Chapter 5. Healing The Soul Series

5.1. Healing Presence

Perspective

( Ezek. 36:27 ; Eph. 3:16,17 ) To experience this prayer fulfilled in our lives (as described in these verses) is to find our true center, the ‘home within’. From this center, we ‘abide’ in Christ and He in us, the very root of our being.

Hope

( Matt. 6:14-15 ; Matt. 5:23-24 ; 1 John 1:9 ; Heb. 10:22 ) Barriers that keep us from realizing our ‘true center’ in Christ are our failures to forgive others as well as receiving forgiveness from God for our own sins. One major area is our guilt and shame, and the failure to acquire the virtue of self-acceptance in Christ. The blood of Christ completely wipes out our past, making us fully acceptable in Christ.

( Phil. 3:13-14 ) The extent a person lives out of his diseased and corrupted attitudes and feelings toward the self to that extent he will fail to find and live from his true center. We must die to misconceived attitudes and the illusory self, else we cannot abide fully in Christ.

( John 14:20 ; Col. 1:27 ) Christ descends to us and into us. He incarnates us. We are indwelt by God Who is above us, before He is within us and beneath us.

( James 4:8 ; Heb. 10:22 ) We look up to God who is other, and sovereign over all. Thank God that Christ’s Spirit is within us, saving us, hallowing us, linking us to Him.

Change

( Phil. 2:12-13 ) By practicing His Presence within, man and God work together. God will not do what you can do, that is, to choose. At the point you choose, it is God who does the doing. Passivity is waiting for God to deal with sin when it has been taking care of at the cross. My job now is to unite my will with His and allow righteousness to flow.

( 1 Cor. 12:7-11 ) The gifts of the Spirit are the nature of the manifestations of God. By practicing the Presence of Christ, we lay the foundation for understanding and moving of the gifts of the Spirit.

( Matt. 5:23-24 ) Healing gifts of the Spirit may face two big barriers to wholeness: failure to forgive others, and failure to receive forgiveness. Faith, knowledge, love, moral conduct, courage, hope, prayer, all have to do with Christ in us. Forgive and be forgiven, daily cleansing of all slights and resentments keeps our union with Christ intact, and allows the free flow of grace.

( Jer. 17:9-10 ) All kinds of hearts within us: broken, grieved, discouraged, proud, wicked, trembling, double, subtle, perverse, sorrowful, haughty, fretting, heavy, jealous, envious, evil, deceitful, hard, scheming, callous and so on. But Christ in us radiates through us, making our two minds hallowed, as well as our feelings, wills, intellect, faculties and our bodies. He completes us and we become: willing, perfect, tender, soft, pure, upright, clean wise, merry , meek and lowly, honest and good, single, true, compassionate and thankful and so on.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Col. 2:11-12

Devotion:

BSAF on Matt. 5:23-26

Put-Off/Put-On:

List any interpersonal conflicts and disputes. Prepare a failure list and make plans to resolve and be reconciled by working columns l-4 of Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” .

Reference: See [19][Payne1] for further reading.

 

5.2. Transforming the Natural Self

Perspective

( Gen. 1:26-28,31 ; Gen. 2:3,7 ; 1 Cor. 15:47 ) Man was made before sin entered, and he was made of dust and divinity, his fundamental nature. Made of the dust of the ground is man’s glory because in it man was to manifest the image of God. Sin is not in ‘matter’, it was never planted. Sin is not part of human nature as God designed it. Sin is not a ‘disease’, but a rebellion against God.

In John 6:56-58 Jesus says we should let the very corpuscles of our blood , every nerve and cell of our flesh, exhibit the new life that has been created in us. And to complete what the first Adam failed to do, that is to transform the natural into the spiritual through obedience.

Hope

( 1 Cor. 6:19-20 ) Our temple is a fleshly one, not a spiritual one. But being born-again and becoming identified with the death of Christ, we exhibit His life in our mortal flesh. The life of the Son of God is born in us; therefore, the perfection of that life enables us not only to know what the will of God is, but to carry out His will in our mortal body.

( Exodus 33:20 ; Rom. 6:23 ; Eph. 2:1 ) We became subject to death not because we are finite beings but because of sin. Whenever we touch sin, death is the result. No one can see God and live, yet we do see God and live, but only by going through death. When we are born-again, we are also experiencing death. For to be born-again we must die – die to our claim to our right to ourselves. As we do, we receive the gift of eternal life, which is “the gift of God in Jesus Christ Our Lord.”

( Gen. 3:12-15 ) Adam and Eve did not blame themselves, both evaded the moral truth. They admitted but did not confess. Either we refuse to say we have sinned or we admit we have sinned and refuse to let God save us.

( Rom. 16:20 ; James 4:6-8 ; 1 John 1:9 ; Gen. 3:15 ) Whenever the conviction of sin comes, we must pull it out into the light and confess it. When we realize the shame of sin and accept God’s forgiveness, an inwrought energy replaces the energy spent in the sin. That energy is recovered in “the fruits of repentance.” Man must deal with Satan because man is responsible for his introduction into this world. It is man, through redemption, who is to overcome Satan. And to do that which would exhibit the perfect fulfillment of His prophecy regarding the serpent.

( Gen. 6:5 ; Jer. 17:9 ; Matt. 15:19 ; 1 Cor. 2:9-16 ; Eph. 4:22-24 ) Whenever we choose to disregard God, we are acting out of our depravity. We can never rest on the assumption that now that I am saved and sanctified, all that I choose and think are sure to be right. Not by any means. If our choices and our thinking do not spring from a determined recognition of God, we are depraved no matter what our spiritual experience has been.

We transform the natural into the spiritual by daily putting-off and putting-on: to reflect on the word of God, to learn the art of biblical meditation, to know the mind of Christ, and to “apprehend all things” from His divine perspective.

Change

( Gen. 6:8-9 ; 2 Pet. 1:2-8 ) The only thing that keeps back God’s grace and favor is our sin and perversity. To walk with God as Noah is the ‘trial’ of faith. Spiritual character is only developed as Noah’s was-by standing loyal to God’s character, no matter what distress the trial of faith brings. As with Job and with Noah, the flood and the destruction of mankind. God in His infinite mercy saves us by His judgment.

It is not judgment inaugurating salvation, but judgment that is salvation – with nations and with the human race. The natural life is un-moral and unspiritual. It is translated into the spiritual by obedience. We are to add to our lives all that character means. No one is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, it must be developed. Nor are we born with habits. We have to form godly habits on the basis of the new life God has placed within us.

( Gen. 7:17,19,23-24 ; Gen. 8:10,15,18 ; Gen. 9:8 ; Luke 21:19 ; James 1:2-4 ) Check the instincts, the impulses, the reactions to sight, sense and circumstances. But hold firm to God’s covenant, His promises by faith, by the Word and by the Spirit. Noah exhibited the humility of patience . Patience is not the same as endurance, for the heart of endurance is frequently stoical, whereas the heart of patience which sees intuitively and waits God’s time in perfect confidence. Noah waited for God’s time to leave the ark. When He comes is a matter of indifference. What matters is that we walk with Him as we wait.

( Gen. 2:2-3 ; Gen. 9:6-12 ; Phil. 2:12-13 ) All great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they cannot be ours until we enter into relationship with Him on the basis of His salvation. Waiting for God somehow to do something in us means we have no faith in Him. We have to go out of ourselves to enter into the covenant of God, just as God went out of Himself to enter into His covenant with man.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

2 Cor. 5:16-17 ; 1 Pet. 4:1-2

Devotion:

BSAF on Luke 21:19 ; Eph. 4:26,29 .

Put-Off/Put-On:

Judge yourself by the following verses, and note areas where you failed to translate the natural self into the spiritual. Establish plans by working through Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” , Section A.2, “Think And Do List” , Section A.8, “Freedom From Anxiety” , and/or Section A.9, “Contingency Plan” to be conformed to the image of Christ ( Eph. 4:25-32 ; Rom. 12:9-21 ; Col. 3:1-17 ). This is a lifetime commitment.

