| Healing the soul|
My dear brethren,
It has been quite some time since I have joined in here at SI. I began praying the "whatever it takes" prayer some time ago. This came about on the anniversary of the sinking of the titanic. I know this because of a thread on this subject that lead to a member website, that lead to a link to the testimony of the wife of the former owner of the Dallas Cowboys. [url=http://www.annemurchison.com/testimony.htm]Read it here.[/url]
As a result of this prayer I began experiencing some extreme inner battles. My purpose here is not to detail my own journey, but rather, to share a "revelation" concerning healing. It was so immediate that I was compelled to grab paper and pen and write it down before I lost the urgency.
My favorite scripture passage is the following:
[color=000099]Eph 3:14-21 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, [b]That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;[/b] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.
The following is what I wrote (almost) verbatim.
[color=336600]"Wounds, emotional wounds from deep in our past become unacknowledged festering infections buried in our soul. Our loving Heavenly Father longs to heal these wounds and set us free. But just as an infected cut is very painful to touch, the very thought of touching upon this internal pain is so fearful that we run from it. In essence it can cause us to become spiritually skittish and avoid the inner work of healing the Holy Spirit wants to do.
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 [i]imperitave[/i] that this pain buried in our soul be removed.
The method God uses to accomplish this is not pleasant. Hence the reason why so many sincere Christians don't seem to grow beyond a certain point. Inner healing requires spiritual surgery. The Holy Spirit, as surgeon, using the scalpel of the Word of God, begins to cut right to the core, seperating soul and spirit. As He does this, we begin to see not only the pain we feel, but more importantly we also see our own culpability for it. This is painful in and of itself, for we come to understand that the pain we feel is actually caused, not by the actions of someone else or some ancient event, but by our own response to it. Healing can only occur when we [i]repent[/i] (often in tearful anguish) for our sins of harboring bitterness and unforgiveness. When we confess [i]our sin[/i] God is faithful to forgive us and to [i]cleanse us from all unrighteousness."[/i].[/color]
In His Love,
| 2007/7/28 13:33||Profile|
| Re: Healing the soul|
Thank you Brother for this message from the heart.
Been there and know exactly what you are talking about!
I still have further to go...
| 2007/7/28 15:41|
Thank you for this post John.
Thank you for your reply LittleGifter.
I just read LiveForGod's thread on the Devotional Thoughts forum entitled God's Message to Woman and it does bring tears to your eyes.
I hesitated to post to it because of that.
The depression thread brought out a lot of what folks are going through and one felt, condemned one way or another, no matter how they posted, because we've lost the heart of GOD with the fear of "man's psychology".
What a tender heart HE has. Knowing every pain we've experienced from the womb on.
What a gentle shepherd He is.
Some of us have been through the extreme excess of discipline in our childhood and since, but when a kind word is spoken, like LiveForGod's post ... you respond immediately with desiring to be that one who's example was used in posts like that.
To beat us into submission is not how a Shephered works. He leads by walking ahead and calling the names of those of His own flock.
GOD help us to be more merciful with each other and even with ourselves, when we feel that someone has taken the rod of correction, thinking it is from Him and beat sheep into what they think is God's Image.
Instead of patiently working with people, we excommunicate them either by our words or our actions. Jesus left the 99 to get that one that strayed. GOD forbid that we should have the heart of the elder brother.
Little Gift, that you are.
'Bless' you brother John. Weep with those who weep.
| 2007/7/28 16:10|
| Re: Healing the soul|
Thanks dear sisters for your replies,
I grieve somewhat that the body of Christ would rather argue over finer points of doctrine than openly discuss matters of the heart. As I read the scriptures I see that many of the instructional passages pertain directly to interpersonal relationships. Both of the over-riding commandments are specifically relational. Love God, Love your neighbor. What is love if not relational?
The thing that people seem unwilling to acknowledge is that old wounds impact our ability to love.
May I ask all who read this a question? In your opinion, why is it that we are so quick to debate our views on Calvinism or post/pre-trib rapture, while threads pertaining to the inner life seem to go nowhere?
What I am attempting to discuss here is the issue of emotional pain. What part does it play in the life of a Christian, in the life of the Church?
Your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
In His Love,
| 2007/7/30 9:10||Profile|
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I recently went through a very difficult time as well. As I look back on the experience, it was years of not dealing with emotional stuff by taking it all to Jesus (and choosing to live in denial of those emotions), that compounded and made me vulnerable to anorexia as a way of escape when it all became unbearable. But finally dealing with the pain drove me to the feet of Jesus. And as I sat at His feet, He would give me songs of healing and freedom, that I would sing over and over through many, many tears. I experienced the very real tenderness of the Lord towards His hurting ones. It was surgery but it was so very gentle.
As a believer I dont think that my life should be governed by my emotions or that I should use my emotions to excuse any area of un-Christlikeness in my life. But neither should I try to pretend that I dont sometimes hurt. After all,
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16
So I come to Him in my weakness, and receive His strength and healing.
