An emotional awakening to spiritiual life in Jesus Christ
All we have to do is look at the news in the recent days and weeks and it begs the question, What is going on? Evil seems to be rising more and more in this hour than in any other. With the deadline going on with Iran to cease and desist their nuclear activities and other such news what do we do? Many are frightened and afraid and many others just argue that Jesus Christ is coming back for His own very shortly. So who exactly is right? More important more are asking even deeper questions than this about who they really are in there emotions. Whose right here? Is it even a matter of who is right and who is wrong?
In effect what we see in the Middle East goes as far back as the beginning of the nation of Israel. Israel was born out of conflict even in the times of Moses. Israel has been repeatedly disobedient to its calling as a divine nation but does that mean all at the same time that God has done away with Israel? If God did away with Israel then we have a huge problem. That problem is that He is a Covenant God who made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob only. The Muslims claim ancestry to Abraham through Ishmael, but the promise was never given to Ishmael but to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If this is so then we have a huge problem-in effect a difference of intreptation. If the Scriptures are true and God stands in judgment of man then we have an even wider gap. This gap involves satanic perversion of the Truth of Gods Word. In effect since the Bible speaks loudly about false prophets and religions then what Islam as a whole must be from the pure standpoint of intreptation from Scripture is a false religion and a cult.
A cult can be defined as any organization that leads people away from the Truth of Gods Word. If this is so then Islam is clearly a cult. It is a clear historical fact not an opinion that Muhammad was a murder. If that is so then those who claim that Islam is a religion of peace must surely be wrong. Since historically also Christians albeit it through the Catholic Crusades also murdered the Jews wouldnt that also mean that the Catholics were anti-Semitic? In effect anti-Semitism is all around us even in our churches through the belief that Israel is done away with as Gods covenant nation. But the reality is if religion is what God had wanted then He would have said it during His earthly ministry. What Jesus exposed was the kind of religion that worked itself out merely in the mind. In other words during the Sermon on the Mount He said, Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Blessed are the meek and so on. If this is so then we have another problem. The kind of religion espoused by cults focuses only on the mind but God measures spirituality based upon the mind and the heart. Jesus told us to love Him with all of our hearts, mind and strength (Matthew 22:38-40). Jesus said that we would be known by the way we love one another as believers in His name (John 13:35).
If this is so then we need a radical awakening. What this means is that what God cares about more than anything is our hearts. Our hearts are what need major surgery. The statistics bear out the point that our marriages, our churches and in effect the nation of America is in a moral dilemma. Why so you may ask? America is in a state of chaos because it fails to deal with root issues within itself. Instead of seeking God it instead seeks after the material possessions it can obtain or have more responsibility by occupying more land. How does that deal authentically with people who need answers? How does not looking at oneself as Jesus said to take the log out of our own eye reflect the national sentiments of a nation divided over its purpose in the world?
Yet many are calling out for not only this nation but also the churches in American to repent of its moral and spiritual failures. If this is so then we must also examine ourselves. By saying this it means that even I before I write must look at myself to see if I have any hidden thing in my heart so that God may use me to speak and be the living epidomy of what He would say through me. In other words what we need is to deal with the deep emotional traumas of life. But how would we go about doing this?
If the church is supposed to be to the people then it go figure that Jesus also was a physician. If Jesus was a physician then the church also must be a physician to the culture. In effect the radical change that must take place in our congregations isnt in the preaching or teaching, but in effect in the doing of the ministry. There is a higher burnout rate among Pastors than ever before. Many just flat out walk away from God as a result even in cases of great success. So what does this mean? It means that not only do we not train our Pastors to deal with their emotions but it also means that we ourselves are not able to do so as believers. The old leadership proverb applies here, As goes the leaders so goes the church, nation or organization. If that proverb is true, which I do believe it is then our nation is in radical disarray because we do not have leaders who truly confront the emotional needs of the people, but rather try to appeal to the physical needs of the people.
It is the responsibility of a leader to speak the Truth in love. But does a leader not confront to resolve issues? Does not a leader first have to take a deep look inside of themselves to see where they are? As a leader myself for many years I have learned that in order to lead effectively and biblically for that matter I must look inside of myself to make sure I am walking in intimacy with Jesus. If there are emotionally unresolved issues in my own heart then I must take a look at them with the Light of Jesus Christ. Not only is this an important part of leadership but it is also an integral part of being a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Jesus calls us to being His bondservants first and then out to ministry. What Jesus wants is our intimacy after all He created us primarily for the purpose of enjoying His awesome creation. If this is so then how different would our churches look if Pastors took a hard look at the emotional issues in their own lives? Most Pastors dont even have the time to really examine the deep heart issues that have affected them. In effect most Pastors in my experience only briefly go over these issues not dealing with them until its far to late-when the people cry out to help them, but they are not equipped because they have the wrong idea about what spirituality is in the first place.
Spirituality begins with our hearts for when we were justified by faith Jesus enters into our hearts to reclaim the brokenness of our lives to lead us to wholeness in Christ. Immediately then we are declared Gods child which is positional sanctification, to engage in a journey of progressive sanctification or a journey of becoming like Christ which will culminate in each one of us as believers in Christ being glorified into the image of Christ in totality. We are then filled with the Holy Spirit and are members of the global Body of Christ. If this is so then what we ought to see salvation as is the total process of becoming totality identified in intimacy with Jesus Christ not only as Savior, but as Lord. If this is so then what Jesus wants is not only our physical bodies for His service, but rather what He wants to change is your emotions. In order to be spiritual mature one must surely exercise their mind, but also engage there heart. True maturity comes not from knowing the right words to say, but from a heart changed by the love of God. It is that heart and life that God can use to change the world, and make disciples.
