Friday, April 18, 2014

He Heals the Brokenhearted



Several times this week I have dealt with people that are suffering from deep depression, hopelessness and severe physical issues. It seems like the enemy has been working overtime in this season to rob people of their hope. Can it be coincidental that it is getting worse right before the time when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord? I doubt it. So the good news is, breakthrough is at your door!

There is a connection between a broken spirit, auto immune disease, and other physical issues.

Prov. 17:22 tells us, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

A broken heart doesn’t always manifest in tears and other outward signs of grief. Sometimes it results in forced composure, restraint at showing emotion and hardness of heart. The person is fearful of trusting again when their heart is still separated from God and others.
Other indications of a broken spirit can be depression, shame, blaming others, unresolved guilt or regret, bitterness, unforgiveness, low self-esteem or feelings of unworthiness, immaturity, self-centeredness and selfishness, fear and anxiety.

When an individual experiences any of these things yet is not equipped to deal with them properly, it can result in other outward expressions of the inner turmoil. Perfectionism, addictions, controlling behaviors, outbursts of anger, or behaviors of an overachiever are also common. All of these are a result of a spirit of fear.

Before I go any further, I am going to tell you how to recognize when truth comes up against a stronghold in your belief system. When the enemy is guarding a stronghold and he has lies reinforced against the truth, what Satan has done is to create a false belief system to protect the web of lies from being torn apart. When truth confronts one of those lies, there will be immediate resistance to the truth. There may be offense, anger, a scoffing or mocking response, or some sort of an attitude that quickly dismisses that truth as irrelevant.( A spirit of error will also twist truth to disregard spiritual truth and accept false teaching instead, but it will also create double mindedness as truth and error will war against one another until truth prevails. When a spirit of error is at work there will also be confusion and lack of peace). Watch for those things to occur as you read through this article. If it surfaces, stop immediately and pray that God would get truth around the obstacles that the enemy has placed in your heart and mind and allow you to understand the truth that makes you free.

A spirit of fear and a spirit of heaviness are strongmen that work together to reinforce a broken spirit. The enemy works through strongholds in the mind and belief system that cause the individual to exalt emotions, fears, wrong thought processes and the lies the enemy has told them ABOVE the truth. Thus, Satan has created an atmosphere where the power of his lies appears to be more powerful than the truth found in God’s word. When this occurs, the enemy, through trickery and deceit, has successfully gained his victim’s cooperation, and caused them to unknowingly break faith with God, putting them in rebellion to the Lord. Because they are in rebellion, (often without having any understanding that is what occurred), the enemy has legal grounds to approach God to gain access to the person. Heaven and earth are subject to the spiritual principles established by God before the foundations of the earth. Whether we are in agreement with those principles or not, we are forced to abide by the laws of God. Therefore it is of the utmost necessity to understand the spiritual principles at work. When the enemy finds a legal right to inflict torment or destruction of some sort, he can visit curses upon people through disease, financial lack, broken marriages, and unleash the power of death and hell against his victims to bring all sorts of trouble, simply because of a spiritual principle of rebellion. God cannot bless anything that is operating through a spirit of rebellion because it is the spirit behind Satan himself. Self will, or self rule, is also rebellion. People that live according to their own reason and judgment rather than submitting themselves to a loving Father and obedience to God also find themselves in alignment with rebellion. Therefore, the blessing of God is often removed. Pride is the other element of this that causes individuals to become spiritually blind to their need to repent, but what they may not understand is the truth, “God resists the proud, but He gives His grace to the humble.” Therefore, we are advised, through the next line of scripture, to shut the door to the enemy by submitting first to God, THEN we can effectively resist the enemy and he must flee. (James 4:6,7). The person in deep emotional pain and brokenness may not understand that they are actually resisting submission to God, even though they may request much prayer and desire with all their heart for their prayers to be answered.