Reference: [7][Chambers1]

 

5.3. What Makes a Man a Man

Perspective

( Gen. 1:1-2 ; Gen. 1:26-28 ; Gen. 2:19-20 ; Gen. 3:1-6 ) When God spoke, He spoke over that which was in disorder to create order and harmony. Created in God’s image, man, likewise, is given authority to speak into creation, to rule and reign, to have dominion, to be fruitful, to multiply, to replenish, and to subdue. Therefore, when life is chaotic, man is to speak, to say something, to do something, to get involved. If man remains silent as Adam in the garden ( Gen. 3:6 ), then he is sinning. Thus, to be a man is to be godly, by speaking and by doing, by getting emotionally involved in order to establish the Kingdom of God and His will on earth.

Hope

( Matt. 22:36-40 ; Luke 9:23-24 ; Rom. 7:5 ; Eph. 5:25 ; Prov. 3:5-7 ; Prov. 4:20-25 ) God’s purpose for us is to love others, to build relationships, to move into other peoples lives, and help them move towards God. As in marriage, relationships can be messy. Husband needs to move towards wife to build a relationship with her. In the process, she may fight, reject, resist, disappoint, not respond. This is where sacrifice comes in, to be willing to be hurt and rejected in the process of moving towards his wife. This is entering into chaos and the mystery of relationships.

Likewise with wife who is to complement, and encourage and build up husband to fulfill his role as leader of the home.

As Christ was rejected and crucified, we likewise, proceed to save that which is being lost. The immediate self that faces the externals of life, must die to the instinct of self preservation, to fear of failure, to withdraw and remain silent-waiting for certainty. At this point, he is to call upon the Lord, remain silent in His presence, and He will move and speak through man which brings His presence into the situation, and restoration begins.

( Gen. 1:28 ; Gen. 18:19 ; Deut. 11:19-20 ; Deut. 13:4 ; Ps. 103:17-21 ; Matt. 6:24 ; Eph. 6:6-7 ) Man is to move into that which is uncertain for that is his function and purpose in life, to create order and harmony. Man’s mandate is to be fruitful, to multiply, to bring seed to maturity, to replenish, to rule and to have dominion. But man must initiate, to choose to move forward. At the point he moves, God will provide the wisdom, strength and ability to accomplish the task at hand.

Life is but one of mysteries and uncertainties, such as: who to marry, which job to take, which home to buy, how to deal with nasty or unpleasant people, how to discipline children, how to love spouse, etc. Simply put, the answer lies in the taking the first step forward, then to rely on God, and in the face of chaos, ask God what to do, do it, and trusts God for the results.

Change

( Gen. 1:2 ; Gen. 3:6 ; Matt. 22:36-39 ; Eph. 4:25-32 ) God moved into chaos and darkness and created life and order by speaking. Man’s natural tendency is to avoid darkness, to avoid messy situations by shutting down emotionally, by withdrawing and doing something else, placing the burden on others. God created us to enter into life and establish order and harmony , to love our neighbors, to build relationships, to move into other peoples lives and move them towards God.

( Gen. 4:7 ; Josh. 1:2-9 ; Prov. 3:5-6 ; Isa. 55:8-9 ; Matt. 20:25-28 ; James 4:6-8 ) We hate chaos and uncertainties, we want certainty in life. To follow the Lord’s teaching is to challenge and to run against the grain of the world system orchestrated by the enemy to destroy man.

We are inclined to avoid challenges by ignoring the problem, avoid the situation and devote our energies to things we can manage, put the responsibility on others, become dogmatic to cover our fears, or dull our sense of inadequacy by drink, drugs, pornography, etc.

( John 15:5-7 ) Realize and accept this tendency to avoid confrontation. You cannot handle life alone. Abide in God, and God in you and through you, to enable you to speak the word of truth , thus, creating order and harmony out of chaos and darkness.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Put-Off/Put-On:

As spiritual head of the home, man is responsible for his part in establishing the Kingdom of God and His will on earth. Review your areas of responsibility. Are you extending God’s Kingdom as husband, as father, and as a leader in the workplace, community, church, social concerns, politics, etc. To gain insight in areas that need addressing, list your failures. Review Section 12.12, “Maximum Husband and Father” and Chapter 12, Strengthening Your Marriage Series .

Note:

( Prov. 14:12 ) Do not pray your will or the problem to God, pray God’s words dealing with the situation back to Him, wait till His will becomes your will. From this you will receive power to do (strength, ability, wisdom), and His provisions will follow. Thus, prayer, power, provisions are the means to establish God’s kingdom and His will (righteousness and justice) on earth.

When the wife, the woman, exercises initiative in her respective role to create order and harmony out of chaos such as completing her husband or fulfilling a need that is not being met, she also employs inherent masculine attributes within the feminine mystique. As such woman shares equally in the creative process.

Reference: [16][Mack2]

 

5.4. Needs of Man

World’s psychology

World’s view of man is that man is central, that man’s personal needs are foundational to man’s problems.

•           Man’s personal problems stem from his needs.

Perspective

Man is not to view or consider himself worthwhile, because his basic need is for God to regard man as worthwhile.

( 1 Cor. 4:3-4 )

1.         Not a matter of self-evaluation. This results in pride, boasting, self-satisfaction on one side. On the other side, low self-esteem, depression, envy, etc.

2.         Not a matter of other’s evaluation of us either, the desire for approval and acceptance.

3.         It is a matter of God’s evaluation, this is the key . Doesn’t matter what I think or what others think, but it matters WHAT God thinks.

Key: Take focus off self and look to God.

Man is bound to God, accountable to God, has his very being in God, sustained by God, given gifts by God, made alive by God, man saved, redeemed and judged by God. Therefore, we must not start with man; but man with God. Man’s loss of value was due to sin. Thus, sin must be dealt with above all other factors.

•           Creation : ( Gen 1:26-28 ) God created man in His own image, therefore, man is of great value and significance to God. Man given all power and wisdom necessary to run this earth. All that man needed to do was to obey.

•           Sin : Sin made man useless and vain. Man was created without any lack whatsoever, created significant and secure. God created man to have an ethical and moral relationship and to be accountable to God.

•           Problem : Man’s problem derived from sinful wants and desires, not from unmet need. Man wants immortality, salvation, freedom from guilt; wants meaning and fulfillment, happiness, riches, sense of perfection, self-worth: wants to be God without God.

( Matt. 6:33 ; John 14:21,27 ) God gives us all we need as a by-product. All we need to do is to obey: to live by love, to live by faith, and put His Word first in our lives.

•           Insecurity and Insignificance :This is due to sin because it is sin that makes one feel unworthy. The fruit of sin are all the negatives of life: poor self-image, instability, depression, envy, anger, frustration, etc. What a person needs is the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is what makes one feel worthy before God. Man needs a new obedience, a renewed mind. God is always there, ready always to meet our needs. He never leaves a vacuum.

•           Gospel : Gospel is not given to us to meet some unmet need. Gospel met man’s need in respect to his sin problem. Thus, the biblical view of man is that man starts off with God, being bound to God, accountable to Him. God will take care of his needs.

Therefore, at the bottom of man’s heart is a sin problem, not some unmet need. As he holds himself accountable to God through the blood of the cross, God will take care of all his needs.

Seven Factors to Healthy Self-Image

1.         ( Eph. 1:4 ) Knowledge that I have inherent worth. God chose me before the foundation of the earth. I don’t have to perform to get this value or sense of worth.

2.         ( Rom. 8:13-17 ) Knowledge that I am secure, that belong. I am a citizen of heaven, and adopted into God’s family.

3.         ( Col. 2:9-10 ) Knowledge that I am in Christ, that I am complete in Him. I don’t have to complete my self or work towards it. I move from this source of wisdom within me, and work out and fulfill what God has already planned for my life on this earth.

