Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A friend's eyes

The bible talks a lot about community and its importance. I’d like to share an example.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday. We normally meet each week, sharing what’s going on in our lives and helping one another press forward on in our pursuits of the Lord. This past weekend there was a conference about healing prayer. I hadn’t truly wanted to go, but ended up attending and leaving early. I felt “ok” with it; God hadn’t told me I must go, and I didn’t really want to go, so…what’s the problem?

During lunch I mentioned to Sean that I had some reservations about Christian Healing Ministries and healing prayer, lots of questions and such. As Sean knows me well, he asked why I hadn’t investigated it further, since that is my normal character. Through God-given introspection, I realized there were some deeper reasons for my evasion. I still have some deep-seated doubts about the Lord, about Christianity in general. I’ve struggled a lot with the idea of cults, brainwashing, etc., and many of those feelings remain from my BC days. There have been periods of time when those feelings were very hard to deal with and challenged my faith greatly. I haven’t had to deal with them for a while, as they had been laid to rest (but not completely dealt with). But healing prayer is something that stirs the leaves, so to speak. The pile had been dormant; why resuscitate the doubts?
God has recently done a lot in my heart in regards to love, marriage, relationships, etc. I’ve been prone to avoid dealing with this arena, as it has been a tough patch of emotions for a long time. I didn’t want to stir the leaves. But at some point recently, God gave me the ability and desire to delve headfirst into facing this giant of mine; the leaves had been stirred, so why shrink back now? I claim to want the fullness of Christ, so then let me cling to Him and pursue Him in dealing with issues, rather than pull away when conflict emerges.
That lesson rang loudly in my ears as I pondered the current situation with healing prayer. And by God’s grace I knew what needed to be done. I asked Sean to help me and keep me accountable in my pursuit of finding out more about this topic. Surely not all of me wanted to, which further compelled me to ask for help. This actionable result is out of a lot of work the Lord has done, as I haven’t always responded this way. And thank God he isn’t done quite yet :)

I share all this for two main points. Personal accountability is very important, and I sympathize for the Christian who doesn’t have that available to them (and pray God would provide that for them). As good as I think I am at analyzing everything and knowing my emotions/thoughts/feelings, I am still blinded at times from what’s going on. The enemy is the great deceiver, and when deception is lured in front of the chance to avoid tough circumstances, how much the greater the appeal. But God is faithful, and one way He speaks to us is through our family, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

As well, I want to exhort you to press in when you want to peel out. I’m also saying this to myself again, as this is very habitual for me; I feel that writing things out helps to remind me about lessons, as I have something tangible to reference.

I pray God’s grace and peace for you as you struggle with the battle of flesh and spirit. And what a joy to have such a battle! Though it be hard and burdensome, the presence of the warring reminds us of Him who lives inside us and the work He’s doing, along with the promise of completion. Praise be to God for not leaving us to our wicked ways and unto death! Christ lives, and so do we…new creations in a dying world. Indeed, He makes all things new!

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