Rejection 26 – Overwhelming Love

While the Steps to Release describe the issues I had to deal with in overcoming rejection, insecurity, inferiority and the like in my life, it was God’s Love that actually empowered the whole process.

My inner pain, ill-defined as it was, left me feeling afraid of letting anyone into the areas of my need. I had created an external image of happiness and success, and I desperately wanted that image to be my truth. God’s invasion of my inner life seriously challenged my internal comfort zone.

Grace and Truth

Some people think that to live in happy delusion is better than living in an unhappy reality. I challenge that. No-one can truly live if they are living a lie. The people locked in mental institutions, completely deluded about who and what they are, are not better for their foolish notions. We are far better to face reality and find God’s power to be real in our true circumstances, than to live enslaved to delusion and brokenness.

While God’s Love is powerful and was the awesome antidote to my inner pain, it came with a solid dose of “reality check”. And that’s Biblical. The Bible tells us that both “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”.

“And the Word was made flesh (Jesus), and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

Grace is the special favour of God, His love, His mercy and His blessings into our lives. Truth speaks of reality and facing up to the whole picture, for what it is. Both these things came at the same time, in the same person, Jesus Christ.

In the same way, God brought both His truth and His love to my heart at the same time.

Supreme Love

God loves me just the way I am. His love is supreme. His love is unsurpassable. God’s love is overwhelming.

God’s love is SO wonderful and SO powerful that it totally outweighs all the love that every other person could give. If the whole world hated you and God loved you, you could experience total joy, complete fulfilment, overwhelming satisfaction and abundant delight in being alive. That’s how supremely powerful and wonderful God’s love is

Love Revealed

God’s amazing love was revealed to me through many preachers who taught on the subject over several years. Messages about the Father heart of God, the Biblical definitions of love, the example of the Prodigal Son’s father, and the many Bible verses that talk about God’s love opened my heart and mind to realise that God truly does love me.

I had been raised in good evangelical churches and heard the gospel message of faith in Jesus Christ a thousand times. The cumulative effect of that, however, did not leave me with a sense of God’s overwhelming love. It took some time before that new truth could settle in my heart.

Slowly I came to trust what the Bible said. Slowly I came to believe that God was not some angry potentate ready to judge all who fail His standards.

jesus hugsYes Jesus Loves Me

Somehow in my Christian journey I came to think of God’s love as the nice message to tell the children. It was fine for the children to sing “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”. But I thought that as we become mature in our understanding we are to move away from the childish notion of God’s love, and realise our responsibilities.

I carried a weight of obligation, linked to judgements upon those who “looked back”, were “unfruitful” and so on. In the development of those ideas I lost complete sight of God’s love for me.

Yet such passages as Romans 8 spoke clearly about the impossibility of being separated from God’s love. And the love of Christ was spoken of in many places too.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38,39

“And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

I came to realise that Jesus does love me. God loves me.

Jesus Loves You!

You need a revelation of God’s love. That comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, illuminating the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who pours God’s love through your wounded heart.

“And hope does not make us ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” Romans 5:5

A prayer I often pray for those needed healing from rejection and inner pain is that God’s Holy Spirit will release the Love of God through their heart, like ocean waves of God’s love sweeping over them. I want to pray that prayer for you. Then, in the next lesson I will take you even deeper into consideration of God’s Love.

Prayer for You

“Lord God, I pray for each person reading this, that You would pour Your love upon them. Let Your love be shed abroad in their heart, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Give them a revelation of Your great love for them. Let it flow over them like ocean waves of Your compassion, care, grace and blessing into their innermost being. And Lord, deliver them from rejection, shame, fear, insecurity and all inner pain. Let them enter into the joy of living in the glorious liberty of the children of God. I ask this for them, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

Rejection 24 – Finding Freedom

Now we come to the most exciting part of this series – that of Finding Freedom. Jesus sets us free. God gives us “liberty”. God heals our broken hearts. So, how do we experience those things?

