The Role Of Inner Healing In Spiritual Parenting [The Retreat 2022] - Nancy Wheatley
This series of teachings is recorded live from The Retreat by AeroNova 2022. To find out more about how to attend the annual Retreat visit theretreat.aeronova.org. Inner healing is part of the sanctification process in which our inner life is brought into alignment with the gospel. The heart of God is toward the broken, as is seen all throughout scripture. Spiritual fathers and mothers play a significant role is God’s restoration process. A wise spiritual parent, grows in an awareness of inner healing needs and knows the modes of healing available. They tend to their own heart well, processing their own emotions with the Lord and seeking help from other mature Christians. And a wise spiritual parent intentionally cultivates a safe, loving community in which people find acceptance, a safe place to heal, and encouragement towards spiritual maturity.
Full transcript generated by ai (please excuse errors):
You are dearly loved. The truest thing about you is that you are dearly loved. There are people in your life who have failed to love you. But long after their failures have faded into the distant memory of the eternal realms, this truth will remain. You have always been dearly loved. words have been spoken over you that have cursed your identity. Long after those words, have fallen to the ground. This truth will remain. You are dearly loved. You have walked through hard things. Long after the tears of those griefs have been wiped from your face by a nail scarred hand. This truth will be your truth. You are dearly loved. You have done wrong things that have hurt yourself and others long before sin distorted the image of God in you this was the truth that had secured your rescue you are dearly loved no matter how you've failed. You are dearly loved. No matter your secret sin or shame. You are dearly love the truest thing about you has always been is now and always will be you are dearly love so rod and Beth asked me to talk tonight about the intersection of inner healing and spiritual parenting. And I'll be honest, I hadn't really thought much about it. Before they asked me that. But once I started kind of stewing on it or was like, Oh, this is cool. This is so significant. I don't know why I hadn't thought about before. But it's so significant to our theme of restoration tonight. Because the lover of our souls, desires to be the restorer of our souls. Oh, and spiritual family and spiritual parenting have such a huge role to play in that. So first, for those of you who might be new to the concept, let's talk a little bit about what inner healing is. inner healing or emotional healing is a term coined as far as I can tell a few decades ago. So although the verbiage and the formal prayer structures used in it might be new, the idea is as old as Christianity and probably older than that. inner healing or emotional healing is just part of the sanctification process in which our inner life is brought into Allah alignment with the gospel. And I'll explain that in a minute. I see inner healing as a directed way as a targeted, intentional way for our deepest needs and fears, to come face to face with God's great love, and a way to allow God to be the one to answer the biggest questions we have, about our worth, about our identity. I don't probably have to tell you that we're all damaged by life here in the Shadowlands, amen. We are wounded by others sins of commission and omission. We have needs that are not met by God's appointed gatekeepers in our lives. And we spend a lifetime trying to get those needs met in other often unhelpful ways, which we may or may not be aware of, that we're doing that we come to believe lies about ourselves, about life about God. We experience loss, and we don't know how or aren't allowed to grieve those things. And so the weight of them remains, it gets scarred over, but it remains. We get disappointed when God doesn't act the way we think he should. And we don't know what to do with that. So we tend to create theologies around it. And those theologies become a wall that keeps us separate from his great love for us. We experience trauma, and get stuck in endless loops of experiencing those events and their emotions, as if they just couldn't, and and these things impact the thoughts we think. And the feelings we feel neuronal wiring, based on these episodic experiences becomes the filter through which we see and experience life, they become our truth. This can happen at any point in life, but we are particularly success susceptible to it early in life, when massive formation is going on. Oh, and by the way, all these things happen in the midst of a spiritual Battlefield, on which our enemy is more than happy to exploit our weaknesses, and our sins to create places of bondage in us. God created our souls to be fascinatingly complex. Truly the human soul is a marvelous thing. But life in our fallen state tends to turn that beautiful complexity into a tangled up shoelace knot of wounds needs false beliefs, sins and grief. And we develop coping strategies that are sometimes helpful and sometimes less so. But we cannot help but be affected by the state of our hearts. So as a result, our lives tend to be driven by pain, avoidance, shame, and ineffective attempts to get our needs met and our deep questions about our identity and worth answered. Okay, so that's, you know, that's life for all of us. Right? Little problem. Well enter the gospel. Right, enter the gospel in a stunning act of grace and mercy. God sent His Son, the prince of shalom, to take all that fallenness and to give us his peace, his Shalom instead. Shalom is such a fascinating word. It's so worth a study, if you would, if you would care to do that. The Hebrew word shalom, just the Reader's Digest version is that it is perfect soundness. It's a perfect wholeness with nothing lacking nothing missing. And it's peace with God with others and within ourselves. Breathe that in for a minute. The Prince of peace came to give us that. In the New Covenant, he gave us new hearts and new spirits. The old is gone. The new has come we just heard about that this morning. From beautiful Denise here such a trophy of grace, if any wasn't is in Christ, he is a brand new creation. So once we enter into this life of a different quality, we get upgraded to a new operating system. Yay. The old operating system is overwritten by the new. The old is gone. We're still us, but we're asleep. 