I must confess one of the main reasons I ended up in sozo sessions was because of problems with my family. And I’m finding that even today, I still have to continue to forgive them over and over again, because they are human and offend in many things, like myself, but at least now I’m going directly to God with my struggles, rather than Sozo counselors, “seers,” mediators, “prophets,” etc.
I must thank the Lord that I never had one of those false “visions of Jesus” one hears so much about concerning Sozo. I see now that it was only because God was protecting me. But when the sozo counselors would ask me if I was seeing Jesus in my memory, it was suggesting to me that I should be or else something was wrong with me because I wasn’t seeing Him in my memory. The worst fear they incited was the thought that I wasn’t really saved. Although they would act suspicious of me for not having a “Jesus encounter,” they finally said, “that’s ok, some people don’t THE FIRST FEW TIMES. I thank God He brought me out before that happened. But I realize that if people don’t finally go along with them or succumb to this brainwashing, these counselors get nasty and even question one’s salvation. And truthfully one can be so hard-pressed to perform in these sessions and so desperate for acceptance from them or even from God that they will finally conjure up an experience in their own mind.
I remember that I did tell them I sensed a presence behind me and so they encouraged me to verbalize what He was telling me. So I basically used my imagination to “hear from God” (BIG MISTAKE)!! And I told them what I “sensed” Jesus was wanting to tell me. It was basically just a bunch of self-esteem boosting with nothing biblical. BUT, looking back I believe that “presence” followed me home, because things would get really crazy after those sessions.
It wasn’t until God really began to deal with me concerning the messed up, man-centered theology I ‘d been believing my whole life, that I finally snapped out of being a slave to sozo and other sins. God began to lead and guide me to “paths of righteousness for His name sake” (psalm 23). He prodded me to “search out the old paths where the good way is, and to walk in it, so I could find rest for my soul” (Jer. 6:16).
The old paths are where I found some books by authors such as John Bunyan from the 1600’s who presented the gospel in such a way that Christ alone was exalted, rather than man. He was also a martyr in the sense that he was imprisoned for twelve years just for preaching the gospel, rather than the “acceptable” religion of his day.
As Divine Providence would have it, one of his books ended up in my hands. And after reading it I realized I’d never heard the full counsel of God before. It was the gospel of grace, rather than the works-salvation I’d been exposed to my whole life, not only in local churches but from televangelists, such as Billy Graham who was into the whole “decisional regeneration”—-put your trust in your decision—-not in Christ basically.
Had I known the true doctrines of grace, I would’ve never fallen for so many false doctrines and the wolves that teach them. Yet, in the Church of Christ I grew up in, and even raised my kids in for years, I was actually being prepared to accept even greater heresy and preparing my kids to do the same. For when it was pounded into us time and time again, that our destiny depended on us and our “decisions,” rather than God and His choice of us, we became perfect prey for doctrines such as Word of Faith works-salvation —do this, do that, say this, or say that, to “speak your destiny into existence.”
In sozo sessions one has to speak Jesus’ imagined words into existence basically. This wallowing in the past and imagining what Jesus is saying to us in the realm of our subconscious memory, is then supposed to help us forgive and let go of “those things that are hindering us from a deeper walk with God.” Spare me. I’m so on to that, thanks to God’s gift of true salvation and discernment.
I don’t have to imagine Jesus’ love for me because it’s now a reality because He has given me the faith to believe the truth, by giving me spiritual eyes and ears that Jesus purchased for me when He died for me. He not only covered my sins with His blood, but He obtained gifts for me that are applied to my heart by the Holy Spirit who has quickened me from the dead, so that I now walk in new life as a new creature in Christ! And I’m so forever grateful for God’s mercy in doing this, for such an undeserving sinner and apostate as I’ve been.
Jesus truly did come to call sinners to repentance, not the self-righteous who would rather be slaves to sozo (Rom. 17:23).
Is He pricking your heart too friend? I pray He is, for that means you are His and He will have his way with you just as He did rebellious Jonah and Saul on the road to Damascus. And He will perform that, which He has begun in you (Phil.1:6). God bless