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Bishop Todd Atkinson on Being Delivered From A Life of Self-Focus


When someone hears mention of the Anglican Church, the first thoughts that come to mind are unlikely to be about the Holy Spirit or deliverance from bondage. Yet, there is a movement within the Anglican Church of North America that is called “Via Apostolica” (Way of the Apostles) that originated from a large Church in Lethbridge, Canada where God called the lead pastor towards Anglicanism. The focus of their movement is called the 3 streams: Scripture, Sacrament and the Holy Spirit. This emphasis is defined on their website as those who “listens to Christ in the Scriptures, is connected to Christ by the Spirit, and communes with Christ through the Sacraments.” Bishop Todd Atkinson is the servant leader who has a passion to see radical discipleship and rooting in the great traditions of the Church.

In a recent message given at a conference on inner healing called: Living Free. +Todd gave a powerful message on being set free from a life of self-bondage and focus. This inner healing and freedom from our own selfishness is part of what Jesus calls us to as disciples.

The main Scripture shared in the message was the famous call of discipleship by Christ in St. Matthew:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Matthew 16:24-25​
Here is an excerpt from the message where the life of self-focus is looked at:

“We are just like the moon reflecting the sun. We do not have any light within ourselves. The more I look into myself the darker it becomes. I do not the answers. The more I look into myself the more hopeless and confused I become. Jesus did not invite me to a life of self-focus. He invited me to a life of self-denial. I am amazed how self-focused I can become and how I can spiritualize it and not know I am doing it.​
Jesus said we ought to deny ourselves. As Christians it should be foreign to us, a life of self-focus. Are you willing to hear Jesus call afresh to discipleship away from the things we have looked to and ultimately brought us death. The self life is like a hand full of sand, the tighter you squeeze the less you will have. Be open handed and let God take it.”​
During the epitome of the message +Todd leads in a powerful prayer of deliverance asking Jesus to heal our spirits of the life of self-focus. As he said in the message this is first-step in a journey of deeper discipleship with Jesus Christ. Consider to read it first to mediate on what is being said then when you are ready read out-loud this prayer to God meaningfully by faith:

Lord Jesus Christ, I release
To You my life of self-focus

Lord Jesus Christ, write Your ways upon our hearts

Release me from my individualism,
From making things all about me.

Lord, have mercy

Release me from my sentimentalism,
From being led by my raw emotions.

Lord, have mercy

Release me from my entitlement
From thinking I am owed things.

Lord, have mercy

Release me from my materialism,
From looking to things for happiness.

Lord, have mercy

Release me from my skepticism,
From anticipating disappointment

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

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