4th Oct 2012. By Dr Lim Poh Ann –
You can be set free from bondages, emotional wounds and baggages to live a victorious Christian life — one filled with meaning, purpose and power.
Abrasiveness can be positive. It causes the oyster to produce a pearl. But this is not so in human relationships where offences are an inescapable reality. Either we offend others or we get hurt. Only those resting in the cemetery will never have to face offences anymore.
With offences, the tendency is to harbour unforgiveness, which is often associated with bitterness, resentment and anger. Unlike physical wounds which often respond well to medical treatment, emotional wounds often persist and can be crippling to believers.
Living under bondage to the past, believers miss out on God’s destiny for their lives. They are unable to come into the fullness of what God has in store for their lives and enter into the “Promised Land”. No wonder some have been described as the “walking wounded”.
Saved but broken
Gaspar Anastasi suffered from depression and once thought of killing himself. His wife, Michele, was a poster child for bitterness, being raised by a mother who was physically and emotionally abusive. As a young couple, they faced an uphill struggle in their marriage. When they went to a marriage counsellor, he suggested that the best solution is for them to get a divorce on grounds of incompatibility. When Anastasi sought his pastor’s help, the answer was: “Maybe you don’t have enough faith.”
Young believers are often taught: “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new creation. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). If that is so, Anastasi thought to himself, Why are so many like Michele and I still living in defeat? Why are we hurt and broken emotionally?
As he studied God’s word, it became clear to him that the ‘new creation’ refers to our born-again spirit, not every area of our lives. Like old plumbing, various aspects of our inner man still have to be fixed. He soon realised that God isn’t just interested in getting us to heaven but restoring us completely so that we can live for His glory.
The godly principles he has learnt on his journey to freedom have enabled him to minister over the past 30 years. He pastored a church and later started a ministry of inner healing, Word of Life Ministries. As a couple, they also help restore broken marriages.
Peter Horrobin, founder of Ellel Ministries, recounted how Lynda, 26, fell from a cliff and landed on the rocks below. Her spine was broken and subsequently she was registered as disabled and put on a lifetime pension.
Horrobin and his team shared with Lynda that Christ came to heal the broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1). The word broken used in this verse means “shattered into separate pieces”. They prayed that God will expose the pain that lay in her heart. She instantly fell to the ground, lying there in the position she had been when she fell off the cliff — shattered and traumatised.
Helping her to relive the pain at the point of impact was a crucial part of the healing process. They spoke love and gentleness into her spirit and soul. They led her to forgive those who should have warned her of the danger. Then they anointed her with oil, praying for her physical healing.
Shortly after that, she went to the government office to discontinue the pension benefits as she was healed (earlier she had been certified by three doctors as being disabled for life).
This amazing testimony illustrates the fact that the body cannot be fully healed while it is still reflecting on the pain brought on by unhealed trauma. Our mind, emotions and body are truly inextricably intertwined. It’s important to pray for the broken heart, not only the broken body.
Demolishing and Rebuilding
As we go through life, painful experiences will inevitably be etched in our memories. The human brain comprises 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) embedded in a mass of glial tissue. In many ways superior to a computer, the brain processes thousands of thoughts in a day. Whereas computers have a ‘delete’ function, there is no corresponding ‘erase’ button we can push to rid ourselves of unwanted and unpleasant memories in our brain. These memories continue to haunt us for a lifetime.
But no matter what burns in our memory, forgiveness is one of the important keys in overcoming our inner pain — forgiving the one who has wronged us. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of obedience on our part in response to God’s word. It does not mean we condone the act of injustice inflicted upon us. But we do it anyway. It not only restores our relationship with the one who offended us but also restores our fellowship with God. But most of all, we stand to benefit in many ways — physiologically and psychologically.
When we align ourselves with God’s word, that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven by Christ, we will experience release and healing. The world says, “You must get even. An eye for an eye.” But we have to demolish such thoughts, taking them captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). By doing so, we do not allow anger to fester (Ephesians 4:26) or bitterness to take root (Hebrews 12:15).
We are told to put off the old nature, put on the new nature and be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:22-24). God is like the Master Potter. When the lump of clay is deformed and unsightly, He crushes it and reshapes it. One way this is achieved is when the Holy Spirit brings a particular verse to our attention and applies it — like a balm or arrow — to our lives. A balm soothes while an arrow convicts.
To be continued next week ( Part 2 ).
Source : Porridge For The Soul By Dr Lim Poh Ann
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