4.         ( 2 Cor. 5:17-21 ) Knowledge of a sense of purpose, reason for living. God sends me as He did His Son to be an ambassador for Christ on earth, to reconcile others to Himself.

5.         ( Rom. 5:17 ) Knowledge of personal confidence that as I walk in the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit, I reign in life through righteousness. As I stand firm, the devil must leave.

6.         ( Phil. 4:13 ) Knowledge of the sense of empowerment. Realize I can never fail in anything I undertake. All I need to do is obey God. His strength carries me through to a successful conclusion.

7.         ( Rom. 8:37-39 ) Knowledge of competence that as I clothe myself with Christ, I proclaim the victory of the cross in all endeavors.

World Focus : Positive thinking, think your way through it by will-power. This is limited to the physical and to the bodily senses leading to self exaltation.

God’s View : Think God’s truth. The Holy Spirit is the power that accomplishes through the inner man to the outer man.

Thus, see self in God’s eyes, His concepts, His ideas. He created me in His image, filled me with the Holy Spirit, endowed me with gifts and talents. He gives me the power to do what He has already worked and willed in me to do ( Rom. 12:12-13 ; Phil. 2:12-13 ).

My job now is to maximize what God put into me, and that by simple obedience to His word. All my needs will be provided for as a by-product ( Matt. 6:33 ).

5.5. Healing of the Soul

Perspective

( Luke 9:23-24 ; Rom. 6:11 ; Eph. 4:22-24 ; Heb. 5:14-15 ; James 1:17 ) The presence of the self, the subjective self, the old nature, the false self of unconscious unreality, subsists by feelings, the dust of the earth. This phony self is ever present to substitute for the reality of living by the true self, the self in union with the Holy Spirit. The old self is concerned with its own survival, to feed its ego needs by the externals and experiences of life – a co-dependency hatched by the world, the flesh and the devil.

To practice the death of this egoistic self is to lift the sights of our souls from the horizontal plane of the earth to an otherworldly transcendental one. This is the wisdom from the Spirit of God which comes down to us in the pattern of the Incarnation. Christ came down from above, the Holy Spirit is poured out from above, the new birth is from above: all experiences of God’s Presence come down to us from heaven as word and spirit.

Hope

( Ps. 107:20 ; Acts 17:28 ; Gal. 2:20 ; Col. 1:10-11 ; Col. 1:27 ) Healing of the soul is a process to separate the false self from the true self. Christ is with us whether or not we apprehend Him. His Presence is a concrete reality but immaterial, and it takes constant perseverance to practice His Presence in the realities of daily living. To practice His presence is not a ‘method’ but a ‘Person’. We cease to look for signs or sensory proof but rather to delight ourselves in Him. We practice His presence with us as we read Scriptures, as we pray, as we walk, as we do our duties at home, at work, at church, and wherever we breathe and interact with others: to make Him known to others through us.

( Ps. 95:7 ; Acts 17:11-12 ; Matt. 4:4 ; 2 Tim. 3:15 ) As you listen to His words, and you walk according to His word, the healing process becomes a constant. The first principle in listening to God is taking sacred texts into our spirits and souls by prayerful meditation upon them. Thereby, His words ‘abide in us’ and the word aflames within, making our wills one with His whereby we begin to grasp the depth of His love ( Eph. 3:18-19 ).

Change

( Col. 3:5-15 ; 2 Tim. 2:19-26 ) One must be separated from the ‘old man’, the sinful, the neurotic, the sickly compulsive, and no longer define ourselves by our sins, our neurosis and our deprivations: but by Him whose healing life cleanses and indwells us.

( Jer. 2:13 ; Rom. 6:12-14 ) Seek no longer to soothe your feelings by looking to others, to possessions or position, to fulfill sense of acceptance and approval. Put all of this at the feet of Jesus: the depravities of rage and lusts, or the deprivations of faithfulness, anxiety, emptiness, compulsions, addictions, and fears. Acknowledge all these sins, accept responsibility for them, then discuss them in prayer, in conversation with God. Listen , and you will receive guidance and the word that breaks the bondages.

( Isa. 10:27 ; Mark 11:22-26 ; Matt. 5:36-37 ; 1 John 1:7 ) We put no trust in our character by vowing, pledging ourselves to do anything. Rather than trusting in our own trust, we must trust in the Lord. We must fling ourselves clean over onto God and wash our hands of the consequences, making ourselves incapable of any self interest. Faith is not the means whereby we take God to ourselves for our own exclusive purposes; faith is the gift of God whereby He expresses His purposes through us. It is faith ‘in’ God , not in ourselves.

( Matt. 5:48 ; Rom. 12:1-2 ; Rom. 8:1-2 ; 2 Cor. 5:17,21 ; Eph. 4:22-24 ) Circumcision or sanctification which it symbolizes is the decision to cut away all self-idolatry, and abandon to God entirely. The old nature and the new have to be made one. The old has to be turned into a noble nature by the incoming of God. The new disposition is the one in which God is all.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Col. 2:10-11

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses from above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Ask God for help in noting and breaking patterns where you are seeking God to fulfill your purposes (self-idolatry) rather than allowing God to use you for His purposes. It took Abraham over twenty plus years to move from trusting self to making God all in all ( Heb. 5:14 ).

Reference: [7][Chambers1]

Attachment: Meditating on the Ten Commandments

Matt. 22:37-40

Refine your soul by meditating upon the Ten Commandments, one commandment a day for ten days or for any period of time. List areas in which the world, the flesh, and the devil have taken precedence over the Presence of God in your life. List these offenses, confess and repent and begin life anew in these areas. To assist in this regard, here are some ideas for your consideration:

1.         THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME. “Any offense against ‘any one’ of God’s Ten Commandments or any false worship, are deliberate offenses against God and His First Commandment.”

2.         THOU SHALT NOT MAKE UNTO THEE ANY GRAVEN IMAGE. “We are to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. ‘Unless our imaginations are filled with His Presence, His word, we will default to lesser images’, and from this alien strongholds (images) may develop.”

3.         THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN. “We are to be the salt and light and to progressively grow and mature into the image of Christ, else our talk and walk is in vain.”

4.         REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY, TO KEEP IT HOLY. “Every day belongs to the Lord. As His representatives on earth, we are to dress, to act and to participate in a manner that reflects His Presence.”

5.         HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER. “We are to honor the office and the authority as ordained by God of parents, of civil and responsible authorities.”

6.         THOU SHALL NOT KILL. “Killing can be done through jealousy, immaturity, egoism, vanity, false pride, indecencies, indifference, a lack of affection to a loved one.”

7.         THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. “All forms of impure actions and abuses to the flesh can be listed under this Commandment.”

8.         THOU SHALL NOT STEAL. “Denying, depriving, or failing to give due credit, honor and respect to another person”.

9.         THOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR. “Lying about, belittling or disgracing someone through slander, jealousy or envy.”

10.       THOU SHALT NOT COVET. “Within the recesses of your being, the inner man, you should not even give a single thought to self-interest. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”.

As you faithfully examine and judge yourself, look for and expect the Presence of the Lord.

Reference: [32][Willard1]

 

5.6. Mind and Will

Preface:

( Rom. 7:18,25 ; Rom. 8:10 ; Phil. 2:12-13 ) With the mind, I am to honestly face the truth and admit my inability to cope with any problem. But by my will, I open the door to lay hold of God’s resources. Here is the secret of the will: not that I will by my will-power to accomplish, but that my will is simply to open the door so as to receive His power and performance. “For me to will is present……” and now Lord it is your performing that does it. “

Will Principle:

( John 7:17 ; Matt. 12:10-13 ) Jesus always ask us something we can do if we will. We are to do it without trying to figure it out first. . But if you will ‘do’, then you shall understand. It is the inner withered will which produces every outward withered condition in life. Once the inner government of our will is in perfect harmony with His will, He can move from this inner beachhead to fix up all the outward withered conditions in life.

