If you missed last night you missed the heart of the book. We had an awesome time laughing, crying and talking together. In this chapter on page 94 "The Offer", John states that they had gone to good churches all their lives that taught them the place of worship and sacrifice, faith and suffering and a love for the Word of God. But in all those years he felt the central ministry of Jesus was never explained. Yes, they were taught that Christ came to ransom us from sin and death and one day take us to heaven with him. But there was more....and I love the analogy he uses which I will quote here for you.
"The purposes of Jesus Christ are not finished when one of his precious ones is forgiven. Not at all. Would a good father feel satisfied when his daughter is rescued from a car accident, but left in ICU? Doesn't he want her to be healed as well? So God has much more in mind for us." Listen to this passage from Isaiah 61:1-3:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
"This is the passage that Jesus pointed to when he began his ministry here on earth. Of all the Scriptures he could have chosen, this is the one he picked on the day he first publicly announced his mission. It must be important to him. It must be central.
Let me state it in words more familiar to us.
God has sent me on a mission. I have some great news for you,
God has sent me to restore and release something.
And that something is you.
I am here to give you back your heart and set you free.
I am furious at the Enemy did this to you, and I will fight
Let me comfort you.
For, dear one. I will bestow beauty upon you
where you have known only devastation,
Joy, in the place of your deep sorrow.
And I will robe your heart in thankful praise
in exchange for your resignation and despair.
Now an offer is worth considering. What if it were true? I mean, what if Jesus really could and would do this for your broken heart, your wounded feminine soul? Read it again, and ask him, Jesus---is this true for me? Would you do this for me?
He can and he will----if you let him."
Wow...like the first time it clicked in my mind there is hope in healing our hearts while we are still on earth....we don't have to wait until heaven! This is one of the main reason Jesus came to earth!
Down below is most of Deb S. leader notes that she makes up for us almost every week and I thought I would reprint them for those of you who aren't able to come and also sometimes we run short on time and can't get through them all. Thank you Miss Deb for all your hard work you do on our behalf with the weekly introductions and the thought filled notes!
This is one of the core purpose of this book--to let us know that the healing of our feminine heart is available, and to help us find that healing. To help us find the restoration which we long for and which is central to Jesus' mission. Let Him take you by the hand now and walk with you through your restoration and release.
Why did God curse Eve with loneliness and heartache? He did it to SAVE her.
Hosea 2:6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
Jesus knows He has to thwart our self-redemptive plans, our controlling and our hiding, to thwart the ways we seek to fill the ache within us. Otherwise, we would never fully turn to Him for our rescue.
I know this may seem counter-intuitive, even mean spirited. I can see many of us wondering...why would God do this? Why would He set us up this way? The answer is because He knows deep in our hearts that we would never really come to Him if we did not need Him to rescue us. We might turn to Him for our salvation, and we might perform Christian service, regular church attendance. etc. But INSIDE, our hearts would remain broken and captive and far from the One who can help us. And so God allows, no actually He plans...to hem us in. He will make a great job miserable if it is a career we find shelter in. He will allow hardship in our marriage...if we are seeking total fulfillment through it. Whatever we have sought after, apart from him, He will allow to fall apart...all for the purpose of drawing us to Him..why...because He knows the joy, the fulfillment, the peace, the purpose, the love we will experience in Him and Him alone. Nothing else can or will satisfy.
Will you let Him come for you? Give Him permission, give Him access to your broken heart. Ask Him to come to those shattered, abused, wounded places.
So we need to recognize the messages that have been spoken and that we have received about us. You are worthless, you are a disappointment, there is something wrong with you.
It is so important that you are able to identify the message that came with your wounds. What did the wound made you believe about yourself?
And as we have said, the vows we made as children act like a deep seated agreement with the messages of our wounds. We vow to never again allow ourselves to be hurt, to be exposed, to be vulnerable...and these childhood vows are very dangerous things.
Once we have recognize the wounds, the vows the agreements we have made with these hurts, we need to renounce the agreements we have made. We need to give ourselves permission to grieve and to feel the hurts that many of us have been hiding all our lives.
Can we all say this together......
Jesus, forgive me for embracing these lies. This is not what You have said of me. You said I am Your daughter. I am Your precious child. I am Your beloved. I renounce the vows and agreements I have made with these lies. I reject them as untrue...and instead begin to embrace the words of love that You wish to pour out upon me Thank your Jesus. Help me Jesus....
And, as the book says, we must allow the tears, the anger, the remorse, the guilt, the shame, all of the feeling that have accompanied these lies all of these years.
The next step is to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice and not a feeling. By forgiving we are not saying that these things did not matter or we will ever forget them. Just the opposite is true-we are finally recognizing that they did matter. That they hurt us deeply. But forgiveness actually heals our souls. We choose to release people from the hurts they committed against us. And when we do, the hurts no longer hold US captive!
It might help to remember that those who hurt you were also deeply wounded themselves. They were broken hearts, broken when they were young and they also feel captive to the enemy. They were in fact pawns in his hands. This does not absolve them of the choices they made, or the hurts they inflicted. It just helps us to let them go...to know that the true enemy is the enemy of our souls...
Ask Jesus to heal.
Ask Him to destroy your enemies.
And these are not our physical enemies. These are the enemies of our soul--Satan, anger, fear, rejection, self-doubt, shame, addiction...
And now the most important part...let Him Father you!
And so let's pray together...
Father I need Your love. Come to the core of my heart. Come and bring your love for me. Help me to know you for who you really are---not as I see my earthly father. Reveal yourself to me. Reveal your love for me. Tell me what I mean to you. Come and father me.
If you are like me, you will need to continue asking God that question...and continue to allow Him to show you the answers to those questions...and I know He will...in deep and meaningful ways to each of you...in places you need it and need Him most!