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Four Steps for Beginning the Healing Process

 Whatever the struggle we are facing, there are spiritual principles that help us begin the process of healing.  Let me share with you four steps that I feel are critically important:

Confess and repent of sinful behavior. We need to speak aggressively against the stronghold that has us under its control. These are not passive words, but strong words of action—words of confession and repentance. Doing this is how transformation happens. We seek God with all of our hearts and we openly confess to Him the stronghold that has us in its grip. We confess and then we turn away from it (repentance).  Author Gary Chapman put it this way, “I know that dealing with past failures will be really hard for some people, but the benefits of identification confession, repentance, and forgiveness are so enormous that it will be worth the effort.”[1] I am free because at eighteen I made a committed decision to make Jesus Christ the Lord of my life. He gave me the power to confess, repent, obey and walk this life out, with Him. I’m not perfect, but I’m in a far better place and on the road. God wants to do the same for you—He wants to turn this hard task into His Glory.

Engage the Holy Spirit. Doors of healing open wide when we invite the Holy Spirit into our journey. When we’re actively seeking Him we receive God’s presence into our daily lives. Ray and Anne Ortlund wrote, “Friend, look for, long for, pray for, and expect special breaking-through times when God makes His presence very real, very powerful! And until they come, dwell in His presence by faith and gaze upon His beauty.”[2] His presence brings:

            His Will

            His purity of thought and desire

            His boundless love

            The ability to trust

            The wisdom to act rightly

            Our healing—the completion of our personhood

Galatians 5:16 says, “If we walk by the Holy Spirit, we will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” God will deliver you from the compulsion to act out your sinful desires, right away. The temptation may not cease, but the uncontrollable obsession will.

Renew your mind. We spent many weeks in the Mind Wars series talking about this. We need to essentially reprogram our minds (see Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:2; 1 Peter 1:13-15).  We must learn to take our thoughts captive, run them through the sieve of God’s Word, Will and character, and then either toss them out or, if they line up with what He says, act on them. We don’t need to be held captive to every awful thought that may come into our heads. Ruth Graham wrote, “Renewing our minds means just what it says. When we renew our minds, we are reprogramming our thoughts. We are taking out old, false ideas and replacing them with God’s truth so that we can think in a new way.”[3] Renewing our minds leads to healing and restoration.

Guard your heart and mind.  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Paul wrote in Philippians 4:7, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We guard our hearts through intimate communion with God. When we do this, it changes our perspective. It puts a shield around our heart and mind so that healing can take place deep within us. Then, instead of accepting the world, we can put on a new self and set our hearts against it. Dr. Henry Blackaby wrote, “[The heart] is the arena in which we experience our greatest spiritual victories as well as our most devastating defeats. We cannot afford to neglect it or to take its condition for granted. When we allow ourselves to be exposed to sin or we let unforgiveness and bitterness dwell within us, we will no longer enjoy the intimacy with God we once did. Only you can guard your heart. It takes conscious sustained effort to protect yourself from sinful, destructive thoughts and habits.”[4]

Four steps to the healing process with God. Four steps that will change your life, eternally. Anyone can walk four steps especially when it means full and complete healing and the freedom from bondage this rest

[1] Gary Chapman, The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage, (Carol Stream: IL, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2005), 81

[2] Raymond C. Ortlund, Anne Ortlund, In His Presence, (Lincoln, NE:, 1995, 2001), e-Book edition

[3] Ruth Graham, Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There: 100 Certain Truths for Uncertain Times, (New York: Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009), 139

[4] Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, Claude King, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2008), 269

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