God draws near the brokenhearted, and His desire is to heal – always. Through the truth of His word we can understand that He is waiting for us to offer Him an appropriate sacrifice.
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject the sacrifices of a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17

Some translations use the words ‘humbled’ or ‘contrite’ heart. Having a contrite heart means feeling remorse, regret, or genuinely sorry for our sin. It means to be struck in our conscience and truly understand where we are guilty before the Lord and in need of repentance.
Satan, of course, twists things around in a person’s understanding so that they stand in accusation of God, separated from Him, embittered by things such as betrayal, broken trust, unfair or unwarranted treatment from others, and many other deep disappointments that cause a person’s heart to be resistant to God, others, and – here’s the catch – resistant to FEELING remorse or the need to repent. A person in this condition can easily become spiritually blind to their need to feel anything because they are so accustomed to feeling not much of anything. Walls of self- preservation have been constructed around their heart in order to keep from being hurt again. Do you see how the enemy is so skilled in twisting truth? When a person is hurting, whether from emotional pain or physical health issues, it seems like adding insult to injury to tell them what they really need to do is repent for wrong thinking or wrong responses to God and others, and that includes ourselves! God does not accept inferior sacrifices. He wants our hearts to genuinely feel remorse for wrongdoing. If a person lacks sensitivity, they lack discernment, for one cannot be insensitive to the Holy Spirit or what grieves Him and be able to draw close to God. 

This message is written not with the intent to sound harsh or legalistic, but to enlighten the dark places of our understanding. 

“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you, because the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all they that wait for Him.” (Is. 30:18).

God will wait. I remember a time when I was so brokenhearted and grieving over a lost promise, a death and a miscarriage of justice. Multiple disappointments layered on top of one another seemed to be more than I could bear. I could not stop crying as I was overcome with grief. I felt betrayed on many levels: betrayed by people I trusted and betrayed by God. And there the enemy waited, for the opportune time when I was weakened in faith, offended, and losing conviction towards God. He was ready with his lies in order to turn me against the One who loved me most: My heavenly Father. Lies spun in my head, turning me into an accuser towards God. I cried out, “How can I trust You, when You failed me so?” How can I ever trust You again?” “You had the power to change these circumstances and You let me down!” I simply could not understand God's purposes at the time. 

The mental torment became unbearable. I thought, where can I go if I cannot trust God? My relationship with Him was broken, and I was so angry I did not want to talk to Him. I sought comfort, but it eluded me. Finally, in my pain and torment, I cried out, “Oh God, please fight this battle for me. I cannot!” Immediately, and clear as a bell, I heard the words, “YOU fight it. And watch your blind spots!”

I tell you, it was like a slap in the face and I immediately woke up to the fact that the enemy was not playing around. He had me where he wanted me and he was going in for the kill. He wanted to take me out of the game entirely. I knew I needed to get back on my feet quickly. God was trying to help me understand that I could not afford to allow myself to surrender to feeling sorry for myself, anger, and all the tactics the enemy was using against me. It was too easy to get self focused and wrapped up in all those things. I remember saying something like, “Oh God, I may never have all the answers as to why all these things happened or why You allowed them, but I need peace. I surrender them all to You. Forgive me for accusing You of being unfair and saying things I did not mean. I know You are good, even if I do not understand Your methods.” Then I remembered the principle in James 4:6,7. I took authority over the enemy and commanded him to take everything he put on me and go back to the pit of hell. INSTANTLY the grieving and crying stopped. INSTANTLY I recovered soundness of mind and peace.

God is gracious and kind; He wants nothing more than to show us His great love and compassion to us; however, He is also bound by His own spiritual laws. Part of His justice and judgment against the enemy requires a response from us. He is after our heart! His purpose is for our surrender. When we genuinely repent for where we have been out of spiritual alignment; when we truly desire with all our heart to come back under proper submission to His authority – THEN our sacrifice is acceptable to Him. THEN one can stand and resist the enemy and he must flee. The principle of James 4:7 has been tried and tested in my life many times. It is always effective.

