Practical gospel – How to perform emotional surgery on yourself – lessons

I’ve been listening and read things people have been sharing over the last coupla weeks. There are a lot of us who are going through tough situations. As a prince  amoung God’s people its my job to make sure the King’s people are ok. If there is any need, then, my duty dictates to me beautifully that I must do what I can. Strangely, not even for the people themselves though we care, but mostly for the king. You don’t have to feel for someone to serve them lol! A prince of the realm serves the people because he loves his father who is king. And wants the King to be loved respected and thought highly of (glorified). So I cant sit back and hear all the stuff that’s happening with His people and just chill. Not right. Something’s gotta be done. So this morning’s devotional is inspired by a friend of mine. Also anointed in the word, but she’s struggling. I am concerned…for those of you who know me..I’ve got this thing for patterns. I study people. I study life. When I see a pattern I pull an emergency Remie-Julienne stop and I’m like WO! Backup! What was that. Then I take it to my King and we chat about it.

So this morning find below the results of my little chat with God about whats happening with you guys.

So you’re struggling. But you’re a strong Christian. Either you’ve done something wrong and you’re feeling guilty. OR something has happened to you and you’re sad, sorrowful, angry, frustrated with our Father, the King cause you’re not getting answers and breakthroughs. And that’s making simoultaneously also feel bad. That you should know better then to doubt! Some are even afraid whether or not they’ll make it because they have doubts.

Be honest with God He can handle better than you think. He can handle your hurt pain anger disappointment and doubts. In fact..try and keeping it in is a little dumb cause He’s INSIDE YOU WHILE YOURE DOUBTING!

Well I’m not gonna share scripture to tell you’re wrong. I once was sitting with my father (earthly Dad…) in a family meeting. My mom was there, brother and sister. Whole shabang. And I said to him “Dad…sometimes you disappointment, why cant you just support me cause I want this thing, cause I asked”. I kid you not..10 years ago I wouldn’t even have bothered saying such a thing let alone had the guts to. And my dad (earthly..stay with me) sat there, his eyebrows creased a second. He ran his hand over his hair. Then went “ei..huh..Andrew” while he shook his head a little bit. By the way at this moment, mom looks to the side. My brother and sister are looking every where but at me and dad. Dad is looking down not at me. And I’m looking at him. Directly. Rudely as far as some people would think. See you gotta understand something about my relationship with my dad. I love that man. We havent had the best relationship. He’s a principled immovable implacable man. I am EXACTLY the same when I decide something. Sometimes we don’t get each other. But our relationship is much better than its been in a long time. And its getting better. It didn’t help that he’s the kinda guy who doesn’t really do much wrong as a father. He’s nto perfect. Typical African dad. We’re American kids. We don’t get our dad alotta the times. He’s old school. We’re new school. He thinks in our native tongue. We think in english! Lol. Yeah…accident waiting to happen. So eventually Dad says, and he looks up. And I look down. Why? I took a RISK! I put my heart out there! I didn’t know what he would say. I didn’t know how he would react. In fact a part of me actually resigned myself to getting in trouble. How sad. That I’d trust my dad that little. Yeah you’ll say you know him cause he’s your dad Andrew. I would say so what! I’ve decided especially over the last coupla years to rather have hope or should I say give him the benefit of the doubt when I’m talking to him about something sensitive. Cause dad will surprise you bra! I kid you not! So anyway he says “Andrew…I’m sorry you’re not seeing what I’m saying. But I’m your father. I cant do this any other way. I would be lying to you if I tried. And theres simply the right way to do things. Later on you’ll thank me”. But the words arent important. Here’s what was amazing. Dad didn’t get angry. He said smiling. His voice was gentle! Had me and him had a conversation like that 10 years ago…I don’t know what would have happened lol. I shocked everyone in the family. Then He shocked us back by his response. Now my father (earthly) is human. THERES NO WAY… HEAVENLY FATHER, MAKER, EXPERT OF PEACE, WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR can beoutdone by a man!

Gospel assumptions that you have to hang on to for dear life
Sometimes (and here’s the crux of this devotional today) knowing a lot about God isnt enough when you’re circumstances are filled with trouble. So whats left? Well you gotta make a couple of assumptions.

