How to Heal the Image of God (That’s You) Part 2

This continues my previous writing about what it is to be the image of God and how to heal that image. I am in the middle of writing a book and managing a Facebook page for The Pool, SO I am updating you guys by sharing the Facebook posts. I am pleased to announce that the ministry is gaining followers through Facebook. My goal is only this: To get helpful information and effective tools into the hands of people. If you would like to support me in that effort you can donate at the website.

Conflict

The Conflict

As the image of God, you possess a spirit, a soul, a heart and a mind (among other things). So far, I have written a little bit about your spirit and soul and hinted about the conflict between them. (See previous posts). In brief, your human spirit understands eternity while your soul fears death.

Because of the fallen condition of our world and the fallen behavior of people, the soul quickly decides to distrust its human spirit. This is very unfortunate since the spirit and the soul are designed by God to work together.

So how do we heal this conflict between the spirit and the soul? Healing starts with the third aspect of the image of God: the heart.

heart door.jpg 1

Your Identity, Your Reality, Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 warns us to Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Guard your heart. Not your spirit or your soul or your mind or your brain, but your heart. Guard it above all things. Why? Because, according to scripture, your heart determines the course of your life. That’s pretty significant.

Science has found that the Bible is right (imagine that) about the importance of the heart. Researchers in the emerging field of neurocardiology have discovered that the heart – the thumper in your chest – has its own little brain. This “heart brain” controls many of your body’s internal rhythms.

This means that how you think and feel within your heart is expressed (felt by you) throughout your entire body.

God designed your heart to establish you in an identity and in a consistent perception of reality based upon your early childhood experiences. This would be just fine if humanity wasn’t fallen.

Because of the fall, your heart establishes your identity and “how life works for you” in the midst of chaos and based upon the behavior of the fallen people around you.

as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJ)

Did I mention that the heart is supposed to stabilize you in one CONSISTENT identity and reality? That means the heart does not easily change once it believes.

for with the heart a person believes Romans 10:10

What you REALLY believe in your heart – not what you want to believe; not what you hope you believe; not what you have been taught to believe – must be unlocked in order to settle the conflict between your spirit and soul.

The how of that is next.

heart chains

The Fall

Your heart’s primary function is to keep you sane. It does this by establishing you in two things: Your identity and your understanding of reality.

Let’s look quickly (because this is Facebook after all) at your identity.

Truth: You are a unique, priceless being who expresses the image of God. There is no evolving up from that. You are the highest point of creation.

Why are you arguing with me? Why are you saying that you are a loser who just doesn’t measure up? Here is why.

You were created within a chaotic, fallen environment, surrounded by fallen people, acting in confusing fallen ways. Your heart MUST make sense of what is incomprehensible in order to establish you in a consistent identity. So, your heart rejects your true identity and replaces it with a painful identity that makes sense.

Here’s an example: The reason people don’t want me is because I’m bad. I’m the bad person. That makes sense! Bingo! New painful identity.

Because the heart is designed to keep you sane, any questioning of what the heart believes is treated as an assault and automatically repelled.

key in heart

Stabilized in Chaos

In my last post I wrote about how the heart believes and why it believes the way it does. Here it is in short: Your heart is designed by God to stabilize you in one consistent identity and reality.

But there is a problem. You were conceived within a chaotic fallen environment, surrounded by fallen people, acting in fallen ways.

This means your heart has to impose order over unrelenting confusion and incomprehensible pain. Your heart MUST make the crazy make sense. And it does just that by accepting a bunch of lies about you. And about life in general.

Every important thing is filtered through the heart’s worldview. This is why God warns us to guard our hearts above ALL else (Proverbs 4:23).

So, what can you do with this information about your heart?

The heart is designed to believe. In order to replace the painful worldview your heart believes in, you must first learn how the heart communicates that worldview to you.

Listen to your inside talk. Do you hear the words “Always, Every time, No Matter What, No One, Never, Everyone?” That is heart language. Begin to take note of these kinds of statements. Write them down.