Knowing and doing is a constant pathway, a constant cooperation between the mind and will. God takes the initiative in giving man what he needs to know. Then man is responsible for the choice of his will and God does the performing (doing) through man. . God only requires us to walk in the light we have, that is, to obey what we know to be the truth now !

Restoration:

( Gen. 1:26 ; Eph. 3:3-4 ; Phil. 3:13-14 ; 2 Tim. 1:9-10 ) Jesus came to restore us through inner spiritual development, like a flower bud moving on to full blossom unto the full measure of the fullness of God. “God said let us make man under Our Shadow, as Our representative.” God has a two-fold calling and purpose for man:

1.         as sons to be as His shadows and;

2.         as fathers to be His representatives.

God made man an original – a “Somebody” who exercises dominion over creation and who is personally capable of free choices. He also made man to be an IMAGE – one who reveals God and by so doing he himself becomes a “nobody”. Man is a finite copy of Sovereign Originator and Determinator of all. As an IMAGE, man is a self-effacing revealor of God and His attributes.

Man was created to be a “Somebody” who wills to be a “Nobody” that God may be all in all. Thus, man fulfills his two-fold purpose and calling: being a father for Him and a son unto Him.

Being:

( Gal. 2:20 ) It is in Christ that we can manifest the balance of representing, ‘from the Father’ and living ‘unto the Father’ Unto God through Jesus we are created sons, but on earth, we are to be an earthly father-a representative for God. When we truly learn to be a father ‘for Him’, and know how to be a son ‘unto Him’, then it is God Who accomplishes His ‘doing’ through us. As we learn to be , God is free to do through us. Our effective ‘doing’ is simply fulfilling our call in ‘being’.

( John 6:28-29 ) It is not our working, but our belief. For belief is literally by-life – the things one lives by: then God does the working through us.

See also Unto Full Stature by Deverne Fromke.

5.7. Meditation Process

Perspective

( Rom. 12:1-2 ) It is our thoughts that produce our life-styles. What we are in our thoughts today, we will be in our lifestyle tomorrow. We who have come into Christ from the Egypt of the world must now be wholly transformed by replacing the foolishness of the wisdom of the world with God’s wisdom that centers on Christ. Thus, renewing the mind is bringing our thoughts into submission to that revealed in the word of God, that we may walk in true wisdom.

Hope

( Josh. 1:8 ) Meditation as the Bible defines it may be understood as the focusing of my mind upon one object – the mind of God which he has put into our language, the Bible. It is holding that word in my mind to be illumined and explained by the Spirit Who dwells within me. Allowing the word to invade all my logic and reasoning, destroying the old way of thinking, preparing a new view of life under God.

( Deut. 6:6-9 ; Col. 3:1-3 ; Phil. 4:8 ) We are responsible for the state of our minds. All our actions flow from our thoughts. Today’s actions are but the belated results of what our thoughts have been dwelling on for the last month. We are commanded to order our thoughts and direct them to things above, then God through His word will do the rest.

Change

( Luke 5:16 ; Luke 6:12 ; Matt. 14:23 ) To live on a deeper level, we must cultivate the art of quieting our thoughts so that we may hear the voice of the Holy Spirit; and to resist the presence of every idea of the past and present that may enter my mind. As with Jesus, we need the mind of God to speak to me and illumine the word. This can only be done when my thoughts and prayer are expressed in a quiet and still spirit as I pray.

( Ps. 42:3-5 ; Luke 24 ) As with David do not let self talk to you, you talk to self. Regardless of the situation, your hope is in God, not in what you see and what your emotions are telling you. Share your disturbed feelings with the Lord, get it out of your system as the disciples did with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Thus, being still, you will be able to hear the words of Jesus. In the stillness, the Christian meditation is the replacing of your thoughts with His thoughts. Do not say “I will not think of this”, but rather, “I will think of that.”

( Rev. 2:7,11,17 ; Eph. 1:17-19 ) Scripture calls upon us to use our ears. In our new birth we received spiritual ears, the ability to hear God clearly. First get self quiet, read a passage of Scripture and get ready to listen. Ask question of what you are reading, only with questions can you get answers. The Holy Spirit prepares us for His answers by filling our minds with questions.

( Josh. 1:8 ; James 1:21 ) Constantly hearing the word tends to memorization of the passage you are meditating on. Hold the passage in your mind and pray that the Holy Spirit will open your mind and reveal what He is saying to you. Learn to pray sentence prayers: “Lead me into all truth”, “Be to me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus.” When truths are revealed ,turn this into praise and worship, thanking God for His wisdom.

( Eph. 4:22-32 ; James 1:22-25 ) Renewing of the mind is not just an exercise, but the actual bringing about of a new lifestyle that is aligned to God’s word spoken to our minds by the written word of God. With every unveiling of God’s word to our minds is the call to do and to be. What the word of God is commanding me to be, the Holy Spirit within empowers me to be. The Scripture then becomes to me a description of who I am in union with Christ.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Josh. 1:8

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses from above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Take a pressing sin problem or pressures of whatever sort, talk it over with God first: get it out of your system, to prepare yourself to listen. Look up Scriptures via the concordance that deal with the issue, study the passage or passages, meditate on the essentials, dwell and memorize until you get answers from God. Then begin the practice of what you learned.

Note : To get answers: be still before the Lord; prepare your ears to listen; meditate on what you heard, then practice what you learned. Be still, listen, meditate, practice.

Reference: [25][Smith3]

 

5.8. Steps to a Liberated Will

Four Steps to a Liberated Will

( Rom. 7:8,24 ; 2 Cor. 8:12 )

1.         First step is to accept responsibility for being what we are, and doing what we do.

2.         Discover the places and effectiveness of the will.

3.         Understand the importance of a full liberation of the will as it cooperates with the Holy Spirit.

4.         Learn how to live in the will.

Illustration

A strong-willed wife rules the home, what should the husband do? (See Section 5.3, “What Makes a Man a Man” )

1.         As head of the home, he, not wife, is responsible.

2.         Man must exercise his will to stand with God as head of the home.

3.         He sees that God not only wants him to will His will but to accept the liberation of his will from his feelings.

4.         And finally, to take the abiding position to live in the will of God.

Maturity

( Matt. 7:1-5 ) Honestly facing and accepting responsibility for conditions of life; blaming others is infantile, to face-up is the beginning; seeing the ‘reality’, not the illusion as by divine illumination of the importance place for the will in God’s intention

Provision

( Rom. 12:1-2 ) God has made ample provision at the Cross that by our union in His death every vestige of self-will may be put down and the liberated will is free to wholly co-operate with God. The hub of life is to be in the center of God’s will. We can align our wills with His, can make the victory a joint victory-a complete fusion of our will with God’s will.

Obedience

( 1 Cor. 3:21-23 ; Eph. 4:22-24 ) To live the God centered life is taking the theological fact (doctrine), and acting upon this fact which becomes a life-giving truth, the put-off and put-on. Then all things become ours in Christ.

Union with God

( Ps. 31 ) In union with God, the Master Gear, we do not need to ask for things. They automatically become operative. God becomes the how, where, when, and why.

•           vs. 4-5: The How … “for Thou art my strength. Into Thy hand I commit my spirit …”

•           vs. 8: The Where … “Thou hast set my feet in a large room …” To deny our own independence and to accept complete dependence on God is only to allow God to enlarge the potential capacity of the human heart. Being made in the image of God, we are capable of almost unlimited extension in all directions.

•           vs. 15: The When … “My times are in Thy hands …” Who else but God can understand the proper living in His universe. How blessed to leave our anxious will enmeshed into His own will and know in reality ‘there is a time and season to every purpose under the sun’. Surely He Who sets the timing of the universe will keep men in perfect timing as they live in union with Him.

