The Next Grade
I have known for some time now that I have a serious receiver problem. I have not figured out all of the details but it has been becoming apparent to me for a number of years that I have been saddled with a serious handicap in my ability to receive blessings, kindnesses, expressions of love, appreciation, gifts etc. I have prayed about this for some time, pondered what may be the problem, looked for clues and waited for healing.
This morning just before I got out of bed a thought suddenly landed in my head. I turned it over and tried to explore it more carefully but still don't grasp it clearly. But what was clear was that this insight is of extreme value in addressing this problem if I am serious about wanting to be liberated from this handicap. I do want to be free, I do want to grow in maturity and in social ability to better interact and bond with others. God is faithful and this is very likely an opportunity He is giving me to cooperate with Him in the healing process.
The core of this thought which I am still exploring and looking for a fitting analogy that makes more sense to me, is that my 'receiver' – whatever that might be compared to in the physical world – is missing some vital equipment or circuit boards to function properly and open the bars that have kept me locked up emotionally and socially for most of my life. Maybe not all of the equipment is missing but so much is missing that it only works on a very limited basis which serious strangles the capacity for me to receive freely. Jesus said to His disciples, “Freely you have received; freely give.” The problem in my case is that I have always had great difficulty in freely receiving in the first place.
Answers of this nature can easily be right in front of my face for many years but not be absorbed into the heart's 'logic system' – which is something like an oxymoron in the first place since the heart doesn't use logic as we usually think of it. But my left brain may be well versed in some idea, some system, some theology, some formula that is commonly known to many people and yet still my own right brain may feel like it has never heard of it before until the Spirit of God takes it and impresses it onto my heart in a manner and using a language that the heart can grasp and appreciate. Then it becomes like an astounding new insight that can be embraced and incorporated into the life and become actually functional for the soul. This sort of feels like one of those events for me.
What came to my heart's attention this morning is something I have thought about for years, considered with my mind and have studied at great length. It is not necessarily new to my heart, it just seems to be dropping this truth a few notches deeper into making sense for me (if that makes sense to anyone). It is the idea that this may contain at least some of the missing components needed for my receiver to work much more effectively and do its job properly so I can have a much better relationships with both God and others around me. This truth is that gratitude, praise and making choices to express openly my heart-felt appreciation can be the means whereby I can move into the freedom that God has for me to thrive in.
Now my parents if they were alive would have stared at me with amazement hearing this, wondering why I had not been listening to what they tried to tell me for many years. But the problem with that and with most others who have been trying to say this to me is that there were some very solid blocks in place, interference noise, pain from the inside that was always triggered anytime these kinds of things were said to me. It always felt like I was being condemned, criticized, manipulated, shamed and humiliated whenever someone would demand that I should be more grateful. It likely is linked at least partially to the times I can still remember as a child when it was demanded of me to express thanks for what someone had given me or had done for me without any notice of paying attention to the condition of my heart.
It was that total lack of listening to my heart, that forced externalism, the sense that I was being compelled by authorities to act as a hypocrite in expressing something that didn't feel true for me that created deep roots of resentment, bitterness and rebellion that were in turn also censored and condemned by the very people who were helping to create those feelings. In general that seems to be the essence of much of the blockages that remain from my growing up years and that still lay deeply buried inside of me yet today.
Attempting to utilize force, shame, condemnation or anything along those lines which is most common in typical religion will in no way help me to move forward into the freedom that I need to thrive and grow. Yet I need to have that freedom in order to even experience the heart conditions that will give valid basis for such expressions that I have always found so difficult for me. It is like a circular trap and it has all the hallmarks of the enemy's design on it. But God is working with me to train me in the use of these keys to unlock the maze of locks and unravel the labyrinth that has kept me isolated from others for so long. The Son will set you free...and you will be free indeed.
And after writing those words I realize that one of the factors that has kept me in bondage all these years is the mentality of slavery in my religious life. I was totally immersed in that system of thinking for much of my life, a way of thinking causing me to relate to God with a slavish perspective. Now that might work very well if my picture of God was totally correct; the apostles were quick to express that they were slaves of Jesus Christ. But they had experienced the magnetic truth about Jesus that has been missing in my life for years and so when the slave part of the equation is present without the overwhelming love aspect of it the result is at best a resentful, dutiful obedience without any joy.
What my heart is beginning to wake up to this morning is that I may be in possession of some very valuable keys that can unlock the gates that have kept me prisoner for too long. Maybe I have experienced enough healing in the triggers that prevented me from seeing this more clearly up to now so that I now have better capacity to utilize these keys. Whatever the case, I want to listen and learn and begin to exercise the exciting potential in what I sense God is speaking to me at this point. I now feel safer to take steps that I could never risk taking before. I now have exposed enough lies buried under my triggers that they no longer have the same debilitating effect on my spirit that they have maintained over me most of my life. I may be strategically situated to be able to step through the next door in my maturing process or enter the next grade in the curriculum of heaven.