

For a madman who died for a dream

And you’ll have the faith His first followers had

And you’ll feel the weight of the beam

Yet, even with these lyrics God has been faithful to answer my prayers by redeeming and restoring every last Scripture, song, and book.


At Write to Publish 2023, during the closing concert by Michael Card, He redeemed every one of Michael Card’s songs with such winsome grace that, as usual, I ended up in a puddle of tears. But they were good tears. Cleansing tears.


I heard this next set of lyrics but this time they brought freedom to the one who holds loosely to the things in this world as the words were sung:

Every heart needs to be set free

From possessions that hold it so tight

‘Cause freedom’s not found

In the things that we own

It’s the power to do what is right

With Jesus, our only possession

And giving becomes our delight

And we can’t imagine the freedom we find

From the things we leave behind

Glorious freedom is found in Jesus! He is all I needed, but it took years for me to find this to be true.

After the concert a sweet moment happened when I was even able to tell Michael how the enemy had used his lyrics, but God brought it all full circle with yet another wave of healing to my heart.

From that night a different song has played in my mind from his concert that reminds me Jesus does indeed, redeem and restore.

Jubilee, Jubilee

Jesus is that Jubilee

Debts forgiven, slaves set free

Jesus is our Jubilee

Forgiven and set free is now the song I sing! What song do you sing to remind you of the freedom you have in Christ? I would love to know how the words of the song you sing encourage you.

Thanks for spending time with me today!


Athena Dean Holtz
Welcome, I'm Athena!

I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.

Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!

The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.

Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!

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