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 Re: Healing the soul


Continuing a thought from an earlier post...

Additionally, 'the Church' is weak because not addressing inner pain renders the individual believer less strong to deal with the sins active in his own life. But, any denial of past hurt means this endless loop of compensating for pain [i]by sinning[/i], just goes on and on.

I believe this is what you allude to, Mike, in your last post here:

Quote:
Yes, many wounded souls claim to be (edit: lonely and spiritual) out in their wildernesses. Pride is the consolation of many wounded people. But wounded souls may be tempted by other comfort sins. Some give their hearts for the love of money and others medicate themselves with pornography.

Those who do [i]not[/i] appear to compensate with sin, do compensate for their pain in other ways.

Please note: I think I can make this claim [i]only[/i] because certain pain remained from my childhood. But, I can also testify that certain [i]sin[/i] in childhood, was clear to me at the time, and I repented then and was forgiven then. What I'm trying to convey here is the that stuff which was not dealt with yet, will hang around until it is. This is a fact, whether it is acknowledged or not.

Taking into account what you said about the New Man, Mike, I believe this is a fair solution to simple innate sin, which you also mentioned here:
Quote:
Notice that it is the old man that must be allowed to be crucified...the cross is first for sinners.

But, many also are confused about the reason for their failures. They cannot (I could not) distinguish a sin to which they are attached because it's a coping mechanism from a pain started by someone else, or, they are solely responsible for repenting and stopping it because it's their full responsibility to do so.

In the end, I concluded after my own many years of struggling against sin, that those who [i]want out[/i] of the cycle, [u]will find in Christ the Door[/u]. Those who do not make this choice, get what they want also: bondage.

However, in saying this, I also acknowledge that a Christian who is going on with God, who discovers a pain they had not acknowledged previously, may well be able to receive healing directly from God, without 'counselling' from another human (Christian or not).

I don't want to divert on to whether it is [i]such[/i] a sin to hold on to one's pain, that one will forfeit one's salvation, [i]but[/i], it is plain in the New Testament that certain lifestyle sins will disenfranchise the believer of eternal life. That is, they will never see the kingdom of God [i]within them[/i], if they don't battle to set it there through the power of Christ's dealings - which, as Doug posted early in the thread, includes 'healing the broken-hearted'... and I don't believe this refers only to failed romances....


Mike, I know I haven't done justice to all you've shared and I apologise. Maybe it's not necessary, but I do have more to say....

 2007/8/2 22:03
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
I can also testify that certain sin in childhood, was clear to me at the time, and I repented then and was forgiven then. What I'm trying to convey here is the that stuff which was not dealt with yet, will hang around until it is. This is a fact, whether it is acknowledged or not.



We may be saying pretty much the same thing, and the largest gap being in our terminology. And I trust that 'dealing' with sin involves more of the cross then the couch. ;-)

Quote:
Mike, I know I haven't done justice to all you've shared and I apologise.



Well, please endure just one more rant here, and then I'll sit the bench for awile. I just want to make sure my earlier comments aren't interpreted as hard-nosed condemnation.

If you read only one post from me this year...read this one!

All in all, my contribution to this topic is to insist we don't accept a secular vocabulary assuming one can be 'whole' before they grow in Christ. I am not including true mental or chemical illness here. And I do recognize that many people have found psycological relief in a variety of ways without putting on the Lord.

Yet, even healthy Christians are never really healthy in themselves, but only as they abide in Christ. This is not a merely comforting but powerless platitude, as if we can sing about wanting more of the Lord on Sunday, but then throughout the week being lost unless we can medicate our pain with scientific counseling.

I was listening to a nice song this morning during my commute...they sang "All we want is you Lord". I wonder if the writer of that tune understands that the loy of the Lord isn't just a psycological pill to make you feel better...if we would have more of Jesus' life in us, we would have more of his character. His character is his peace and joy, his release from fear and concern we so desire. Indeed...it is misguided to even pray to have more peace or more joy, or more forgiveness or more longsuffering, because these things are only faceted descriptions of Jesus. Instead, we pray to simply have Jesus.

So we cannot expect the Holy Spirit to 'medicate' us, if we are holding back from our "imitation of Christ"(Thomas A Kempis) This type of thinking is, I believe, is futile.

