January 24, 2009

One of many truths…

I mentioned in my last post that the Lord has been really teaching and applying spiritual truths through my experience with my Chinese doctor.  Each day when I go and get treated, this humble man sits and shares countless stories of the people he has helped, with ailments ranging from cancer to drug addiction to infertility to even cross eyed children. (Yep, I did say the last one, Owen will start treatment in the summer for his eye condition.  This doctors own grandson was born cross eyed as well and required no other treatment other than acupuncture.) Anyway, a more recent story he shared with me was of a woman who carried a lot of anger and worry…as a result of a very strained relationship with her mother-in-law. 

...if she did not get rid of the anger, bitterness and worry that she kept pent up inside, she would end up with breast cancer.

My doctor told this woman’s husband that if she did not get rid of the anger, bitterness and worry that she kept pent up inside, she would end up with breast cancer.  Last March, one year almost to the day, this woman was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.  I’m learning a lot about this type of medicine and Chinese medicine believes that these types of emotions (sins) account for a tremendous amount of disease.  Of course this doesn’t happen to all people who harbor anger but they find that there is strong correlation that exists.

The following day, I sat with the Lord in my early morning time.  It was a sweet time.  It was a time of much confession, just feeling like the Lord, since the surrender of my health idol, has really gently been revealing heart issues that He was unable to access when my focus was so fixed on my health. The ugliness of the heart is so much harder to surrender than the external things that we can’t control.  I began to feel overwhelmed a bit but God immediately brought to mind 2 Corinthians 3:17 - “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 

“...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Being a daughter of the King, the Spirit lives in me!  There is no reason to feel overwhelmed because the Lord has already given me freedom. However, Satan would like to convince us that it’s too hard to change and he wants us to stay bound up to the very things Christ has set us free from.  God uses images a lot with me, I guess I learn best that way. He gave me a picture of a woman, sitting in a jail cell. Her chains had been removed, the door to her cell opened, the guards had been released from their call of duty and the door exiting the prison was wide open to freedom.  He provides the freedom but it is our choice if we want to live in it.  We still have the choice, do we stay in our cell that has been home to us for years or do we get up and flee from the bondage and take hold of the freedom that is accessible to us?  This can be hard, especially when the things that bound us up are things like anger, bitterness, control, selfishness, ect…things that we have been bound to for years.  Christ has set us free and we can live in this freedom!  When we choose to continue these sinful ways, we grieve the very Spirit that lives in us.  We are rejecting the freedom we have been given. 

Do we stay in our cell that has been home to us for years or do we get up and flee from the bondage and take hold of the freedom that is accessible to us?

Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8: 5-8 “Those who live according the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.  The sinful mind is hostile to God.  Those who are controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

This last passage blew my mind. I have read it many times but it took on a new meaning as I reflected on what it was saying and on the story my doctor had just shared with me.  These very things, the sinful nature (anger, bitterness, control, selfishness, illness) LEADS TO DEATH…  spiritual but also it can lead to physical death, as I described about the woman diagnosed with breast cancer following years of anger and bitterness.  Christ says, “no not worry, do not sin in your anger, do not be anxious, my yoke is light and my burden is easy…”  He knows these things lead to death, both spiritually and physically.  And because of His great love for us, we have His spirit living in us who gives us freedom. It may mean that none of our circumstances will change, but can you imagine living in freedom regardless of the circumstances, what glory He will receive, the peace and abundant life we can have. 

So by the end of my time with the Lord, the anxiety was gone. I recognized the areas that the Lord wants to purify.  When I felt overwhelmed He simply reminded me that it is Him who does the work in me if I am willing.  So praise God!  Freedom reign!  Lets live in it!

1 Comments So Far...

February 12, 2009 Jenn Murphy

That exact same image of a jail cell is something that I have been dwellling on for the last 9 months or so. How unbeleivably true and scary that we actually believe we are still bound when the gates are WIDE open. Thanks for the reminder. I needed it this week! Love you! -J

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