If we have unresolved issues in our hearts and lives the shepherds of the flock are failing. The classical pastoral writers consistently stated that those who wanted to be an minister of the Gospel aspired for a great thing, but should be wary lest they fall. They would fall because they had unresolved issues in their emotions. Not only is this true it is a very serious issue. Why do more and more Pastors everyday engage themselves in porn? The addiction to porn is so strong these days because anyone can sit behind a computer. The computer exposes our deepest selves much the same way as it does a person who is drunk. A drunk person has no inhabitations whatsoever. If that is so then they are who they really are when they are drunk because they arent putting up any walls of pretense. In many ways Ive walked these halls and been where a vast majority of not only Pastors are today but where believers are. Its easy to say all the right words and proclaim intellectual dependence upon the Savior. But woah-nelly once you begin to talk about real deep issues such as emotional maturity then you venture into scary territory.
I still remember the day the Lord challenged me to forgive my father. It was very painful to forgive my dad for all the years of emotional abuse and pain he caused me. I cried for a couple hours on my bed when the Lord told me, My Son I forgave you, so now you must forgive your dad for what he did to you. But once I spoke the words of forgiveness to my father there was a real release in me. A few years ago I did the same with my own mother. I still remember sitting there unloading about how I felt growing up and the things she did to me. I remember quite literally sitting in a public restrauent bawling my eyes out. Now why would I be crying my eyes out? Was it because I was an emotional immature man? Or was it because I was finally coming to the place of honesty and emotional maturity? Did it have to do with because I was very successful in ministry and wasnt able to humble myself?
In effect what we need is a forgiveness revolution in our churches and our land. So many people think that what they have to offer people is far greater than it really is. Just the other day I was talking to a man at a bus stop. He proceeded to tell me that ethics are dead. I said, Perhaps that is true in your world. And he told me, That is the world we live in. What this man did not understand is that we each have our own worlds which are composed of our own worldviews based upon our emotional backgrounds, family histories, cultural values, and so much more. The real point is that what our churches need is authenticity which starts with an awakening to the reality of dealing with our emotions.
How would we go about dealing with our emotions? The person you talk to about your emotional problems should be someone who has gone through some life experiences and are able to relate to your age, experiences and are in your estimate safe to talk too. The first way to deal with your emotions is to find someone you feel safe talking too. The second is to confide in them and build a relationship with that person. Third you should confess your brokenness to Jesus and ask Him to come in to cleanse you and renew a right Spirit within you. For when you do that you turn from your sin towards Jesus who wants to conform you more into His image to experience emotional healing in your mind, will and emotions, so that you can function as He created you (Romans 8:28-29; John 4:10-12; 1st John 1:8-10).
Sadly like the blind man who cannot even see some of you will turn away from your hearts never to deal with real issues. Such people are all around us in our world. You can find them in particular saying, My views are so right and yours are so wrong. Or you find them in prison because they cannot deal with what someone thinks so they end up murdering the person. You can find people who cannot deal with there emotions in mental institutions because failure to deal with your emotions can lead to emotional insanity and social withdrawal. With this said if what Jesus wants is our entire lives to be presented before Him as an offering for His service dont you think its time to take care of yourself? Arent our churches worth it ladies and gentlemen? Isnt it time for an emotional awakening in our land to the reality of the Lordship of Jesus over all of life?
If what Jesus called us to is to win disciples of the nations then the same Jesus who died on the Cross who declared that it is finished also wants all of your emotional, physical, mental and the total aspect of every facet of your life. If this is so then wont you present your body, emotions and life to the Lord Jesus? What He wants to do is to change your life from the inside out so that you can experience the love of God in Christ so deeply and completely.
Today I urge everyone of you under Gods hand to examine your lives under the light of Gods Spirit. Lamentations 3:40 says, Let us examine our ways and return to the Lord. Take a really hard look at the things going on in your life. Take inventory of the brokenness in your own past whether that be in your families, marriages, relationships, churches or any event where you experienced abuse, or pain of any kind. Take a hard look at it and then repent if you feel that you have done wrong. Confess your sin to Jesus because when we do so He is faithful and just 1st John 1:8-9 to cleanse us of all unrighteousness because of the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ still today cleanses us from ALL sin! Come running today as the woman at the well did into the arms of Jesus to worship the Lord Jesus Christ by His Spirit to sing songs of deliverance and joy unto the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is still the Alpha and the Omega, and God is still the same as yesterday today and forever more! He is still the same God who lead the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land. God wants to take you on a journey today towards growing not only in spiritual understanding of your life, but also on a journey towards becoming a mature believer in Jesus Christ both in your knowledge of Him (intellectually), and emotionally so that the result will be a mature spiritual believer in Jesus Christ that can accurately be the representivate of Jesus Christ to a culture, and a world that needs more believers in Christ who have truly experienced the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Come into the arms of Jesus today to experience the love of God. God is calling His people in this hour to experience an awakening to the emotional realities of our spiritual life in Jesus Christ. Come and experience the joy of knowing God deeply in your emotions which will radiate from your heart and shine from your life. This is what our world needs now believers who have experienced the love of God intellectually, emotionally so that they can spiritually represent Jesus Christ in a world full of questions, doubts, fears and unrest. Come to Christ experience the love of God in your brokenness so that He can speak through you in wholeness.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious unto thee.
God bless you.