Jesus offers us to partake of his divine nature, but his offer seems unreal to us in the face of 'modern' methods. We tend to be fascinated with man's theories of the unconscious, of behavorism, or some new psychoanalytic method. Our faith in God is sincere enough, but it's orientation and activities are not towards putting on Christ, but in clinical psychology, trying to detect that exact sensory stimuli that damaged us long ago allowing us to track our behavioral reaction ad nauseum...all the while the horizon we seek is just beyond the next session.

Now to make matters complicated, many clinical methods do indeed produce some good results. But isn't this always the way it is with man's cleverness? God's way is like the staff Moses throws down becoming a serpent, and soon man is throwing down his own staff which also turns into a serpent. God offers us a chance to be delievered, and man imitates this offer with behaviorism.

But it is Jesus that delivers us. There is no psycological relief in Christ, but actual relief from the deceitfulness of sin both as a sinner and as a victim...and only this relief can bring the 'wholeness' that many counselors dream about for their patients.

I realize many counselors loathe or pity this type of faith. Oswald Chambers, in reference to Isaiah's prophecy Look to me and be saved for I am God! asserted, "Look to God and you are saved!" Not, look to God and then do this or that, but the moment you see the Lord you are saved! And we all know of Job's change from pitiful lamentation to exclamation, "Before I heard about you with my ears, but now I see you with my eyes and despise myself!

I believe there is a different between being damaged, with the hopes of being repaired...and being finally broken with only the hope of being replaced. Counselors can repair damaged people...but Jesus replaces corruption with glory.

Untill we see just a wee bit of God's glory, we will continue to be at the mercy of our corruption. We can point out that it is not our corruption that hurt us so, but the fact remains that all of it is corruption. The crimes come against us and then the unforgiveness and fear comes out of us. Even if we do try to avoid evil, it still gets ahold of us...sometimes as little helpless children. We are all ruined, both the predator and the victim.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Notice that, in Romans 6, Paul says that Jesus died untosin, which is quite a different thing then dying for sin. If I am crushed by the sins of this world and you tell me Jesus died for those same sins of this world, then I am a thankful, but wounded observer. But if you tell me that Jesus died unto sin once and for all, and that now he is risen incorruptable for ever and living for God...and more incredibly I am invited to share in his death, and his ressurection, and incorruption...well then now you've got my attention! Now I'm more then a thankful observer of Jesus' victory,.. now I am a participant in that victory! Now you've explained to me how God intends to set me free from the poison of unforgiveness, of bitterness, of wounded pride, or hopelessness. These things simply do not exist in the nature of Jesus! And glory to God, I have been allowed to put on that nature! This is what the song means Glory divine, Jesus is mine!"

Like I said Dorcas, I suspect we are talking about some of the same things here. I can understand if you say that God used secular counseling to help you be free...but I must adamantly reject the notion that the wounded Christian is dependent on clinical physcology, in order to be free in Christ. The gospel is not the pursuit of godliness by any means available...it is the power of Godliness;)

All that is needed is faith and obedience to split the Jordan. See Jesus, turn to Him, and you are saved. This is not dreadful condemnation but wonderous mercy.

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2007/8/2 23:47Profile
John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 Re:

Dear brother and sister in Christ,

Words will fail to convey how richly blessed I am in reading your comments.

As you may remember, when I first joined SI I mentioned having gone into real estate. After clinging to it for nearly a full year I have realized it isn't meant to be, unless the Lord does something startling in the next few weeks. As a result I have taken a job driving a dump truck. It's 10-11 hours a day, 6 days a week.

I dearly want to continue in this discussion as it is very close to my heart. I've always hated seeing wounded souls. When I was in seventh grade I wanted to become a psychiatrist because they helped people get better (or so I thought when I was 13 and lost). Hopefully I will still find time to participate. Tonight I am worn out and fear that any effort to address this topic would come out as gibberish.

