What About Woundedness: How to Find Healing For Our Soul

Life wounds every one of us.Broken heart

Disappointments, betrayal, our own mistakes, and the selfishness of others can leave deep and lasting wounds. Oftentimes, we think we have moved on from the situation that caused the wound and feel that time has healed it. It’s just water under the bridge. But underneath the scar tissue of the memories lies a festering sore that has not healed as we thought. We are not even conscious of the wound’s existence or its effect on our lives. But if we are honest, we can see how in certain areas of our lives we are being held back from our highest and best. Something seems to always hold us back that little bit. We’re not experiencing complete joy. We’re not experiencing our complete potential and prosperity. We continue to fall back into old habits and negative mindsets. We continue to repeat the same cycles and mistakes.

So what causes these limitations and repeated ‘trips around the mountain’? I believe many times the issue is woundedness. Like an infection seeping into our system and causing widespread and varied symptoms throughout the body, the infection of woundedness keeps us from the complete freedom that Jesus purchased for us. The enemy has a goal and a plan: If he cannot take our eternal identity, then he would like nothing more than to see us lead an impotent life bound in misery until we die.

But God’s plan is the opposite. Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV) That abundant life includes healing for our woundedness. I don’t know about you, but I realize where I am wounded by how I react when life presses on a certain spot. Just like a bruise that doesn’t hurt until I touch it, certain wounds seem to be gone until life presses on them. And then all of a sudden, I am keenly aware that I am not as healed as I thought! I know I’m wounded when I find my faith in certain areas becomes hard to walk out because of past failures and disappointments. Or when I find that my love walk is hard to maintain because of past betrayals. Or when my identity in Christ becomes hard to hang on to because of my awareness of my own personal failures and areas of unworthiness.

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Choices: How to Make Better Ones

transfagarasan-road-valley-between-the-mountains-picjumbo-com.jpgWe have choices to make every day.  And if the truth be told, we would love to make all good choices. However, we will make some good and some bad choices this very day. The issue is that when we have a choice to make, we don’t see all of the consequences. How can we see all of the ramifications of every choice when we are limited by time and by our experience?  We can only visualize certain outcomes that are within our experience or imagination.  The most impactful part about this scenario is that some choices carry huge outcomes for us, for our destiny and for others.

So it’s very important that we look back at the track record of our choices, and make changes going forward so that we can make better ones.  If we want to get to the end of our life without regret, we need to steer a strong course and not let every wind or current have their way with us.

Here’s an example from the lives of my pastors regarding a choice that was intimidating to make but had powerful consequences.  16 years ago, my pastors took over our church as the Senior Pastors.  They had been living in Massachusetts but our church is in Maine.  Just before the transition, they had purchased their dream home in Massachusetts and were now commuting up to Maine to lead our church.  This commute was difficult but doable.  Then came the season that our church was faced with the need to expand.  There weren’t many options on the real estate market for the type of building that we needed and we had a time crunch due to our lease ending at our current building.  In prayer one day, my pastor, Pastor Denise, clearly heard the Lord tell her that if she would sell her house in Massachusetts and move closer to the church, He would provide land and finances for the church to build a building rather than purchase an existing structure.  Pastor Denise told Pastor Ron what the Lord had spoken and they put their house on the market right away.  Within one week of putting their house on the market, the land that our church is built on came on the market.  It’s a beautiful plot of land on the top of a lovely hill with a pastoral view of farms below.

But the story gets better.

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Stamina: Strategically increasing our stamina gives us the strength to finish well

Stamina is an urgent need if we are going to finish the race that the Lord has set before us. Therefore, we must increase our stamina.Running man.jpg

To illustrate what I mean by increasing stamina, let me use my friend as an example. My friend runs long distances and has a trainer. When she began training for her first marathon, her trainer explained to her that she would have to increase her stamina by 10% every week – and no more. Her trainer strategically increased her body’s muscular ability to handle longer distances by making gradual and consistent demands on her stamina. He gradually increased the distance that she would run and then the pace that she would run each new distance. His goal was to prevent her body from collapsing and becoming injured. Injury caused by overzealous training would backfire and take her out of the race completely. But by the same token, not pushing her level of stamina consistently enough would cause her to be underdeveloped when faced with the pressure of race day.

