Inner healing occurs in two levels; the physical as well as the deeper relational level. Physically, disease, especially if it is chronic, brings disharmony to our spiritual as well as emotional well being. On the rational level we can literally fall physically ill if we are living in disharmony with our brothers. The two connections to well being and inner healing have prompted research into bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to healing.
Hindrances to inner healing are, firstly, possessing the wrong belief systems. We may know that there exist in us a disharmony of sorts but live in stubbornness that it is our business and that we will deal with it in our own space and time. When we cocoon our problems in this way, we are unable or unwilling to face them headlong. We are locked in a time warp of trying to find just the right time to forgive or ask for forgiveness. This hinders our inner healing and hence interferes with the way in which we can enjoy the promises of God’s benefits.
Secondly is our inability to see our inner healing as a part of an on-going spiritual warfare. In the devil we have a cunning enemy who never ever gives up. If he can keep us in the comfort zone of inactivity and procrastination, he will do just that and destroy our relationships because he thrives in disharmony. Turning to God in prayer to restore our broken relationships is the only way to resist the wiles and designs of the enemy.
Thirdly, not keeping the commandments in omission or commission remains a drawback to our spiritual healing. God is holy and if we are to approach Him through Jesus Christ, we too must be holy and blameless in His presence.
Fourthly, unforgiveness, or holding things against others leads to sickness-both emotionally, physically and ultimately, spiritually. Forgiveness is the best therapy for many ailments. In Christ we find this inner healing when we forgive those who have trespassed against us as He asks us to in the Lord’s Prayer. We cannot change our past but we can change our relationship with or our reaction to the past. We cannot change what people have done to us but we can choose to relate with them through forgiveness. Desmond Tutu in his book, ‘No future without forgiveness’ shared revelations of the confessions of a soldier who had committed great atrocities. However, in the tears that he shed before his victims’ families, forgiveness and hence inner healing was achieved. In similar circumstances, the family of a victim of the serial killer of Green River case in the U.S.A chose to forgive the murderer who had molested and killed his victims then later on dumped the bodies in the river. What a healing move this was for both the culprit and victim’s family! Unless and until there is closure through forgiveness, there will never be any healing.
A man once gave a testimony of a friend of his who suffered from mental illness and asthma. He however realized that the conditions relapsed when he sighted a certain neighbor who had cheated his family out of a land inheritance. It took forgiveness for this sickly man to be healed and restored. Not only did God restore him and give him much more than he his family had lost, but he was completely healed on the inside of all the physical ailments. Similarly, none of us ought to be sick because of another; the easier way is to let go by fully forgiving those that we feel have wronged us and those that persecute us.
Fifthly, our hindrance to inner healing is because we fail to understand who we really are in Christ. We are unable to grasp that when we are born again, we are a new creation and a child of God. In 2Corinthians 5:17 we are reminded that the old is gone and the new has come. We fail to actualize this and continue living in the past. This is because we lack a deep relationship with Christ and our work with Him is a weak, half-hearted one.
Jesus Christ promises us believers more than we can fathom. In Ephesians 2- we are made alive in Him and in Ephesians 3-we are continuously being built to become a dwelling place for God. Why then would we reject inner healing which leads us to be perfectly fitted with God?
Each and every one of us needs inner healing as long as we have committed sin or been sinned against; this applies for both believers and non-believers. Every one who has been hurt by someone else is suffering from something he or she has no control over. These include abused children, those who are denied rights for one reason or another, incarcerated people, those on detention without trial, those who have been trafficked to other regions, neglected children and spouses and all other victims of circumstances. These are people who may harbor bitterness, anger, resentment, low self esteem or lack self worth. Hebrews 4:14 reminds us that Christ, our healer, was Himself a victim of who triumphed and therefore understands our pain. Christ was called all manner of names yet remained quiet and meek like a lamb to the slaughter.
Areas of healing therefore include those that stem from sinful behaviour, neglect of God, neglect of others, anger, or abandonment which could be due to loss of gainful employment, feelings of being unappreciated, divorce which leads to rejection of family, worthlessness or shame and guilt brought about by what we have been subjected to, fear, rebellion, confusion, indecisiveness, desire for escape through suicide and many more.
The most important thing now is to ask ourselves what Christ’s formula for healing is. Firstly is repentance because the kingdom of God is nigh. Secondly is to remember to forgive those who have harmed us especially because they did not know what they were doing. Thirdly is to confess our sins daily to God because He has promised in 1John1:9 to sanctify us if we do so. We should also confess about the sin of coveting others people’s property and lives. Fourthly, we should know that Christ commands us to love-and this is not something optional. We must love even those we see as our enemies. Fifthly, we should be renewed and transformed in our minds so that we can live in conformity with God and with He wants of us. Lastly, we should have faith because nothing will ever happen if we do not believe in its possibility. Inner healing requires faith.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.
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