Mike, I did want to comment that I agree more and more with you re healing/wholeness/character. As for the term "inner wholeness" I borrowed it from what many have termed 'psychobabble'. I think I was trying to say that God wants us to be healthy individuals, both physically and mentally, encompassing all aspects of our created being. That is not to say fixing the old man up so he feels better, but rather, knowing the fullness of who we are as that new creation in Christ. This idea is expressed by Paul in 1 Thess 5:23 "Now may the God of peace Himself [i]sanctify you completely;[/i] and may your [i]whole [u]spirit[/u], [u]soul[/u], and [u]body[/u][/i] be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

In His Unsearchable Love,

Doug


_________________
Doug Fussell

 2007/8/3 0:28Profile









 Re: Healing the soul


Hi Doug,

Thanks for letting us know your schedule. I also will be busy for a few days but will complete posting what I'd already written with additions today, before I reply to Mike.


Hi Mike,

Quote:
We may be saying pretty much the same thing, and the largest gap being in our terminology. And I trust that 'dealing' with sin involves more of the cross then the couch.

Dealing with sin - my sin - your sin - involves [i]only[/i] the cross.

The 'dealing' which leads to the kind of healing Doug is talking about, is with Christ as the great Physician, not as the Representative Man.

OF COURSE He is much more than either of these, but, His healing exploits in the New Testament cannot be [i]dismissed[/i] as many Christians attempt.

The other main comment I'd like to make for readers is my disuse of the word 'psychology' - the study of the soul - because of all the preconceptions it seems to have for those who have good reason not to be seen by a secular therapist and good reason to believe God is able to do better.

Let me give my very simple definition of the word 'science'. It is: the exploration, objective analysis and honest description of [u]creation[/u].

I realise this leaves out the enormous chunk of [i]making things[/i] with those basic discoveries, and of inventing ways of using them as part of subduing the earth.

I also realise that ruthless exploitation goes on, rather than stewardship.

But, going back to 'the soul', I believe that God knows what 'the soul' is and how it works, and He is the arch-psychologist in His dealings with man.

For instance... I don't know if you'll follow me here but... please try.... I once heard a preacher say something like this: if you find you keep walking into the wall, try the door handle next time.

In other words, the wall is not going to yield. This doesn't mean there is no way through it, but, we have to adjust our approach to the wall, to find its weak point.

It's like this with God. There is a way. Jesus. And God does not make any allowances for those who try to go some other way.

He has already given us all the direction we need to get where we need to go, and if anyone is going to change, it's us, not God.

That's His knowledge of 'the soul', in action.


In a different sort of scenario, you can see the same thing all through the Old Testament, when Israel was not being obedient. God did not budge. Eventually, for that time, those people had received a final warning, and they reaped the fruit of their choices; often painful.

We could reclassify walking into the wall (because of not looking for the door, not seeing the door, choosing not to try the door, finding it shut and being unable to open it seemingly... etc) as 'painful'. Maybe even self-destructive in the case of some persistent offenders.

But God is kind and tender-hearted to heal these pains, even if they are caused by our own stupidity, stubornness, blindness, ineptitude, prior conditioning and so on, once we ask Him.

If the pain has been caused by someone else leading us into danger, wounding us, leaving us for dead, imprisoning us, cheating us, betraying our trust, physically damaging us, God holds that person responsible for those damages - in Christ. Here we can find the place of forgiving the other party. But, that forgiveness is not a source of healing for our woundedness, except as we have been responsible for holding on to it after we see the alternative God offers.

And then there remains the pains which were inflicted on us. These are not healed by our forgiving of the perpetrator of them.

These are the pains which Doug is talking about, which separately permit us to approach the great Physician for as many consultations as are necessary, till we have received those healings.

They may be of spirit, mind, soul or body or all of those.

But laid out like this, I hope it is easier to see that the expectations of some Christians - that once a believer, a hurting person should be able to recover the losses accrued over years of coping with pain, at the instant of believing in Christ for salvation - are somewhat unrealistic.


I don't believe Jesus needed to die, to claim some new power from His Father, to be able to do these kinds of healings.

This is why I dispute the assertion that 'ALL healing is in the Atonement'.

I believe that the [u]life of God[/u] demonstrated by Jesus, IS health to our marrow - health to our soul - healing to the wounded spirit - and that's why [i]this kind of healing[/i] can be appropriated only as we enter His presence.