“If the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you will be free indeed (truly free).” John 8:36

“Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.” Psalm 124:7

He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

My Journey to Freedom

Reject 24 Finding Freedom

In my late teenage years I was touched by the Charismatic Revival. It was a season of spiritual refreshing and release of the reality of the Holy Spirit. Many people who had been Christians for years, such as I had been, became activated in a new way.

As I encountered that process I found that God seemed to impress me with various thoughts in various ways. I particularly found God making me feel uncomfortable about the fake life I had built around me. I was hiding my pain behind a mask of confidence. Behind that mask I felt insecure and vulnerable.

My response to those impressions was to reject them. They made me feel uncomfortable, even though I sensed it was God who was speaking to me. My heart response was, “Go and pick on someone else! I’m doing much better than many. Go and pick on those who need more help than I do.”

I experienced this, and other challenging thoughts, over many months. My standard response was to resist the impressions and press on as best I could.

Admit Your Need

I realise now that the very first step toward freedom is to admit you have a need. As long as I resisted God’s challenge about my needs and my false life, I could not be healed and set free.

I have had people ask me to pray for their needy relatives. But when I ask if those people are open to God or would even admit their need I am told “No, they wouldn’t admit it.” I cannot help people unless they are willing to admit they have a need.

God pushed me to the point where I admitted I had a need, but I still would not let God deal with me. I was afraid of the damage He might do if He messed with my inner pain. I had buried all that stuff and didn’t even really know where it came from. So I didn’t want it all stirred up.

Trust God

I could not move further forward until I came to a place of trust in God. I needed to be confident that God would only do me good and not leave me in a mess or in pain if He messed with my inner life.

That confidence to trust God was built up in me in two ways. First I heard a bunch of messages about the Love of God. As God’s love was explained to me and I saw what the Bible had to say about it, I found faith built up within me.

And that’s biblical. The Bible says that faith works by “love”. When we get a revelation of God’s love our ability to have faith in Him is increased.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.” Galatians 5:6

The second thing that helped me trust God was truth from God’s Word, the Bible. I found several verses which spoke about God’s love and His trustworthiness. Those verses helped to undergird my struggling faith in God.

Bible Verses

Some of the verses which blessed me are listed here. Some of these verses had been put to music and I only learned them because they were sung regularly in church.

He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“The LORD appeared to me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

“Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

The verse which gave me the greatest confidence to let God deal with the inner things of my heart was His promise not to damage the vulnerable.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench: he will bring forth judgment unto truth.” Isaiah 42:3

Let God be God

I had to come to the place where I trusted God to be God. Up until then I trusted myself more than God. I knew that I would not let myself get hurt, if I could help it. But I was not sure about God.

How ridiculous! I put more trust in a hopeless and failing human than in the God of all eternity!

I also had to trust God to be the God of Love, since “God is love” (1John 4:8). I had to believe that God was telling the truth and that He had all the power to do it right, and all the love to only want what is best for me.

Once my faith had been bolstered by learning about the love of God and by seeing God’s precious promises in the Bible, I finally gave in and let God be God in my life.

Jumping in the Dark

I remembered hearing the story of a father who would stand his infant son on the table, turn out the lights and then tell the son to jump off. The boy had to trust his father’s good intentions, strength and promise, in order to happily jump off in the dark.

I had to take a similar leap of faith. I had to trust God to be God. I had to lose all control and trust God to know what He was doing and to be abundantly able to not only protect me, but to bless me, just as He said He would.

Taking such a leap of faith is hard when insecurity is an inherent problem in your life. Rejection leads to insecurity, so I made no hasty rush at this offer. But, praise God, I did finally get to the point where I would trust God.

Lord, Get Me Ready

Here is a prayer for those who feel much of what I have struggled with. This is for those who want to be free, but who are bound up by fears and insecurities.

“Lord God, teach me to trust You. I know in my head that You are God and that nothing is impossible for You. But in my heart I am fearful and insecure. I want to trust You from the depths of my being. I want to be free. Lord, get me ready to receive Your love and enter into the freedom which you have for me. I ask this in Jesus’ precious and powerful name. Amen.”