2.0 because now we have the divine power of the Holy Spirit, working in us to will and to do of God's good pleasure. And were transformed by the renewing of our minds into those who put on display the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. At least that's the idea. Right? That's the theory. That's what the promise is. And yet not long into our Christian journey, we realize that this is a process. This process is we just saying tonight, of surrendering to his design. And we realize that when we upgraded to that new operating system, there are parts of us that apparently didn't get the memo. They keep operating under the old system, causing glitches, like we're, I'm all on my new creation in Christ Jesus, and then all of a sudden, there's this oops, where did that come from? That is not the new creation. No, no, that's old Nancy. I thought we put her in the grave. What is she doing hanging around here? Right. There are these glitches. Sometimes there are even viruses that come and mess things up. Completely, they wreak havoc. So even though God has spoken, newness and identity over us, parts of us continue to operate out of things we've experienced in our fallenness Welcome to the journey of sanctification. Yay, it's gonna be a great ride. Our spirits have been made knew. But our souls now need to catch up to the spiritual reality. One of my favorite books about inner healing is called Freedom tools by Andy Reese and Jennifer Barnett. And here's something that they have to say everything in your life. That is not part of God's purpose for you. is fair game for removal. Amen. Our earthly story must yield to our heavenly story. That's the journey we're on. So here is truth. God is love, His love all the way through. And part of the coming of his kingdom is that arrival of His love, to save Yes, but also to heal and to deliver. How do you suppose this loving father feels about our damaged hearts? Can you imagine this God whose very nature is love, looking upon our pain, our confusion, our distorted identities, our bondage, and our distance from him, him and shrugging her well, good luck with that. Wait till heaven. Oh, our God is so much better than that. Much of the church has treated the coming of God's kingdom as though getting us to stop sinning is the only thing he's worried about. But what about Isaiah 61? Where the Messiah is mission begins by binding up broken hearts. What about the shepherds Ministry of restoring our souls? What about Jesus promised that He came that our joy might be full, that He came to give us life and life abundant? What is the heart of God, toward the brokenhearted and toward the broken? I don't think that scripture leaves us any question about that. Look for the heart of God toward us. And you will find that his desire is for restoration. So having done inner healing ministry for over a decade now and having prayed with hundreds, hundreds of people, I can testify that when people encounter the God who is love, he brings healing to the broken places in them. And he does it eagerly. He does it gently. He does it willingly, lovingly, every single time. I have never prayed with a single person for whom God didn't show up. Not one. Not one, did God say no, that's too hard for me. Not once did God say No, that just has to stay there. Not once. He sets those broken pieces at rest, so they no longer hinder his children from knowing him. Knowing themselves as his beloved, and knowing others, through the freeing lens of forgiveness, I find that he's eager to bring his Shalom to his children. And I really think that's the kind of peace Jesus was talking about when he said, My peace, I leave with you. Amen. So inner healing, addresses places we get stuck in our maturing sanctifying process emotional wounds, false beliefs, ungreased, losses, inner vows, demonic entanglement, sin patterns, they're all fair game for removal. Now God gets into healing done a lot of different ways. He is so creative. Some of these issues just get resolved as we do life with him. As we come to the truth of His Word. As we worship as we pray, things we believe just melt away, he wounds just get healed. Some things need a little bit more intentional attention, in order to yield to the truth of the gospel. Okay, so I'm going to mostly be addressing these things from the angle of spiritual parenting tonight. But I think they're vital for all Christians to understand this is the children's bread, this belongs to the church. And it's something that is supposed to be a gift that we have for ourselves and that we give away freely to others. So pay attention, even if you don't see yourself as a spiritual parent. And after this weekend, I hope you see yourself as a spiritual parent, amen. Okay. So this is why it's important, because we're seeking to build the Bride of Christ. We're seeking to build the kingdom of God and untended hearts have been responsible for more broken relationships, damaged churches, failed ministries, people walking away from the faith than we know, not to mention the destruction unhealed hearts do in a marriage, and