Our lack of understanding does not mean that we are not in need of repentance or a change in attitude. Scripture says in Hosea 4:6,  “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Why were they destroyed? For rejecting the law of God. The reality is, the spiritual realm understands far more than humanity does when a person is out from under authority. Sometimes when people reject religious or legalistic attitudes, they swing too far in the other direction. When we try to earn approval, acceptance or forgiveness through our works, without even realizing it we can remove ourselves out from under grace and put ourselves back under the law. But, then we become subject to all the penalties of the law as well. When we break faith with God, or put idols in front of us, we can take ourselves out of alignment with God and put ourselves at risk. When we place ourselves out from under proper covering, we become subject to anything and everything the enemy chooses to throw at us. It may not even happen right away; sometimes the enemy waits a very long time to bring his destruction so that people will not connect the dots or be able to figure out where the door to him came open. SUBMISSION and REPENTANCE are the only things that successfully cut of the head of the enemy.

This is not to give the impression that we must fear everything for making the wrong decision, but the bottom line is the war is between God and Satan. It's a war for our heart. The war is over self will or surrender. A heart that is broken, bleeding and fearful of trusting God and others is still living by self rule. When we trust God, we willingly offer our heart to God in surrender and our heart becomes His to keep. It is His to watch over. He gives us a new heart that is filled with His love, His peace, and the decision has already been made. When temptations come, the enemy cannot suggest we still own our own heart and can do as we please for the decision has already been made. Our heart belongs to God, and it's His to keep. He crushes our pride that we might learn to love. For God so loves us, that He gave His only Son as an offering for our sin. He died in our place so that we might experience all that He is, and all that He has becomes ours. Our great redeemer, Savior...He lovingly waits, patient with our fears and insecurities, that we might trust Him enough to surrender it all and make Him Lord of our heart.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Ps. 147:3

Once right alignment to the Lord is reestablished, the next thing a person needs to do is to heal those areas of their belief system so that their foundation is strong and laid upon the rock of Jesus Christ. A house built upon the sand is unstable and shaky; it suffers destruction with every storm surge that washes away part of the foundation. Do you know why? Truth and error are not cohesive. When certain beliefs do not bond together, they produce instability, confusion, double mindedness and unfaithfulness. No one can build anything where stability is compromised. But, the house built upon the word of God (God’s proven truth) is laid upon a foundation of rock. It becomes a house that can weather the storms of life.

Romans 10:17 tells us that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Earlier I referenced a really bad time in my life when I felt as if God had failed me. I had lost all confidence in Him. When a person has lost hope, one thing that will help them get it back is to begin to look at the word of God with new eyes, to cling to it as a lifeline of hope and read it out loud. Something happens when it is read out loud. All of a sudden, my faith began to be healed and my conviction of the character and trustworthiness of God once again became settled in my heart. Jesus is not the liar or unfaithful one; Satan is. Satan is the accuser. Satan is the troublemaker. I had to make a choice what I believed! Faith is established by speaking it out loud and allowing your spirit man to receive those words of life. Life is in the Word, so reading it out loud produces life. The word is truth; it sanctifies us. It establishes us. It heals us. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and whatever we choose to listen to produces after like kind. Look up and study the scriptures on the Word of God. We do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!

In the beginning of this article I mentioned that there is a connection between a broken spirit, auto immune disease, and other physical issues. What happens is, the body begins to conform to the spiritual reality. When a broken spirit exists, there will be a compromised immune system. Where the immune system is compromised, there will be physical illness and disease. Many times the immune system that is designed to protect the body from potentially harmful cells or invading enemies will begin to attack the body instead. Why? Because there has been the rejection of truth somewhere, and usually, a rejection of the individual towards himself. Self rejection, regret, self hatred, unloving spirits, unworthiness and other toxic thoughts release the body to conform to the spiritual reality. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Sometimes those things do not even have to be spoken out loud, but the toxicity of the thoughts imposes harm on the body just the same.