Rejection 1 and Inner Healing

About forty years ago God began a work of healing my heart. That work completely revolutionised my life and became the platform for so much of who I am and how I bless others.

So it is my delight to share something of what the Lord taught me through that process. I have already explained the Steps to Release which outline the journey which God led me through. Those steps became the template for my personal and ministry capacity to gain freedom. What I present in this Rejection series is the more personal journey of my own deliverance from rejection.

My Journey

I discovered that I was a victim of feelings of inferiority and rejection which devastated my personal, social and spiritual life. God graciously opened my eyes to His Word and to the work He wanted to do in me.

Once I had experienced personal freedom I was keen to help others find freedom too. Many of those that came to me for help were also victims of rejection, inferiority, insecurity and related issues. Helping them come to freedom expanded my understanding and enabled me to see the more complete picture of what could be called a ‘rejection syndrome‘.

As I escorted people through the journey to their freedom I began drawing stick figures to illustrate what I suspected they might have been encountering. Those simple drawings were scrawled out over and over again and people would often point at the page and say, “That’s Me!”

When I met cartoonist Rig Bell, in the early 1980’s, he offered to create images that were better than my clumsy stick figures. He took my sketches and came back with the pictures which you will see in this series.

Setting Things in Order

Obviously there is a great deal I could teach about Rejection, Inner Healing, Deliverance and the like. Years of experience and so many different testimonies have given me a broad concept of some of these issues. However, my concern is to simplify things and set them in order, so that anyone could grasp them and apply the truth to their life.

The simple presentation which I will break open to you in this series is not the final word, nor all that could be elaborated on. It is simply my attempt to make the subject clear and practical.

My Inferiority

I have vivid memories of my desperate feelings of embarrassment, insecurity, blushing, self-consciousness and inferiority. I could tell you stories about how I lived with the intense sense that people were watching me and that I must be self-aware at all times. I was afraid to look people in the eye. I would blush and go red like a beetroot, blinking at 90 miles per hour, with tears streaming down my face.

I could not tell my teacher I needed to go to the bathroom (toilet), so I invented belly-aches so she would suggest I go to the toilet. I developed the habit of checking my watch as I walked, to create an air of having something important to do. Yet I would look at my watch about every four paces, out of sheer torment at the thought of people watching me.

It was pretty weird, but it was ‘normal’ to me. I didn’t know any different. I just had to live with that and I also had to develop my compensating strategies.

An Extrovert

Despite my intense inner feelings of inferiority I had a strong desire to be up front and in the limelight. That created great tension, which I dealt with by sheer bluff and determination.

I created several coping strategies, such as out-staring people, forcing myself into the limelight and throwing myself into things, and making more of my strengths than was reasonable, to compensate for my limitations.

My compensation strategies worked very well. I became a class-room hero. I championed the debating team. I excelled in lead roles in the school musicals. I represented my school and district in national public speaking competitions. I was the best joke teller in the school.

Still Broken

But for all my extrovert performance I was still broken on the inside. I needed God’s love and His grace to deliver me from things too powerful for me. I needed His wisdom and the truth of His Word to break the chains of my slavery.

And all my efforts to set myself free only became another layer of problem which I had to undo in the process of walking into freedom. I later discovered that the defeatist, extrovert and rebel can all be variations of hurting people. Despite the life pattern which is chosen as the survival or coping mechanism, these people are still hurting on the inside, because they are still broken on the inside.

Rejection Series

So, welcome to this Rejection Series. There will be more than two dozen articles and as many pictures, which will unfold the drama of my own journey and the truth of God’s gracious deliverance available to all.

If you suffer from rejection, inferiority, self-pity, extroversion or rebellion, or if you have a heart to help others, you will find this series an effective tutorial on how to lead people into self-awareness, truth that sets them free, and ultimately, to God’s deliverance. If you are searching chrisfieldblog.com for these posts you will find them labelled first as ‘Rejection’, then numbered in order. Enjoy.