Here they are

  1. God’s love is sooooo INSANELY BIG…theres nothing He wont do for you to get to you to grow more into His image. Its His joy. His job. His sacrifice.
  2. God is NOT HUMAN…HE DOESN’T CHANGE. Just because you did something today, why should God change His love for you? Guys…you mean you’re going to get married, and say maybe you’re having a bad day and you act funny…are you expecting to come home to partners whose love switches off when you are perfect? I’m sorry but as twisted as that sounds, that’s how you’re twisting God’s love. Yes its not right. But snapping at your husband or wife, should not make them switch off their love. You made a mistake. Say sorry. Learn to separate God being disappointed in your behaviour with God condemning you. In fact, as you grow as a true believer..Salvation will become less and less important or should I say heaven/eternal life will become less and less a worry and you’ll be more worried about disappointing God. The same way anniversaries and birthdays become less a worry or less a focus than daily romance. And daily gentleness. Your partner should be “used to” daily goodness. Not your birthday and anniversary. Make sense? God doesn’t change His love because you messed up. You get into heaven because God is your Father. You believe that. Jesus is God and He died for you and rose from the dead. That’s what gets you in. Not saying sorry like a bribe for things you did wrong. I say bribe because some think that by saying or not saying sorry this changes your identity. I may anger and hurt my earthly father. But I cant change my surname. Shall a human man outdo the love of God? What kind of God are we believing in?

You cant trust your hearts emotions all the time. You have to learn when to watch out for a slippery slope of guilt depression and doubt. Watch for it. When it starts. Fight against it

Now I know some of you are at a place in your life where you can hardly even pray. And that’s got you feeling depressed or guilty and doubting. ON TOP OF whatever is making you not pray. Can you see how much you’re torturing yourself. Your feeling bad over whats happened to you or what you’ve done. Sorrow and or guilt. THEN YOU ADDING an extra large side order of “I cant even pray…I suck big time” . People what you’re trying to order you cant even afford? You’re Christian. We don’t get stuck in handicapping emotions. I’m not saying don’t mourn. I’m not saying don’t feel remorse. These are needful. (Needful is one of m favourite words recently. Its got such depth). I AM SAYING WATCH…for when your emotions start to affect, hamper, dampen, smother, interfere, confuse, restrict and influence your relationship with God.

Have you ever been sad but spoke out loud that God is still good? Have you ever wept…but somehow found yourself singing hymns?

There are many ways to do emotional surgery on yourself when youre “feeling wrong” and “not feeling God”.

Before Doctor Phil. Before psychology. Before programmes projects movies dvds and self-help programmes. Before tranquilisers and sleeping pills. Before anti-psychotics and anti-depressants. Before all of that…There was once a man called David. Whom God accused was a man after His own heart. Big thing for God to say… In military terms that’s what you would call a “high value target”. Now…being a man after God’s own heart. What does did this man, blessed as he was, do when he was feeling down. Well simply put… David was first honest with God about how he was feeling. Second he was even able to testify of it publically. AND at the end of it all he INSISTED on praising God INSPITE/DESPITE/NO MATTER how he was feeling.

Some of us Christians need to learn to resist ourselves. Check it out below

Psalm 38:10-23Psalm 38:10-23
English: World English Bible - WEB

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(New King James Version)
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
[ this is David crying out that he;s now beginning to feel physical effects of sadness and depression and disappointment….anyone out there ever feel like they couldn’t get up in the morning or didn’t even want to? ]
11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
[ ever been in aplace where even youre relatives family and friends even your partner doesn’t get you?! You feel so alone! See David isnt complaining ABOUT THEM He’s telling God building from the previous verse…the LORD….if you don’t answer me….I’m all alone right now…I GOTS NOBODY ELSE! ]
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.
[ again its almost as if its a conspirace isnt it? ]
13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.
– David is deaf to their words and malice, wont talk back or say anything and refuses to hear or respond to anything that’s not faith…..people sometimes we need to go deaf and dumb. We need to learn when not to hear AND NOT TALK BACK….your walk with God is personal people. Sometmes in your life no one will understand it…Youve got to learn to take it God first. Honestly shamlesslessly embarassingly un-prettily real-ly]
15 For in You, O LORD, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.
[ speak faith not what you feel. I’m not saying to feel doubt! I’m saying speak faith! Guys…God knows it gets tough!]
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me,
Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”
17 For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
its ok to tell God that you “feel” like you’re at the end of your rope. That you feel you cant hang on anymore. Don’t be dramatic. But be honest. Don’t say you cant hang on any more and yet you know you can. I’m talking about that moment you get to when you’re even afraid to tell God….that you don’t think you can hang on anylonger cause you know that that’s the truth! THAT’S WHEN YOU TELL HIM!]
18 For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in anguish over my sin.
[ simple…own up…get it out]
19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong;
And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
20 Those also who render evil for good,
They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
[ By the way, David is the last man who would tell he’s a good man. But he knew God’s definition of righteousness is believing in God as God. “follow” key word 🙂 you missed it. When a Jesuslover is under grace. They follow, chase, hunger and thirst after what is good, inspire of sometimes “doing” wrong.
21 Do not forsake me, O LORD;
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!
[ and so David ends by call God who He is… – firstly LORD or in otherwords all-powerful and secondly that God is his salvation. To David, GOD is his salvation. Not his obedience. Not his knowledge. Not even heaven is the issue. David WANTS GOD. At His core. Deep in his gut…being a man after God’s own heart…for David…the relationship, God Himself is what God wants.]

