Many Christian couples do not pray together. They often don’t realize the power and grace of simply sitting down together, regularly, holding hands, and praying from their hearts about the issues of life. They will pray by themselves, they will occasionally say traditional prayers. Facing each other, praying from their hearts, makes them feel uncomfortable. So they make excuses. Research indicates that couples Read more →
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I lift to You each one reading this message of love. Let the power of Your Holy Spirit begin to flow in them as Your Truth penetrates their soul. Help them to believe the love and receive fresh hope as You begin a healing work in their lives. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
I have been walking with the Lord now for almost 30 years. After a Saul to Paul conversion that caused the scales to fall from my eyes, there was a lot of healing that had to take place before I could safely share God’s love with others. Wounded people have a difficult time loving and being loved.
In my walk with the Lord He showed me all the lies I believed about myself, which were the source of my sinful behavior. I acted as I believed, or I served my own truth. The Lord revealed these lies to me over a period of time in which I was ministered to by Him and others He sent to me. So when I discovered the book Healing the Wounded Heart and recognized my own healing journey, I felt the Lord calling me to make this process available to others.
“Healing Wounded Hearts” is a program I presented in my parish over a 9 month period. It is based on the book Healing the Wounded Heart by Thom Gardner of Restore Ministries. The premise of the program and the book is that our wounded hearts are the result of lies we believe about ourselves. These lies are offered to us in a moment of sin, either our personal sin or when someone sins against us. Sin is always involved.
Most lies are received and believed when we are children. The need for restoration to a child-like innocence is critical in sharing an intimate loving relationship with God our Father. When our first parents sinned, they lost this close, face to face, breath upon my neck, relationship with God that He created us to have. Just like in the Garden, Satan continues to lie, intimidate and deceive in order to distort God’s Truth about who we are and what we were created for. In Mark 10:15, God tells us, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Most of the pain we experience in our lives comes from our thoughts. It is what we think about people and events in our lives that seem to affect our emotions, mostly in negative ways; then we act on those beliefs. We have an experience from which we form a belief, which affects our emotions and our behavior. I can remember in my own journey, wondering what people thought of me. The Lord said to me, “What others think of you is none of your business.” In other words, I couldn’t change or control it in anyway; therefore it was off limits for me. It was outside of my concern, above my pay grade so to speak. “We take every thought captive to Christ (2Cor. 10:5).”
The Kingdom of God is within us, the scriptures tell us “For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Lk 17:21).” So the battle for the Kingdom of God is also within us. What we believe about who we are and what we are made for is crucial to understanding Truth; it is also crucial to defeating God’s enemy. The Father takes great delight when his children humiliate His enemy.
A child who experiences rejection, perhaps by a teacher, another parent or classmate, may suffer for the next 20 years believing he is not wanted, not included, intentionally left out, thought about and rejected due to some failure. The lie of ‘I am rejected, they don’t want me’ plays out in every circumstance. We see this with prejudice and racism. The injustice of this kind of rejection creates a seething anger. Not one that explodes, but an anger that is bone deep. This is the truth he or she believes. Since it is believed as truth (no one can believe a lie if they know it is a lie) they look for every opportunity to affirm this truth. However, once they realize that this is a lie from the enemy, they no longer have to live under its influence and can receive the Truth who is Jesus Christ, and receive deliverance from the influence of rejection. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (Jn 8:32).”