•           vs. 3: The Why … “therefore for Thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me …” We are to be in gear with God’s will for His glory, for His purpose, for His satisfaction. Thus, the secret of ‘living’ in His will is living wholly for His glory.

Thomas Aquinas : “It is clear that he does not pray who, far from uplifting himself to God, requires that God should lower Himself to him, and who resorts to prayer not to stir the man in us to will what God wills, but only to persuade God to will what the man in us wills.”

Reference: [9][Fromke1]

 

5.9. Healing Prayer for the Mind

“Lord Jesus Christ, I ask You to enter into this person who has need of your healing in the depths of the mind. I ask You to come, Lord, as a careful housekeeper might come into the house that has long been closed and neglected. Open all the windows and let in the fresh wind of Your Spirit. Raise all the shades, that the sunlight of Your Love may fill the house of this soul. Where there is sunlight, there cannot be darkness.

Therefore I rejoice that as the light of Your love now fills this mansion of the soul, all darkness shall flee away. And indeed in Your name I speak to that darkness, gently telling it that it cannot abide here in this one whom You have redeemed upon the Cross. Look and see, O Lord, whether there be any ugly pictures on the walls – pictures of old distressful and horrifying wounds of the past. And if there be such pictures, take them down and give to this memory-house pictures of beauty and of joy. So out of all the ugliness of the past make beauty. O Lord, for it is ever Your nature to make beauty. Transform old sorrows into the power to comfort others Who have sorrowed. Heal old wounds by your redemptive love, and turn them mysteriously into a love that heals the wounds of others.

“Go back O Lord, through all the rooms of this memory-house. Open every closed door and look into every closet and bureau drawer and see if there be any dirty and broken things that are no longer needed in one’s present life, and if so, O Lord, take them completely away. I give thanks, for this is the promise of the Scriptures: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us ( Ps. 103:12 ).

Look, O Lord, upon any memories that may come up from the deep mind as these words are meditated upon, and in Thy mercy fulfill in this Thy servant that forgiveness accomplished long ago on Calvary.

“Go back even to the nursery in this memory-house – even to the years of childhood. Here, also, open windows long sealed and let in the gentle sunlight of Your love. Here more than anywhere, Lord, make everything clean and beautiful within. Take a broom of mercy and sweep away all dirt from the floor of this memory-room, even the confusion and the horror and the shame of ancient memories, perhaps of childish and uncomprehended sins, perhaps of the sins of the parents who should have been as God Himself to the child and who were not. Take a clean cloth, O Lord, and wash away all dust and wipe away every stain from the walls and from the furniture. Purge this Your child with hyssop, O Lord, that the heart may be clean. Wash this one that the soul which is created in Your image and after Your own likeness may be whiter than snow. Look within the closets and under the furniture and see whether there be any broken or dirty toys, any old unclean rags of memory that are surely not needed anymore at all in the adult life. And if so, O Lord, take them entirely away; gather them into Your own redemptive love, that the burden of them may rest upon the soul no more.

“Follow the soul of this Your child all the way back to the hour of birth and heal the soul even of the pain and the fear of being born into this darksome world. Restore in the soul that bright memory of Your eternal being that is not exactly a memory, but which is rather an emanation, an unconscious infilling of the eternal radiance from which this one was born. And if even before birth the soul was shadowed by this human life and was darkened by the fears and sorrows of the human parents, then I pray that even those memories or impressions may be healed, so that this one may be restored to Your original pattern, the soul as free and as clean as though nothing had ever dimmed its shining.

Thus, I pray, O Lord, that You will restore the soul as You made it to be and will quicken and awaken in it all those creative impulses and ideas that You have placed therein, so that whatever Your purpose may be for its human pilgrimage, that purpose may be fulfilled.

“’He restoreth my soul,’ so said David long ago. ‘He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.’ ( Ps. 23:3 ).

“I give thanks, O Lord, knowing that this healing of the soul is Your will and is the very purpose of the giving of Your life for us, and therefore it is now being accomplished and by faith I set the seal upon it.”

Adapted from the prayer for the healing of the soul by Agnes Sanford. [21][Sanford1]

5.10. Perfectionism

Perspective

( Gen. 1:26-28 ) God’s word is the source of life which enables man to exist in a blessed state. To reject God’s word is to default to the word of Satan who says we can be complete in ourselves. To reject God’s word is to allow fear to enter as a constant because we can never be complete unless we live by God’s word.

( Gen. 3:1-5 ) Be as God, be perfect and independent. Shame came as they realized they were not perfect. Without God in their consciousness – separated from His Spirit – now on their own, trying to be god by their own wisdom and strength, they allowed the spirit of competition, the spirit of self-consciousness, the spirit of self-interest to prevail.

The issue is a quest for completeness. Man is designed by God to focus on and to help complete others. By so doing he completes himself. The need to be complete is inherent in man but this is only possible when man lives by the word of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, man is enabled to apply the word which conforms man to the image of Christ. Accordingly, this image is one of self donation in the Spirit of Christ to consider others of great value and importance ( Luke 9:23-25 ; Phil. 2:3-4 ).

This is accomplished as we put-off self-effort and rely on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all of life’s functions in a spirit of purity and holiness – being God conscious – revealing the character of God through us to the world. The emphasis, therefore, is to stop trying to be god, and let God be God for us, in us, as us ( Gal. 2:20 ; Col. 1:27 ).

Humanism

Who I am is my performance as rated by someone. Since God is not or no longer in the scheme of life, there is a constant need to be accepted and approved by others, a never ending cycle to be perfect and complete in their eyes. Rejection and shame, a sense of incompleteness, awaits at every corner. To counter this state of anxiety, man looks to himself, to his accomplishments, to the things of the world, and to the approval and acceptance of others to fulfill his needs. This quest for gratification, for the longings of the mind, for assurance of one’s own resources and reliance on earthly things leads to emptiness, futility and destruction ( 1 John 2:16 ).

Elements of Perfectionism

•           Independence: Make myself perfect as God without God.

•           Shame: Looking at myself, seeing imperfection, brings on shame and embarrassment.

•           Rejection: Emphasis is on my own needs, and I will do anything to save myself even to the point of destroying others.

•           Perfectionism: Who I am now is dependent upon my performance and the rating of my performance. Need acceptance and approval of others even of God.

Solutions

( Col. 2:10 ; John 16:8-13 ) We can be complete only in God.

( 1 John 1:7 ; Phil. 2:12-13 ) As we obey His commandments, He works in us to complete us.

( Eph. 4:22-24 ) Our job is to put-off the obsession with the self, and put-on the true self: Jesus Christ.

( Matt. 22:37-39 ) The emphasis is on God to fill us with His Presence. As we allow His divine wisdom to penetrate our intellect, our memories, our emotions and our wills, we will be able to love as He loves.

Key: We are imperfect. God uses trials and temptations to reveal these imperfections in order to prompt us to turn to Him to complete the process began in the 1st Adam. Through our human spirit, the Spirit of God fulfills and completes our souls, clearing away the areas of imperfections, to enable us to do the things Jesus did: to bless others and to destroy the works of the devil.

5.11. Schizophrenia (Double-Mindedness)

Perspective

( Isa. 29:13 ; Matt. 6:22 ; James 1:8 ; Amos 3:3 ; 2 Cor. 6:14 ) Double minded man is a man who minds on two souls, a man of two minds – hesitating, dubious, irresolute – unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything (that he thinks, feels, decides). Forces acting upon the person causing problem behavior are forces distorting one’s ability to perceive or evaluate the world as it is in reality or self-induced forces that cause one to misread or mislead one’s self or others.

Schizophrenia is a disturbance, distortion or disintegration of the development of the personality resulting in a “split personality” .

Hope

( Prov. 28:1 ; 1 John 1:7-9 ) The behavior of any given counselee stems fundamentally from organic defects or from sinful behavior. In case of bizarre behavior careful medical examination may be in order to detect any glandular or other chemical malfunction – brain damage, toxic problems, etc. If problem is not organic or not only organic then counsel may be made on the supposition that such behavior must stem from sinful life patterns.

