Have you ever noticed that there aren’t too many 1-2-3 magic formulas to emotional healing? Oh how I wish there were! I wish that overcoming the betrayal, lies, and rejection was as easy as saying a simple prayer and walking away whistling a happy tune. Unfortunately, in my life, it’s never quite been that way.
Instead, for me, healing is more of a continual process. Like a wound to the skin, healing comes little by little from the inside out in layers.
That’s exactly what happened with the wound from a loved one that I shared about last week. It was a process that began with dealing with the sin and wrong attitudes in my own heart. Although that time of surrendering to God’s will did get me on the right path, I have to admit that it didn’t solve the entire problem.
Instead, at the most inopportune times the enemy would remind me of the offense and tempting me to fall back into the sin of anger, bitterness and resentment.
Fortunately, this time, I knew where to run for help and on another day, I went back to my prayer closet again for my next therapy session with the Holy Spirit.
Just like before, He led me to a Scripture.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Immediately this scripture reminded me that although it was flesh and blood that made bad choices and chose to sin against me, the current battle I was fighting in my mind was not against flesh and blood. Instead, it was against the enemy of my soul who wanted to keep trapping me in sin by reminding me of the offense.
That was a new perspective! But how to overcome?
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,”
The first thing I needed to do was look at truth.
Yes, it was true that a person had caused me tremendous pain. However, this was only a fraction of the truth. There was also the truth that God had stepped in and resolved the situation. Not only that, but He had miraculously protected and provided for me along the way.
When I forced myself to take my eyes off of the singular truth of the offense and focus on the WHOLE truth of the miraculous deliverance God had provided, I saw that TRUTH was actually one of my greatest weapons in fighting my spiritual battle.
“with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”
The next word that my eyes fell on was “peace”. Now that was something that I needed! After a whole season in my life that felt like a war, my soul craved peace.
Of course, I know from studying this passage that peace is something that often comes with a fight. It rarely just magically happens. Instead, we usually have to choose to put on peace and walk in it. We have to literally stand up and say, “No, I’m not going down that path anymore. I am going to walk in peace.”
For me, this meant that I was going to have to take hold of my thoughts every time the enemy tried to draw me in by reminding me of what happened. Whenever a thought popped into my mind that said, “This wouldn’t be happening to you if THEY hadn’t done this”, I had to take that thought captive and say, “Nope. I’m choosing peace. I’m not going down that road and getting upset.”
As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
So I prayed, “Lord help me to focus on truth and walk in peace. Help me to stand against the lies of the enemy when he brings false accusations, when he tries to stir up resentment, or he tries to create anger and bitterness. Lord, as the enemy tries to continue the war help me to choose peace by focusing on God’s truth.”
We were making progress now!
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Now this I understood!!! Without a doubt, the enemy was throwing plenty of fiery darts into my mind that needed to be extinguished if I was ever going to win this battle. The only way to stop the flames was by raising the shield of faith.
Faith that God is in control.
Faith that God orders my steps
Faith that God has my best interests at heart
Faith that God will protect
Faith that God will provide
Faith that no weapon formed against me will prosper
Faith that if God is for me who can be against me
Faith that even when I fail, God can forgive and restore
Faith that I am following in the path that God is leading
As I raise these shields of faith and focus on these things, the thoughts that the enemy is trying to throw at me to drive me into confusion are extinguished and I walk away in victory, not drawn into sin, but rather trusting in God’s truth, walking in His peace, and trusting Him by faith.
At this point you might be thinking, “Good Bible study, but what does it have to do with overcoming the pain in my heart and achieving healing?”
Imagine you have a cut, a scrap, or a surface wound on your skin. We all know that it isn’t going to heal the day after the injury. Instead, the wound will form a scab to protect the wound while it heals from the inside out.
But what happens if you keep tearing off the scab?
It delays the healing process and opens up the wound to the possibility of infection.
The same thing is true of our hearts.
It’s God’s will that every wound to our soul and spirit be healed. However, the enemy wants us to stay spiritually and emotionally injured and nothing makes him happier than when we are infected with sin. That’s why he tries to keep the war going by constantly attacking our minds with thoughts of anger, reminders of the offense, and feelings of pain. He wants to keep the wound open and fresh. Even though the offense that initially caused the pain may be over and God may have even brought the issue to a resolve, the enemy of your heart wants to keep the battle raging on in your mind. He wants to keep you bleeding in pain so that you never move onto the place of true healing.
How do you stop the bleeding?
Well, like me, you need to recognize that there is a spiritual element to your current battle. Though the enemy may have caused a person to create the initial injury, he is actually the one who is fighting to keep your heart from healing.
Even if you can’t do anything to bring resolve to the actual physical relationship, you are the only one who can choose to win the battle in your mind.
You do this by choosing to focus on God’s truth, choosing to walk in peace, choosing to act righteously, and choosing to fight the enemy’s lies with faith in God.
This is how you stop the bleeding and end the war so that you can heal and get back to life again. It’s not a 1-2-3- magic formula, but it is the best way to help the healing process continue in your life.