The way we discover what influences us is generally by noticing the patterns in our life especially involving relationships. Someone who believes they are rejected or not wanted will seek out opportunities to confirm this truth (lie), they believe. They might insist that someone call, not once but several times, just to be sure they are really wanted. Unfortunately the calls never come, so again they experience rejection. Or the person might act in a way that is not respectful of another’s freedom or personal space, like calling 10 times in one day to be sure they are included. Ultimately that is the very behavior that will result in someone saying, “Please don’t call again.” The lie of rejection is confirmed and made real once more. This lie becomes their truth, and it must be served like a god. Anytime we serve a truth which is not The Truth, Jesus Christ, we are serving a false idol. Romans 1:25 tells us, “…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
The Good News is that we don’t have to believe these lies anymore. Jesus conquered the father of lies with his death and resurrection. The key is forgiveness. When we first recognize these feelings of fear, rejection, worthlessness, insecurity, shame, defilement and hopelessness, we ask the Lord to enter into the circumstance of our wounding to show us the Truth of our experience. Then we can understand the lie we believed. We must forgive those who have wounded us, including ourselves, for our own sin and participation in the wounding event, rejecting all lies and self-promises made. For example, “I will never,” or “I will always.” Lk 11 reminds us in the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
We can also know what influences our internal life as we think about our relationship with God. Is He near, loving us and watching over us, protecting and providing for us, or is He far away unconcerned about the small details of my life? Is He too busy to concern Himself with my needs, distant, far away, keeping score of all my faults and failings? Or is He always extending His merciful love? If our relationship with God is not lovingly close, not believing He is watching every step, caring for all my needs, walking with me in my times of struggle and suffering, then we may have a wound that pushes God away, so He doesn’t see or judge me. The word intimacy can be said like this: “Into Me See”. Intimacy is what we are avoiding by keeping God far away. Luke 12:7 “Even the hairs on your head are numbered and you are of greater value that two sparrows.”
Seeing our own wounded heart is a key element in understanding our relationship with others. It helps to recognize that the behaviors we find irritating or difficult in others may come from our own wounded heart. When we discover this, we can see others through the eyes of Jesus and understand when he said: “Father forgive them, they know not what they do (Lk. 23:34). As we see others with mercy and compassion, understanding and forgiveness, we are better able to understand and receive the forgiveness and mercy the Lord himself gives to us. Matt.7:1-3 “As you judge, so shall you be judged.” And Luke 6:32, “Do unto others, as you would have done to you”
Here is the Truth, His name is Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. He seals us with His precious blood, the Blood of the Lamb, who was worthy to be slain, spotless and without blemish, born of the Virgin Mary, a man like us in all things but sin, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of Jesse who has conquered sin and death. 1 Cor. 6:20 “You have been bought with a great price.”
To see the Truth about who you are, and that you were created to have a shared purpose in God, is the beginning of a new love; a love life filled with God and our brothers and sisters. We can begin to see others as Christ sees us from the Cross. We can begin to recognize the face of Jesus in the suffering servant, the poor, the homeless, the lonely. “Whatever you did not do to the least of these, you did not do it to me (Matt 25:43).
In fact, the Creator of the Universe wishes to dwell in us. His desire is to come inside of us and make His dwelling or tabernacle in our hearts. Like the Bridegroom coming for his bride and departing into the bridal chamber. (See Eph. 5:32.) He desires to be one with us. Like a spousal relationship but in the Spirit. But first, we must let Him come close enough to heal us. John 14:23 reminds us, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
The Lord came to heal me in two of my life experiences that left me wounded. The first when I was about five and an older boy abused me sexually. Jesus came to me, wrapped me in his shawl, covering my nakedness and carried me. He bundled me up so tight and whisked me away. The Truth he declared to me was that I was so precious to Him. He let me know that He did not want this terrible thing to happen to me, but that He was with me through it all. The Truth He revealed to me was that I was covered, no longer naked and ashamed. “I was afraid because I was naked (Gen. 3:7-10).”
The second event was when I was 19 years old. I had attended a party and had too much to drink and found a room to lie down in. Someone came into the room and laid on top of me trying to sexually assault me. The Lord showed me a picture of myself, laying on the bed. Jesus lay right beside me, so as I was being abused, He too was being abused. Instantly my focus was no longer on the wounding, the defilement, but on Him, who took my sins upon himself, who was abused in my place and I was set free (read Isaiah 53:5). I was no longer feeling defiled, but completely restored and made whole by the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the Way the Truth and the Life (John14:6).
Closing prayer: Thank You Father God, for all of the ways you work in our lives to set us free. Thank You Lord Jesus, for never letting go of us. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us (Rom 5:5).
[In our 9 month program I presented each of the seven influences three times. We had 45-60 women attend each month. The deliverance, healing and restoration stories were remarkable. If you would like more information about Healing Wounded Hearts, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.