The Walls that Keep us Paralyzed.

Continuing on studying the “soul sickness epidemic”, in this post we will take a look at barriers that keep us paralyzed. I pray this blesses you and encourages you in your walk with Jesus.

When we think about the iconic “American Dream” the first thing I think of is the perfect sized house, green trimmed lawn, white pocket fence. Which would need money to pay the bills, healthy people in the house to do maintenance, even the proper amount of sunshine and rain the keep the grass growing and vitamin d thriving in our brains.
But while we see this picture street after street in housing developments with deed restrictions and 1/4 acre building lots… Has anyone noticed the real picture?
See I step out and see the perfect little house has grown quite dilapidated over the years from lack of maintenance. The grass is dried up in need of watering, fence is kicked in and even destroyed and some parts. I rang the doorbell to see if anyone was home only to find out the doorbell didn’t work. I peered in the window to see a man zoned out staring at a blank tv screen because the electric must have been turned off. No job, no money, needs aren’t being met… Can you fill in more of the picture?
Right now we have souls living in places they can’t afford to attain a dream that is altogether out of reach. They have unknowingly sold their lives to work for a lifestyle they may never pay for. Some are jobless, some can’t even afford the roof over there head. But the expectation is still there every day… Mow the lawn, pay the bills, we need food, need a car, the cool electronics, vacations, vacation houses… Where is it stopping? It won’t stop, unless the word of God becomes alive to us.
Jesus speaks many times during his ministry about wealth, possessions and money. In Luke 16 he tells us to be honest with the little or much we have (vs. 9-12) and that “you cannot serve both God and worldly riches.” (vs. 13) Most plainly, to “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Get for yourselves purses that will not wear out, the treasure in heaven that never runs out, where thieves can’t steal and moths can’t destroy. Your heart will be where your treasure is.” Luke 12: 33&34
The fields in America are dry, in need of nourishment. But one would not just throw seed on parched ground. Much like the fields, we cannot share Jesus love if we have not properly prepared the fields.
Jesus says in Luke 12:54-56 “When you see clouds coming up in the west, you say it’s going to rain, and it happens. When you feel the wind begin to blow from the south, you say it will be a hot day, and it happens…. You know how to understand the appearance of the earth and sky. Why don’t you understand what is happening now?”
If we aren’t stepping out of our houses, our picket fences, how will we ever help our neighbors rebuild? Even further, Jesus made a point of saying that the biggest influence for the Kingdom we can make will be on our enemies.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are only nice to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, just as you Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48)

In order to see a change in the soil, we have to take the time and discipline. As followers and imitators of Jesus we need to be willing to take the more difficult job of love those with the hardest soil to till because Jesus can change their life. And both they and you will never be the same.

Challenge: pick one person that is on your hard to deal with list and love them to their face and behind their back for one week. Be kind and loving, reflecting Jesus love, and pray for them and their hardships. Pray that God give you wisdom to know how to love them. Even if they don’t change, I guarantee you will. But you’ve got to do it for a week! No slacking!

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The sickness the world will never diagnose you with.

Studying Psychology for the last two years has been a welcomed challenge. I have looked forward to growing and working through my own past challenges (some past challenges are present too!) and using what I have learned to help others ultimately as my profession.

The more I study Psychology and Christian Counseling and read the Word of God, the more I realize we are constantly bombarded with messages that we subconsciously accept to be true until they are challenged.

An example: Ask anyone who grew up watching enough television, and they will tell you that the media is a predominant source that tells you who you are and how to live. Keep in mind, these people will say this with their actions, not directly. You might say anyone would tell you that the media is overly influencing each generation, but it is a vicious cycle. The kids that don’t watch TV are influenced by the kids that do watch it many times out of the natural need to feel loved (wanting to be a part of a group) so they quickly adapt to these behaviors that are otherwise unfamiliar to emotionally healthy individuals. Then you’ve got magazines on the racks at the store, billboards, books, and not to mention those that are older that have already been thoroughly influenced by our over-sexed over communicating culture (Communication is key, right? Not in the way it should be. The TMI card should be used more often….)

But what does all this have to do with sickness? Especially one in which would never be noticed in daily interactions with friends, teachers, or even doctors? Unless you are being saturated with Christian influence on a daily basis, you may be unaware of this sickness. Just when you think you’re getting that struggle straight, the stronghold broken, that hurt mended…you sit down and reflect and failure comes creeping back in. It may quickly even make you feel like this is something that will never go away.

Our current medical profession is easily split between natural and medicinal approaches. Having a diagnosis for everything, or simply leaving it alone to stop overanalyzing every emotion and sickness, every twitch. We are living in a nation consumed with a chronic illness whose most obvious side effects are anxiety and fear, but only at the core. It’s a tricky illness that requires self-reflection and evaluation which are not welcome by many unless for self serving purposes. I will be so bold as to say, almost everyone has something they are anxious or fearful about but this is still not the sickness I speak of. I’m talking the soul sickness epidemic.

If you do a brief study of our nation’s history of major events over the last 200 years, you will quickly find that the struggle for human freedoms has slowly sent the soul and spirit of a free nation into a bondage from the war between ourselves and our spirits. Instead of conceding our fleshly wants to the throne of our savior, Jesus Christ, we have legalized, demoralized, and justified the very actions our spirits hate in an effort to comfort the ever festering wound from the question “What is freedom?” In a quest for religious freedom, our nation has gone down a dangerous road of compromise. Instead of having a guiding head, over the decades that head has turned into a babysitter with no direct form of “right” or “wrong” driven by a fear of tolerance and intolerance  (God made a statement about that in Revelation 3:16). Our legal system is thriving from anxiety and fear over what may or may not happen tomorrow (Matt. 6:34). These barely touch on the fears and anxieties that are plaguing our land.

I encourage you to think upon what I have just written. This soul sickness goes much deeper because it has been carried on from generation to generation to generation…. from sin to bondage where now we ultimately fight the battle within us and once we have had our fill we spew it all over everyone else. “From the mouth speaks the overflow of the heart.” (Luke 6:45)

Over my next few blogs we are going to explore the various forms of spiritual bondage in our country. God has been laying my heart with sadness for the pain this generation has been through but hope because He has an amazing future in store. He is shaking the earth with His truth, overturning rocks that have long sat still, and He has a plan for you. “The eyes of the Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him.” (II Chron. 16:9)

If you are reading this…God has called you. He loves you and has plans for you. I know, because I am the least of these (ref. fr. Matt. 25:40) sent to speak the truth and give the hope that has been gifted to me.

Job 9:10

“He does wonders that cannot be understood; he does so many miracles that cannot be counted.”