The heart communicates in absolutes. Absolute statements reveal what is hidden in your heart. Let’s start there and continue in the next post.

keys

The First Key

Sorry this is so long, but the information is absolutely vital. Please read and apply. It would be helpful if you read all my previous posts about the Image of God: spirit, soul, heart and mind.

In a perfect world, your human spirit and soul would love each other; the spirit offering gentle and wise guidance to your soul; your soul submitting to your spirit’s nurture so that it grows into a mature image of God. The problem is this: Sin entered through the Fall and what SHOULD happen exploded into unrelenting chaos.

So how do you restore your spirit and soul to a healthy relationship? Your heart holds the keys to this restoration. Or rather what your heart believes holds those keys.

God designed your heart to perform certain jobs for you. The foremost of its duties is to stabilize you in ONE CONSISTENT identity and understanding of reality. This means that once your heart believes something is true for you, it will believe that forever … unless you learn how to change your heart.

Because your heart has stabilized you in a fallen world, your identity does not line up with truth: That you are a priceless, much-loved child of God. Instead, your heart looked at the chaos surrounding you and decided that there must be “something wrong with you” that is causing the Crazy.

In my last post I asked you to listen for absolute statements of belief. Statements you hear inside of you or that come out of your mouth. Like this: “I’m stupid. I’m ugly. I’ll never be good enough. No one likes me. I will never be loved. Everyone hates me. I’ll always be a failure.” Notice the language is absolute: Always, Never, No One, Everyone. This is heart language.

So, what are the keys to replacing those heart beliefs that feel cemented into place? It is actually very simple and surprisingly easy. It does take persistence on your part, but changing out those heart beliefs for truth is quite doable.

Here is the first key! Write it down and PRACTICE it!

When you hear those absolute statements inside or coming out of your mouth, stop and say this to your heart. “Heart! The reason the bad things happened isn’t because I am bad. The bad things happened because of the Fall. That is the only reason bad things happen. You will now believe that instead of what you have been believing.”

I will give you the second key to replacing wrong heart beliefs with truth in the posts to come.

Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

heart key

The Truth Your Heart Loves

In order to heal your soul and spirit; in order for your soul and spirit to work together according to God’s plan, you MUST convince your heart to cooperate with you. In my previous post I introduced the first of three keys that will gain you that cooperation. (Please read previous posts).

Key One replaces what your heart currently believes about Who You Are and How Life Works For You with ONE absolute godly truth.

That truth is this: ALL the bad things happened because of the Fall. Not because you are bad. Not because other people are bad. Bad things happen because of one thing: The Fall.

Tell your heart this every day. Ten times a day! Tell it to stop believing that all the bad stuff is your fault, or your parents’ fault or whoever. Instead, command your heart to believe that the bad things happened because of the Fall.

This is the first key. Replace all those painful and confusing lies with this absolute truth. Be very firm with your heart. Jesus revealed that you have authority over your heart in John 14:27. He said: “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Key Two coming soon. And yes, the keys work together.

open locket key

Is It Really That Simple?

Key One to convincing your heart to stop blocking and start cooperating may seem simplistic. (See previous posts). But let’s take a closer look.

Much of traditional inner healing involves locating heart beliefs and replacing them with truth. This is effective but very slow. If there has been lots of damage it can be excruciatingly slow.

And when the damage makes no sense – as in the case of child abuse – finding a truth your heart will accept is a huge challenge. Remember your heart has already accepted, and established you, in the belief that it is All Your Fault.

Over the years I have prayed with a lot of people. And I have discovered that hearts need to know only one thing for everything to make sense. Here it is: Bad Things Happen Because of the Fall. This one truth explains it all.

When your heart accepts this, it no longer needs to hold on to all the other reasons why the bad things happen. It no longer needs to stabilize you in painful beliefs about yourself, others and life.

Tell your heart today, every day, ten times a day, that the bad things happened because of the fall. Not because “something about you” makes people hurt you.

Key Two is next.

for with the heart a person believes Romans 10:10

Hugs and blessings from me to you,
Susan
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The Image of God

I am exploring the different aspects of the image of God (that’s you) in short posts on Facebook. For those of you who are not on Facebook, or would like to read my observations together, here are the posts from October 28 – November 5, 2018.