( Eph. 4:26 ; Prov. 28:13 ) After careful medical examination to detect any glandular or other chemical malfunction, and reasonably assurance that (at base) the problem is not organic, one will counsel on the supposition that such behavior must stem from sinful patterns. What is due to sin can be changed; there is no such certainty if schizophrenia is largely due to other factors.

( Jere 17:9 ; Rom. 5:20 ; 1 Pet. 3:12-16 ) Man is largely responsible for his behavior, even when it is of a bizarre nature. It is not impossible to command the control of one’s emotions. By prayer, one can change in attitude and actions. A Christian can control his bodily functions and states as God intended him to. Counselor deals with schizophrenia in the same manner as he would in confronting those who have other problems occasioned by sinful living patterns.

Change

Overcoming three personalities: (1) Rejection, (2) Rebellion, (3) True Self .

( Jer. 3:12 ) Schizophrenics need time to adjust and to fall out of agreement with the false demonic personalities, point by point. He must come to loathe the schizophrenic personality, and fall out of agreement with it.

( James 1:8 ; Matt. 6:22 ) The core problem of the schizophrenic is ‘rejection’ and ‘rebellion’. This problem begins with ‘rejection’, and commonly begins in childhood or infancy and sometimes while the child is still in the mother’s womb. There are many ‘doors’ that lead to rejection, and rejection is usually the first personality that emerges. One can be rejected and not be schizoid, and still manage to form a healthy personality and be secure in themselves.

To the contrary, the schizoid is always floundering ‘Who am I?’. The identity of the true self is confused and lost.

Love Deprivation

( Luke 6:45 ; Ps. 120:2 ) Rejection depicts a withdrawn type personality. It is a feeling within – it is agony within … it is a starvation of love … it is insecurity … it is inferiority … it is fantasy … it is unreality … it is all in the inside.

The second personality that emerges is ‘rebellion’. When a child does not have satisfactory love relationships in life, he grows up being unable to feel and share in love relationships. Rebellion sets in. He begins to fight for love. Or he lashes out to those who have starved him of love.

Rebellion asserts itself in stubbornness, self-will and selfishness as one personality. Or it begins to be aggressive, lashes out in anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred and retaliation as another personality. The schizoid is literally under these two opposite powers-passive resistant, withdrawn or aggressive and violent. He can switch from one type of personality to the other in a moment’s time.

There are really three personalities – the true self, the rejection, and the rebellion personalities. All three can be manifested at any time. The rejection and rebellion personalities are fueled by a root of bitterness. Thus, one must deal with three factors: rejection, rebellion, and bitterness.

True Self

( 2 Cor. 5:17 ; Gal. 2:20 ) The emphasis in dealing with schizophrenics is to concentrate on the true self, to draw it out, to relate the true self to Jesus. Jesus must start growing in the person, developing that personality and making it what He wants it to be. Identity with the ‘true self’ takes time. The person does not know who he really is. Until he does he will fall back to the false ‘self’ as a refuge. He must be weaned away slowly until the wounds within can be healed.

Biblical Approach

( Eph. 4:22-24 ; Rom. 12:1-2 ) Put-off the old man and put-on the new man is the basic tool. The root of all sin is lust. And the root of lust is thought. Therefore, the basic change involves the spirit or attitude of the mind. Godly thoughts begins the process of healing.

The inward self and the outward self must be dealt with , and the goal is for the person to change his focus from self to God and to others. The following provides an insight into the immensity and complexity of the schizoid personality:

•           Rejection/Inward Personality Fear of Rejection; Fantasy/Lust; Harlotry; Perverseness; Self-rejection; Insecurity; Inferiority; False compassion; False responsibility; Self accusation; Suicidal; Perfectionism; Unfairness; Compulsive confession; Jealousy; Envy; Fear of judgment; Self-pity; Depression; Despair; Hopelessness; Guilt; Pouting; Pride; Vanity; Ego; Intolerance; Frustration; Impatience; Withdrawing; Vivid imagination.

•           Rebellion/Outward Personality Rebellion; Self-will; Selfishness; Accusatory projection; Stubbornness; Suspicion; Self-deception; Persecution; Self-delusion; Confrontational; Self-seduction; Distrust; Pride; Judgmental; Unteachable; Controlling; Possessiveness.

Setting the Captive Free Process

( Matt. 7:5 ; Luke 4:18 ; John 14:21 ; Rom. 8:28-29 ) Understand the past but do not deal with it. Deal with the present moment, where the person is at the present moment, and that with the concrete reality. Discard and do not even discuss or refer to any illusions/distortions. Objective is to draw out the true self, bit by bit.

( Matt. 12:34-37 ) The person lives by his diseased and entrenched attitudes, the broken spirit of the mind. He walks alongside himself . He is his own god, constantly listening to his perverted self for guidance and direction.

( Luke 11:1-4 ) The total emphasis from this point on is to relate the person to God the Father. Healing process begins at this point. He has been worshipping a false god – himself. Therefore, until he acknowledges God as the source of his life, healing cannot begin. The first step is to teach the person to love God and that by simply obeying His commandments: to begin to think right and to do right, to practice daily devotions, to judge himself and not others, to forgive others and act forgiven and to be reconciled within self, with God and with others.

( Luke 9:23-24 ; Rom. 12:1-2 ; Rev. 12:11 ) This is a long term process, and it begins with renewing the mind. The person may appear to improve but falls back to zero, time and time again. For the counselor persistence is the key coupled with gentleness, kindness and goodness. God’s love through the counselor touches the person. God’s Spirit thus is being manifested in the situation.

( John 16:8-13 ) Our responsibility in dealing with the severely disturbed and damaged personalities is to present and confront with the truth, to comfort and to exhort. We are not responsible for the results. We are to rest by faith in God’s words of wisdom, that God will do what His words say He will do. The Holy Spirit is responsible for changing the individual and for the final results.

Reference: [1][Adams1]; [10][Hammond1]

5.12. Transpersonal Psychology

Analyses of Terms, and the Process

This review provides a glimpse of the basic philosophies of the world. Such religious forms come forth in various dresses and formulas. As summarized in the following, this critique is a simple way of getting a handle on these fads that come and go.

1.         Psychoanalysis – Constant introspection

2.         Behavior – Externals

3.         Reaction to Psychoanalysis – Self focus

4.         Humanism – Integrating and developing the whole personality to evolve a new consciousness, a transcendent being.

5.         Nihilism – Negation of everything. Man is chance and is essentially meaningless.

6.         Naturalism – Places man in the sphere of relativism. No more plumb line, an ethical naturalism.

Existentialism

Man makes himself man by his self-consciousness, and his self determinism. Creates his own values by confirming his own worth. Good comes from choosing; thus, there is no distinction between good and evil. This is negated by my choosing whatever I choose is good regardless.

Physical world is an illusion, only thing that exists is a god who is a being beyond objective reality. One turns his back on material, doesn’t exist. Hinduism considers cross as meaningless because of its objectivity. Therefore, karma (a substitute for the cross) is very attractive to many.

New Age Consciousness

Western man sees himself as meaningless and without hope. To be truly naturalistic is to deny reality and escape by transcendence. This is the only hope for the naturalist or the humanist. New consciousness is to act upon self, find out who you are in the recesses of your mind, and deliver yourself from yourself (self redemption).

Objective is to discover only that which pleases themselves, enhancing self-centeredness: the focus on self. Rejects a personal god, and sees self as a god to be realized through meditation process. Self is the kingpin – the real reality.

Client-directed therapy : No external reality but the self which is the god within.

Meditation Process

Objective is to get out of reality, the characteristics are …

1.         Loss of ego boundaries – identification with all life forms.

2.         Melting down into the universe.

3.         Be rid of the fear of death: develop feelings of being separated from the self: develop a sense of transcending time and space.