Steps to Release via Legal Ground

The Steps to Release which I teach is a checklist of key steps that help a person move into the freedom Christ purchased for them. The steps are to:
Admit Your Need;
Find the Real Problem and its Root Cause;
Repent;
Forgive;
Renounce;
Resist; and
Cast Your Cares on the Lord
.

I noted in my early personal journey into freedom and from watching what happened to others, that it was little use coming into freedom if that freedom could not be maintained. That would be like taking ground off an enemy, only to lose it and have to fight another whole battle to win it back.

The best way to maintain or hold ground that was won was to be thorough in the process of taking that ground. And that’s where ‘legal ground’ comes into focus. If a person has given the enemy a legal right to attack them, then they will re-lose the ground they win.

A visiting minister or a faith-filled moment can see a person come free from a problem. But if the devil still has a legal right to oppress the victim with that problem, it will come back, in one form or another. The recurrence of the problem will be a real downer to the faith of the individual and they may find it harder to win the battle the next time around.

No matter what the problem is I make it a point to clear away the legal ground which may have been given to the enemy. That’s where the three steps of Repent, Forgive and Renounce have their place. Once the problem has been identified it could be easy for a faith-filled person to go straight to battle with the issues. The warrior may well win the battle. But with an open door for the problem to come back there is a serious risk that it will do just that. Jesus even warned that a demon can return bringing even worse demons with it.

“Then he goes and takes to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Luke 11:26

That’s why I get people to work through these three intermediate steps in the process. So let’s look at these steps which deal with the legal ground.

Repentance leads to God’s forgiveness and the cleansing of our sin.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9

The reason we need to be forgiven and cleansed is because that makes our sin just as if it had never happened. That is important because, if we have sinned we have become the servant of the sin we committed.

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34

If you are a legal servant of a particular sin, then it will be very hard for you to maintain any freedom from it, even if you have experienced a dramatic deliverance. You need to be forgiven of the sin, so it is gone out of your life. Then the legal link of you as a servant of sin has been removed.

The act of giving Forgiveness to those who offended us is also vital in removing the legal grounds of the enemy. If we do not forgive, we block our own forgiveness. When we do not forgive we are handed over to the tormentors.

“But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:26

“And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you do not forgive from your hearts every one the trespasses of his brother.” Matthew 18:34, 35

How can you expect to maintain freedom when you have been denied the forgiveness which sets you free and then you have been handed over to a tormentor? You must extend forgiveness to your offenders in order to secure your own forgiveness and to maintain your own release.

Then we come to Renouncing. This is an interesting Bible truth, because it is only mentioned in the Bible on one occasion. The Apostle Paul declared that he had renounced the hidden things of dishonesty.

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2Corinthians 4:2

The Greek word translated “renounce” is only used once in the New Testament. Its technical meaning is to “speak off”, as if to revoke something by a verbal pronouncement. When a father disowns his son, and says, “This is no longer my son”, he is renouncing his son. The Moslem form of divorce enacted by a husband repeating the words, “I divorce you”, three times, is also a model of what renouncing could be like.

Paul had ‘spoken off’ the things which were hidden in his life, which made a lie of his testimony or good intentions. In practice today, the process of renunciation (renouncing) involves making a declaration that you are no longer connected to the evil which once ruled in your life. Mostly I simply get people to say, “I renounce the evil” (specifically naming it where possible).

Once these three steps have been worked through I then proceed into the spiritual warfare component of resisting evil, commanding it out of the person’s life. I am confident that the enemy does not have a toe-hold or a hand-grip to cling to, so gaining the release is easier. I am also confident that the freedom that is achieved will be much easier to maintain.

My first article about the Steps To Release gives more understanding of how these steps work.
So have a look at: Steps To Release

For a sample prayer through the steps to release I commend the book, Family Horizons, which is available from www.FamilyHorizons.net

Steps To Release

Nearly 40 years ago I journeyed through a process of being set free from a variety of personal problems. Insecurity, fear, pride, immorality, attitudes and other things were brought to my attention and graciously dealt with.