in a family. And let's face it in every organization in society, okay. So if we will give attention to being available as agents of God's healing, we will have plenty of opportunities to see Jesus Isaiah 61 mission in living color, you start making yourself available for it, and it will find you. So I'd like to suggest these three theses regarding spiritual parenting and inner healing tonight, pretty simple ideas. A wise spiritual parent, number one grows in an awareness of inner healing needs, and symptoms, and the modes of healing available. You can't help with what you don't know anything about. So even though it might seem big, or scary, or whatever, I promise it's not. And you can help at whatever level you are able to help that. But if you are willing to simply become aware of these needs, and the modes of healing available, huge step forward in the way that you're going to be able to be present for an encouragement to those in your circle who might need this. And that's going to be most people because I can tell you that most of us have stuff. I've really not met anybody who didn't have any stuff. I met one lady one time who said I don't think I have any of that. And I was like, praise God. I think you're the only one but praise God. Yeah. So number two, I think that a wise spiritual parent, tends their own heart Well, processes their own emotions with the Lord and seeks help from other mature Christians when necessary. And this is probably the scariest part is transparent about their journey. Here's why that matters to me. I can't tell you how many people I've prayed with who are struggling with something who think they're the only one. They really do. They think everybody else is perfect and has it together and that nobody else is strong. Dealing with any of the kinds of things they're struggling with, and that therefore they are irretrievably damaged. And there's just and they're just you know, a leftover or something, a stepchild, if we will be transparent about our own journeys that might set people at ease to be on theirs, you think? Yeah. So third is I think that wise spiritual parents intentionally cultivate a safe, loving community in which people find acceptance, a safe place to heal, and encouragement towards spiritual maturity. Those are pretty simple things, right? Awareness. Be on your own journey, tend your own heart, and, and move toward creating a community not that's going to be a journey to we're not used to that kind of transparency and intimacy. But it has to start somewhere. Anointing flows down from the head, right? In close relationships, in all close relationships, we are going to run into other people's unhealed stuff, and our own. In close spiritual relationships, we have the power of the gospel available to bring healing and create a culture in which we get to be living representations of the heart of God, allowing sons and daughters to experience truth relationally that thing I just read at the beginning about dearly loved, you get to look people in the eyes with the overflowing heart of the Father, and no matter what they're walking through, communicate to them by your presence. Buy your voice by not leaving when things are hard. By believing and hoping you are dearly loved. Okay, so, of those three things. I just want to spend a few minutes on each first awareness, growing in awareness. I just want to suggest that it would be helpful to have a basic understanding of the issues of inner healing and deliverance, so that we'll be able to spot when it's active in the life of someone else, so that we know how to either help them or point them toward help. Here are a few examples, a few things that are a good red flag warning to you that there's something going on there that needs God's help, okay. Things like unforgiveness. inordinate fear, inordinate anger, sexual brokenness of every kind, bitterness, a sense of rejection, fear of abandonment, shame, false beliefs. Low self esteem. That is not true godly humility, unhealed trauma, addictions, isolation, walls that hinder their relationship with God. Sin patterns that don't yield to normal discipleship practices, inability to trust, inability to attach in healthy relationships. As I mentioned before, anything that doesn't look like progressing toward godly maturity is fair game for removal. At the very least, we can pray for them to be healed in that area. Even if you don't feel like you have the skills or the capacity to intervene in any other way. You can pray for them to be healed in that area. You might be the only person in their life praying for them to be healed in that area. But if you're a little braver than that, if you're a little bit more intimately involved in their life than that, it might look like bringing it up in a non threatening, non anxious way, non condemning way. Have you noticed that this, whatever it might be, tends to be a trigger for you. That you don't respond the where you want to? When that happens? I wonder if the Lord wants to bring you greater freedom in that area? Would you like to pray about that? We can ask him about that. Right? So simple. If they're willing to pray with you, even if you never learn specific prayer strategies, like the ones that many of us use in ministry, it can be so simple. Here it is, right? Let's ask the Lord where that came from? Is there someone you might need to forgive? for introducing that to you? Is there something your heart believes that is not in accordance with the truth of the gospel? Let's just ask the Lord and see what he said what he says to you. And here's my experience, I'll just give it to you for what it's worth. When we ask the Lord a question, pay attention to the first thing that comes up might be a name or a face a memory, it might be a thought or a feeling, just pay