Perhaps this is where your terminology and mine finds agreement, but, I will continue to assert that God does not hold a person's sin against them if they come to Him for healing, even though this is the next transaction they must do with Him through Christ.

And therefore, to hold a person to the condition of accepting Christ as Saviour, for healing, is not biblically supportable as truth.

It is GOD who convicts of sin, and we all know what a blessed release there is to come into agreement with Him over it, and to repent and be healed and forgiven of it.

But, this IS a separate issue many times, for a person who is carrying historic 'psychological' (meaning, impacting his soul) pain.

I found that God understands that. And wished that Christians understood it as well as He.

This is a separate aspect of Redemption.


 2007/8/3 10:12
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
I hope it is easier to see that the expectations of some Christians - that once a believer, a hurting person should be able to recover the losses accrued over years of coping with pain, at the instant of believing in Christ for salvation - are somewhat unrealistic.



It is completely unrealisitc.

But I believe most 'counseling' could be given through biblical descipleship by a more mature saint who has walked with the Lord.

Quote:
I don't believe Jesus needed to die, to claim some new power from His Father, to be able to do these kinds of healings.



I don't know why you would insert some new notion that I never implied here sister. I was simply referring to Paul's gospel in Roman's 6. Jesus took upon himself the sin of the world and took it to the grave with him. He himself, as you said was not sinful, nor did he need "new power' (sic) to live unto God. But he was our scapegoat. The life he lived before the cross, he opened to us through the cross.

Quote:
This is why I dispute the assertion that 'ALL healing is in the Atonement'.



Again, you know better then this. Becareful not to dismiss the what has been available to the saints for 2000 years because of your personal experience with modern counseling.

I learned alot from playing basketball in High school. I learned the value of hard work, and caring about my team, and of learning to lose gracefully and often. ;-) Does this mean that all people must play basketball to learn these things? No...it only means that in my youth the Lord was close enough to me to use the things in my life for reasons of his own.

Please do not so easily rephrase me with such a cheap parody. "'ALL healing is in the Atonement'."

The issue is here is that it is in taking on the life of Christ that a person is made healthy. (Tolerate my use of the word healthy here for a second...) You are and I are not healthy and no counselor will ever make us healthy because they aren't healthy either. Jesus is the only one who is healthy...and it takes years of descipleship...not counseling....to grow in grace.

Am I against clinical counseling? Only against it's elevation. I know most of clinical counseling has been around for less then 100 years...and I also know Jesus has been delivering people for about 2000 years. Judging from the mental health of modern man, I would say that the ancients were closer to the truth then we moderns.

Now, I do not wish to slight you either. It may be that we are closer then we sound here. We have talked about similar subjects before with much benifit for myself. So I will be quiet now and listen for a while to see if you can explain why a science that is less then 100 years old is vital to the health of the Church. ;-)

Bless you sister,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2007/8/3 11:26Profile









 Re: Healing the soul


Dear Mike, :-)

If I'm not mistaken, this

Quote:
It is completely unrealisitc.

is the first time in this thread you have acknowledged a difference between psychological pain (meaning of the spirit, mind or soul - which includes the effects of unresolved physical pain) and sin.

Quote:
Please do not so easily rephrase me with such a cheap parody. "'ALL healing is in the Atonement'."

I apologise unreservedly for this impression. I was not (in my mind) attributing [i]to you[/i] this doctrine, but rather trying to explain clearly why I don't accept it. You have come very close to implying, though, that there is no healing [i]before[/i] the cross.
Quote:
I don't know why you would insert some new notion that I never implied here sister.

Again, the logical conclusion of your thesis so far, is that we [i]must[/i] have passed through the cross in order to receive healing. I am not pressing you to agree to my thesis, but I am trying to clarify mine.

My point is that neither Jesus [i]nor[/i] those He healed in Israel had passed through the cross. His LIFE was sufficient. His COMPASSION was sufficient. While we need to be regenerated [i]to offer the same ministry[/i] to others, [u]He did not[/u]. That's all I was saying.

Why?


Because the burden Christians [u]put upon hurting people[/u] to commit themselves to Christ, requires they somehow separate their sin from their pain and repent [u]first[/u] [i]as a [u]pre[/u]condition[/i] for healing. This precondition is not in the Bible.

