God wants us healed of all of our wounds, and this is something we can learn how to do. The process of getting healed is integral to our learning dependence; the Lord doesn’t want us depending either on our own strength or on the faith, gifts, or teachings of others. God uses what is important to us to get our attention and bring us to Him, which is why getting healed is so important.
We will be approaching getting healed as a process that we can learn to do as an aspect of learning to depend on God Himself to meet all of our needs in our soul and our body (He has already met all our needs in our spirit). We will be starting fairly simply, then building incrementally as we practice and become comfortable going to God. The Spirit Himself will bear witness and teach us—that is His job, it is what He does, Who He is. Our job is to give Him our time and attention and be willing to follow (make mistakes and change our beliefs). God will do the rest, including the healing itself.
To start, set aside a time each day in which you are going to learn how to get healed. You can ask the Lord for a time of day, and a length of time. Be specific as you query the Lord; give Him choices of answers. Not for His sake, but for yours. Instead of asking, “Lord, when do you want to meet with me, and for how long?”, ask something like, “Lord, I’ve got time first thing in the morning or last thing before bed. Which is better for you?” Then listen for “morning” or “evening.” After receiving a response, ask, “How long do you want to meet with me?” Give Him options; 5 minutes, 15 minutes, etc. though don’t be surprised if He comes up with His own amount. Give God “yes” or “no” questions, or “either” “or” questions. It is much “easier” to hear from Him when just starting out when there are only 2 or 3 options for His response. God knows where we’re coming from, and will make Himself known to us where we’re at.
Just a reminder here: As we begin this learning process hindrances will arise. We will deal with them gradually, over time. Otherwise we become distracted by dealing with and overcoming the hindrances rather than spending our time learning how to depend on God for healing. So for now just trust that the Lord is only bringing to the surface that which can be dealt with at your present level.
There are two voices that speak to the sheep: the shepherd and the butcher. If the response you are receiving even hints of pressure to work harder, condemnation or shame, or that you in any way did something to deserve the woundedness you are experiencing, what you are hearing is not the Voice of the Lord. It could be the world (peer pressure), your flesh, or the devil, and we’ll learn how to deal with each of these in later chapters. If you know how to deal with it at this time, go ahead and do what you can. But don’t worry if you don’t know what to do about it—the Lord would not have let it surface if He couldn’t deal with it without your help. He knows where each one of us is. Simply ask the Lord for help! Something like, “Lord, this doesn’t sound like you…I’m feeling condemned and confused. Please help!” Pause and give the Lord an opportunity to act. Then don’t worry about it. The ball is in the Lord’s court, and He will deal with it the way He wants to. Just go on from here. His goal is not to test you, but to heal you.
Aspects of Physical Healing
Physical healing takes place in the natural realm, although the causes of physical wounds can occur in both the natural and soulical (supernatural) realms.
In the natural realm, there are things we do, and don’t do, that contribute to our physical well being. When we begin to look at getting healed, we want to start by looking at our lifestyle. Are we contributing to our wellness, or to our sickness? Ask yourself these questions, and honestly admit to yourself if there are lifetyle habits you need to adjust:
1. Are you getting enough sleep? The body doesn’t make up on the weekends for what it doesn’t get during the week. Lack of sleep causes stress on our bodies, making us susceptible to natural diseases, emotional, mental and decision-making fatigue, and even making us accident-prone.
2. Are you getting enough of the right kinds of exercise? Aerobic exercises strengthen the heart and other muscles and help the body rid itself of toxins in the muscles and organs. Strength training and stretching increase our balance, coordination and flexibility, which increase our overall appearance, confidence, and ability to avoid accidents. Both increase endorphins, which gives us a natural sense of well being and satisfaction.
3. Are you eating enough of the right kinds of food? Food allergies and intolerances can cause us to feel sluggish and even depressed or short-tempered. Eating foods our bodies are not meant to digest (whether milk products, sugar, processed foods or meats) puts an additional strain on our system. Not only are our mood and energy levels affected, but the nutrients and physical resources needed for repair and growth are not available when needed. It is more important for your body to receive everything it needs to repair itself, such as unprocessed whole grains, fruits and vegetables, than to deprive yourself of “bad” things.
4. Are you getting enough rest, recuperation, relaxation and recreation on a regular basis? The more stressful your occupation or lifestyle, the more necessary it is to schedule frequent breaks to maintain perspective. For instance, many mothers of small children feel obligated to sacrifice their lives for their children and often feel burned out and neglected. This not only contributes to their poor health, but also sets a poor example for the rest of the family, especially the children who grow up believing that women are valuable only as they serve the needs of others.
