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Church Talk: He set me free from my fear

Friday 28 June 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Church Talk: He set me free from my fear
I pray this talk will encourage you to walk through the caverns of your heart with Jesus and help you to walk in freedom with your children, writes Pastor Paul Kauri. Creator: Lacheev Roman/Credit: Studio Romantic - stock.adobe.com/24062703

A number of years ago when Tania and I were still living in Auckland, I scaled “my” hill, a place I often visit to pray. From this place I would often pray and watch over our city, and the 49,000+ citizens who lived within her boundaries, at that time.

However, on one particular occasion things were different. My spirit was extremely agitated. My mind was not focused with matters of my city, instead a much deeper burden shouted in the corridors of my heart and spirit. I needed to ventilate, and there was a volcano brewing within me, that was about to explode … toward the Almighty.

I paced back and forth on that hill wondering how to address God with this fire burning inside, till finally I could hold it no more and I shouted, “God I’m so angry with her!”

Her. That’s our daughter. The oldest of our two girls. Memories of this beautiful young girl flooded my mind. This young girl who’s gorgeous curly locks earned her the nickname, “Scally Wag”. This vibrant, colourful, ball of energy who lit up the room when she entered, and a loud extravert who was always heard before she was seen. This was ‘Her’, our beautiful little girl.

Although she wasn’t so young anymore, she was now 15, and she was exercising her sovereignty (her God-given freedom to choose) and exercising it in all its fullness. Those with teenagers and those who have had teenagers are either nodding their heads or smiling right now, with empathy.

I found myself falling for the illusion that I needed to control her behaviour. I was blinded by my own insecurities of what others would think, due to my role in the church. I was a Pastor, and my daughter was being a rebel, and she was good at it too! I felt the shame … boy did I feel the shame – but that’s a story for another time.

I was informed of yet another one of her illegal activities and her elusiveness to the law, and this news sent me back up the hill. With my face toward heaven, I cried out, “God I’m so angry with her!”

At that moment God responded to my cry, replying, “Paul, why are you so angry?”

His response shocked me. I was looking for comfort and counsel from God, instead, I felt like he was asking what was wrong with me. So, I barked back, “what do you mean why am I so angry! Can’t you see what she’s doing?”

“Yes, but why does it make you angry?” was His calm response.

Both His question and His calm response annoyed me. I was beginning to feel the cause of my agitation shift from my daughter, toward heaven.

Wanting to justify my position I yelled, “because what she’s doing is illegal and it’s going to hurt someone!” Feeling like I had given a great and obvious response, God replied,

“So why does it make you angry?”

Blinded by my anger, I started searching for answers to defend my position and to show the Almighty that it is not me who should be questioned, but rather my daughter, I replied;

“Because what she’s doing is not only illegal, but she will hurt herself, she will hurt someone else and, her mother and I will be dragged into all its implications, and I don’t want that!”

“But Paul ….  Why does it make you angry?”

His question took a different turn.

This time it had a different tone.

It didn’t feel like he was questioning me.  It felt like he was searching me.

I paused for a long while, pondering God’s question and searching deep within.

Then, as if God had just taken me for a walk within the caverns of my heart … I saw it, and when I did, I wept.

Through my tears I quietly replied,

“Because I’m scared, God.

“I’m scared for my girl.

“I’m afraid that her actions will result in long term consequences for her or someone else

“I’m fearful of the pain that her mother and I will go through, walking this out with her.

“God I’m so scared”

“Ahhh Paul...” God replied, “I have not given you a spirit of fear. I gave you a Spirit of Love, Power and a Sound Mind.” (2tim 1:7)

At that moment, on that hill, God caused a seismic shift to take place within me. He gave me a revelation to help me see where I had been standing all these years. During those adolescent years, not only was I parenting from a position of fear, I was also praying from a position of fear! I was gobsmacked that I had positioned myself on a basis that was opposite to what God had given us. God helped me to see, that my fear manifested itself as anger toward my children.

It was very challenging to love my daughter throughout that season in her life, and all she could see was a disappointed and angry dad. Trying to think straight throughout that season was also difficult, because I was blinded by fear, and at times I felt paralysed, never certain of what to do. Many times, I wanted to apply the discipline that was applied to us as children, but she was past that, and I knew that it would only fuel my daughter’s rebellion – speaking from experience.

I needed God’s help, to change my position as a parent, and He set me free, when I was honest enough to acknowledge the truth of my fear.

As I look back on this account, I’m so grateful that God did not treat me as my self-righteous, disrespectful and grumpy attitude deserved. I’m so grateful that in His role as our Father, he set me free from my fear, so that I could pray in the right Spirit for our children. I’m so grateful that God paid no attention to my indignant attitude in order to redeem and reposition me, to see the restoration of this broken relationship.

This encounter on that hill, didn’t fix everything with my daughter. There was certainly more searching that needed to be done within my heart. There was another great shift that would take place, but that story will have to wait for another time.

I pray this talk will encourage you to walk through the caverns of your heart with Jesus and help you to walk in freedom with your children. Our children are all adults now and are among our top 20 friends, and as for our daughter, both her and her husband (who was her boyfriend at the time) along with a great team of leaders now lead a church here in Tumutevarovaro.

God Bless.

  • Paul Kauri ArePua Church on Happy Valley Road in Avarua (AOG)

Ps: Thank you to our daughter, for allowing me to share our story. Love always – Dad.