Physical death is not the end, there is life after death. They become totally one with the universe, still all things center on themselves. Things exist in the alter state. Apart from consciousness, transcending self is the major factor in psychoanalysis. Through ouija boards and crystals, and other means, communication with the other world is possible. Psychedelics are projections of the conscious self. Origin of reality is in the person who experiences it.

Conceptual Relativism

Cosmic consciousness. The objective and perceived reality. This is really avoiding problems of living and of relationships, a cop-out to avoid one’s responsibilities. Reality is neutral, no right or wrong. This is the tip of the Hindu’s so-called cosmic consciousness. (Christians are in the world but not of it, and we do deal with the harsh realities of God’s truths.) But cosmic consciousness avoids all reality and tries to escape responsibilities. Techniques of false doctrines is to offer a means to relax which is really the deification of the self.

Forms of New Age Consciousness or New Age Thinking

1.         Bio-energetic: Sexual urges blocked, source of neurosis.

2.         Psychoanalysis: Gestalt: Psychotherapy emphasizes release of sexual and emotional problems.

3.         Rolfing: Digging into the body with elbows, moving nerve pains around.

4.         Psychosynthesis: True self is the center of awareness and is revealed by group therapy, dreams, single therapy …

5.         Guided Fantasy: Allow dreams, fantasies to grow and develop to the extreme.

6.         Open Doors: 40 days of vigorous dancing, mantras, singing, and activities of all sort.

7.         Biofeedback: Control over involuntary systems of the body, blood pressure, nerve system.

8.         Silva Mind Control: Meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, anything to get beyond self.

9.         EST: World is meaningless, outside stimulations and influences are to be avoided, rejected and ignored. This is accomplished by fasting, encounter groups, talk it out, let it all hangout, insults, hatred, screaming, shouting: be rid of the affects on the mind and body – be free of them … by dumping all the garbage on someone else …

Objective: The person is to be the cause of his own world, to disregard all belief systems … except his own.

 

5.13. Healed from Fear

Perspective

( 1 John 1:7 ; 1 John 4:16-19 ) Healing of our total person comes about by the perfect love that casts out fear. Perfect love heals all the phobias of life in our mind, body and soul. This love, this unconditional agape, is the very nature of God Himself. As we perfectly grasp and take hold of this perfect love, we will realize total healing. The blood of Jesus covers us now and in eternity. By faith, visualize self in the Presence of Our Lord, in this perfect love, cleansed of all unrighteousness, clothed by this perfect love: fear has to go.

Hope

( Gen. 1:26 ; Gen. 3 ; Heb. 2:14-15 ) Fear of death and judgment is the basic fear of man. Fear is the first emotion man uttered after the fall. Before the fall, man was birthed from the womb of the love of God and unto the love of God – a creature created in God’s own class. Man did not earn or merit this love. This love just ‘is’. In consequence Adam had no consciousness whatsoever of not being loved. Only other person around at this time is God. Here was Adam, raw humanity and unashamed, not self conscious but God conscious. He sees himself in the eyes of God being loved and accepted.

( John 3:16 ; Luke 9:23-25 ; Rom. 5:5 ) How can man place himself into this divine love? By rejecting the right to himself. It is just a question of simply believing God loves you regardless of what you think of yourself.

What is the Christian life? It is love, and this love is the divine nature. This nature is placed within me to respond to the needs of others. No longer trying to please people, the world, and God. The sanctification process is a process of getting the true self out of the false self: no longer seeking to be accepted and approved by people and God. See the true self in union with the Holy Spirit guided and directed by the word of God.

It is no longer my performance for God, but my surrender to Him Who loves me just as I am. Even when I fail He still loves me regardless. All my faults, all my past, Jesus took on the Cross. All the guilt and shame is buried in the grave, and so goes fear. Now I am no longer afraid of God.

The true God is now in the face of Jesus Christ. Jesus took my judgments – my judgment is over. Jesus is for us who can be against us. There is no fear in death, we fall into the arms of Jesus at death. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. I find my value in Him and through Him I serve others needs. The Lord provides for my needs as a by-product.

Change

( Gen. 3 ) After the fall, man was blinded, could not conceive of himself as being loved by God. Now he turns inward into himself, self becomes his focus. Self consciousness forms and man looks at himself over and against God. Compares self to God and sees and judges self by himself and sees an inferior, worthless, no good, and disgusting individual. Being repulsed by his guilt, he creates a god who rejects him, a god who hates all guilty and bad people.

When God entered the garden, Adam sees God through his distorted ideas in his mind and begins to be afraid: “You are out to get me, You know I am bad and guilty, worthless”. At this point, religion was created. God created man in His own Image. When man fell, he created a god in his own image: unworthy and unlovable. Accordingly, man sees others as bad as himself and begins to hate people.

Now man must work to make himself acceptable to God, to make Him love him by self-effort, self will. Man wanders the earth seeking someone to love him, the fear of rejection is overwhelming. He will be whatever people want him to be, do anything to make himself feel important.

Man looks for people to need him. If they need me and I help them, then they will not reject me. Man will love others, just so they will love him, can’t bear to be rejected. Wife will cover up a failure of a spouse, for fear she may be rejected. A mother will give money to her drug addicted son in order to feel needed and not be rejected, and so on.

( Luke 9:23-25 ) In summary, people who are compelled to be needed, accepted and approved are too busy seeking their own needs which becomes insatiable. Therefore, they have no capacity or room to love others.

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

1 John 1:7

Realize to walk in His word is to walk in Light. The second we move and live by our flesh we walk in darkness. As Jesus had constant fellowship with His Father, we are also to walk in constant fellowship with Jesus Christ … We do this by diligently confessing our sins, living in open confession before Him. This openness allows the Blood of Jesus continually to cleanse us from sin, moment to moment, day by day, unto eternity.

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses from 1 John on loving God and others.

Put-Off/Put-On:

As our ground of acceptance, and source of strength, realize the constant need of the finished work of Jesus. We are a new creature, and completed in Jesus. Work out this salvation, day by day, die daily to the independent self. See also Section 5.2, “Transforming the Natural Self” and Section 5.10, “Perfectionism” for additional insights. Work the appropriate homework assignments.

Reference: [26][Smith4]

 

5.14. Rejections

References: Ps. 69:20 ; Ps. 142 ; Ps. 31 ; Ps. 55 ; Jer. 30:17 .

Problem

Rejection is not what people do to me. It is my response or reaction, my feelings of anguish, unworthiness, unlovability to what I perceive people are doing to me. The pain of rejection triggers me to ‘feel’ negative and from this I believe I am rejected.

Solution

The answer is to know the unconditional love of God. I am acceptable and significant and worthy in His eyes. God is my mate, I seek my identity in God, not by how people view me, treat me or whatever. My worth, my security and significance can only come from God. He is the one Who made me and destined me to be conformed to the image of His Son.

Do not look to a human being, position or power for value. God is my true identity, I am made in His image. His love makes me whole. I work accordingly being conformed to His image by obeying His commandments. When rejected or hurt, mourn the loss, turn it over to God, and go on living. God is our glory. He is the lifter of our head. Forgive all those who hurt me, be free of revenge. Pray for mercy, become and be complete in Him who forgave all those who rejected and abandoned Him on the cross.

Identities

( Gen. 1:26-28 ) We are either a container and expressor of God or of our diseased attitudes and perceptions. At the fall, man, a creature united to God , lost his identity. This identity to God is the true meaning of life, that is, to reveal God and to express His love to the world. Otherwise, man becomes disfunctional. Fallen man tries to find his identity, and the only thing he has to work with is his body, senses, and his head. He focuses now on his created self . His identity becomes his performance to another plus a rating of his performance by another (co-dependency).