The ministry of Jesus, the disciples, the seventy, and that which was taken on by Paul and the apostles after Pentecost, was as written. But what is passed on as received wisdom amongst Christians today, differs considerably.

I'm challenging this, to return it to the biblical pattern. More faith needed? Hearing God's word in each situation where prayer may be offered, needed? [i]Of course[/i], if we are to minister as the apostles ministered.

Quote:
You are and I are not healthy and no counselor will ever make us healthy because they aren't healthy either.

Mike, I wonder if you've been reading my posts with it in mind that what you've just refuted, is what I believe?

Quote:
Jesus is the only one who is healthy...and it takes years of descipleship...not counseling....to grow in grace.

I don't dispute this with regard to growing in grace. But that's not the issue, is it? I have not implied anywhere that a person cannot go directly to Jesus, THE Counsellor, to hear His word bring them inner health and life more abundant.

Quote:
Am I against clinical counseling? Only against it's elevation.

I hope that no-one reading my posts thinks I've been [i]elevating[/i] 'clinical counseling'. I've hardly mentioned it!

Quote:
So I will be quiet now and listen for a while to see if you can explain why a science that is less then 100 years old is vital to the health of the Church.

If you are teasing me, that's ok.... because I don't think I've said this either. I have no dispute with the ministry Jesus has given to saints across the years. However, there must be many believers who have laboured under misinformation about the availability of His healing power.

I don't know how the Lord will view this in the end... the hurt person's lack of seeking Him, or the misinformer's unbelief?

I'm really not sure how it has crept into church teaching that a person must wait till they die physically to be relieved of their inner pain. This is not a part of the gospel I recognise.

On your question about science, I don't approve of the experimentation that has been done with lives, hearts, minds, spirits and souls, in te name of atheistic psychology. But, perhaps it is worth remembering that many people go that way, because they are hoping not to deal with their sin. Worse, psychologists tell them they don't need to. I recognise this as a serious flaw in the past thinking of the psychological sciences. I also acknowledge that until quite recently, 'religion' was considered to be a defence mechanism (that is, (simplistically), one layer deeper than a coping mechanism).

This may be true on one level, in that it [i]is[/i] a layer which must been looked at. But the person who KNOWS GOD has nothing to fear from a psychologist, because God hijacks the process as soon as an honest client 'sees' in their spirit, the truth (the kind that Doug alluded to earlier) which enables them to pray constructively, thus abandoning the formal therapeutic process for as long as he need. EDIT: or for ever.



contd.

 2007/8/3 14:11









 Re: Healing the soul


Hi Mike, (too long... I know :-( )

I'm wondering.... have you replied in this thread with preconceived ideas on the use I think therapists can be to a Christian, making assumptions - like that I would trust them more than God's word to my understanding, or that I would put myself [i]under[/i] their care to such a degree that they had control of me, or that I would relinquish my right to veto what didn't ring true... I don't know... any of that in what you imagined I think....? .... It feels like it.

Or, that I think any of these is required of a person who makes a conscious choice to pick the brains of an experienced professional, to help them get a handle on how to describe their malaise to God? ..... It feels like it.

God has always been very definitely in my thinking about therapy and therapists, and believe me I was [u]very[/u] against them... until I met a couple of [i]good[/i] ones, and heard about more.

What I do now 'know' about clinical counseling from listening to these good ones talking, is that the more it has represented the tenderness of Christ to its clients, the more it has been successful, and the more [i]these methods[/i] have been held up as 'best practice' to other clinicians.

There is another aspect to modern [i]holistic[/i] therapy which is helpful, namely a recognition of the [i]limitations[/i] of clinical therapy as a replacement for the roles of parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and advisors and other naturally occurring components of the community within which children should grow up.

However - and this is important - that recognition that the clinician [i][u]is[/u] dealing with the trail of lacks and compensations which arose from the community in which the child [u]did[/u] grow up[/i], enables him to present what the client most needs to hear as a priority, [i]much more in the way that Jesus spoke to the woman at the well[/i], than as an inquisitor in the culture of traditional 'psychotherapy'. (Horrors!)