attention to the first thing that comes up, that's usually God's answer. If something comes up, then we asked him what to do with it. Oh, is that someone to forgive? Oh, what did I come to believe at that time, it's really very intuitive to just the Lord will lead you because he's so wants that person free. It's very simple to just okay, well, if he shows you a lie that you came to believe about yourself, when that person, that key person in your life treated you in that way, let's forgive them for that. And let's break agreement with what they spoke over you. Let's ask God for the truth. It is that simple. So the first awareness point is just being aware of stuck places. Just those things that I listed that it feels like a place of I just can't quite get past that. Otherwise, my life is pretty much working. But I'm stuck in that place. So those stuck places, that's something to be aware of. I want to just do a quickie practice, just to show you how easy this is. So close your eyes, if you will. And I'm going to have you repeat after me because that's how I do it in prayer ministry. And if you don't get an answer, that's perfectly okay. But if you do, I'm just going to walk you through what to do. Just repeat after me and say, Father, God, is there anyone I need to forgive? Now just pay attention for a second. So he may have showed you someone, even if he didn't, I'm going to ask you to repeat this with us so that those who do have someone to forgive, won't feel uncovered by this. Okay, so everyone, please just repeat after me, Father God, I bring this person to you. And I choose to forgive them. As you have forgiven me. I choose to release them from harm. And I dropped my charges against them. I cancel their debt to me. They don't owe me anything. Amen. See how simple that is? Now we can you know, depending on the depth of the of the offense, I might spend a little bit more time on that. We might ask the Lord what I came to believe, as a result of what that person did. But it's a it's a fairly simple intuitive process of just asking the Lord and trusting that he's answering because he is. Okay, so, next point of awareness is just being aware of developmental maturity. And the process of putting off the old man and putting on the new, I find that there are things that we can put off by conscious decision just by becoming aware of them and deciding to think differently, that's a great thing. But there are also things that are tougher to do that with and those tend to be when the deepest needs of our hearts have not been met early in life, and they then hinder our growth in maturity. And this might be a little bit controversial, but I don't know Dec you can shoot me down if you think I'm wrong about this. But what I have found is that the soul that is immature, in other words, there's their maturity development was hindered in some way. And so those needs are just not met. That the the soul that is immature in that way is is not free to make the choice to crucify the flesh. They might even keep trying, but those unmet needs are screaming to be met, and the flesh just keeps getting pulled back off the cross. And so this is a big deal when we are walking with people in spiritual formation toward maturity. So I don't want to get too much in the weeds with this. But here's just a brief overview, there are some pretty universally accepted stages of development in the life of a growing human being. And each stage has its own set of developmental milestones, typical behaviors, and necessary affirmations. If a child is able to learn and do all those milestones, participate in the developmentally appropriate behaviors, and receives the needed affirmations in the context of an imperfect but loving family, then as a general rule, the necessary maturity for that stage is achieved and the child moves on to the next stage, life works the way it's supposed to kids grow up. But when any of those pieces break down, then the child's maturity might get stuck in that one area. Now, they'll keep on growing, they'll keep on maturing in other areas, but that one area doesn't make the progress that it's supposed to. So let me give you a couple of examples. One of the tasks of the infant stage is to develop trust. And the way this happens is by the infant, developing a healthy attachment to and finding that their needs are met by loving adults. When needs are pretty consistently met by parents and other adults who express love, affection and willingness, then the child learns to trust that they're valuable, that their needs are valid, and that they're loved and safe. And then they can trust. When those needs go unmet. Their little hearts begin to believe that they're not safe, that they're not loved, or that their needs are not important. A woman I know named Dina vant Hall who she and her husband were missionaries in China for a good number of years. They just came back a year or two ago. And their mission in China was to severely disabled children, the very most severely disabled children and some adults. It's such a sacred thing to listen to the story of their ministry. But she tells the story of they would go to orphanages, to beg to be given the children so that they could bring them back to their home and nurture them. But she said they would walk into these orphanages, and that's lined with cribs, and here are these children in the cribs. And there's not a sound in the room. Not a single child crying. They had them on a schedule. Their diapers were changed, you know, and they were fed on a regular schedule. But other than that, they were not shown affection. They were not held, they were not played with. And the children had learned at that early in age, they had already received the message. Your needs aren't important, and no one is coming. What a