Hey beloveds, is there a drought on your life? Are you crying out to the Lord to restore you–body, mind, soul, spirit, and everything else too? If so, the next step in the restoration process is healing from church wounds.
We've been talking about restoration lately, and about walking in Kingdom prosperity as well.
The Lord has been doing mighty things; I receive testimonies nearly every day of people getting set free from MANY different kinds of hurts and wounds. God has you (and all of us) in a restoration process!
Related prophetic word: God Is Restoring You BETTER Than You Were Before
Well, as I was studying just yesterday, the Lord led me to the book of Haggai and hit me up-side the head about the next step in this discussion about healing and restoration.
And what is the next step? It's something that I would never, ever have guessed if I were trying. However, the Word of the Lord is clear (and I'll explain why below):
The next step is healing from CHURCH WOUNDS.
Healing from church wounds is a BIG DEAL.
A lot of people don't like to talk about healing from church wounds. Oh, you get plenty of people who talk about getting mad at the church and leaving it. You get even more people who get hurt by the church and stay in it, but they cause division by walking around murmuring, grumbling, and complaining all the time.
But very few people like to talk about healing from church wounds from the perspective of healing and then staying in church (or going back to church)–even if you get back in a different church.
church wounds can be healed, and you can be RESTORED better than you were before.
I also believe:
- Church wounds happen because none of us are perfectly like Jesus yet;
- Not even our church leaders are perfectly like Jesus yet;
- People who aren't perfect yet occasionally do imperfect things that hurt others;
- Sometimes people hurt other people on purpose, and sometimes it's an accident; but either way …
- The church in general is a wonderful thing that Jesus built;
- It's a place where God gets glory; and
- The Word of God says we should be in church “so much the more” as we get closer to Jesus' Second Coming.
The problem is: Many Christians have been hurt really badly in church, so they no longer attend because of the pain.
Is staying out of church the right thing to do? No. Does God EVER tell people to stop going to church? NO, according to Scripture.
Nevertheless, sometimes people make bad decisions because of their pain. They hurt so badly that they are just trying to survive; and their unhealed church wounds produce more pain than they can bear when they go into the house of the Lord.
So, they stay home … and the enemy succeeds at robbing them of:
- corporate worship;
- corporate intercession;
- fellowship with other believers;
- the preaching of the Word;
- the opportunity to learn how to minister themselves, so they can head up the prayer line eventually instead of always standing in the prayer line;
- the opportunity to be pastored and shepherded by a godly, caring, called shepherd of the flock;
- the opportunity to be prayed for;
- the opportunity to be anointed with oil when they're sick;
- the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to serve the church body;
- a whole lot of fun;
- the manifest presence and prophetic flow of the Lord in a corporate worship service;
- and so much more.
Church wounds are a diabolical trick from the enemy.
The enemy loves to inflict hurts and wounds on people in church. Generally, he uses other hurting people (who aren't submissive to God's Word) to do it. Then, the person the enemy attacked tucks tail and stays home, licking their wounds, because …
THERE IS NO GOOD TEACHING IN THE CHURCH ABOUT WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO HEAL WHEN THE CHURCH HURTS YOU.
Yes, I meant to write that in “all caps.”
The lack of teaching on inner healing in the Body of Christ is my pet peeve.
Why, oh why is the Body of Christ not teaching people how to get healed? Why aren't we honest when we talk about the church, admitting that people within the church walls hurt one another sometimes–but still cherishing the church (as Jesus does) enough to help people get healed and STAY IN CHURCH?
It's a big gap in teaching within the Body of Christ, and we need to fix it.
But beloved, church wounds can be healed.
More importantly, they MUST be healed in order for you to have everything Father God desires for you.
I don't mean “church wounds can be patched over.”
I'm not talking about putting a band-aid over a gaping hole in your heart and soldiering on, pretending everything is okay when actually you're dying inside. I mean that church wounds can be HEALED.
- Healed so deeply and completely that there is no scar left.