In this way, for instance, [i]correct[/i] counselling (of victims of sexual abuse in childhood) has changed dramatically in a very short time (20 years), such that a client need never describe an assault unless he wants to, because there is no need - if the clinician is listening properly, and [i]not[/i] asking totally [u]un[/u]necessary questions.

I am not and have not advocated that this kind of therapeutic procedure is a substitute for the work of God in a life, have I? Nor have I implied the work of God can be evaded, and the same results obtained.... as I don't believe it can.



But, I do [u]know[/u] that many Christians are fobbed off with what amounts to 'Peace! Peace! When there is no peace!' by [i]Christians[/i], and this is a scandal within chuches.

One of the reasons it exists is because of the taboo created round anything relevant to Eph 5:12. Another is the lack of true community in Christian circles. Another is the rigour of the schedule of church activities expected to be complied with (or risk having your salvation questioned)! Another is the ignorance of older survivors who believe these things don't get fixed till we die - because that's what [i]they[/i] were taught. Another is the sheer shame of admitting to a need for inner healing amongst those to whom one has never mentioned inner pain previously. Another is the violent verbal reactions of those church members / leaders who do not take their own inner pain to Jesus, and honestly believe whatever it is doesn't matter, can and should be borne silently, and reject any suggestion their stance is not biblical.



I suppose I'm saying that the people who've received their profoundest healing from the Lord, are the ones who attract others who need it. But, they may not have 'permission' to minister - even to suggest that the biblical account suggests healing is possible - so, the needy person does what is expected of him... goes away quietly and cries alone, usually pleading for the Lord to save him (because the weight on him is to 'repent' or 'die to self' and 'to sin'). He has still not heard that healing [u]is available[/u] from the Lord. He still may not know that this is what he needs.

As in other aspects of the gospel, if the word is not spoken out loud, it cannot be quickened by the Spirit to theirs, nor can they respond.



It's difficult to explain to someone who's never had the perceptual disorientation which arises from inner pain.

I'm chewing on the term 'inner wholeness', and for the moment think it must be relative - apart from the Spirit, which brings us the completed work of Christ, as far as our Father is concerned, and which completeness we must believe.

I think also, I would separate 'Godly character' completely from 'inner wholeness', in that one can be doing everything right yet still be carrying old unresolved inner pain, through no fault of oneself, which would be relieved upon asking Him, for no other reason than His love.

However, as you have repeatedly remarked, and Doug stated back at the beginning, there is - or may be - a place for the cross as the pain becomes understood - if we have built a defence (against the pain) on false premises -- such as bitterness, unforgiveness, vengeance, anger... the list goes on.... or any ungodly attitude, which once we recognise it, must be discarded as soon as possible.

I don't think anyone is exempt from this, but in so saying, I am [i]not[/i] saying that the [i]reasons[/i] for wrong attitudes are [u]always[/u] due to unrecognised or unacknowledged inner pain; only that the amazing lack of attention to inner pain within churches, suggests it may still be lingering ..... unnecessarily.

 2007/8/3 15:10
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Dorcas,

There was quite abit to talk over from your last two posts.
In answer to your question...yes, I am loaded with preconcieved ideas...everytime I talk to people I discover yet another preconception lurking in me. Thank you for challenging me here.

I do not wish to focus too much on disagreements. There is more we understand here in each other on then not. Your experience with these things is very benificial to me. As usual, you are a pleasure to exchange ideas with. There is always a blessed sincerity in your posts, and I so appreciate the way you know how to challenge others hopefully without showing disrespect or cycnicism.
(Edit:simplified...)

Dorcas, and Doug...suffice it to say we can appreciate the words to the Hymn I need thee every hour.. My only generalized comment is that I do indeed believe that all of our hurts can be ministered to by the Lord. I know we all feel this or we wouldn't be going to Him for our every need. He has been sheltering his fragile but overcoming saints ever since the beginning.

Blessings,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2007/8/3 19:54Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777


 Re:

Quote:
For those of us who truly desire to walk in the fulness of God's ways, bearing eternal fruit, being Spirit filled/lead etc, It is absolutely imperitave that this pain buried in our soul be removed.