Psalm 13
1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
[brave enough to tell God that God has forgotten him. That he’s waited so long its enough. Too much. That this is how he’s FEELING…key word. Not what He knows. But how he’s feeling]
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
[So now David is like…how long will I listen to myself and my circumstances…can you see…he’s alread fighting himself just one verse later.]
3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
[ for David…being separated from God is like dying…]
4 Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
[ anyone here suffering because of other people? Does it look like their winning, or justified or powerful and you’re powerless?]
5 But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
[And the crux…the core of the issue…here’s a man after God’s own heart….see praising God changes your situation even when you DON’T FEEL LIKE IT DO IT ANYWAY]
6 I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
[ And now…end by counting your blessings. See the surgery? REMIND YOURSELF. REMIND YOUR HEART…how good God has been to you over the years?!!! Anyway getting that? ]

Make it practical?

When you can pray can you sing?
When you cant sing do you listen to Gospel music? That’s the surgery right there.

I’m telling you….switch that thing on anyway!!!! And even if you’re in a place of doubt I’m telling you just switch it on anyway. Listening to the words.  Youre emotions of doubt fear and anxiety. Guilt and stress cant live in same place as sincere heartfelt desperate weeping struggling but still hoping worship. The worst mistake you can ever make is not praise when you cant pray.

Christians only have 3 tools in their arsenal

  1. The word first because faith comes by hearing
  2. Prayer because communication brings connection
  3. Praise and worship. These help you remember who God is. When a believer remembers who God is, then the worship in their heart opens up a doorway in their lives for break through

Have you ever been down started listening to a song and felt  something inside melt, break, shift open up? Music is powerful. As a Christian….you’re doing yourself extremely wrong. You’re cheating yourself out of miracles and experiencing a truly wonderful walk with God if you’re life doesn’t have daily jealously have some praise and worship time.

Why do you think you feel better when you’re in your car cruising and you turn on Metro FM and their playing youre favourite song? For a few minutes you’re not in your life your in the song! Why is it our lives are filled with so many daily almost mundane things which all point to God…and we just don’t notice them.

Do you know you were setup? Can you see how many layers of insurance God has put in place to make sure you make it?

Thousands of years ago in Eden. When God made Adam..God made Adam’s brain his moods to be “affect-able” by music. Stirred by music. Moved by music. God made Adam and humanity all…capable of having a “favourite track”. You think that’s coincidence?

Of course you’re low. Of course you’re struggling to pray… Of course you’re making strange decisions…Of course you’re struggling to hear Gods voice…

You need more worship.

So you cant pray…..
So you cant……believe (oops that was a big one)

Can you sing?

Can you listen to a CD…go get something to listen to.

Shalom (safety, peace, long life, wisdom, health, prosperity……anointing)
———– more for you just to hammer the point home 🙂 —————-

Psalm 69:29-36Psalm 69:29-36
English: World English Bible - WEB

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(New King James Version)

29 But I am poor and sorrowful;
Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bull,
Which has horns and hooves.
32 The humble shall see this and be glad;
And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.
33 For the LORD hears the poor,
And does not despise His prisoners.

34 Let heaven and earth praise Him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.
35 For God will save Zion
And build the cities of Judah,
That they may dwell there and possess it.
36 Also, the descendants of His servants shall inherit it,
And those who love His name shall dwell in it.

Psalm 116:3-16Psalm 116:3-16
English: World English Bible - WEB

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(New King James Version)

3 The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
6 The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
9 I will walk before the LORD
In the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the LORD
For all His benefits toward me?
13 I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the LORD.
14 I will pay my vows to the LORD
Now in the presence of all His people.

15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His saints.

16 O LORD, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.

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