Now fallen man ‘does’ in order ‘to be’ ‘for God’ instead of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ ‘from God’. Man was made initially accountable to God but God is gone now. Man needs another to find out who he is. Man was supposed to ‘be’ in his relationship to God and out of his ‘being’, he was ‘to do’.

Redemption

( Luke 4:1-13 ) Jesus in the wilderness, a test of the ‘independent spirit’. Here is the supreme test and example in determining who and what we are, and how we are to live. Regardless of the circumstances, we respond within by the word, to that which is without.

( John 5:30 ) Jesus identified with His Father, His will was His Father’s will. Likewise, redeemed man lives by and from the Father to give glory to God by acting on His commandments regardless of and in spite of circumstances, people, things or possessions. Tests in life determine if we are dependent on God or we succumb to the circumstances.

Spirit of rejection reveals one is earthbound, living horizontally, and influenced by the circumstances of life. Thus, being redeemed, one’s identity is now in God and from God man is empowered by prayer, power and provisions to accomplish God’s purposes on earth: to convey God’s love to others, so that they, in turn, may also become identified in Christ.

Significance

( Col. 2:11-13 ; Phil. 2:12-18 ) Thus, the sense of rejection reveals a diseased attitude, waiting to be accepted and approved and fulfilled by others. Put this off and put-on that you are already accepted and approved by God Who made you significant in Christ. From significance already obtained via the cross, you work out your salvation, giving glory to God by being concerned for the widow and the orphan, being the salt and light, thus fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. By these means the sense of rejection will gradually fade.

( 2 Cor. 3:16-18 ) Rejection is one of the many barriers that keeps one from becoming. All of the veils of the fallen life have been removed in Christ. We move from grace to grace to glory to glory, and as we allow the Holy Spirit to complete His work in us.

Reference: [27][Smith5]

 

5.15. Attitude and Behavior

Ten Keys of the Beatitudes : Attitudes, what we are ‘to be’ based on Matt. 5-7 .

( Eph. 4:22-24 ) Our spirits have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, but our minds must be renewed, and our foundation in life is to be Christ Himself. These ten foundational keys in the Sermon on the mount are as follows:

1. ( Matt. 5:3 ) “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Realization that there is nothing in myself whatsoever that I can draw upon or rely upon, but the full realization and acknowledgement that I need God now and forever in everything I do.

•           We are poor in spiritual life. Thus we need God, all the time, a complete dependency on God.

•           Learn about God, learn from God, and see God in all of life’s activities, view life from His perspective.

2. ( Matt. 5:4 ) “Blessed are those who mourn…” Realization that the crisis and difficulties I find myself in, the pains and sorrows will not last forever. They will change, comfort is on its way.

•           Crisis and difficulties are never forever. Trials do not last forever because everything changes.

•           There is a season for all things: rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with them who mourn. Crisis are only temporary, comfort awaits. Crisis are only opportunities to experience God’s presence and deliverance. Plan beyond the crisis ( 2 Chron. 20:7 ).

3. ( Matt. 5:5 ) “Blessed are the meek…” Realization that I must be in control of myself, that I must desire, must expect and must demand self to be disciplined, organized and structured.

•           Don’t be mediocre, force self to do and go beyond the flesh. Do by your will not by your feelings.

•           Don’t let circumstances control, but be in control by your will.

4. ( Matt. 5:6 ) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…”

•           Growth and knowledge doesn’t come to you, you must pursue and seek after it. Impose on yourself standards higher than others. In Christ, your potential is without limits.

5. ( Matt. 5:7 ) “Blessed are the merciful…”

•           Make room for others to fail, and don’t be quick to judge them. Allow others to make mistakes. Give people space to make mistakes. We are all growing. Be patient . Mercy is the postponement of judgment. We are inclined to judge and condemn. What you sow, you will reap ( Matt. 7:1-5 ).

•           Be in a constant state of forgiving. Be quick to release others from offenses.

6. ( Matt. 5:8 ) “Blessed are the pure…”

•           Develop a pure mind in everything, and you will see things from God’s perspective. Avoid the corruption and contamination of the world’s presentations upon one’s imagination by guarding what your eyes see, what you hear and what you speak. Your eyes, your ears, your tongue, and your senses are the gates of your heart ( Prov. 4:23 ).

•           Look at life from God’s point of view, see that God is in everything. If the heart is pure, you will see God in all things whether negative or positive. As a man thinks, so is he. To the pure all things are pure, unto the corrupt all things are corrupt. As you see, hear, and speak that is what you will reap.

7. ( Matt. 5:9 ) “Blessed are the peacemakers…”

•           Determine to be a positive influence, look for the good in others, look for the best and the better. Be the one to bring it about. Who is without sin, cast the first stone, look at life from this perspective… but for the grace of God, go I.

8. ( Matt. 5:10 ) “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness sake…”

•           Have a good attitude and enthusiasm toward life based on what you know. Nothing in life is to be feared, but to be understood. The world hates righteousness. Rejoice and be glad, so suffered those before you. Rejoice for great is your reward as you stand firm in the truth.

9. ( Matt. 5:11 ) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you…”

•           Expect the best and prepare for the worst. See that difficulties in life are normal. Get ready for persecution. They hated Jesus, and they will hate you. Expect this. Be prepared to bless and to pray for those who are against you.

10. ( Matt. 5:12 ) “You are the salt of the earth…”

•           You are important for the world, for humanity, and for your generation. Know your value and your worth. We are to be the example for the world to follow. This is the spirit of Christ: that we are the elite, that we influence the best in life, that we are the standard for the world ( Matt. 28:18-20 ).

Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)

Memory Verse(s):

Matt. 7:24-26

Devotion:

BSAF on selected verses above.

Put-Off/Put-On:

Review Matt. 5:14-7:29 , make a list of your sins, and attitude distortions. Make plans to change attitudes and behavior via Section A.4, “Victory Over Sin Worksheet” . To help remove those sin barriers that keep you from developing the mind of Christ, here are some major areas to be considered:

1.         ( Matt. 5:21-26 ) Anger, Bitterness, Contempt . Unless this is dealt with, our Christian walk is crippled at the start. Jesus came to save not to condemn. We are to do the same.

2.         ( Matt. 5:27-32 ) Obsessive Lust . Keep your eyes single and pure. Women are the guardians of our culture. They are endowed with a natural reverence for that which is sacred. Make plans to break from the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

3.         ( Matt. 5:32-37 ) Verbal Manipulation . Don’t force others to accept your opinions or position.

4.         ( Matt. 5:38-48 ) Payback/Revenge . Our job is to be reconciled to God, to self, and to others. Mercy is the postponement of judgment. As God does with us, do likewise. Restore and be reconciled to all of life, and be free.

5.         ( Matt. 6:1-18 ) Seeking Approval and Acceptance of Man . Develop the interior life, view life from God’s perspective. You are already accepted and approved in Christ. Use self to seek to glorify God by exercising your talents and gifts for the benefit of others.

6.         ( Matt. 6:19-34 ) Wealth and Greed . Depending on and trusting in the externals of the world system (mind of the flesh) rather than trusting in God leads to frustration and despair. As a co-heir with Christ, a citizen of heaven, you already own the cattle on a thousand hills. Act accordingly, for we are to live by God’s economy ( 2 Cor. 8:9 ).

7.         ( Matt. 7:1-12 ) Criticism/Condemnation . Our natural inclination is to judge and a penchant for condemnation engineering. Judge yourself first for condemning, then you will be in the position to help restore others. As God’s ambassadors, we are here, not to compete, but to help complete one another.

8.         ( Matt. 7:13-26 ) Doing and Not Just Hearing . Active listening and doing of the word is the key. Severe warnings are issued to the passive, lazy and self-indulgent. Unless we develop the interior life, the heart level, daily practicing the Presence of the Lord, our house will crumble. Judge self daily to assure that you are living by the Kingdom rules of the beatitudes. Therefore, exercise dominion of self in, as, and through Christ: be on top in all of life’s endeavors.

Reference: [32][Willard1]

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