message. Oh, well, when that bond of trust doesn't develop normally, children have difficulty bonding. They might grow up to believe that it's always up to them to get their own needs met. And so they might use manipulation, because they don't trust anyone else to care. They might prefer isolation or shrink from healthy relationships. They might be self centered, they will most likely have trust issues. They might struggle to know what they want, or feel numb to their own desires. They might have an unhealthy need to put others needs above their own, which can look like selflessness and honoring others. But if it's comes from a place of worthlessness, that's not God's heart. So that's just one example. So if you'd like to know more about that, I highly recommend a book that Dick has backed You're on his table called Living from the heart, Jesus gave you such a good book. And they do a lot of explanation of those stages of maturity, and what needs to happen in each of them, which I recommend for every parent and every spiritual parent to be able to help to identify these things. There's another great book, that's more of a textbook called Growing up, again, by Jean L. C. Clarke, and Connie Dawson, that talks about those stages of development, what it looks like when they're not met, goes into a lot of detail with those. So those are just some really good resources, because I'm not going to spend more time on that. But you can see where those needs not being met in early childhood can very easily have a lifelong effect. And it can very easily affect anybody's attempts to grow spiritually when those things are broken. Another area for just awareness is identity affirmations, there are certain things that we need to hear, as we're growing. Every child has these questions. Who am I? What am I worth? And where am I going? Now, ideally, parents set their children on a good course, answering these questions from the truths of God's word, and through seeking the Lord for what he has designed those children to do. And then speaking identity and destiny over them. The right answers to these questions can protect a child from all kinds of hurtful messages from the world. But we all know that both God and the devil want to answer these questions for our children. And it's our job as parents to make sure that they keep hearing God's answer, and that we pray it over them. Craig Hill says in his book, The ancient paths, this that I thought was just so insightful. If Satan is able to establish his images of identity and destiny in your life, he has then set up a system of governing your life, that more or less runs itself and requires very little maintenance and energy on his part. Wha. But it's true. If he can get us to believe his narrative over our lives, that thing just begins to take on a life of its own, and he doesn't even need to help anymore. Because we will live out of the lives. Satan's threefold plan is to distort the image of who God created you to be to drive you out of the place in which God has called you to dwell your spiritual territory, and to steal your inheritance. And if he can do it by simply planting a lie, and setting you spinning, his work here is done. So those affirmations that are supposed to be both spoken and lived in the life of every person, they are, they're so significant. I'm going to read to you just a couple of the affirmations that every child needs to hear in the very, very earliest childhood stages, like, pre pre language they need to hear and live these things. And I want you to pay attention as I read them to your heart's response. When you hear these things, do you go I'm dearly loved. Or is there anything in you that goes? Not so sure. Pay attention to that. It's good information. Because when you sense those things, that's something to take to the Lord and say, Why don't I believe that? Maybe there's someone to forgive. Maybe there's something that you came to believe that you need to break agreement with? Because it's not the truth of the gospel. Okay, just listen to these. Every child we all saw Enoch this morning, right? Every single one of us in this room would be speaking these over him because he's just this precious little bundle of life right? Now here it is. This is what this is what God wants you to hear to. You are loved. And so welcome here we're glad you are you. The unique you. God created you to be you belong. What you need is important to us. You get to grow at your own pace. You can feel All, all your feelings and we love you and care for you willingly. You are not a bother. Think about what it looks like when our hearts don't receive those affirmations. We can grow up with a core heart belief of I'm not welcome here. I am not a value. I am a bother. When our hearts believe the message of the wounds that self perpetuating satanic system I mentioned earlier kicks in, we live as if that message were true, we tend to project that message to other people who may agree with it and empower it in our lives. And we consistently live far below who God says we are. And we look at others. And we think God must just love them more than me. I can't even tell you how many times just in the past two months, I have prayed with people who truly, truly believe that they're just not God's favorite. That they're just a stepchild in the kingdom of God. Because God just seems to like everybody else more than them. Can you imagine the heart of the Father toward that? All because they're believing and living from the message of the lies rather than the truth of their belovedness and their new creation identity. So the awareness point, we've got three now the awareness of being stuck awareness of developmental maturity, and then awareness point of a sense of identity, what areas of personhood didn't get watered by