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
205.556.4555
Send me your emails. I love getting them.
Visit the website to donate (if so led by the Lord, of course).
thepoolministries.org

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Transition: Are We There Yet?

showers of blessings

I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. Exekiel 34:26

The wife of one of my long-ago pastors told a story about her rude and cranky neighbor. After a run-in with this neighbor, she reported being shocked at what had poured out of her mouth, finishing up her story with these wise words: You don’t know what is in your bucket until someone kicks it over.

Transition is good at bucket kicking. That in-between stage of “one foot in what will be and the other stuck in what was” is a stressful place. Uncertainty, impatience and anxiety spills out of our inside bucket, sometimes in a flood; sometimes in a trickle, but out it comes during times of big change.

My mother passed away in September 2017. Being without a parent has been a difficult emotional transition for me. There is no way to describe it except to say it is a very odd and disconnected feeling.

Settling my mother’s estate has been a long and challenging process, requiring me to meet and interact with relatives, lawyers, stockbrokers, real estate agents, estate sales managers, auction house movers and so on. Then, when her house sold, the closing date kept shifting around. I felt like I was chasing a broken egg across the kitchen floor. All my prayer appointments became maybes. (Thank you to all those I pray with for their patient understanding). My settled, predictable life became very unsettled.

When my mother’s house finally closed, I grieved it, unexpectedly. I had no idea what that house meant to me until I walked through it one last time. This was the house where I had visited my mother for 30 years. The house she loved. The house she died in.

So what did Sam and I do in the midst of this life transition? We bought a house! A big beautiful, sadly neglected house that we could in no way afford unless it had been sadly neglected. And guess what? That closing date is shifting around! AND the sellers are in bankruptcy, which was NOT disclosed at the time we made our offer. So, we don’t know for sure when we will be moving or even if we will be moving. And there is an enormous amount of expensive work to do on our new house. What were we thinking?!?

So here I am suspended in transition, painting the windows of our current house, getting it ready to go on market. And like a tired cranky child riding in the backseat on a too-long road trip, I’m asking the Lord: Are we there yet?

Here is how I’m handling TOO MUCH transition. Heads up: it’s not pretty.

  1. Panda Fun got my take-out order wrong. I cried.
  2. Sam stepped in front of me to use the sink while I was cooking, I bit his head off. (Not as tasty as Panda Fun).
  3. I’m spending too much time on Facebook.
  4. I’m restless, unfocused and sleeping poorly.
  5. I’m worrying about the new house. Did we follow the Lord? Have we made a mistake? What were we thinking?!?
  6. I even caught myself watching a mental movie of the previous day’s social interactions while the devil provided a nasty commentary. I haven’t succumbed to that kind of self-hating nonsense in years.

What’s going on besides transition?

  1. The Devil. The enemy requires negative emotional energy (the dark stuff) in order to have any kind of power. He sees transition as an opportunity to amplify any fear of the new and unknown. Fear is negative emotional energy.
  2. Unresolved Historical Pain. Past issues stored in your bucket (the heart) surface during times of anxiety. That unresolved emotional pain mixes with, flavors and amplifies any present-day uncertainty.
  3. The Fall. We live in a fallen world. This means that we are surrounded by fallen people acting in fallen ways. They are afraid and uncertain, too. We feel their distress and add it to ours. Ugh.

Help! Is there help with transition?

  1. In the midst of my distress, the Lord posed a question. He said: “If you were in heaven and I gave you a challenge, like the one you are facing with your new sadly neglected house, would you be afraid?” I answered, “No. I would not be afraid because I would have all the resources of heaven to call upon to help me.” The Lord responded: “You have all the resources of heaven now. It just doesn’t feel like it because you are in the Fall.” I remind myself of this when I’m scared.
  2. It has helped to read the books of Proverbs and Psalms.
  3. Worship is helpful.
  4. If you have unresolved historical pain, work on it. If not, but the enemy is trying to take you back to resolved pain (what was happening to me), recognize what is going on and tell him to get lost.
  5. Sending my angels to bring in the help I need to accomplish the task at hand.
  6. Reciting the Lord’s attributes in my mind (so that I don’t give in to worry). He is kind; He is willing to help me; He is eager to guide and advise me; He wants to share His wisdom with me and so on.
  7. Remembering to be kind to myself, being my own best friend, the friend I always wished for has been helpful.

Let us pray together as we grow together, that our buckets will contain less and less of the nasty stuff and more and more of the good stuff. Because, while we are in this fallen world, our buckets will get kicked.

This time of big transition has been emotionally upsetting AND beautifully humbling. Any notion that I was a spiritual big shot full of faith and confidence is long gone. I still need a savior. And I have learned that when the challenge is big enough, what is in my bucket is going to spill out.

I bless your journey wherever you may be.

Hugs,
Susan
thepool@thepoolministries.org
205.556.4555
(Leave a message when you call).

Please share this teaching if you found it helpful.

Spiritual Challenge in the USA

Pool Home Page Photo.jpg

Do not let the world pull you into fear. Stay in joy!

Written 2/15/2018

I wish I had shared this with you before the recent shooting in Florida. Here it is now. Please pray as the Lord leads you.

The Lord has been talking with me about three high-level evil spirits that have recently been super empowered to do great harm here in America.

Here they are:
1. The spirit of unexpected, sudden, premature death. (Usually violent).
2. The spirit of extreme division (Remove a person or group of persons at any cost – violently if necessary – and everything will be ok).
3. The spirit of obfuscation. (Intentionally obscuring and making unintelligible the truth. This goes beyond confusion. It makes the truth incomprehensible).

Whenever a group of people agree that certain evil actions are necessary to protect themselves AND when that group of people is willing to do whatever it takes to keep themselves safe, these kinds of high-level spirits become empowered to do great harm.

My intercessors think that this empowerment is coming out of Washington D.C. (and possibly Hollywood) as people scramble to escape the consequences of their actions.

Our first strategy to counter this evil spiritual activity is basic repentance. Pray like this:

Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I repent for myself and my ancestors for ever cooperating with, agreeing with or empowering the above spirits, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive us for ever being willing to do anything, no matter what it is or who it harms, to hide our actions and escape the consequences of our actions. Please forgive us. In Jesus’ name I ask this.

A second strategy appears to be this:
Offering the Lord childlike, joyous praise when asking Him to destroy the plots of these evil spirits.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Stay in joy, dear ones.

Hugs,

Susan
thepool@thepoolministries.org
205.556.4555

Please share so others can know to pray.