5. Are you working and living in a positive environment? Do you dread going to work? Or coming home? Or perhaps it’s just the drive in-between. Review where you would rather spend your time, and see if there are perhaps some negative circumstances that are draining you physically. For instance, long urban commutes are taking their toll on drivers as evidenced by the increase in road-rage. Even environmental factors, such as working in an office where there is no quiet, warm place to “take a break” decreases productivity on a physical level. Computer eyestrain can only be relieved by looking at a point in the distance; many cubicles prevent this necessary rest in the way they are constructed. Are you confident you are where God wants you to be?
In short, are you taking care of yourself? Are you setting natural goals, do you know where and what you want to be in 5 years, 10, etc.? Are you enjoying and resting in your life, or do you see yourself as a victim of its circumstances? Are you contributing to your own well being, or do you perhaps believe that God is pleased with self-sacrifice? Have you asked Him lately?
Start to incorporate any necessary changes into your regular routine. If these changes cause major stress themselves, some interference or hindrance is probably present. For now do what you can reasonably and restfully do, and the rest we’ll look into as we go along.
After looking at our lifestyle, we want to look at our personal family history. Much of the woundedness that our parents and ancestors endured affected them physically, causing them physical stress to the point of damaging them genetically. So diseases and predispositions to illnesses can be passed down from generation to generation without an individual personally suffering the wounds that caused the original stress. Check with your family members regarding your family history. Include not only physical ailments and illnesses, but lifestyle patterns as well: drug or alcohol abuse, divorce, criminal activity, etc. Also record the social positives, how many went to college, had successful marriages, lived long lives in excellent health, etc. This information will be helpful along the way as you discover where and how your beliefs were formed.
Healing In Our Bodies
In general, we can look forward to two kinds of healing in our bodies: specific healing that targets our natural body, and consequential healing, which occurs as a consequence of our being healed in our soul. Either way, as we learn to depend on the Lord, we will see evidence of healing in our physical body, and even in our ability to cope with stressful circumstances in the natural realm, as we actively participate in what the Lord is doing in our lives.
Aspects of Soulical Healing (Mind, Will & Emotions)
God created each of us with the need for unconditional love, acceptance, and honor (or self-worth and value). As unbelievers we had no way to get those needs met, since only God can meet God-given needs. Before we were regenerated, we had no way of accessing spiritual resources, and since our soul was never meant to meet our needs, our soul cannibalized our physical body. We enter this life with a seared (cloudy) conscience (will), a darkened mind (believing lies), and a hardened heart (damaged emotions).
When we became believers, we received not only spiritual life, but also relationship with God by His Spirit. God made available everything we need to not only live and behave as spirit beings, but the repair of both the soul and the body also began.
Healing for Our Mind
A sound mind is given, not born with. Like all gifts, we need to learn how to let His mind flow to and through us. The pressure of this world, with all its information, sensory bombardment and what is falsely called knowledge pollutes our minds and batters our thinking to distract us from this focus. Our task, by learning to depend on God for our information and thoughts, is to learn to bring every thought captive, change and overcome our misbeliefs, and replace the lies we believe with the truth. Not just correct information, but the living Truth which is God. Over time we begin to discern the source of our thoughts, and recognize and receive the life that is in those thoughts and ideas that are from God. Healing will not be evidenced by our thinking the “right” thoughts or believing the “right” things but by depending and relying on the thoughts and information that comes from God.
Healing for Our Will
Our will is our ability to make choices and decisions as well as being the source of our motivation. One of the great misconceptions regarding the will is that we have a “free” will and that God judges us based on the decisions we make. Yet without our spirits being regenerated, our will doesn’t even have the capability, let alone the opportunity, of making “free” or uninterfered-with decisions. Instead, the will makes a choice based on the information provided by dead sources: the soul, body, and the natural and soulical realms. It is not until we become regenerated that God begins to free our wills to be yielded to His.
Attempting to maintain control over our will or by our will, whether strengthening or submitting it to another, is idolatry, in that we place greater importance on our will than we do on other aspects of our soul (mind and emotions). Making decisions un-dependent on the Lord is independence from the Lord.
As our will is healed and freed, we begin to gain confidence in our decision-making, because we have gained confidence in our dependent relationship with God. We find we can trust God to motivate us and direct us, and give us the desires He wants us to have. We enjoy letting Him choose and live through us, even in unpleasant situations, as when making unpleasant or difficult choices. We become even more willing to change our beliefs, bringing us into an even greater understanding of what and why He is doing what He is doing in our lives.
