Watching the video first will move you. Please consider spending this time with Jesus and meeting Rusty Rustenbach.
A new year is upon us! God specializes in beginnings and new–“His mercies are new every morning!”
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
A precious friend of mine shared a great book called “A Guide to Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places” by Rusty Rustenbach. When I first purchased it, it was too heavy to consider during the holiday season. I just picked it back up last night and stopped over analyzing the questions and went for it!
There are too many treasures to write in a single post, so let me share one that, I believe, God is going to use in my life for the new year–a change.
Our reactions to events–Not the events themselves–places us in bondage
The third principle of emotional healing seeks to clarify that our captivity does not come from how badly we were hurt. It comes from what occurred within us as a result of the events.
The simplest of principles can be life changing. We have a tendency to make things complicated because wounding and hurts are complex–it’s layers upon layers of history, family experiences, and choices. Where do you start to heal? I found this to be a good place.
When the hurt occurred, how did you respond? What were your thoughts? How did you internalize the event?
One example he gave was a parent who seemed physically and emotionally absent while the child was growing up in the home. Instead of spending time on the event itself, the question was asked, “What did I believe about myself in response to the event?” Speaking the belief aloud then applying God’s Word through prayer brought healing to this young lady named Sophia. She shared that “There must be something wrong with me. If I were more like my older sister, then my dad would have spent time with me.” As an adult, this wound showed up as an enormous struggle in the area of people pleasing. (p. 34)
No matter the source of our wounding, it’s important not to minimize the hurts and deficits we’ve experienced. This doesn’t mean we are blaming our past, accusing our parents for messing us up, or excusing ourselves because others have victimized us. That’s not what inner healing is about. Inner healing is about opening up with God in such a way that He can reveal what happened within us and change us from the inside out.
Oh glory! Do you not see how life changing this process could be for you? If more time is spent on working through your faulty beliefs about yourself and the world around you due to responses from hurtful events, then you and God can work this out once and for all! How many of us desire to change the other person, or spend a lifetime desiring for them to acknowledge their part? What a tangled web of confusion and opportunity for deeper wounding! Reconciliation with others is sometimes impossible, but being reconciled within our souls through a healing relationship with our Savior is possible–He is our perfect counselor.
Be patient through the process and faithful to seek Him. In His time, not ours, God will produce change and inner-healing. This is not a “cognitive knowledge” of His Word and healing within you, but an experiential knowledge of truly putting Jesus first, talking to Him through prayer, being still, and listening.
The next time you respond in anger, depression, or discouragement to a situation spend time in prayer with God and ask Him, “Where is this coming from?” “What are my beliefs about myself?” Wait and listen. Then, ask Jesus to reveal what He believes about you-knowing that He is for you not against you and loves you with an everlasting love! Reframe your beliefs through the power of prayer and speaking God’s promises into your life.
I highly recommend this book for individuals and small groups. It is a personal book, in which, the small group would need to have built trust and perhaps review confidentiality and rapport first.
Also, if you are a counselor, please consider reading the book to help your clients heal.
The author found a pathway out of the wilderness through God’s healing work!
Link above is the book if you would like to order.