- Healed so well that they do not hurt anymore AT ALL.
- Healed so thoroughly that the events that happened to you feel like they happened to someone else.
Many of you who have been hurt at the hands of church people have lost hope for healing. But you need to know that even your deepest wounds can be healed.
Before I share why this is the next step in the restoration process, let's build our faith for TOTAL HEALING.
The blood of Jesus didn't pay for you to just soldier on through life despite your pain. I admire your perseverance in soldiering on if that's what you're doing. But, the blood of Jesus paid for your pain to be GONE.
As it says in Isaiah 53:4-5:
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Did you notice how direct that verse is? Jesus carried our sorrows.
Every single one of them:
- He took all our sorrows upon Himself and carried them up Calvary's hill on His mangled, bleeding back.
- Carried them on His slowing-but-still-beating heart that was experiencing the pain of having ALL His friends betray Him, as well as carrying the burden of trying to pump too little blood through a failing body.
- And He carried our griefs, sorrows, and pains all the way up into the air as the Romans threw the cross into a hole in the ground, catapulting our Lord into public view, high above the horror-stricken (and sometimes gloating) crowd.
Your sorrows and mine were on public display that day in the body and blood of our Lord … and they died with Him.
You know what that means? It means:
- That the sorrows and griefs we experience today have no legal right to stick with us.
- It means that, as badly as we hurt at any given moment, perfect and total healing can happen to us also at any given moment.
- It means we can be totally healed as soon as we learn to appropriate the healing power of the blood of Jesus, letting Holy Spirit do the work in our hearts that only He can do.
These can be easy words OR hard words to hear.
These are hard words to hear if you want to hold onto your hurt. If you have made your hurt your identity. If you want to point the finger and blame others, even if it really is their fault.
If FOR ANY REASON you aren't ready to let go of your pain and sorrow yet, you may not want to hear the truth about what Jesus accomplished for you on the cross.
On the other hand …
These are easy words to hear–words of hope–if you are ready to move past what the enemy intended for evil and let God work it out for your good.
These are easy words to hear if you are ready to be healed and go on with God.
Let me stop right there to emphasize something:
- If you aren't totally willing to be completely healed …
- If you aren't ready or willing to go on with God, let Him heal you, and get back in a godly, Spirit-filled church where you plug in and attend weekly …
- If you aren't ready to completely forgive and let go …
- If you aren't ready to take total and complete responsibility for receiving everything from the Lord that He promises …
Then stop reading right now.
It's not that I don't want you to keep reading. I do! I want you to benefit from this post! I want you to be healed!
BUT, if you aren't ready yet to receive and do the things I listed in the four points just above, then you're wasting your time (and I don't want you to waste your time). Getting healed depends 100% on your taking responsibility for receiving healing from the Lord:
- Even if other people did things to you they shouldn't have done.
- Even if it's really not your fault.
- Even if it still really hurts.
Beloved, I understand pain.
I'm not saying you have no reason to hurt. People have done things to me that would make your skin crawl to hear about them. When it comes to wounds at the hands of the Body of Christ (or supposed believers who were actually agents of the enemy), I've been through the wringer.
But I can also tell you that the Lord has completely healed me.
He has healed me so completely that there is zero pain left. I am healed so completely that all these things feel like they happened to someone else–and He has turned everything the enemy tried to do for me into BLESSING for me.
Now, things are better than they ever were. Hallelujah!
So I understand it if your heart is broken.
I understand it if you're hurting really badly. All I'm saying is that receiving your healing depends 100% on Y-O-U. So are you ready to be healed from all church wounds and go on with God?
I thought you would be. 🙂
(Insert high-fives, hugs, and praise hands here.) 🙂 Now:
here's why healing from church wounds is the next step in the healing / restoration / prosperity process:
Just yesterday, the Lord brought me to the book of Haggai and hit me with this so strongly. I was stunned, actually, at how EXACTLY the tiny, short book of Haggai corresponds to our discussion about restoration. (Sometimes the Lord hides His gems in the smallest places! That's why we have to search the Scriptures and hide them in our heart!)