The enemy wants to produce a broken spirit in us to deplete us of strength, defile our hearts, and extinguish the ember of hope, for without faith it is impossible to please God; but, He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6). The Lord’s desire towards us is to be gracious. Part of being gracious is to teach us and train us for war, so that we learn from every experience and become more than an overcomer in the process. If the spirit of God lives in us, and God is greater than any adversary, illness, disease or fear that we face, then how can we NOT be more than conquerors also? Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. How often we pray that God would exercise judgment against perceived enemies outside of us; however, when God executes judgment against the enemy, it is the enemy that lives within us! It is the toxic thoughts, the lies, the fears, the insecurities and behaviors that keep us from offering all our heart to God. That is how God exercises justice and judgment against the enemy, and leads us on in triumph. Although no one wants to go through trials and battles and the things we may suffer from in this life, God does not intend any of it for our destruction. His intent is to bring us out on the other side with a testimony that will help lead others through their dark valleys and wilderness seasons. He wants to help each one of us become smarter and wiser than our enemies, but the only way for Him to do that is through our experiences.

Friend, no matter what you may have gone through, no matter what disappointments you may have experienced at the hands of others – it is not a true measuring rod to gauge the love or faithfulness of God. Emotions are faulty and will lie to us. God’s word, His character, and the sacrifice of His One and only Son on a brutal cross is the correct way to establish truth. God so loved us that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. Don’t let the enemy lie to you any longer. Don’t let the enemy keep you separated from God or others, and don’t let him talk you into rejecting yourself, either. Jesus didn’t come to condemn you, but to seek and save the lost. He came to set the captives free.
The power of Jesus’ shed blood and the work of His cross is still more powerful than any lie of the enemy. Whatever struggle you are going through has a determined end. God has set the limits. Many times He wants us to learn something or grow through the trials so that we have more knowledge and understanding of spiritual truths and can better help someone else. But once we have gone through the process and those necessary areas of refinement, the test comes to an end, and what you are left with is the testimony of how God healed and restored your life. It is time for miracles to be released! It is time for you to recover your healing! It is time for resurrection power to flow into your life! He is bringing you out to the other side. Amen.

Father,

Forgive me for being proud or if I have somehow, knowingly or unknowingly grieved your Holy Spirit. Forgive me for hardening my heart towards You and living by self rule rather than trusting You with my heart and my needs. Forgive me for being resistant to spiritual authority whether it is in others or directly in my relationship with you. I repent for any way that I may be in agreement with the lies of the enemy, self pity or a spirit of rebellion. I willingly come back to You and submit myself under the authority of your Holy Spirit. 

Satan, as I now come back under submission to God, I reject and renounce all of your lies. I reject and renounce every way I have been knowingly or unknowingly in agreement with you or any spiritual principles by which you operate. I command you, in the name and authority of Jesus Christ, to take everything you have put on me, whether it be lies, spiritual or physical symptoms, disease or curses - and GO back to hell immediately. You have no authority to put anything on me as I break all agreement with you. 

Holy Spirit, I ask You to come now and release my healing. Let my heart, my mind, emotions and memories be healed from all trauma and disappointment, all rejection and fear. I choose this day to honor You and agree with what the word of God. I renounce all unloving spirits, all spirits of rejection, self hatred, self pity and fear. I choose faith, love, peace, joy and I choose to forgive myself, as well as others. (Insert the name of anyone you may need to forgive). In Jesus name, amen.

#Jesushealsthebrokenhearted, #Prayerforemotionalhealing

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Lesson From a Blind Man

A man that was blind, but desperate for healing, ignored the crowd that despised him. He ignored the mockers that told him to be silent, and threw off his garment so that nothing would hinder him from catching Jesus as He walked by. Though he was blind, Bartimaeus RAN towards Jesus, crying out, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" The moment he took the first step, Jesus heard him. He stopped, and turned around so that Bartimaeus could meet up with Him. The man's earnest plea grabbed Jesus' attention and caused him to turn around. Because he was earnest, humble and seeking the Lord, the Lord turned around and met his request.

It goes beyond just a casual meeting. Bartimaeus sought the Lord with all his heart, and the Bible promises that when we seek Him with all our heart, we will find him. (Jer. 29:13; Deut. 4:29; Acts 17:27; Is. 55:6-7; Prov. 8:17). Jesus, full of compassion, cannot resist the person that comes honestly seeking Him. The fact that He is full of such great mercy is evident in the fact that He always made time for those with needs. He stopped what He was doing in order to show how gracious and kind He was, so that people would understand the nature of their heavenly Father. Love compelled him to stop and turn around!

