Thursday, March 1, 2012

FREEDOM FROM EMOTIONAL PAIN - TEARING DOWN THE STRONGHOLDS

FREEDOM FROM EMOTIONAL PAIN - TEARING DOWN THE STRONGHOLDS

Most people hate to feel pain. The human response to pain is avoidance, and the tendency is to find ways to deaden uncomfortable memories and emotions. People will go to great lengths to mask the pain of emotional suffering. Some cover it with food, alcohol or drugs, shopping, mindless social activity, casual relationships, burying themselves in work, or other busyness. Some even substitute Facebook , texting and other trendy forms of social communication in place of real, face-to-face relationships that require openness and direct contact because it keeps people at a "safe" distance.

People's attempts to keep their disappointments, offenses, hurt and brokenness safely locked away just don't work because the human heart yearns to be free. We are created in the image and likeness of God. (Gen 1:27) Anything that comes to restrict the freedom, healing and wholeness that is available through Christ is contrary to God's will and who He created us to emulate: Himself.  It's a lie straight from the pit of hell. God has instructed us to "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1)


The Word of God in Hebrews 12:14,15 warns us to watch for several dangers: 1) refusing and rejecting God's gracious offer of salvation. Included in God's offer of salvation is the provision for healing. He doesn't want anyone to walk around wounded! Time doesn't heal all wounds; it just pushes them down deeper in a well-guarded place in our heart and mind, while silently seeping toxic waste. 2) The second danger is a warning of allowing a root of bitterness to take root in a person's heart. You don't have to go far to witness someone overtaken by hurt, unforgiveness and bitterness. Many of their words are like painful barbs dipped in poison, because the truth is, those that are wounded, offended or unforgiving can't help but speak about it. It may be cloaked with deceiving words of sarcasm, humor or other things, but a root of bitterness defiles, and can even persuade others to pick up the judgments and offenses of those that speak negativity, judgments about others and take these things into their hearts. When a toxic waste spill is buried deep in the ground, it is only a matter of time until the poison begins to affect the soil, the land and everything it comes in contact with – until an environmental company comes in to analyze the conditions, provide 'clean up' services to neutralize the contaminants and remove the toxic elements. Likewise, the soil of the human heart continues to spill poison and toxic waste into every new or existing relationship until appropriate measures are taken to 'clean up' the festering wounds of the past. The third warning in this portion of scripture is defilement. Defilement turns a person's heart, mind, and lifestyle away from God and the pursuit of His will. It becomes the equivalent of spiritual adultery, as people are gradually overtaken by the sin of compromise with the world. These people will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they repent and turn back to God.

It has been said that if we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it.  In order to create something new for one's future, we must deal with the source of the pain, which is the old wound. When hurt, rejection, shame, injustice or some other form of emotional pain occurs, two things occur. 1) the mind begins to search for thoughts and ideas to rationalize away the hurt. The mind creates a protective wall around that hurt in order to contain it. It's the human response to manage pain. 2) the enemy of our soul, Satan, is right there to introduce his lie in order to turn people away from God and others, and embrace his deception. He is right there whispering in our ear, suggesting thoughts, magnifying offense, hurt and other negative emotions as we talk ourselves through painful or offensive memories. Satan's lies are to persuade us to replace God's truth with his belief system. Our attempts to rationalize certain thoughts that will shelter us from feeling discomfort begin to create a new reality, one in which we can explain why certain painful events in our life occurred.What happens though, is that a stronghold in our thinking is created, nurturing a system of lies and self-deception in order to effectively shield our heart and mind from a painful situation.

WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF A STRONGHOLD?

Here are a few illustrations of a stronghold at work to protect a lie:

* The person who believes that failure in the past has labeled them as “inferior” and creates feelings of insecurity that dominates their thoughts.

* The alcoholic drug addict, etc. that believes they will always be addicted, never completely delivered.

* The person who has been rejected in relationships, believing that all relationships are doomed to repeat the same cycle of rejection and failure.

* The workaholic that feels that his security lies within his or her own ability to secure their future, rather than trusting God to care for them and help them rest in His security and provision.

* The thought that (men, women, those in authority, etc) are unable to be trusted because those that were once trusted abused or missued their position of trust, power and authority.

For each lie, there is a scriptural truth to dispel the deception. In order to take down the strongholds in our minds, we have to ask God to give us the truth that will set us free and heal the lie. "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

Where ever there is pain or an unhealed wound one can find the evidence of a false belief system that Satan created in order to be a blind spot. We all have them, and repentance is the only thing that unlocks them and rids them from our thought processes. Our faulty perceptions, thoughts and opinions become our new reality and begin to govern our souls, and deception blinds people's eyes. We begin to conform to what Satan and others say about us, rather than what God has already said in His word about who we already are. Experiences begin to rule our life, rather than God directing us into something new and wonderful, and because we're listening and obeying the wrong impulses, thoughts and imaginations, our lives become directed by the enemy of our souls, rather than the One who died for our freedom, wholeness and victory. LIFE flows from those that have experienced healing. God wants access to our hearts so that He can heal us and set us free!

WHICH LIFE ARE YOU LIVING?

In order to shift from the past to your future, you have to take authority over your present. Prayer and repentance are the ways to neutralize and clean up the toxic contaminants in your thought life! Each of us need to tear down the strongholds in the mind where Satan has taken unfair advantage of our pain, disappointments and discouragements. He is a predator and a destroyer, waiting to take advantage of those that are unwise to his methods! Why on earth would anyone want to give the reigns of their life over to someone that doesn't have their best interests at heart? The only answer is because they are still in captivity to a belief system built around lies and a false identity. Once people understand the power, victory, healing and the new destiny that is available to them through Christ, they will never be the same. Never again will they have the desire to trust in themselves or the evil imaginations created in them by the wicked one. My prayer for you today is that today is your day for a turnaround.

How about a prayer to turn YOUR life around?

Father,

I want to be free and healed. I do not want bitter memories to prevent me from walking into a blessed future. I surrender every lie, every bit of deception, every hurt and bad memory to You. I surrender the shame,rejection, self-hatred, self-pity, the feelings of condemnation, guilt and blame that I have turned inwardly onto myself, as well as those thoughts and feelings of judgment that I have placed upon others. I choose to forgive those that have hurt me (insert names where possible) and I ask that You forgive them too. Heal their areas of brokenness. I receive by faith that You sent Your Son to die for my sins and that Jesus paid the price for my victory. I thank You that as I have chosen to forgive others, I can receive Your forgiveness for my sins. I ask Your forgiveness for others in my family line that failed to acknowledge Your Lordship and receive the offer of salvation for their own life. Lord, please cut off every generational sin. Please pull down every stronghold in my thinking that is based upon a false belief system, controlled by fear, insecurity or inferiority and held in place by the lies of the enemy. I renounce every lie and every agreement that I have made with the enemy. I renounce all lying, deceiving spirits, all spirits of anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, resentment and vengeance. I renounce all spirits of double mindedness and unbelief.  I repent for entertaining the wrong ideas, assumptions and belief system. I renounce the seed of every lie that I have taken into my spirit,  Holy Spirit, please visit me with your salvation and healing to my mind and emotions. Lead me into the truth that will unravel the lies and set me free. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit, which is wholeness, healing, life, light and purity. Fill me with pure love that will wash away the pain and hurt. Please transform my thoughts and belief system to form new, healthy thoughts that are void of pain, mistrust, anger, unforgiveness, insecurity and inferiority. May my responses demonstrate self-control, love, peace and joy. Thank you for the victory and for realigning my future to walk into the newness of what You have for me this day. In Jesus' name, Amen.