The same is true for us in the things of the spirit. We must consistently and strategically increase our stamina in the things of God. But let me say this: increasing stamina is never fun and it requires focus and self-discipline. It requires vision for the goal that we wish to attain. Do you wish to be closer to the Lord? Do you wish to hear His voice more clearly? Do you wish to shed unwanted habits or sin? Then increasing your stamina in prayer, in worship, and in directing your thoughts toward God will be key. Coming into His presence regularly and increasing the amount of time that you can focus your thoughts, your worship and your praise upon Him is critical for increasing our spiritual stamina.

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Thought for the Day: Let the Redeemed of the Lord “Say So”!

Psalm 107 verse 2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.”

We have been redeemed from all the power of the enemy. Every spiritual blessing has been laid up for us in Heavenly places and purchased for us by the precious blood of Jesus.

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

But Satan is not going to roll over and give up ground without a fight. So we must ‘say so’ in every area. We must declare our place in Christ and remind ourselves and the adversary of our position in Christ.

1 Peter 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

If we are being stolen from in the area of finances, of health, or in our families, the blessing belongs to us. And we must say so. We must declare what belongs to us because of the blood of Jesus that Satan cannot resist. He does not want us to realize the power in the blood that has been shed for us and that has obtained for us a great inheritance. But we are called to give thanks unto the Lord for his goodness and for his mercy that endures forever! And we are called to declare the victory of Christ over all of the enemy’s power in the Earth. God has redeemed his children back to the place of victory and glory and with our mouths we declare this victory every time we “say so”!

Revelation 12:11

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony (their “say so”)*, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

*parenthesis mine.

Now you:

  • Do you understand and believe that if you are a born again believer that you are spiritually seated with Christ in heavenly places, far above all spiritual forces that could ever tie you down?
  • Do you know what the victory of Christ on the cross has purchased for you and the new position of glory that you have been given as a result of your faith in Jesus?

At the moment you became born again, your new birth recreated you inside where no one can see, and you became a new creature in Christ.  All that you are in your inner man is now TOTALLY acceptable to God.  You used to be His enemy. But if you have placed your faith in Jesus as your substitutionary sacrifice, you are now God’s CHILD.  You can never earn more of His love or lose it through your mistakes and failures.  Furthermore, you have been restored to the place of being covered with God’s glory (His nature).  You have great power and authority on this earth as a child of the King of Kings.  All power, rule and dominion other than God’s is spiritually under your feet.  When the Church of Jesus Christ really, REALLY gets this truth locked down, we are going to change this world with the love of God. The enemy hopes you never fully grasp who you are in Christ, because then his lies and traps will fail to work.  You will walk in your freedom and set others free as well!

For a deeper understanding and greater insight into who you are in Christ, I recommend the following reading:

  • Who We Are In Christ: Discovering Your Eternal Identity by Joe McIntyre
  • The Blood and the Glory by Billie Brim
  • The Believer’s Authority by Kenneth Hagin

God bless!

20160901_191329_resizedDear Readers,

Please tell me how I can pray for you and for your nation. I am not intimately acquainted with the challenges of your day-to-day life and of the political and spiritual battles in your individual countries.

Please comment in the Comments section at the bottom of this blog post and give me insight into how I can be praying.  I am committing to pray and fast as I receive your input.

Jesus Christ is Lord of all of the earth, but He has given the responsibility for intercession for the nations to the Church.  1 John 3:18 says, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”  And in Ephesians 6:18, the Lord commands us, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

I want to obey the command of Jesus and lift you up to Him in prayer and supplication. I know that the love of the Father is so great that He is pouring out His goodness throughout the earth. I look forward to partnering with you in seeing change come to your lives and to your countries. May God bless you richly with His grace and peace and may you prosper in your soul and in your earthly endeavors!

