Religion Makes You Crazy
Hi, I am Erin and first and foremost, I am a loved daughter of God. And that truth changed my life. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Doug, for 26 years. We have three beautiful children who are young adults now. My story today is really about, I feel like I was reintroduced to who God is in the later years of my Christian walk.
I grew up – I was well loved. I always believed in God, but He just wasn’t, it didn’t mean anything in my personal life. As a teenager, I was your mother’s worst nightmare. I did not know my identity. It was like I was living to…If there was a rule, I wanted to break it, whether it was at school, or sneaking out, or shoplifting, or just anything. I just wanted – I think looking back, it had to do with me being empty and not knowing who I was. – I just wanted something to fill me. I was wild. I have shared this before, I got suspended six times from my Catholic school and I was just right there on the edge of really all kinds of things. Then as an 18 year old girl, my sister led me to the Lord.
I said this little sweet prayer, “Jesus come in my life, I give you my life.” God cleansed me in a super, I mean, everything is supernatural to God. He’s a supernatural God. But I experienced this washing clean that I didn’t even really know physiologically what had happened to me. But I got up from my table crying, my sister said, “How do you feel?” And I said, “I feel like someone took one of those big garden buckets and just poured it over me. I feel so clean.” She said, “Erin, everything you’ve ever done has been washed clean by the blood of Jesus.” And I was just, I was completely blown away. That was a theological truth that I had not known. I lived growing up with this consciousness of sin always, you know, and so that was a brand new beginning for me.
So at 18, really 18 all the way until about, um, oh gosh, I guess 18 years ago, I was full on Christian. Sold out. I received the Holy Spirit young in my walk with the Lord and if you looked at me from the outside, you would say, ‘That girl is on fire for Jesus.’ because I loved Him and my old life was gone, and I was in church, and all my friends were Christians. I read the Bible, I did Bible study, and I did love God. But the truth was, I was a defeated Christian.
My marriage of 20 years, at that point, was completely crumbling. Our youngest daughter was struggling with epilepsy. She had been diagnosed with epilepsy having up to 10 seizures a day. I had another child that was very much a prodigal and away from the Lord and into the things of the world. I thought that was the normal Christian life. I felt like I had no power over anything. And a lot of that was because of the teaching that I received. You know Proverbs 23:7 says, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.’ And what’s amazing to me, I guess, is I had been in some, if I threw the names out of churches that I’ve been to – I lived in Louisiana, Texas, and Utah. – you’d probably know the names of the churches that I’ve been to. They were Spirit filled, well respected. But how I had never heard a teaching on healing and authority blows me away. At this point, I’d been a Christian for 20 something years – wholehearted Christian. Religion makes you crazy and religion is just the traditions of men that make the Word of God of no effect. Jesus said that. He said, ‘Your traditions have made the Word of God of no effect.’ And that’s what I had. I had this tradition, that God was somehow controlling all this.
What shifted things was when our youngest daughter was one, she began having seizures. They started out small and it was just kind of like, we weren’t even sure if it was a seizure. But by the time she was two she was having full on seizures. By the time she was in second grade, she was having up to 10 seizures a day. That was our worst point, and I had to take her out of school because she could not remain in the classroom having 10 seizures a day. I had already been to two counselors with my husband. So at this time, not only is my daughter having seizures, my marriage is completely falling apart, and I’d already been to two counselors, and I was thinking, I don’t think it’s gonna work. We’d been married for 20 years at that point, I thought, my marriage is not going to work. My husband did not know the Lord at that point, and he has given me permission to share this, he had an addiction and I didn’t even really know about it until 20 years.