affirmation. So as I've talked about these awareness points, let's remember that awareness goes two ways. Wise spiritual parents are aware of inner healing needs and the modes of healing available, but they're also aware of their own hearts, we will parent out of our hearts in both natural and spiritual parenting. So one deeply significant thing we can do is to be on and honest about our own healing journey. Well, the great news is that God is so willing, and he's so able to bring healing to all the places that have been damaged in us. Here are just a few of the modes of healing that are available. One of them is just discipleship, one on one life on life discipleship. We look at God's Word together, we learn to pray it and renew the mind with it. And we walk together and hold each other accountable. Learning to ask God questions, in our secret place time with him. There is so much God would share with us if we just asked him things like, bother. Are there any lies? I'm believing about you? Are there any lies and bullying about myself? Is there anyone I need to forgive? Just ask him questions he'll answer. Counseling, I think biblical Christian counseling is best because all healing belongs to God. So why would we leave him out of it, right. And then prayer ministry, the kind of prayer ministry that I do, and that many of us have done here, either seeking prayer ministry from others, or just learning simple prayer tools that we can use in our own lives, and in walking with others. And I'm just going to put it a little plug here. Starting next month, I'm going to be doing an inner healing cohort. I've done a few of them in the past, I don't charge for them, because I just want to freely give what I've really received. And so it's all online. It's on Zoom. And I just want to teach you some of the simple tools that we use in inner healing. So if you're interested in doing that, you can see me afterwards. Okay, one caveat. It's good to know when you're over your head. Some of the people I end up ministering to are those who have been in relationship with spiritual parents and those relationships went wrong, because the parent had either not dealt with their own stuff, or they didn't know how to deal with the son or daughter's unhealed places, and they ended up causing more harm. So some things in our Christian walk will only come with maturity, just like what he was talking about earlier today. Relationships just take time. Well, some things are going to come in, it's just going to take time. It's not that it there's an O'Neill place or you're stuck it just takes maturity. But some things will hinder us from ever reaching that maturity. We need a Holy Spirit's discernment to know the difference. Wise spiritual parents will seek the Lord for that wisdom. Okay, so now I just want to spend a couple of minutes because this is really what the whole weekend has been about so that you're gonna You have heard and will hear lots more things about this is that inner healing also intersects with intersects with spiritual parenting in loving community. That relational healing. And this really is a plea from my heart. Because so much damage has been done by the one entity on the planet that should be full of the First Corinthians 13 Love of God, love that is long suffering, kind, not envying, not parading itself, not puffed up, not behaving rudely not seeking its own, not provoked, thinking no evil, not rejoicing in iniquity, but rejoicing in the truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and yes, enduring all things. We want to be carriers of the love that never fails. We want to be communities of spiritual formation, where it's okay to be in process, where we can have grace for ourselves and for each other, a safe place to be accepted and to grow. We're all at different points on the journey. And we don't all start at the same place, some of us have more to overcome than others do. So we have the privilege of representing the heart of God, to those we're in community with. And there's so much healing that can happen as our lives and our love, contradict the message of people's wounds. Now, I know I'm preaching to the choir here. And I know a lot of you know a lot more about this than I do. And you'll hear from all of those people this weekend, and I invite you to learn and drink deeply from all of them. But again, this has to be intentional, it won't happen by accident, and it has to be generated from leadership. Terry Wartell in his really good book, the transforming path, which is a book about Christian formation says this, those who did not receive the nurturing love they needed in childhood, must enter a community of love, where they can find healing, good self talk isn't enough. They need to be loved, feel that they are a delight to others, and see joy in people's eyes. People need to be celebrated. The thing about those affirmations I mentioned earlier is that each one of them represents the heart of God toward that person. God is delighted they're alive. He's pleased with their unique identity. Their needs are important to him. And there is tremendous healing that happens in the heart of a person who realizes that this is how their Heavenly Father feels about them. But I'm convinced that there's some healing that's only going to happen in the context of human community, where our lives and words affirm the love of God, toward a living soul. One powerful tool that God has given us as parents and spiritual parents, is the power of blessing. In Living from the heart, Jesus gave you the author's say, the people who see you as God sees you, can tell you what your heart is really like. So pay attention when they tell you about your heart and use it as a guide for living. Blessing. The word blessing means to receive, to accept to