I am continuing a review of John Eldredge’s Walking the Dead book.
How do we begin to live from our whole hearts?
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise (Jeremiah 17:14)
For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. (Malachi 4:2)
He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing (Luke 9:11)
But what do we do now? Now that we have admitted that we need healing. That comes first before any healing or restoration.
Eldredge quotes a lady name Leanne Payne from The Healing Presence which summarizes a beginning.
“We simply invoke His Presence, then invite Him into our hearts. He shows us our hearts. In prayer for the healing of memories, we simply ask our Lord to come present to that place where we were so wounded (or perhaps wounded another). Forgiving others, and receiving forgiveness, occurs. In prayer for the healing of the heart from fears, bitterness, etc. we see primal fears as well as lesser ones dealt with immediately. those fears that the sufferer often has not been aware of, never been able to name–they only know that their lives have been seriously restricted and shaped because of them.”
This chapter, Deep Restoration, is growing on me! I have been in it for 3 weeks. On the first read I didn’t think much was here. As I go over the material, I see more of what the author is driving at. I want to cover some of those points here now.
As we walk with God and invite Him in to show us the wounds, the non-forgiveness, and/or the pride, He may begin His work of renewal. Look at Psalm 23. What does it say? Can you say those words to the Father? Can you recite Psalm 86 verse 11? These verses describe a heart that is opening itself up to the Father in a way that releases the power of the Spirit to work within. Lastly, pay a visit to Revelation 3 again. We know so well verse 20. Yes, Jesus is at the door of the heart knocking. He wants to sit and sup with us. Look at 15 – 19, He also wants to refine, reprove, and discipline–all for the purpose of making us the vessels we were designed to be.
We’ve tried all the popular solutions, even those from within the church. It is now time to have a seat and turn it over, open it up to God and let Him do His work in us. Having Him work in His way is the most fulfilling and satisfying result and transformation we could ever experience.
The “inviting in” process may seem risky and may become risky. Let me assure you, it is worth it. This is the God who loves you and wants only the best for you.
We have to be willing the take the risks and ask tough questions of ourselves and of God like: “What am I afraid of?” … “Jesus, what is this or that all about?”
“When have I felt like this before?” I could go on. Then, Jesus says to you
& I as we discover hurts and wounds: “Will you let me heal you?” We yield
to Him and He does His work in us. This is a discovery process for us
and asking Him to show and reveal helps us open up to Him.
Eldredge even offers a prayer–one of many, as a guide: “Jesus, I invite you into this broken place within me (this wound, this memory). I give you total access to my heart. Come, Lord, shine your light here. Reveal to me all that is going on here What is this about, Jesus? Come and show me, meet me here, in this place.”
Eldredge goes on to talk about agreements we have made with ourselves and with the Devil. I understand “agreements” and I relate. What helps me characterize the wrong thinking that has built up over time in my heart is “Messages Received and Lies Believed.” These are, of course, wrong messages and are based on lies. If you can identify those and confess them and ask the Lord for the power to overcome and renounce those messages, you will experience the restoration that Jesus offers.
I can’t emphasize enough the need for community in this process. Prayer partners, small group studies, awareness of the Trinity, and hearing from God by being in the Word and reflecting on its application to your circumstances. All of these are so important the the life long process God wants to initiate within each of us who are willing.