Here's what the Lord showed me from Haggai:
The Lord Himself will put a drought on your life if you aren't right with His house.
A “drought” is a period of time without rain–or without enough rain. It's a time of shortage. Dictionary.com explains it this way:
– a period of dry weather, especially a long one that is injurious to crops.
– an extended shortage …
– Archaic. Thirst.”
Look what happens in a drought:
- Rain that is supposed to fall from Heaven doesn't fall.
- Nothing you do can get the rain to fall, either, except prayer.
- In a drought, there is shortage. Crops and food dry up, wither, and die.
- Surface water is hard to come by.
- Prices of everyday goods go up because raw, plant-based materials aren't growing (due to the lack of rain).
- People worry, stress, and stay awake at night–afraid they are going to lose everything.
A drought is a serious and awful thing.
I don't want to live in a drought, and I don't want anything in my life–or in the lives of the people I love–to be impacted by a drought. That's why I was shocked when I read that the Lord Himself puts a drought on our lives if we aren't in right relationship with His house.
This is freaky, but it's real. Look at what the Word of God says in Haggai 1:2-11:
“Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?' Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.'
Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,' says the Lord. ‘You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?' says the Lord of hosts.
‘Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands'” (Haggai 1:2-11, emphasis mine).
In this passage, God says that He directly ties YOUR PROSPERITY to the state of His house.
First, the Lord points out that His people were having major problems. In modern language, their problems looked like:
- They were sowing a lot, but not getting a harvest.
- They had some provision, but always seemed to have too much month left at the end of their money.
- They were trying their best to succeed in various ways, but nothing seemed to work out for them.
- They were earning an income—maybe even a decent income—but their money just seemed to evaporate.
Do any of those problems sound familiar?
Then, in the passage above, the Lord explained clearly why this was happening. All these awful things were happening to His people because HE HIMSELF had placed a drought on their lives.
Why would He do such a thing? Because they were building their own houses and lives, but not building the House of God.
Whoaaaaa … ouch.
I know this is a tough teaching, but living with a drought on your life is tougher.
My friend, I hope and pray you'll hear me. I was literally astounded when I read Haggai yesterday–and the funny thing is that I've read it before! However, I had forgotten about how important it was–and about how KEY this subject is to the healing and restoration process.
I want you to be restored. I want you to get the drought OFF your life.
So how do you get the drought off your life?
According to the book of Haggai, the Lord puts a drought on your life if you are not building the house of God. “Building” means several things in this passage:
- The Lord wanted them to get up and work for His house. Work = volunteering our time and service at our local church, which is His house.
- The Lord wanted them to bring resources into His house. That's pretty clear; it means we have to bring in resources too–money, raw materials, and anything else the church needs.
- He wanted them to actually put His house first and build the church before they built their own houses.
And beloved, if we are not doing these things as well–if you and I are not building God's house, and doing it before we build our own houses–then there is a drought on our lives too:
- If we aren't serving;
- If we aren't volunteering;
- If we aren't bringing resources into the house of God in the form of tithes, offerings, raw materials, and anything else your local church needs;
- and even if your church is in debt, because debt is a sign that God's people aren't giving enough to build and maintain the house of the Lord.
Related: The Sixfold Blessing of the Tithe
Dear Father in Heaven, have mercy on us.
The message of the whole book of Haggai is, “Build the Lord’s house before your own, and then you can prosper.” And in these three short chapters, the Lord says HE calls for a drought on everything you do until you get HIS house built.
So this week, we're going to talk about how to heal from church wounds.
You can heal, and you can heal this week. I'm going to show you how. We're going to talk about some of the types of wounds inflicted by the church. I'm going to give you sample prayers of forgiveness, healing, and restoration to pray through regarding these things. And we're going to sit back, rest, and let the wonderful, precious Holy Spirit of God do His thing.
Is the Lord speaking to you through this message today? Are you ready to heal from damage inflicted by the church? If so, please leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!