But God in His mercy brought this woman in my life, who had been through a healing journey herself and started this ministry that I’m now part of. I just remember sharing with her some things about my daughter, and she just threw me this anchor of hope. She said, “Erin, nothing’s impossible with God.” I don’t think she knew where I was; she probably didn’t want to come on too strong, and just said, “Nothing’s impossible with God.” One year later, I was sitting on my back porch, and I just said, “God.” I just cried out to the Lord. And I said, “God, I need You. Where do I go? What do I do? I am this close to leaving.” And all of a sudden, this woman’s face, that I had met a year ago, dropped in my mind. And I just was like, “Terry?!” And I’m thinking…Cuz I just didn’t really know. And I’m like, “Why?” And I was just like, “I don’t even know if this is you, God,.” And I called her. I said, “Terry, do you remember me?” And she said, “Of course I remember you, Erin. How are you?” And I said, “I’m not doing well. My marriage is falling apart. My daughter is having seizures. Another one is very lost in the world.” I remember I said these exact words, “Do you help people like me?” Because I wasn’t even really sure what this ministry did. She said it again. She said, “Nothing is impossible with God! Absolutely!” And her confidence just was the anchor for my soul.
So what ended up happening was she taught these classes, Authority of the Believer, and it’s called Love Heals. It’s a healing class on the supernatural healing of God. I began taking one class at a time. I began the first one, the Authority of the Believer class and it truly was like I was born again, all over. I got reintroduced to this God. I began to understand that Jesus was the perfect representation of the Father and that, Jesus… You know, there’s a scripture that says, Phillip, who had been hanging out with Jesus for a long time, three years, he was one of the disciples, he said, “Show us the Father.” And Jesus was like, “Phillip, you’ve been with Me three years, and you’re still asking Me that? If you’ve seen Me, you have seen God, you’ve seen the Father.” And that verse, for me, became almost like a picture. Like okay, Erin, this is what God is like, not all the things you’ve been taught and not all the experiences that you’ve had. Because a lot of people like to make their experience their truth.
Jesus is Who God is. Did Jesus ever make someone sick? Nope. Did Jesus ever say, You know what, I’m going to heal you, but not yet. Not yet. You need to suffer a little longer and then I’ll heal you after you’ve learned your lesson. Like, those were some of the beliefs that I had, you know. Even the fact of God being sovereign. I learned from this study that the Bible says in Psalm 8, it says that the heavens are God’s. The heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He’s given to the sons and daughters of God. And I learned that He’s given us rule and reign over this earth. If you go back to Genesis and read that, you will see that He’s given us rule and reign. Then when Jesus left, Jesus said, “I give you authority over all the power of the enemy.”
So all of these, it was like my life was a garden, and my life was full of weeds. I was just plucking these weeds out and planting new seeds of, of probably two things, who God really is and what His character is really like, and the authority that He has given His believers. You know in John 10:10, Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have life and have it abundantly. But the devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” And that was a key verse for me.
I remember one day as I was sorting through all these belief systems that I had, I was like, Well, wait a minute, okay…And I took a piece of paper, and I wrote, “God is good, the devil is bad. God brings life. The devil steals, kills and destroys.” And I wrote areas in my life where I saw that I was being stolen from, or destruction was happening. And I’m sorry to say that side of the paper was way more full than the other side. I was living in such defeat. I share that because when Zoey would have a seizure, before I knew my authority, before I knew that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me, that I have become one spirit with Christ, that I have authority over sickness and disease, that the same works that Jesus did, He said I will do. Before, I knew all that if Zoe had a seizure I was like, “Oh, my God, oh, my God, Jesus, help us. Help us. Help us.” Like, that’s how I prayed. I prayed these begging, pleading prayers, because I didn’t know if it was God’s will that she would be healed.
But when I came to know the character of Jesus, that He is healing, He doesn’t even give healing. He is health and resurrection life. He defeated the devil. He stripped him of all authority and power, Colossians 2:15 says. He stripped him. The devil has zero power unless I give it to him, unless I agree with him, and that was an aha moment. If we agree with what he puts out…I’ve heard this great analogy. I thought, man that is so good. It says, “Symptoms are to sickness, as temptation is to sin.” Meaning, temptation is not sin. Well, symptom is not a sickness. Someone had shared their own testimony with me and they said, “Just because you’ve been healed and a symptom comes back, doesn’t mean that you’ve lost your healing. Because you’re already healed. Jesus took your sicknesses and diseases. It’s just the devil knocking on your door, saying, ‘Do you still believe?’”