Is it really? Can we not be used by God even in our woundedness - even in some way – even when the hurt comes back - - even if we can’t ever rise to the calibre of people like Jonathan Edwards, and other giants who didn’t have the baggage to deal with that some of us have had and still have?

I stumbled across this thread today - perhaps as an ordained response to my prayers this morning. Over the past few weeks various events, challenges and responsibilities have had an accumulative effect on me – I find myself facing an overwhelming sense of inadequacy, drained, crushed - I’ll admit, mostly due to the incomplete ‘healings”, trends engrained early in life - rubbing shoulders with others who are wounded and messed-up.

Quote:
The thing that people seem unwilling to acknowledge is that old wounds impact our ability to love.



Here I am MOST willing to acknowledge this. Yet, after several years of divine “surgery”, I am asking, why do some "adhesions" remain. I do not believe that it is because of stubborn refusal. It is a thorn. I am an unfinished divine project.

In fact, this morning, in frustration and anger, and distraught over my own “dysfunction”, I cried out to the Lord for help. I realize that I don’t have what it takes to get me through some thorny challenges facing me – yes, even tomorrow (Sunday).

Amazingly, already today, God overruled on my behalf, regarding a few of my concerns. That is leaving me weeping with joy. I can’t; but God can!

There is a lesson in all this: just when we think we are finally healed, God increases the grade of the mountain slope, and our climb is steeper. And, alas, we are again faced with our unhealed "spots". We see others climbing past us –effortlessly. But we stagger.

One thing that my “handicaps” do for me is bring me back to my Lord, over and over again. And if that is one reason why God keeps me limping. I’d like to be totally free to love totally. And yet, I’d rather have a limp that than take off – soaring without God – only to crash later.

May God love others through this cracked vessel – all those messed-up people with whom I rub shoulders these days – who draw energy from me - who need to see the evidence of faith in action.
Quote:
All that is needed is faith and obedience to split the Jordan..


…. And yet, the Israelites could hardly boast about their faith and obedience. It was God’s mercy.

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2007/8/4 10:55Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Sister Diane, you made a great spiritual observation here:

Quote:
There is a lesson in all this: just when we think we are finally healed, God increases the grade of the mountain slope, and our climb is steeper.



I have also discovered this truth. If you are a choice servant of God, He will continue refining and revealing, revealing and refining the innermost and it can feel as though we never have rest. Like you said, as soon as we think we are healed and the temperature is finally decreasing, the mountain slope is once again inclined and the furnace is fired up.

Quote:
I realize that I don’t have what it takes to get me through some thorny challenges facing me – yes, even tomorrow (Sunday).



You are in a blessed placed when you can realize and accept this. To come to this point of acknowldgement is divine rest. I will even go a bit further than you have -- I will finally admit that I don't have what it takes to get through [i]any[/i] of the thorny challenges facing me. I can't subsist on yesterday's Manna meal; it's already festering worms if I'm trying to preserve its freshness [i]outside[/i] the holiest of holies.

Quote:
And yet, I’d rather have a limp that than take off – soaring without God – only to crash later.



Me too. I am well acquainted with crash landings after flying solo. I have learned there is more liberty behind the bars of Christ's strength than roaming the world in the freedom of my own self-sufficiency.

Quote:
And yet, the Israelites could hardly boast about their faith and obedience. It was God’s mercy



A few years ago, I would have argued this with you. But not now. The more I yield to God, the more I come to the end of my strength under the crushing burden of divinely-prescribed trials, the more I am convinced of absolute grace through faith and prostrate myself beneath the mercy of God. I've learned do this with broken legs, broken wings, often not able to even lift my eyes to heaven, but only able smite my breast and breathe in my soul: "O, be merciful God, to me a sinner." And God shows His mercy. This, to me, is a greater experience than seeing the dead raised, a mightier miracle than perhaps seeing thousands fall down under the preaching of a Whitefield or Wesley or Finney. It is the all-encompassing and sole-sustaining glory of salvation revealed from the Depth of Mercy to my own molting spirit. In truth, nothing else will keep me; it is by grace alone that I continue to stand, and I have come to cherish the awesome mercy of our God more than anything else in this world.

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/8/4 11:43Profile





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