Healing for Our Emotions
Though they are valued treasures to God, our emotions don’t “mean” anything. Before we became Christians, we often judged how we were doing by how we felt. If we felt bad, we must be doing something wrong. Likewise, when we felt good, we were doing something right. Even after coming to know God, very often our emotions continue to determine our behavior, our beliefs and our decisions.
If we don’t understand how our emotions work, they will control our will and our mind by affecting the decisions we make and what we believe. Because we don’t understand how our emotions work, our feelings about God and ourselves affect our beliefs about Him and ourselves. For instance, if we feel like we’ve disappointed God, we may begin to believe that it’s our job to make Him happy, and make decisions based not on what would be appropriate for a given situation, but on what would make God happy. If we have a distorted belief of what makes God happy, like perfect behavior, we’ve set ourselves up for depression and disappointment.
But when we were regenerated and all our needs were met, the wounds in our emotions began to surface. Many Christians today suffer from anxiety, depression and the inability to rest because, contrary to how it may feel, God is ready to heal them in their emotions. As our emotions are healed, we become free to express them without being afraid of being controlled by them. It’s when we draw a conclusion from them, giving them meaning, that they control and wound us. For example, we learn that guilt and regret are normal reactions at times of loss. Perhaps we once believed that we should be happy that a loved one has died and gone on to be with the Lord, and that feeling sad was holding God accountable. Then we start to feel guilty, which wounds our soul and brings us into bondage. As we realize how our emotions work, we learn to appreciate, enjoy and be energized by them the way God intended.
It is important to remember that all of our needs have all already been met. We may not feel like they are, but we don’t live by our feelings. We live by depending on Him.
Activate the Healing Process
Let’s go ahead and enter into what the Lord is doing. Repeat this to the Lord, or something like it: “Lord, I acknowledge that you want me to be complete, whole and entire in my spirit, soul and body. My mind, will and emotions, as well as my physical body, all need your healing. I am willing to let you change my lifestyle, beliefs, decisions, and emotions until they completely line up with what you want them to be. I also acknowledge that although You will be doing all the work, you want me to be involved in the process. Thanks ahead of time for all you’re doing.” What’s important is that your mind, will and emotions recognize that healing is something you want and have agreed to do God’s way.
Getting Healed 101
Jesus wants us to become familiar with trying new things. During the time you have set aside each day, start asking the following questions. Trust that Jesus will not take you to something He can’t handle. Keep it simple! Frustration and anxiety are warning signs that you are trying to do God’s job: it is God’s job to reveal Himself to you, not your job to get something from Him.
“Lord, what wounds are there in my mind that need to be healed?”
Wounds in our mind manifest themselves as lies, misconceptions and deceptions. These often translate into sayings or scripts we repeat to ourselves. Obviously, none of us think that we believe lies. But since none of us has all the truth, at least some of what we believe is not true. As the Lord brings these thoughts to your mind, simply ask Him, “Lord, what is your truth here?” This exercise will begin His process of bringing your thoughts into alignment with His mind.
“Lord, what wounds are there in my will that need to be healed?”
Wounds in our will manifest themselves as impulsiveness, trying harder (relying on our own strength), regretting decisions, and attempting to control or manipulate others, God or ourselves. Wounds may also be expressed as self-motivation through discipline, or even areas where we failed to make a choice or decision, leaving it up to someone else. As the Lord brings to your mind areas where your will has been wounded, simply ask Him, “Lord, what is your truth here?” This exercise will begin His process of freeing your will to be joined to His will.
“Lord, what wounds are there in my emotions that need to be healed?”
Wounds in our emotions manifest themselves as drawing meaning or direction from an emotion, such as judging how you are doing, or if you are pleasing God, by how you are feeling. Emotional wounds will also manifest themselves through denying that you have strong emotions, or using the strength of your emotions to control or motivate yourself, others or God. As the Lord brings to your mind areas where your emotions have been wounded, simply ask Him, “Lord, what is your truth here?” This exercise will begin His process of settling your emotions to be joined to His heart.
Don’t be distracted if you don’t understand the process or His answers; just let Him know that you are joining Him in His healing process. Become aware of His presence throughout the day, giving Him the freedom to heal, speak and intervene in your life at any time. Remember He is the trainer, the discipler. He will provide for you everything you need to receive everything He has for you.
Over time your understanding of what He is already doing will grow, and your confidence in His faithfulness will grow as well. For now, just become familiar with the process and grow in the confidence that you can and are hearing Jesus’ voice for yourself. You may want to record these sessions in some way for future reference, especially any questions or challenges you had doing the exercises.
Adapted from Getting Healed by Dianne Thomas