The eventual end result of that process is the Steps to Release which I formulated as my ministry tool for helping others and myself step into personal freedom. What I want to do is share those steps with you, as part of the Christian Counselling material that you can apply to yourself or in helping others.

The Steps to Release are taught in my first book, Family Horizons, available from http://familyhorizons.net/html/shop.html

Several things prompted me to define these steps into a workable process which I can apply widely and share with others. While at Bible College in 1978 I shared my testimony of release and inner restoration with some of the students. Two girls, Janet and Jean, asked me to explain how God had set me free. I was unable to do so. They taunted me with the challenge that I had no right to share about my freedom if I couldn’t also show others how to enter into freedom too.

When I reflected on their challenge I remembered a discussion I had with my older brother. We had both encountered the infilling of the Holy Spirit at about the same time. A year or so later I said to my brother, “You know how God gets inside your life and starts dealing with you once you’ve received the Holy Spirit?” He looked at me and told me he had no idea what I was talking about. I tried to explain myself but he could not relate to my descriptions of having God convict me and reveal things to me. Up to that point I had assumed that everyone who received the Holy Spirit had the identical resultant experience.

So, when those fellow students challenged me to define God’s dealings in my life I went to prayer. I asked God to remind me what it was that He had done in me and how He had done it. I had no clear idea at first. I just took it all for granted and expected that everyone else was on the same journey of transformation which I enjoyed. Now that I knew each of us were on uniquely personal journeys and that my journey had produced some fruit others wanted to sample, I looked to the Lord to remind me how He had done His work in my life. There had been about seven years of various impacts, so I had to revisit that journey.

Piece of piece God began to awaken my memory. I began to remember specific preachers and sermons which were part of God’s work. I recalled various Bible verses which touched me at a deep level. I also remembered my responses to what God seemed to be saying deep within me.

My journey had been a deeply personal one. It touched my fears, pride, selfishness, vulnerabilities, inner pains, insecurities, shame, hurts and more. But as I recalled God’s gracious dealings a clear pattern began to emerge. God had taken me on a journey. It was a profound and personal venture that led me through my own personal quagmires and ruins into the glorious light of a new day in His presence.

There are many anecdotes I could share about the various stages of that journey, and in time I may well use them as illustrations here and there. What I think I should do is give you a summary of the overall journey then take the time to give you a more detailed description of the various steps in future posts. So for now, here is a summary of the landmarks that have become my Steps to Release.

1. The first thing I had to do was admit my need. This did not come easy, but I now see it as an essential element of the journey.

2. The second thing I had to do was identify the real problem, not just the symptoms. In the process I found it extremely valuable to uncover the root cause of the problem, such as an initiating event, if at all possible.

3. Once the problem had been identified I was led to take three important steps to deal with it. So the third thing I had to do was to repent of any part I had in bringing the specific problem into my life.

4. The fourth thing I had to do, and so the fourth step in my Steps to Release, was to forgive all those who were part of the problem. This includes those who caused the problem and those who added to it after the fact.

5. Then the fifth thing I was led to do was to renounce the evil of the situation. This is effectively the legal process of breaking the connection between the problem and me.

6. Having attended to those three steps of responsibility, repentance, forgiveness and renouncing, I could then enter into the spiritual warfare process of resisting the evil. This is the sixth step. I would break the power of the evil associated with the problem.

7. The final, seventh step is to fall at the feet of God. Another way to describe it is to cast my cares on Him, because He cares for me. This is the process of giving to God the ruin of my life and all that remains as a consequence of the problem which existed in my life. God is invited to take charge and to heal, restore and re-invigorate my life for His purposes.

8. If, after going through those steps the issue was not completely resolved I would see two things to do. One is to repeat the process, looking for even greater insight into what the problem is and where it came from. I would also be more diligent in working through the related steps. The other thing to do is to join forces with another Christian of strong faith who would add their faith to mine in working through the issue.

Well, that’s an introduction. I’ll elaborate at some time in the future. Meanwhile there is enough in this summary to empower you to tackle some of your problems. So go to it.