So when my daughter came home and said, “Hey, these seizures, I think I’m having seizures at school.” If I had said, “Really? Oh, my gosh!” and opened that door to fear and whatever…But we have to go back to the Word of God. And I said, “No, I don’t. I don’t believe that. I believe what God’s Word says. God says, ‘By His stripes Zoe, you were already healed.’ God says, ‘You have authority over the devil, and he cannot do anything to you.’” And by this time, she was in seventh or eighth grade. So I taught her, “You feel a seizure coming on at school? Jesus said, The same works that I do, you will do. Well, what did Jesus do? Jesus spoke to things. He spoke to storms and they quit. He spoke to a tree and it died. He spoke to body parts, ‘Be healed.’ And He said, ‘The same works I do, you will do.’ Right?” And so I told Zoey, “You can speak to your body and that seizure, and you tell it to stop.” And that’s what she did and that was in eighth grade. She’s now 18. She’s been completely seizure free and now she’s in a Bible school learning even more about her authority.
You know, this teaching on authority changed my entire family because as I shared earlier, my husband was not a believer at the time and also had an addiction for many years. And when I tell you that I prayed for my husband. Oh, I prayed so faithfully. Honestly. And I thought they were good prayers. I mean, “God, draw him to Yourself.” Like, I was praying scriptural prayers. But what I didn’t know was that I was in a war, I was in a battle, that my husband had an enemy, that the Bible says, ‘They cannot see the truth because the god of this world has blinded them.’ When I realized, wait a minute, he can’t even hear the truth, because the god of this world has blinded him. And I don’t have authority over Doug, my husband, but I have authority over all power of the enemy. So I began praying things like this, “In the name of Jesus, I pull down that veil off of Doug’s eyes, I bind you. I bind every lying spirit that’s talking to him in Jesus’ name.” Then I would pray, “Lord, reveal Your love to him.” But until then, I wasn’t taking my authority over the things that were keeping him in bondage. And when I began to pray that, he came to the Lord in three years, and then he was set free and delivered from drugs in a matter of months. So this is really important.
You know, you read scriptures that say, Jesus says, ‘I’ve come that you might have abundant life.’ and people are like, “Where’s that abundant life?” Or Jesus said, ‘He leads us into ALL triumphs. You’re more than a conqueror. As Jesus was on this earth, so are you.’ You’re like, “Where is that?” Well, I’m not saying authority is everything, but the gospel is not complete without authority. It’s not a fight to win because Jesus took the keys of death, hell and the grave, and He is victorious. He stripped the enemy of all power. The battle is, what do I believe? The battle is identity. The battle from the very beginning was identity. When the devil, when the snake came to Adam and Even said, ‘Did God really say…God just knows that when you eat that fruit from the Tree of Life you’ll be like God.’ But the reality was, they were already like God.
We are one with Christ. We are seated in heavenly places. We have authority. But if I don’t know that…I had to come to – Jesus said in John 8:32, ‘The truth that you know will set you free.’ – and I had to come to know the truth of who God is. He’s not controlling everything. Because when I believed He controlled everything I just sat back was like, Well, I guess that’s God’s will. It makes you passive. I had to come to know the truth of what His character was, that He is the healer. I had to come to know the truth of my authority, that Jesus didn’t say, ‘Pray and ask Me to heal.’ Jesus said, ‘You lay hands on the sick, and they’ll be healed.’ Jesus said, ‘You speak to the mountain. Don’t speak to Me. Speak to the mountain.’ So what we believe about God, about our identity in Christ, who we are in the Spirit, it changes everything! It changes everything.