Someone once said to me that the older you get, the more you learn how much you don’t know. I agree wholeheartedly, and think this is particularly true when it comes to how we view our own selves. We think we know ourselves so well, but there are situations that catch us off guard. They can cause us to behave and respond completely out of character. So much so that we question what we’re made of. We might even begin to doubt our abilities and decisions, and allow fear to creep into our hearts. This happens quite often in relationships. We become involved with someone that hurts us to the core, and we vow that we will never allow ourselves to be hurt that way again. This seems like an approach that represents strength, but not exactly.
Bad breakups or abusive relationships can cause us to wall ourselves off. We do this sometimes without giving ourselves the opportunity to figure some things out. God has created us to be instinctual, empathetic, and intelligent beings. When we get hurt, through the Spirit within, He will bring us to a place of healing and wholeness, but we don’t get to sit down on this one. Our engagement in the healing process is crucial. God tells us in Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV), “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” To walk in the light is a choice to exercise the energy and action to do so. The light of Christ is inside of us, so we’re not walking alone. He is with us every moment of every day. We were once in the dark, but through Christ we have a way to enter the light.
Philippians 2:12 tells us to work out our salvation with reverence and respect. When we gave our lives to the Lord and made him the head of them, we were born-again spiritually. Our human-spirits were recreated in Christ Jesus, and they became brand new. Our souls, on the other hand, were not made brand new. In Ephesians 4:23, God makes it clear that changing the way we think, speak, and behave is required, and it’s totally our responsibility. He will not overstep our free-will. God will not start throwing all the bad stuff out without our permission, and the Holy Spirit that lives within us will not make our hearts and minds automatically virtuous. It is a relationship. This means it’s a hand-in-hand walk that God is looking to establish with us. It is a step by step journey in which Christ leads us by the hand as we allow him to guide us into the light of healing. It’s a faith walk!
So no. The Holy Spirit doesn’t come into the inner sanctum of our beings and start shoving all the bad stuff out. If we’ve got some funkiness going on—if we’ve got some junk in our trunks, it’s our responsibility to do some housekeeping. This kind of soul-work is sometimes uncomfortable, but it is very necessary, and Heavenly Father has equipped us to get it done. God’s healing plan is one that involves acknowledgment, repentance, forgiveness, and release. If we cheat ourselves out of any one of these, our deliverance may be slow and more uncomfortable than it needs to be. However, please know, that repentance is not a negotiable step. It cannot ever be missed; not in our healing, and not in our relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
When a child feels pain, the first question out of the parent’s mouth is “where does it hurt?” As we get older, we should be able to recognize pain with greater specificity, and deal with it with more maturity. We’re not perfect at it, but we are much more capable of helping ourselves in the process of healing than we believe.
In Ephesians 6:11(NLT), God tells us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” This isn’t a suggestion. God told us to put on all of His armor because we desperately need it. The enemy’s strategy is to keep us weighted down with the emotional heaviness that comes from fear and doubt. Making a person doubt themselves and feel insecure all the time is the devil’s specialty. One of the most common ways that we give in to this tactic is to hide behind our pain; to not confront it with the light of Christ. Instead, we cover it up with all kinds of behaviors and attitudes, some of them extremely negative and harmful.
God’s way is to invite us into the light of Christ, where clarity and goodness exists. Romans 8:38 says that nothing can separate us from God’s love. This is such an overwhelmingly comforting and healing Word from the Father’s heart. Nothing can separate us from His love; not pain, not shame, not insecurity or doubt. So, we don’t have to be afraid to look beneath the hood of all those layers that have plagued us for years. If we ask him, Christ will lead us through them, his love lighting the way every step. He has made us this promise, and he will always keep it. ■
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“Come into the Light” written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!