Wednesday, 2 December 2015

FROM BROKENNESS TO MINISTRY

A “burning bush” experience with God set a broken soul free and launched him into an ‘inner healing’ ministry.

A senior pastor shared his testimony that he was rejected by his own father when he was a child. He wanted love and affirmation from his father but to no avail. When he became a young adult, his hate for his father grew worse. Trying to cope with the pain of rejection, he immersed himself into a busy career. Though he quickly scaled the corporate ladder, success did not help him overcome his inner conflict. Alone after work, he would return home, only to slump on his bed and stare at the ceiling—his soul racked by bitterness and anger towards his father. 

Trying to pull himself together, he decided to seek God every evening after work by reading His word, praying and worshipping Him with the help of online worship songs. That went on for several months. One day, he suddenly felt God’s presence in his room. He could never forget that experience. It was as if God was speaking to him in an audible voice: “You are my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”

                                                                 
From then on, he gradually recovered from his inner turmoil. He found a sense of belonging, value and significance through that close encounter with God. And aren’t these the qualities everyone needs? Everyone needs affirmation and acceptance. Everyone needs to have self-esteem. Everyone needs to find purpose and meaning in life.

Today, he ministers inner healing to broken people through prayer, counseling and deliverance. And because he himself has found victory from brokenness, he is able to empathise with those who are hurt inside. (1)

As he travels around the world to minister, he confidently proclaims, “The answer is found in Christ, who has come to set us free.”

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
(Luke 4:18-19)

                                                                            
This pastor’s story illustrates the fact that believers may be broken though we are saved. We may be living in fear, worry, bitterness and anger, or in bondage to evil spirits and bad habits. Like old plumbing, our mind and emotions may need “fixing”—we need inner healing. God isn’t just interested in getting us to heaven but restoring us completely so that we can live victoriously and fruitfully for His glory. (2) 

We may think that, as a result of the new birth, every part of our lives becomes brand new: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Truth be told, only our ‘spirit man’ becomes new. Our mind and emotions still need to be progressively renewed so that they are aligned with godly principles found in the Word. We need to forgive those who hurt us and be set free from bitterness, traumatic memories and emotional baggage of the past.

                                                                      
Secondly, this story also underlines the importance of a healthy relationship between father and child. Bonding, based on love and discipline, should preferably start when the child is young. Any conflict between father and child needs to be restored. If a father is a role model of responsibility, loving discipline and moral uprightness, his child will be more likely to grow up into a well-balanced, productive, law-abiding and God-fearing individual in society. Conversely, a troubled father-child relationship may lead to deep-seated hurts and bitterness in the child when he attains adulthood. This brokenness may, in turn, affect his relationships with his future spouse, children and colleagues and superiors in the workplace. 

It is easier to raise a child than restore a broken adult. As the family is the basic unit of society, the father’s role as head of the family cannot be overemphasised. He has an onerous task to fulfillbuilding a foundation for happy and harmonious homes in a stable society.  (3)

                                                                     
In this context, we are reminded of the last verse in the Old Testament. It is about the advent of John the Baptist, who has come in the spirit and authority of the prophet Elijah, to restore the relationship between father and child: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6). The original meaning is that the God’s people, His children, will walk in the ways of their patriarchs (spiritual fathers) until they are all united in fear and obedience to God; if not, they will have to face God’s judgment.

However, even when a positive parental role model is missing in the child’s formative years, he may still be able to grow up into a responsible individual if he experiences the reality of the Father Heart of God. (4) Though this may not be the best model for nurturing the young, we do see children from broken homes turn out well as adults because they experience the unconditional love of God the Father as this story illustrates.


RELATED POSTS

FROM SCAR TO STAR (1)
God’s vision for our lives often revolves around our gifts—areas in which we shine like a star. Sometimes, this vision is birthed out of a scar, after we have gone through painful struggles.

HEALING THE INNER MAN (2)
You can be set free from bondages, emotional wounds and baggages to live a victorious Christian life—one filled with meaning, purpose and power.

EMULATING GOD THE FATHER (3)
Being the perfect Father, God is the role model for earthly fathers—and mothers as well.

THE FATHER HEART OF GOD (4)
There is much more to the Father Heart of God than unconditional love. We need to go deeper to appreciate the multitudinous ways His heart throbs for us.

LOVE: HEALING BALM FOR ACHING SOULS
Many who are experiencing fear, anxiety or depression depend on people, food, drugs and pleasurable diversions to stay strong. However, once we understand we are precious in God’s sight and greatly loved by Him, we can handle emotional turmoil better. 
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