Saturday, March 21, 2009

Taking Every Thought Captive

I mentioned in a previous article the TPM concept that many times, our negative emotions stem from a lie-based belief. I was re-reading the book Surprised by the Voice of God [i] by Jack Deere, and there's a story near the end of the book that is a perfect illustration of this principle. The chapter title is The Power of the Word and the Spirit (ch. 22)

It tells the story of a woman named Jean Raborg, who was a believer in Christ since she was 14. She was overwhelmed with all of the things she had on her plate: teaching, being a wife and mother, as well as being involved in church.
She thought about telling someone at church [because she didn't want to worry her husband who was already overworked], but a voice went off in her mind telling her that no one should ever know that she couldn't really handle things -- that she should just keep going and everything would be all right. She didn't know where this last impression came from, but she decided to obey it.(emphasis added)

More lies came from this voice later on, regarding a health issue. The diagnosis wasn't life-threatening, but she believed her doctors and/or husband were keeping the truth from her about her true condition.
The voice told Jean that she couldn't tell anyone. How could she tell John [her husband] and ruin what few months they had left together? What good would it do to talk to God about this? After all, hadn't he permitted it? Maybe this was a judgement on her because she was failing so miserably ...
Over the course of the next few months, things got worse and she ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Multiple people had prayed for her, but it didn't change things. Some people she knew asked Paul Cain to pray for her, and as he did the Lord instructed him to go to San Diego, and was told that she will be instantly healed to my glory. And I will use this testimony to the end of her life to encourage women with hope. [I know there's some more recent controversy about Mr. Cain -- but this is part of the story, so please just go with it.]
When Paul prayed for Jean, she felt as if a giant heating pad had been put over her abdomen. Then she had a sensation of hot oil being poured over her head and penetrating every fiber of her body. At the same time, she felt a cloud of oppression lift off of her. [I've likewise had a feeling of a cloud of oppression lift off me in response to prayer, once or twice.] It was as though the Lord had turned on a faucet of joy inside her. I'm healed! she exclaimed.

No, not yet, not quite yet, Paul said. When I leave here, the madness is going to try to return. God is going to put a Scripture in your heart when I walk out this door. That Scripture is going to seal your healing. When the evil voice returns to you, don't listen to it. Instead say, 'It is written,' and then quote whatever Scripture the Lord deposits in your heart when I leave.

The Scripture that came to her mind was from Isaiah 41:10.
At just that moment she felt an icy hand reach out of the darkness and grip her heart. She heard that evil voice begin to whisper, but instead of listening to it, she cried out, It is written -- Fear thou not, For I am with thee: Be not dismayed; For I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yeah I will help thee; yeah, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. The icy hand let go. The evil voice stopped. She quoted the Word again, and again, and again. Each time she felt the strength of God pouring into her body. ... On the third day... Jean Raborg walked out of that mental institution, never to return again.

Isn't that a wonderful ending? The ending also illustrates the idea of replacing lies with truth, in this case the Truth of God's Word. I emphasized the part that says She didn't know where the last impression came from..., because sometimes we'll have thoughts or suggestions that take us to dark places. With EFT and Scripture, we can learn to sort it out and discover that we don't have to believe or accept every thought as true. Yesterday morning I had an instance where I was thinking about something, and a familiar thought came to mind along the lines of 'But, what if ...' and right in the middle of the thought that wanted me to start worrying about whatever it was, (I honestly no longer remember what it was...) another part of my thinking realized I didn't have to go there, so I dismissed it before it even had a chance to get me on that old familiar path.

{We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Cor 10:5 NASB)

Deere, Jack; Surprised by the Voice of God, ©Copyright 1996 by Jack S. Deere, published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids Mich49530, pg. 343-357.

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