ascribe high value to and to consider a person of success. To curse is to disempower a person from thriving, or, or or prospering. To bless is to empower a person to prosper or thrive. So many of the people that you meet have been cursed intentionally or unintentionally by important people in their lives. In our communities, we have got to become people of a blessing. My dad was not a person of words of affirmation. He was not a person of many words at all. But he was not a person of words of affirmation. He had never received them in his own, very broken growing up. And he didn't know how to give them or think to give them. And I don't remember very many times in my growing up years of him saying anything positive to or about me. I don't think he didn't love me. I think he did. I think he just didn't know to ever speak it. But there was one time I remember. So I grew up in the shadow of an older brother who did all things well. Yeah, he's, he's still such a great guy. He really is. He's an he's just outstanding. But growing up in the shadow of that was just not that much fun. I would show up in school and they go, Oh, you're Tim sister. And then after a while they go, how are you, Tim? Sister? We were just good at different things. You know, I had my own strengths. I don't have low self esteem. But he was great at math and science and sports, and I wasn't. Anyway, so this one occasion that that is just emblazoned on my memory. And I think I was probably an adult by this time. Might even we might even have been married already. I don't know. But my dad was talking about my brother, and talking about how impressive he was that he had decided to change careers. So he taught himself computer programming so that he could change careers. Yes, he did that. And he's now a vice president at Fidelity Investments, if you know what that is. So he's done pretty well for himself. But he he had taught himself that and my dad was kind of going on and on about how amazing it was that he'd done this. And I was just going, yep, I'm sure it's great to be Tim, you know. I mean, I love him. And I think he's amazing, too. So I wasn't jealous. I was just going, Yeah, that's terrific. And then all of a sudden, in a very uncharacteristic moment, my dad looked at me, and he said something to me about what he thought about me. And I still remember every word of it. And my spirit just drank it in like a dry sponge. My dad thinks I'm smart. Okay, I had been a straight A student. I, you know, I I was I was never a slouch in school. I had done well at the things that I had done. I had all of the things I but I tell you what, that moment of my dad looking at me and making one, a one sentence statement about me. It was like he prophesied my dad was not a believer. But it was like he spoke a prophecy over me because there were things that I didn't know about myself that suddenly I went, Oh, that's true about me. Wow. I mean, I it was just such an experience of having my soul watered by the one person who could do it. Ah, that is the kind of authority that we carry. When we're spiritual parents, when we have the opportunity to speak a word of blessing over someone. One powerful word of blessing from the right person can contradict a lifetime of the enemy's messages, we have got to be people of blessing. So some of the things that should characterize these communities, and you heard Denise describe a bunch of them this morning when she described her reception in the two keys community and among her family, consistency, just consistency, consistently loving, consistently praying consistently following Jesus. Transparency, acceptance, forgiveness, even in the face of failure. The call of spiritual parenting is a call to intimacy, to deep commitment, and to transparency. We are people formed by a covenant with God, and we're called to covenant with one another. And intimacy is for covenant. It belongs in covenant. So the spiritual families we're forming has to be places where intimacy is being fostered and it's safe to be in process. Because like with God Himself, we're known as we really are. And we're loved anyway. That is the kind of healing that the world can't take away. I think the timing of the surge of inner healing ministry is really strategic because As the end time bride needs to be clean, healed, strong, ready to go with the bridegroom where he's leading. And we're needed. And we need to be all we now are in Christ. Like Sarah, we need to be able to trust our Lord without being frightened by any fear, because the reality of His redemption in US has touched every unbelieving part of us. Think about Gideon. In order to fulfill his life's calling, he was going to need to believe what God believed about him. He carried a sense of insignificance based on his family, and a sense of defeat based on his experiences. And he wasn't wrong if all we're considering is the natural circumstances. But God saw something Gideon couldn't see. Because he saw who did create who he'd created Gideon to be. Had Gideon continued to see himself according to the flesh, he wouldn't have had the faith to obey God's call. Isn't it interesting that the angel of the Lord begins his encounter with Gideon by shifting his identity, mighty warrior Living from the heart, Jesus gave you the author's say, while you're living from your heart, you may not be able to discover the characteristics of your heart. We have to be able to live from our healed redeemed hearts in this hour. In Galatians, six one, Paul, speaking of those who are overtaken with a sinner trespass says, You who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted, Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. And this is exactly the ministry of inner healing. And it's our privilege of spiritual mothers and fathers. Amen.