Today’s material was deep but it was so critical. This is where we get to breakthrough. We all have our sins, our pains, the mistakes, wounds against us from family or friends, betrayals of trusts, etc. You’ve got them. I do too. They sting and because of the sting, we cover them up, move on and get busy with life. If I’m running hard trying to make my sales quota, I won’t have to think about “it”.
But they have a way of showing back up. Why? Because we never “dealt” with them. This chapter is about dealing with them. It requires some pain. You’ll have to go back and dig them up, relive the pain, ask Christ for forgiveness (if it revolves around your mistakes) and then ask Christ to step into the pain and heal your broken heart.
A man in our small group had a breakthrough this morning. Sitting there, he spoke up remembering an incident on the playground from when he was 5 years old. He had said a cuss word and the principal took him aside and wore his rear out. He was humiliated and embarrassed and decided at that point that he was “bad”. He made an agreement. He sank his feet in the cement of condemnation and this morning, he connected the dots and figured out many of his future mistakes formulated in this earlier agreement. Tears were shed. He was digging up the pain. There is more for him to do but this was huge. A key first step.
It’s there guys. For all of us. We all have these pains and these agreements and they have shaped our lives.
Jesus came to restore your broken heart. He wants to restore you. He wants to pick up the shattered pieces of your heart and restore you. The Glory of God is man fully alive. You cannot be “fully alive” unless you deal with these issues that haunt you.
I shared about my college girlfriend and as I was sharing this and talking about memories we men have of past loves – almost to a man, heads were nodding. You know. You have them too. Unfortunately for us men – as visual animals – we tend to relive those past memories in graphic detail. Even things that were wrong can serve as a “comfort” to us. An idol. We turn to it in times of pain as a way of medicating our pain.
What I had to do about 6-7 years ago is break this agreement. I had to go back and dig up the memories of her and deal with my sin, deal with my pain. I made mistakes. I fell too deeply in love at too young an age. She was wounded and I didn’t see it. I saw first love but I wasn’t her first love. I was medication for her already wounded heart. In a sense, I was used. Ultimately, she broke up with me and shattered my heart and 15 years later, I was still holding onto these memories. And so in a hotel room in Denver after a John Eldredge retreat, God dealt with this wound. God and I unpacked it. I dredged it all up. I owned my sin. I begged forgiveness for my mistakes and I asked Him to restore my heart. I blew it. I allowed my heart to be broken and I asked Jesus to pick up the pieces and restore my heart. I can testify that here 6-7 years later, it ended that night. It went away. I dealt with it by the grace of God. He forgave me and the bondage I placed myself in was broken. Those “tapes” never run in my mind anymore. When even a fleeting thought of her comes up, Praise the Lord, I can tamp those out with a quick thought of “No, I dealt with that once and for all in Denver. It’s done. It has no power over me”. It truly is is done. Since it is Easter week, I’ll say, “It is finished”.
There are things like this in you. A father wound. A brother that you never matched up to. A mother that dominated and controlled you. An addiction to pornography that lashes you with guilt and condemnation daily. A financial mistake or a bankruptcy that shames you every day as you start your day. A humiliation in high school that still creeps in here 40 years later. Whatever “it” is, “it” is there in all of us and Jesus knocks at the door wanting to set you free and restore your broken heart.
It isn’t easy. It is painful to dredge this stuff up but liberation on the other side enables you to begin the steps toward radical freedom in Christ. The Glory of God is man fully alive.
Do you want that? Really? Do you truly want to be fully alive? Then you need to face these wounds and beg God to step into the mess and restore your heart. He’ll do it. I can testify. He works. Praise the Lord.
slides from today… Waking the Dead 8