God’s words to the children of Israel can apply to us as well in our healing path. Exodus 23:29-30 says of their inherited land, “I will not drive them out from before you in one year…Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.”
Buried emotional pain takes up real estate in our hearts. It decreases our capacity to walk in truth because the lies are squatters. What do lies do? They control. Paul instructed his readers to take every thought captive. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”
How do strongholds get into our hearts? They usually start with a fiery dart lie that we did not take captive. When it seeds itself into the soil of our heart, it sets up a command post. As other lies get through they join forces. Verse 5 says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Here is a lie that I picked up in my homework yesterday. If you believe that you are like you are because of your circumstances, you have believed a lie. Our adverse circumstances, abuse, hardships, or losses do not define us. They do not determine our outcomes.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” We might not think that our heart is wicked. However Matthew 15:19 clearly states the opposite. It says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Evil thoughts are wicked. Fleshly reactions come from negative thought patterns.
Our thoughts are colored by our motives which come from what we believe. Our heart is our belief center. Therefore our motives determine the outcome of our adversity. If we have believed a lie, then our motives are tainted by that lie.
The path of obedience is strewn with God’s grace. He gives His grace to the humble, but He resists the proud. We resist God through our disobedience. When He says to forgive AS we have been forgiven, He doesn’t leave any loopholes.
We buried our emotional pain as children because we didn’t know what to do with it. We were too young to understand what happened, let alone process it with truth. Yet, when we come to an age where we do understand, God will lead us into His healing process.
First though, He must lay a foundation for our healing. It comes through our relationship with Him. 2 Corinthians 10:5 said that the strongholds are built up against the knowledge of the Lord. That is the key to our healing. As we abide in His love, learn to trust Him in all things, and hide His word in our heart, He will then lead us into truth that will set us free. Not before, but little by little. There are no shortcuts, loopholes, or exceptions.