When a person is earnestly seeking God, they are honestly seeking God. The Lord desires truth in our innermost being, our heart. (Ps. 51:6). It means they are willing to cast off all the things they might desire in the flesh, and that can include quite a bit. Bartimaeus, like many others, was probably used to getting attention, pity, handouts and sympathy from others. The first thing he had to do was get up from where he had been sitting, probably begging for handouts. He had to break that poverty mindset and believe he could have more for his life. Self pity and sympathy seeking could no longer be his friends. He had to be willing to make a determined effort to seek out the One who could truly heal him. Blind or not, Bartimaeus needed to be willing to make the effort to connect with Jesus even though it posed a great deal of difficulty. We must be willing to come to God on His terms. In order to receive what you desire from God, you might have to let go of some things. You might have to stop trying to justify what you want when the Lord asks you to surrender to His will. The enemy will suggest you can walk a fine line, even getting your toes on the line, to push the limits of holding on to your own will. That is simply resisting God, and when we resist God, well,...He resists us. The enemy will often times wrestle with your reason because he wants you to keep that door open, whatever it is. Is there something God is asking you to surrender? There are many people who identify with being a Christian because they go to church, know about God and may even know how to talk the talk or fit in; yet their heart is not submitted to God at all. A person can know what scripture says, they can have a lot of head knowledge or even go to church and seemingly do all the appropriate "Christian" things - yet, still not LIVE in the truth because they aren't submitted to it. That is called living in deception.The truth can only set us free when we choose to walk it out and put it into practice. If a person isn't submitted to Truth (which is the Holy Spirit), then how can they possibly expect to receive from the Holy Spirit? Sometimes people don't stop to think about things like that until they get desperate enough to make some new confessions to the Lord and yield their heart to His.

I don't know what Bartimaeus had to go through, but I know that God's timing is perfect. A blind man had been in that condition a long time, but just hearing the news that Jesus was walking in near proximity immediately caused faith to spring up in his heart. He could be healed! He could lead a normal life! He didn't have to be on the welfare system of his day! Friend, don't settle for spiritual welfare. God wants more for you than that, no matter what your situation looks like. Do you know what you settle for when a situation doesn't change for a long time and you become convinced that it will never change? Discouragement. Hopelessness. Unbelief. They settle into a person's heart, and hope deferred can make a person heartsick. Jesus is here today to heal those that are heartsick. He wants to give them hope again that He is in their midst, and He won't pass by the person who is earnestly, honestly seeking an encounter with Him! Call on His name and see what great and mighty things He does for you!

Whatever Bartimaeus had gone through made him ready to run to Jesus and cast off all restraint. Sometimes you will have to stomp on your pride and risk looking foolish in front of others. You may have to ask yourself if you are allowing pride to keep you from a blessing. You may have to push through some demonic attack, encounter naysayers or those that mock your faith. Do you realize the enemy will always attempt to keep you from pressing into the anointing? The enemy will be in your ear saying, "Don't step out and do that...you will look like a fool! You will embarrass yourself!" Or any number of things he may try to whisper in your ear. You may even have to deal with other Christians that speak against you and try to discourage you in some manner. The enemy can use a lot of methods to try to discourage a person from pressing through until they grab hold of Christ and refuse to let go until they get what they came for, but don't give up! Go where the Lord directs you to go, and do what He tells you to do. Your promise is on the other side of desperation and obedience.

Friends, it doesn't matter what your circumstances look like. Maybe you can't see where you're going or what's in front of you, but throw off the excuses, the unbelief, the doubts, and call out to Jesus. Throw off the things the enemy has tempted you with to exalt your will and your desires above obedience and submission to your Father. Let your heart yield to His. Show Him that you will worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23,24). Jesus is in your midst, and I promise you, He won't pass by those that truly want to encounter Him! The moment you take the first step to humble yourself and come to Him honestly, He turns to meet you. He listens for the earnest cry, for the heart that is willing to yield to Him and please Him by worshipping Him in truth! Today say, "Son of David, have mercy on me! Don't pass me by! I need YOU!" He will turn to meet you and release the answer to your need.