Thank you for sharing so openly Brother.
| 2007/7/30 20:39||Profile|
| Re: Healing the soul|
Sunday afternoon I went out to lunch with a brother from church. I was attempting to go beyond the cordial Sunday morning handshake greetings and form the beginnings of a relationship with a little more depth.
I did most of the talking, sharing some of my story and being open and honest about some of the struggles I've gone through in my faith. I've always believed that friendship can only occur when we allow some degree of vulnerability to to be part of the equation.
At the end I mentioned that I had hoped to hear some of his story, apolgizing to some degree for dominating the conversation. His comment was that all his "stuff" was in the past and there was no point in rehashing any of it. His countenance was closed and distant.
The Apostle Paul does indeed state that he "forgets what is behind, and presses forward toward the higher calling in Christ," so I understand how we can come to this conclussion.
But what happens when that past has caused us to shut down emotionally? What happens when we won't let people get close to us? As Christians we are called to love each other [i]fervently[/i]. As I go through life I find so little warmth in the way the brethren relate to each other, so little compassion, but rather a carefully held distance.
Tha sad reality is this brother is currently seperated from his wife. All the fault does not lay at his feet, but I can't help wondering if his belief that the past has no bearing on the present hasn't played a significant role in this relationships decline.
I truly believe that many many well meaning Christians have "emotional hang-ups" that they haven't confronted because "the past is the past." As I stated in my first post, old wounds tend to get sore, just as an infected cut. It isn't surprising that we deny the existance of this pain. However, if we sincerely desire to obey God and seek to become as Christ-like as possible, doesn't it follow that we must remove every hindrance?
I continue to desire dialogue about this area. What place does emotional healing have in the body? How does one help others "open up". What do you believe are God's method's for removing these types of hindrances? Do you agree or disagree with my comments?
In His Love,
| 2007/7/31 9:13||Profile|
| Re: Healing the soul|
[color=0000CC]Isaiah 61:1-3 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor; [/color]
[color=000066] [i]He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[/i][/color] [color=0000CC]
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;[/color]
[color=000066][i]To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;[/i] [/color][color=0000CC]
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." [/color]
This scripture reads like a mission statement of Christ's incarnation and ultimate sacrifice. Notice how much of it concerns emotional distress?
In His Love,
| 2007/7/31 9:36||Profile|
| Re: Healing the soul|
In your original post, I noticed the emphasis on our own grievous reactions to the hurts others have inflicted on us.
I wanted to draw your attention to the truth that unless we had first been hurt, we would not have had any grievous reactions. (Btw, 'grievous' is someone else's word, which was borrowed by Leanne Payne in her major book 'The Healing Presence'.)
However, your insistence on the reaction made me feel this was more of a word from the Lord to us than many a post may be, and I would see where it led. For this reason, as much of my testimony in this area is in the public domain, I won't share it here.
The word 'denial' is key, though, as many have been taught a number of worldly proverbs on this matter, which are not compatible with the scripture you posted when apposed to this topic.
'Least said is soonest mended.'
'You should never speak ill of the dead.'
'What the eye don't see the heart don't grieve o'er.'
This brings me to the much misunderstood sentence in the Ephesian letter, which is almost universally taken out of context by those who use it to justify their denial of another's pain.
For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
Those who use the above verse conveniently forget several points.
First, it is preceded by
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now [i]you are[/i] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit [i]is[/i] in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [i]them.[/i]
Then, v 12 is followed by
13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
14 Therefore He says:
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord [i]is.[/i]
EDIT: I've rephrased the following for clarity.
This letter was to the church which is recorded in Acts 20, [i]after[/i] receiving the Holy Spirit, as finally realising they [i]still[/i] needed[u] to renounce deeds of the past[/u], and did so publicly with a massive communal bonfire.
So NOW when Paul writes, he says.... you shouldn't be talking about [i]these things[/i] - ANY MORE.
Also note this was about sins of the flesh mature adults had committed. It was not about any sins which had been committed against them.
Now, I would exhort that if a person has never disclosed hurt or pain, this scripture does not apply.
I would also exhort that their first port of call is the Lord.
Lastly, if pain has been harboured since childhood - maybe it didn't 'hurt' back then, or so it seemed - there may be a need for a parental sort of listening by another believer. But neither is the 'listening' for everyone, nor is the 'telling' for every hurting soul.
end of edited portion
There is huge emphasis in today's preaching / teaching which puts all the onus on the believer for anything wrong in his life. It's his fault.
He is not supposed to feel any pain, because Jesus (he is assured) healed him in the Atonement. For the record, I believe this applies to the believers own sins [i]only[/i], and not to sins committed against him by another - or his grievous reactions to those sins.
He is also instructed regularly of the value of living in a state of repentance for his human sinfulness. Wrongly, he concludes then, that if he is struggling with any thing at all, it's because he hasn't repented.
Here is one last worldly proverb.
'Children bounce back!'
As a child who had enough 'stuff' eventually not to be able to 'bounce back' one last time, I am eternally grateful for the children's charity who had as one of [i]its[/i] worldly proverbs:
'Just ask. It saves a lot of guesswork.'
