Have you ever gone thru Physical Therapy? Physical Therapy is a tool many doctors use to help their sick patients recover strength and function in their bodies after a severe injury or surgery.
I went through physical therapy about 14 years ago. I had just gone through a severe case of pneumonia and had been in the hospital for 11 days. During that time, I lost 35 pounds and was extremely weak. The doctors told my parents that I was not going to make it, but through a dramatic miracle from God, I was healed. However, the entire experience left me weak and worn out. I had to go through physical therapy to regain my strength before they would allow me to leave the hospital.
This was an interesting experience. The severe temperature and loss of nutrients I experienced during my sickness left my 20 year old body weak and powerless. So every day, I went to the hospital’s physical therapy ward. When I got there, it was me and the rest of the patients, mainly 80 year olds, struggling to learn to walk and move again. I often tell how the 80 year old hip replacement patients could out walk my 20 year old body as we redeveloped our muscles that had been damaged by sickness. However, over time, I was able to regain strength. My sickness became a memory as I became a strong, vibrant, and capable person again.
You may be thinking, “Great story, but what does that have to do with growing stronger in our spiritual lives?”
Let me explain. Before each of us becomes a Christian, we are spiritually sick. Sin has infiltrated our spirit like a disease infiltrates a body. It corrupts our entire life, how we think, what we say, and how we act. It taints and destroys every area of our body, and like a disease, eventually, it will kill us (Romans 6:23).
When we become a Christian, we have the opportunity to have the God of the Universe come into our lives and heal us of the disease and damage sin has caused in our lives.
Unfortunately, many Christians do not take advantage of God’s physical therapy sessions. Instead, they get caught up in the busy activities of their local church. They enjoy the new relationships they develop with other believers. They enthusiastically dive into the churches social scene, offering to serve in any and every way possible.
Unfortunately, many pastors jump at the opportunity to have new, fresh, excited blood in their church and encourage the new believer to get active and busy right away.
However, in the long run, this damages both the new believer and the church. As a result, we are unfortunately facing an American church that is full of weak and sick Christians. All the while, God is waiting for believers to come to Him and began spiritual therapy so they can become strong, mature, healthy Christians who are able to help the next generation of believers He leads their way.
We need to come to the place where we allow God to do inner healing inside of our souls. I would like to challenge each of you reading this article to open yourselves up to go through spiritual therapy with God. I am not saying you need to go for counseling, although some of you may need to so you can overcome the sickness that sin has caused to your spiritual life. What we are talking about is allowing God to help you face the sin in your life so you can overcome and live life His way.
I would challenge you to take one year and focus on spiritual soul healing. For one year, give up your church responsibilities and commitments and focus solely on your own spiritual life.
Allow God to heal hurts and pain that sin has caused in your life.
Allow God to develop beliefs and convictions in your heart that will give you the strength to go through the rest of your life as a strong, capable, mature believer.
How do you do it? The only way is to daily have a spiritual therapy session thru reading the Bible and prayer. Make this the number 1 focus in your life. Daily spend time in the Word, learning God’s principles for life.
Allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of areas of sin as you read the absolute truth of the Bible. Then spend time in prayer, asking God to forgive you of the sin you were convicted of committing.
Allow the Holy Spirit to show you when the sin started, and then make a list of every time you can remember committing the sin.
Ask God to forgive you for each time, and then ask Him to show you how to make changes in your life so you never commit the same sins again.
Let me give you an example of one of my spiritual therapy sessions. I was reading the story of Jacob marrying Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29). Jacob saw Rachel, and because of her physical appearance, he wanted to marry her. However, Laban tricked Jacob and gave him his daughter Leah to marry instead. Leah was a plain, ordinary girl. She didn’t appeal to Jacob at all. He wanted Rachel because of her appearance.
As I read this passage, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me that Jacob would have been happier married to Leah than Rachel. She had more character than Rachel. However, Jacob chose women based on looks and appearance, not on character and personality. As a result, Jacob had a harder life. The Holy Spirit began to show me that I had been doing the same thing.
Whenever I wanted to go out with a girl or start a relationship with her, I based it on her appearance. Was she pretty? Was she sexy? Would she win me the approval of my friends? I looked at girls as trophies, not human beings. I place their value on their physical appearance, not their character.
God showed me this was sin. He let me see that character and inner beauty are the basis of relationships, not appearance.
I repented to God for the sin. Then I made a list of every time I had done this in my life. I looked at why I did it. I faced my own insecurities and wanting to have a beautiful girl on my arm to make me feel good about myself. Then I asked God to change me and help me no longer commit this sin. Now when I find myself attracted to a woman, it is usually her walk with God and her inner spirit that attracts me, not her appearance. My soul was healed from the sickness of valuing women based on their appearance, and it was all done through the power of God.
You maybe thinking, “I get what you say. I see I too need to go through spiritual therapy with God. However, I don’t think I can walk away from my church responsibilities for an entire year. People will think I backslid!”
To this I answer, “So what?”
So what if others feel this way about you. God’s opinion of you is more important than what man thinks. If I was you and I decided to accept my challenge, I would go to my pastor and explain why you want to take time off. Tell him you feel God leading you to a time of growing a deeper relationship with Him. You want to take some time and allow God to help you grow into a stronger Christian. Let Him know you feel God wants you to take the time you have been devoting to ministry and use it to study the Bible and pray so you can develop deeper roots in God and become even more effective for Him. Any pastor worth his salt will not only understand, but will encourage you in your pursuit to grow spiritually. If other people ask you why you are not as active as you use to be, tell them the same thing. But in the end, the only person’s opinion that should matter is God’s. Not your pastors, not fellow believers, not me, just God.
I hope you will take this article seriously and allow God to begin healing your soul. It is important for us all to remove the sin that years of living apart from God caused in our lives. The way we think and live doesn’t magically disappear the minute we get saved. Yes, God’s grace forgives us of the sins, but we need to remove the sickness from our souls, minds, and spirits. Then we can become pure vessels that God is able to fill with His power, and He can pour us out to help others become healthy as well. I urge you, commit yourselves to go through God’s spiritual therapy. I guarantee you, you won’t regret it.