Ever wonder why some people just can’t seem to get unstuck? Christians even? They’ve been going through inner healing for 10 years and look like they’re going to be for another 10 years, but they never seem to make any headway? Or they seem to making progress, but then stumble and fall in the same devastating sin all over again (for example, having an affair, or caving to an addiction, etc)? Why can’t they get really free and move on? What’s blocking their healing?
Meanwhile, other people that are wounded much more deeply sometimes get totally healing over a season of their life and totally move on – free and never susceptible to the same sins again. Why is that?
John Sanford, the founder of Elijah House, asked the Lord this question. He and his wife Paula ministered to a large number of people over the course of their ministry, and saw many people with an equal level of wounding. Some would get total freedom and never look back, while others would appear to get healing only to fall back into the same sins over and over again. What made the difference?
This is my paraphrase of what the Lord told John Sanford. It depends on the motivation of the person seeking the healing, why they are seeking freedom from their pain.
“If they are seeking healing because they realize their wounding is keeping them form serving me fully,” the Lord said to John Sanford, “and their hearts desire is to serve me with their whole being, they will get complete freedom and keep it, because they are seeking to serve me.
“If, on the other hand, they want relief from their pain only so they can live the good life, their healing won’t stick, because they aren’t really seeking me. They just want to live the good life.”
The Kingdom of God is so upside-down from how we naturally think. This illustrates what Jesus said in Luke 9:24, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
If we seek the good life, we’ll never find it, and our lives will be one endless, meaningless, futile search. But if we’re willing to sacrifice the good life in favor of living for God, accepting suffering gladly to see his Kingdom advanced, then we’ll find a life better than we ever thought possible.
How about you? Have you seen this at work in your life or that of others? Have you experienced giving up something and then having the Lord give it back to you redeemed, different, but better than you ever thought it could be? Tell us in the comments? And please share (buttons below for your sharing convenience) if you think this thought would be helpful to someone else.