 

October 28, 2018

Because you are made in the image of God, it is useful to look at the different aspects of God in order to better understand how you work. God is described in scripture as having a soul, a heart, a mind, a spirit and (in the case of the incarnated Christ) a body. (Leviticus 26:11 & Jeremiah 32:41; 1 Samuel 13: 14 & Acts 13:22; 1 Cor 2:16; Genesis 1:2).

So, because you are human, you also have these parts. Is that not the coolest thing ever? You are God’s mini me! Except for NOT being omniscient; omnipresent and omnipotent. lol Here are the scriptures: Matthew 22:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Romans 10:10.

mini me best.jpg

October 29, 2018

If humans are patterned after the image of God and if God has a soul and a spirit; a heart and a mind, then we have those components as well.

Many people have been taught that the soul and the spirit are the same, but they are not. Scripture is very clear that the soul and the spirit are distinct aspects of the human being. There are many scriptures supporting this. Here is one:

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

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October 30, 2018

In my last post I showed that the soul and the spirit are not the same. So now that we know that, let’s look at what the human spirit is.

“And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Revelation 4:5

“And I saw between the throne … a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God …” Revelation 5:6

These scriptures (as well as Revelation 3:1) state that the Holy Spirit is a seven-fold spirit.

Is the human spirit a seven-fold spirit? It must be if it’s made in the image of God.

menorah.jpg

November 1, 2018

Your human spirit is amazing. It remembers everything that has happened to you (1 Corinthians 2:11) and it is capable of working with the Lord to search out all the parts of your innermost being (Proverbs 20:27).

This makes your spirit an excellent resource when seeking to resolve emotional issues buried in the past.

Unlike the soul, your spirit does not need to mature. It is created fully mature and complete at the time of conception. But your spirit does need to grow in wisdom.

lamp 2.jpg

November 2, 2018

The human spirit is drawn from the infinite Spirit of God. Because of this, your spirit comprehends existing eternally.

The human soul does not automatically grasp the concept of eternity. This is because your soul is truly a new thing.

The soul comes into existence at the moment when God joins matter (earth) with His essence (spirit). This happens in the womb at the time of conception. Or in the case of Adam, when the Lord blew breath into him and Adam became a living “nephesh” or soul (Genesis 2:7).

What didn’t exist before – what could NOT exist before – was produced when spirit and matter were joined by God. This is the human soul.

fingers touching.jpg

November 3, 2018

Let’s try again on the soul since my last post was met with bafflement lol. The soul is one aspect of the image of God. You are the image of God. Unlike the human spirit which comes directly from the Spirit of God, the soul is a new thing.

The soul comes into existence at the time of conception when God joins together spirit and matter. Because your soul did not exist in any way before this joining, your soul is a brand new, one-of-a-kind, creation!

Your soul faces many challenges. First of all, it comes into existence within the fallen world. This means the first emotion your soul feels is fear. Without intentional and direct intervention, your soul will rule your life from a position of fear.

The fear of being wrong, of being embarrassed, of making a mistake, of being rejected and abandoned imprisons most human souls. The soul’s many overwhelming fears affect its willingness to listen to your human spirit.

scared child.jpg

November 5, 2018

The human spirit is drawn directly from God’s Spirit (Genesis 2:7). This means that your spirit understands eternal concepts and principles, BUT it is placed within the womb with NO knowledge of sin. Thus, your spirit must grow in wisdom in order to successfully navigate you through the fallen world.

A soul is an entirely new thing that comes into existence within the womb. This means the soul has no automatic understanding of the eternal. It only knows the pain and confusion of sin because the womb is a fallen place. The soul responds to this dark and fallen environment with fear.

Wise parents can disrupt the fear. But this happens only rarely, because all parents are fallen and most are ruled by their own fearful souls.

It’s not too late for you to disrupt the fear ruling your own soul though. Think of your soul as a traumatized child who desperately tries to make itself safe by controlling everything and everyone, who either hides or strikes out because of fear.

Your human soul needs compassionate nurture, training and discipline in order to successfully mature. A well-loved and gently disciplined soul will rest on the spirit as a weaned child rests upon its mother.

Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131:2

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