 

The Bride of Christ: What does this have to do with you? (Part 3 of 3)

Under the ChuppahA number of years ago, I was asked to speak at a Retreat and the theme was “Preparing the Bride”.  Below is part of the message I shared. It came back to my heart recently and I feel that it’s a current word for us.  This is the final part of the message. 

To recap, I have been discussing the Lord’s pursuit, provision and passion for His bride as seen in the Jewish wedding ceremony.  Now why is that important for us to know? How does this understanding play a role in preparing ourselves as the Bride of Christ?

Let me unpack that this way: If we are not completely convinced about the pursuit, the provision and the passion of God for us, we will never have the faith to stand up in our authority in the heavenly places.  Our identity needs to be settled now if we are to walk out the destiny that God has purchased for us. But what I’ve seen and experienced is that we’ve had it all backwards.  We’ve had the mindset that we are pursuing God, trying to convince Him that we’re worthy of His love – even though we don’t usually feel like we are. Then when we blow it, as we are bound to do, we run and hide from the Lord. But we need to realize that He’s been pursuing us all this time.  His passion for you came before you.  Before you drew a breath, He decided to provide for you and pursue you until your heart was won over.

If we are not completely convinced regarding the amazing depths or love and provision that Jesus has given to us, we will question Him every time hardship comes, every time we can’t see the end from the beginning and every time we screw up.  We will vacillate between faith and fear depending on every wind that blows in our lives.  Like the bride of old, we can’t see our Groom; so we must be solidly convinced that He loves us with an unshakable love that He has provided for us even when we have done nothing deserving of such goodness.

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The Bride of Christ: What does this have to do with you? (Part 2 of 3)

Under the ChuppahA number of years ago, I was asked to speak at a Retreat and the theme was “Preparing the Bride”.  Below is part of the message I shared. It came back to my heart recently and I feel that it’s a current word for us.

Now I want to tell you the some of the steps in the Jewish wedding ceremony and tie it all together with this story from Genesis and your story.

To begin with, traditional Jewish marriage literature refers to the ceremony not as a “wedding” or “marriage” but as “Kiddushin”, which translated means, “sanctification” or “dedication”.

In the words of Rabbi Mordechai Becher, who wrote the article I read, “Sanctification” indicates that what is happening is not just a social arrangement and contractual agreement, but a spiritual bonding and the fulfillment of a ‘mitzvah’, a Divine precept. ‘Dedication’ indicates that the couple now have an exclusive relationship that involves total dedication of the bride and groom to each other.”

The Jewish Wedding Ceremony by Rabbi Mordechai Becher

There are eight steps in the wedding ceremony, but I’ll only be covering 3 of them in my message. In Jewish tradition, the wedding ceremony actually starts at the Matchmaking called the ‘shidduch’. How many of you have seen the movie or the play “Fiddler on the Roof”? Does the song, “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match…” ring a bell? Well, unlike the horrors of matchmaking portrayed in Fiddler, the matchmaking was usually done by the parents or close friends of the family, people who knew the couple and felt that they would be good together.

Would you like to have your marriage arranged for you?  If you’re already married, how much input did you let your parents have in your decision on who to marry?

Do you remember how in our story from Genesis 24, Abraham sent his most trusted servant to be a matchmaker for Isaac? Well, our Heavenly Father has also sent His most trusted Helper to be a matchmaker for his Son.  The helper’s name is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s job is to reveal to the bride how wonderful the Son is, what a great provider He will be, how all the wealth of the Father’s possession is His, how tender and kind He is, how strong He is, and how safe you will be in His home.  The Father wants only the best for His Son.

Have you responded with willingness to follow like Rebekah did?  Have you been willing to follow and trust in a man you have never seen but only heard about? If so, you will not be disappointed!

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