Tag Archives: inner healing

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 6) — We Are a Healing Center

healingJesus is the Healer, and He has commissioned us to labor with Him in that capacity, because “…as [Jesus] is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Jesus commissioned His disciples, in Matthew 10:7, 8, “And as you go, preach, saying, ”The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons; freely you have received, now freely give.”

We are His ambassadors, so we should be doing the same things He did. Indeed, He said we would: “Truly, Truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do, he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father” (John 14:12).

We all love miraculous healing stories, whether in the Bible or in modern times, don’t we? While we’re excited and delighted to see people healed instantly, some healing takes a long time — especially inner healing. Yet I have heard it said, time and again, by multiple preachers, “The church is not supposed to be a hospital!” Ahem. Yes, it is.

If you travel in apostolic circles, you are probably having fits with me about now. Because, most likely you are into hosting spiritual boot camps to equip the saints for battle, right? But let’s think this through a bit.

You want a harvest of souls, don’t you? What kind of world do we have around us? One full of hurting, traumatized people. More than half come from broken homes. At least one in four has been a victim of sexual abuse. Still others have suffered other types of physical or emotional abuse. Some are refugees and have lived through the greatest atrocities imaginable in their home countries. Some have tried to commit suicide because they can’t deal with the pain anymore.

Now tell me the Church is not supposed to be a hospital! What are you going to do with them once you have brought them to Jesus, if you won’t provide a place of healing for them within the Church? Will you just push them through boot camp and out to the battlefield?

And what about Christians who once were healthy, but now are not? Should we just ignore their hurt, perhaps write them off as unfit? Do we pressure them to pretend everything is all right, when it is not? Or should we instead be compassionate enough to be an active part of their healing process, realizing with a heart of humility that any of us could also experience a stretch of life where we aren’t in top form?

That’s my human reasoning, but let’s look at what the Bible says about it. “We, then, who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1). Jesus bound up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, until He sends forth judgment to victory” (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20).

Realizing that the Church should be a healing center — including a “hospital,” if you will — doesn’t mean that we let people sit around and lick their wounds for the rest of their lives. The whole purpose of doctors and hospitals is to get people well, so they can lead healthy lives when possible. Indeed, healing people of emotional wounds is an element of equipping the saints — because part of healing is giving them the tools to stay well and strong, so that they can go out there and make a difference in God’s kingdom.

I think that might be a worthy reason to think the Church should be a hospital. How about you?

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Part 4 — We Are an Army
Part 5 — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship
Next: Part 7 — Other Attributes of the Church

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healing

 

God’s Word on Healing
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Christian encouragement

 

 

Encouragement from God’s Word
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Clearing Out the Filters

strainerHave you ever had what you thought was an innocent conversation with someone, only to have the person turn around a few days or weeks later and accuse you of having said this and that — things which you never for a moment meant or thought you had said? The person who so grossly misunderstood you had a filter in his mind that was distorting the information.

We all have filters to some degree, and what we hear and see does not get to us without passing through those filters. They might be insecurity filters, rejection filters, fear filters, low self-worth filters, or even cultural filters. We could call them strongholds.

Where do filters come from? They are gradually built into our thinking, often through hurts and disappointments we have endured. They are constructed by a partnership between the enemy of our souls and our own unguarded thinking. The devil injects wrong thoughts into our minds when he sees a weak spot in us or a hurt to be taken advantage of. If we cooperate with those injected thoughts by latching onto them and agreeing with them, we’ve got the beginnings of a stronghold, or filter. Over time, the filter becomes more and more plugged up, so that less and less gets through to us in its original, unmuddied form. Our interpretations of what is going on around us become increasingly inaccurate — skewed.

It is difficult to recognize when a filter is affecting our thinking. We sincerely think we have heard or seen correctly. So, we get offended with people who meant no offense. We think we are operating in discernment about others’ motives. People become hesitant to  interact with us because of the backlash. And we wonder why we feel like the tail, instead of the head. A filter will also affect our ability to accurately hear and see prophetically. What a mess!

There is a way out, and it begins with frequently asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to us any areas of darkness in our minds. You might feel squeamish about asking Him to reveal problem spots to you. I know I do! But He is faithful to help us if we are willing to hear Him. 

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The main truth we must know is Jesus Himself, Who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), but knowing Him allows us to come into all truth, including being able to recognize strongholds (filters) in our thinking which oppose His truth. So, as we ask Him to search us, He begins to point out to us where the filters are and how they are at work against us.

Recognition of the problem is half the battle. Once you understand that your thinking is influenced by a particular issue you suffer under, you can ask God to bring it to your attention whenever you fall into skewed thinking in that area. He will be faithful to do so, and you will develop a habit of recognizing false thoughts more quickly as they arise. And once you can recognize a false thought at work, you can deal with it. God shows us how, in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not soulish, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds), casting down imaginations and every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity, to the obedience of Christ.

Let’s look at what we can learn from those verses. First, we recognize that we don’t have to indulge or put up with every thought that goes through our mind. Truthful thinking versus darkened thinking is spiritual warfare, and God is mighty on our behalf to help us win the battle. The moment we identify a thought or imagination which does not line up with God’s thinking, we must determine to stop it in its tracks. We dethrone it, so to speak, and bring it as a captive of war to Jesus. (I like to envision it as lassoing that thought and bringing it to Him. “Here, Lord Jesus. I caught another one trying to horn in on our territory!”) We then realign our thoughts in obedience to what the Word of God says. For starters, Philippians 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 are great verses to thoroughly know and realign our thoughts to.

Getting rid of filters in our minds is a lengthy process, but we can all succeed if we want to, because the Holy Spirit is eager to assist us. Remember that most of them weren’t constructed in a day, so it will take time to demolish them, too. It may be an uphill climb at times, but it is worth pressing in to accomplish. As we do so, the gunk will gradually be cleared out of the filters (like opening the holes in a plugged-up sieve), so that we can process what we see and hear more accurately. Eventually, filters can be completely wiped out.

If you would like to be free of filters which have plugged up your thinking processes, please pray with me:

Dear Father in heaven, I want to see and hear things from Your vantage point. I want to be free of attributing wrong motives to other people, which aren’t even really there.  By the power of the Holy Spirit at work in me, please help me to recognize the strongholds or filters in my life which must be cleared out and demolished. Help me to recognize every thought which is not in agreement with You, and to bring it captive to Jesus.  Give me a renewed mind, which thinks like You think. I ask it in Jesus’ Name.