Jesus stated his purpose on Isaiah 61. To heal the brokenhearted and to set the captives free. If you look at his works one of the primary things he offered was healing. The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk, and so much more. He offered healing and the works were a parable to what he offered all of the human race. Jesus came to heal, to restore our hearts to what they were meant to be, but fell from. He offers this healing, this deep restoration still. In teaching the stream of healing, John Eldredge described the stream as the supernatural presence or Jesus within our hearts and his willingness to go into our hearts and heal our brokenness.
We all have wounds within us. They are the result of circumstances or things that have happened through our lives and often times we let it define our existence. Even those that believe and many across modern Christianity don’t focus on or even teach that Jesus offers more than forgiveness of sin. He offers healing and restoration from our sin and to free our hearts from the bondage that it can keep us in. His desire is to give us our whole heart back. Many do not recognize this or even seek it. I sure didn’t for a long time. I just looked at it as a part of who I was, but never thought to seek Christ for healing and restoration. Believing and actually seeking his are two different things. The demons in Scripture show they know and believe who Christ is, but don’t seek his offer, yet they fear him.
Okay, I want to take you on a little journey to look deeper in to the deep healing and restoration that is offered in Christ. As I mentioned, we all have broken places in our hearts. Jesus assumes this to be the case, that our hearts our broken. In Luke 4:18, we see that when Jesus begins his public ministry in Nazareth, he reads from Isaiah 61. Out of all of the Scriptures he could have quoted, he goes for this, which says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.” Jesus is offering freedom and healing. He is out to restore our hearts to be whole again as they were meant to be. As they were before the fall of man. He assumes we are already broken and has been sent to heal all of us. That’s the core of his mission. Yes salvation is critical, but it is restoration of the heart of man to what it was always mean to be and this is a critical piece missed by so many in the church today.
As with the other streams (Walking with God, God’s Intimate Counsel, and Spiritual Warfare), the stream of Deep Restoration, Deep Healing, is something that I never even thought about. Never thought about getting into the core of my brokenness. Never even acknowledged my brokenness to any degree. I just figured I was a wreck in many ways and did my best to either hide those places in me or move through life without letting it take hold of me. This helped lead to the false self, to addictions and fears, worries and anxieties. Things that I just started to accept as a part of who I was. I never sought Jesus through any of this. I was what many of us see today, a surface level christian, if even that. Never knowing what Christ had to offer me, I never truly sought Him in any of it.
So think about this. John Eldredge points to some critical things in teaching this stream. Look at our lives. We have places where we have silly addictions whether it be food, collecting things, or any of a number of just off the wall things, we have wild fears and anxieties, maybe the dark or heights or small spaces, we may worry a lot about a lot filled with heavy anxieties. There are so many things in us that we have, but we never try to get to the root of what causes any of that. Often times, those addictions or fears get so big in our lives that they begin to run our lives. Again turning to food when we are depressed, maybe turning to pornography or other sexual additions. You name it, something is there in each of us. It all comes from our brokenness, but we have to take time to try and get to the root of it. Why do we have those and can we ever heal from them?
First, the enemy knows us. He knows our brokenness. He knows those young places in our hearts. Where things come up, such as being around family or being called to speak as examples and then we are all of sudden 9 years old again. He uses those to try to set up shop and keep us in bondage in our wounds. In our brokenness. He comes to steal our hearts, to kill our hearts, to destroy our hearts.
Many in the christian faith will immediately say, “Oh that’s sin, you need to repent and ask forgiveness.” It’s more than that though. Yes, sin can be a big part of it. But simply asking forgiveness is not going to heal it. You have to get to the root of what the issue is, you often have to go way back, because a lot of this stems from wounds we received as children. You have to go there. You have to go deeper. “The great weakness in the North American church at large, and certainly in my life, is our refusal to accept our brokenness. We hide it, evade it, gloss over it. We grab for the cosmetic kit and put on our virtuous face to make ourselves admirable to the public. Thus, we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy, and lacquered with a sense of self-deprecating humor that passes for humility. The irony is that while I do not want anyone to know that I am judgmental, lazy, vulnerable, screwed up, and afraid, for fear of losing face, the face that I fear losing is the mask of the impostor, not my own!” -Brennan Manning, “Ruthless Trust”
I’ve always remembered the thing we are taught about being saved. About asking Jesus into our heart as our Lord and Savior. I made that profession of faith when I was about 13 and was Baptized. Being saved and asking Jesus to be Lord of our live gives us the opportunity to now be fully healed. This is only the beginning though. How can you be fully saved if you have not allowed Christ in to heal you? You have to invite him in. I never did that. Being so, I was never fully saved or healed. Again, Christ came to free us and restore our hearts. To restore us to the men and women we were always meant to be. So, I had a great deal more to go myself. Still do. When I began to get into Scripture daily 4 years ago, the wheels began to turn, but I had a great deal more to go. I had to learn to really walk with God. I had to learn to seek Him. I had to allow Christ into the depths of my heart to surface my wounds, agreements, and sin so that I could finally and fully repent for everything hidden and be healed. I could finally be restored. I could finally come alive.
To heal, requires our full surrender. Our full surrender to God’s will. To fully trust him and who he says that we are to him. A.W. Tozer says, “God rescues us by breaking us, by shattering our strength and wiping out our resistance.” We have to open our hearts to Christ. To let him in deep within our hearts and pull out those wounds. I first felt this at in the weeks leading up to Wild At Heart Bootcamp. When I was spending each day in prayer and felt like God was pulling me somewhere. He was pulling me first to unplug from the Matrix. Once at Wild At Heart, I fully let Christ in. He came into the depths of my heart. Pulled out things that I either did not want to acknowledge or even forgot about, but had fully defined my brokenness. Christ took me there. Then I had to acknowledge them ask forgiveness for allowing those wounds to define me and living in them and then forgiving those that brought me there as well. Renouncing the agreements I made and bringing the power and works of Jesus Christ between us. God opened my heart, gave me the eyes to see, and the ears to hear.
Healing is different for each one of us. God is still doing a work in me each day to pull out those wounds so that I can renounce them and healing from them and be restored. For each one of us, healing happens in different ways though. Look at Christ’s work, especially in healing the blind. He never heals a blind person the same way. He may touch them, rub mud in them. Healing is always different. This parrables the healing we are offered. We are all unique in our creation and Christ wants to heal us based on our own uniqueness. We have to invite Christ in however. Invite him in and pray for healing and restoration of our whole heart. This is after all what God has been after since the fall of mankind. He has been after our hearts. Restoring our hearts to the glory that they once were. Christ is the doorway to that restoration. He is the answer to it all. He was nailed to a tree and shed his blood so that we can be free from our sin, from our brokenness. He was resurrected to conquer death and give us a doorway to restore us to the glory God created us for, and he ascended to Heaven to show that the enemy has been defeated and all authority in Heaven and on earth is now his. We can now be made fully alive and restore. When we are healed and restored, we are fully alive. As Irenaeus says, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Come alive and be restored. Christ is out to set your heart free. Let him set you free.