Often we clean out the old and don’t replace it with the new.
Even our thoughts and behavior need to be replaced with new patterns and new healthy behavior; if not, the old ways slip back in and often they are seven times worse.
Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” Luke 11:26
I am convinced that addiction works this way. Once you lay down the addiction, you must be INTENTIONAL and ACTIVE with implementing a stronger replacement. Just going to church on Sunday is not enough. You must be intentional & active with shameless audacity (v. 8-10) about replacing old ways with stronger ways: The words and ways of Jesus.
ASK- (Luke 11:9-10) Action / obedience steps:
Ask-for what you need; ask for a mentor. (You will receive)
Seek- new ways of doing things & learn and apply new patterns. (You will find)
Knock- at new doors! (They will be opened)
Earlier, Jesus was explaining that whatever is stronger takes over. If a strong man guards his house (his mind, his possessions…) then they are safe but should someone stronger come along, they are able to take over. (v. 21-22).
Whatever is not working in your life, get rid of it. Replace it with something stronger: The words and ways of Jesus.
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that
no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15
Confession is the first step of many, in the healing process. This act of owning your feelings is where most people stay STUCK!
The act of confession is often the step that is skipped. We don’t, by nature, want to talk about our sin or our feelings toward it. Adam and Eve hid from God, after they had sinned. They became self -aware and not God focused; this made their feelings of shame and guilt unbearable. We do the same thing, we hide our feelings of shame inside and they manifest in sickness and toxic behavior. This is damaging to our health and our relationships.
I coach people every day that are stuck in the pain. The pain can manifest in: fibromyalgia, depression, hopelessness, cancer, communication issues in key relationships causing feelings of rejection, insecurity, defensiveness; the list goes on and on!
They may even talk about the incident or the problem that caused the “stuck-ness” but never do the healing work and own the feelings connected to the issue. If we keep those toxic feelings and emotions in our body, they manifest in reactive volatile behavior, eating disorders, cutting, drinking, drugs, acting out sexually, the list is endless, we will do whatever comforts or makes the pain subside. This then adds another layer of guilt; often the things we do to medicate the pain, we know are also wrong. It becomes an endless cycle.
Until we own the feelings we have about the ORIGINAL issue, we stay stuck there emotionally.
One step in healing those bitter roots is the act of confession.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed. James 5:6
For with the heart man believes unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (wholeness, completely healed). Romans 10:10
The sin is not just the violation or “the issue”.
The sin is also the harboring of toxic feelings you are allowing to take root and grow. These feelings grow into resentment and keep your heart sick (hopeless).
DON”T LET the enemy steel your joy and hope and keep you "stuck"!
Jesus came to set you free. You get to make the choice.
Many want to skip this step and move on to forgiveness. Often, we can feel more guilty by feeling the way we do, since the Bible tells us to love one another, and honor our parents; feeling hate towards our offender for abusing us or being angry and blaming a parent for allowing something horrible to happen, like rape or incest; makes us FEEL worse; the feelings of guilt and shame become worse. Many times our bitterness is towards God for not stopping the problem from happening; And that’s certainly NOT ok since God tells us to love Him with all our heart. The idea of giving that feeling a voice is unbearable. But this is exactly what needs to happen. If you don’t own the feelings, they will own you!
These feelings are sinful and they are killing you and causing division from God.
I am giving you permission to have a VOICE!
Own your feelings so they don’t own you! Confess your sin, so that you may be healed.
God already knows your thoughts and feelings; He loves you so much He wants you freed from the captivity! (Luke 4:18)
The act of confession releases the toxic emotions so you can then do the forgiveness work. I counsel people that will say, “ I have already forgiven them, so I don’t know why this still “haunts” me.
Until you own the feelings ABOUT THE ORIGINAL ISSUE, they often manifest in sickness and toxic behavior to yourself and key relationships.
Have you ever thought, while in a heated discussion, where did that come from?
It can be from a bitter root, years ago that has been allowed to grow.
It is like a weed in a garden; if you don’t take it out when it’s little,
it will “take over” the whole garden.
HINT: The weed is the bitter root (hatred, jealousy, resentment, offense….)and the garden is “your life”
When you allow toxic emotions to take root, they grow into all areas of your life!
What bitter root needs addressing in your life?
Father, please reveal the root of bitterness that is holding me captive. Help me with the step of confession.
I confess: I have a bitter root of _______________________________.
I feel _____________________________about__________________________.
Heal my broken heart and set me free from this bitter root that has held me captive. Amen.
In the act of confession, it is important that we confess to a safe person:
*A friend (IF THEY CAN BE TRUSTED not to share or condemn)
* If these aren’t available, share it with God-
Write a letter, saying how you feel, to the people involved in the original issue. (The first time you felt the way you do now). DO NOT give them the letter, which may not be necessary. Read it out loud to God; then burn it and see, in your imagination, the sin hanging on Jesus at the cross and release it to Him. He hung on the cross for that exact sin. Jesus binds up your wounds and heals your broken heart (Psalms 147:3)
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