I have more to say, but this is enough for one post.
| 2007/7/31 11:08|
Hi Dorcas and thanks for your thoughts,
I didn't mean to say that the original source of our pain wasn't due to someone else sinning against us. Ony that the ongoing pain that we still feel results from us harboring unforgiveness/resentment/bitterness etc.
This understanding came as the result of some anguished prayer over my own inability to cast off some of the pain from my past. I had discovered that I still had a deeply buried and mostly ignored/denied inner RAGE! It came bubbling out one day (fortuneately I was alone) and I knew if I was ever to grow more in Christ that I had to confront it. I wept bitterly before the Lord, beseeching Him to show His deliverence.
At some point I remembered the testimony referenced in post one. She talked about grieving over the pain, but also about repentance. It just came so clear that it was my sin now for hanging on to the anger. I cried out in repentance and have discovered an amazing freedom when thinking about those old sources. Now I can "forget" the past and press on toward that higher calling...
Because of my awareness of how deeply impactful our actions can be upon another human heart, I have come to define sin, at least in part, as those actions and/or attitudes that cause harm to another (or oneself). I believe, because God is love, that this is how and why God classifies something as sin.
Note that I did not say actions that cause pain. Sometimes pain is good. My behind sure was in pain every time I got spanked as a child. There is also a biblical proverb to the effect that "faithful are the wounds of a friend."
As far as telling someone else about our hurt, detailing whatever awful things we may have encountered, I am not so sure it is necessary. The Holy Spirit is also called the Councilor. He knows all too well of the source of our bitterness and will help us to see it if we are willing to look. "Search me O God...and see if there be any way of pain in me."
Time constraints are upon me so I must go for now.
YO MEN! WHAT SAY YE? So far there's been responses from...Jeanette, Annie, Danielle and Linn. What gives? I know y'all have an opinion!
Blessings to all,
| 2007/7/31 13:12||Profile|
I truly believe that many many well meaning Christians have "emotional hang-ups" that they haven't confronted because "the past is the past."
Well, I think we understand that we are hung up, not because the past is in the past, but because it is very much with us today. We are reluctant to face either our sin or our hurts, because we do not believe we there is a sufficient answer for either in Christ.
The problem can be aggravated by two kinds of (well-meaning)counselors.
1) Those who are quick to remind one another of the law can be doing more harm then good. The law can raise a dead conscience, but it cannot deal with the old man. We must allow one another to enter into the rest of Christ's righteousness...specifically sharing into the death and ressurection as described in Romans and Collossians. Notice that it is the old man that must be allowed to be crucified...the cross is first for sinners. It makes no sense to insist that you must be ressurected first before going to the cross of Christ...yet many preach exactly this sequence today. I believe the result of this is not only are some sinners prevented from entering in...but also some believers are also prevented from entering into His rest.
2) Those counselors who paint a picture of healing wherein we become 'whole' in ourselves. My fervent belief is that, we cannot tell people they will be whole as the secular conselors describe wholeness...that is to become self-sustaining. You can always tell when a well meaning Christian has been influenced by spiritless counseling, when they describe wellness as self-sustaining. Instead the Christian finds their only wholeness in abiding with Christ. If we would try to walk on our own...with no more need for the forgiveness of God to cover our shameful mistakes, we are working contrary to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Like Jacob, our limp is a reminder of our encounter with God.
Too many times we try to talk people out of their sorrow. The truth is that a man resting in God can say yes to the acknowledgement of his own sin, and can accept the consequences of failure, even from others, giving him not a sentimental view of these things, but a clear eye on right and wrong without self-righteousness. Our mistakes can be "aquaintances with sorrow" allowed by God. They have been allowed by God to take away our illusions of the riches of this world. (At least we can believe Romans 8)
As a result, we cannot over-labor the law or over-trust secular counselors. Though they both may have some compassionate techniques, and good intentions, by their nature, can only stir up pain or seek to heal pain. Neither can invite the old man and his sins to be crucified in Christ and therefore cannot be concerned with seeing a broken man ressurected in Christ Jesus.
Only the broken man can find rest in God. (Brokenness does not mean lying in self-pity which is ultimately rooted in pride, but in giving up on all hopes of self-righteousness...something only the Holy Spirit can work into a heart.) True rest does not try to 'get over' past mistakes, but instead recognizes that they have been used by God to help the soul become more dependent on Christ's righteousness and His life, for which all men would otherwise remain ignorant of their deperately need. Indeed, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to take away our illusions of self-sufficiency, both spiritually, and I believe emotionally. Peace through self-sufficiency is indicative of both the law and secular counseling in themselves. Yet any peace that takes us away from utter dependency in Christ, both emotionally, and spiritually, remains delusional.
The true abiding peace we look for is beyond the power of the fair law or well-meaning secular counseling. It is found only in abiding with Christ. Yet many of us who believe still do not abide...why?
Just my 2 cents bro. The issue we face is not that we need some additional healing outside of the original Gospel...but that the circumference of the Gospel as we understand it needs to be enlarged so as to include a reckoning not just for the world's sins...but for those sins that I have done and have been done to me.
| 2007/7/31 13:53||Profile|