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The Path To Peace & Joy

How are we healed?

You know the story:

Where We Come From

An amazing God, who is completely Love, created paradise. Then He created humankind and put them in that paradise. His desire was for all human beings to be free and to live lives full of peace and joy. He created us to develop friendships, fall in love, and build families and communities.

Sadly, the human species was infected with a deadly virus by the Enemy. The entire universe gasped, as it seemed the human species would experience only a fleeting existence in God’s great universe.

The humans had rejected God’s ideas and plans and embraced the Enemy’s ideas and plans, thereby infected with the deadly virus of selfishness.

They were poisoned, and there was no antidote. Even if God had an antidote, would they even take it? Humankind was now afraid of God. Do you trust someone you are afraid of? Neither do I.

Were they doomed to die?

Then, something amazing happened: The Creator gave up His position in heaven and came down to earth as a human being. An infinite God reduced to a finite space.

The universe marveled!

Jesus, God the Son, became the Son of Man, the new representative of the human species.

He lived a life of perfect love, showing us His true character. Everything Jesus did was loving. He treated everyone as a friend, even His enemies. He proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He can be trusted to wield almighty power in governance of the universe.

The Truth About God

He never has and never will use His power in a selfish manner.

On the cross, Jesus proved His love and perfected His human character.

God is love. He loves you.

He secured the remedy that can heal you.

With this knowledge, we are now at a point where we can make a decision: Should I embrace this God who loves me so much? He is trustworthy, but is it worth it? Should I receive the Remedy for my fatal condition, restore me to the original ideal for humankind? Should I accept His invitation to help me live forever in peace and joy in paradise with my friends and family?

It is my great hope that you have at least taken a step toward knowing God. If you still have questions, please join us in the forums or send us a private message on this site or by email.

A Warning

I want to give you a warning and then some encouragement.

First, the warning:

There are many more steps ahead.

That first step was probably the easiest one you will take on this journey. Seeing God for whom He truly is makes it easy to turn toward Him and consider a relationship. He is very attractive that way. He is a God of love, in every way!

And this path would be easy if it were just you and God walking along together.

But you have to fight two things on your way:

  1. Your own selfish nature
  2. The Enemy

By nature, you are selfish. Selfishness is not just a habit; it is who you are.

You do not have to be ashamed of this. You were born this way. A child born sick is not to blame! However, as a grown-up, now you must make a choice.

Imagine if you needed a heart transplant. Would that be easy or difficult for you? Would there be pain involved? Would there be time required for healing? Would there be a prescription and medicines and therapy?

You would experience both physical and mental anguish as you were treated.

However, if this was the only way to save your life, wouldn’t you do it? If temporary discomfort, or even pain, was the only path to complete healing and an eternity of peace and joy in paradise, wouldn’t you choose that path?

Our Selfish Nature

You need a character transplant. Your character is diseased and rotten. It is all about self-gratification, dog-eat-dog, and survival of the fittest.

Jesus has the perfect character you need; so His plan is to slowly graft into you the human character that He has perfected.

Bit by bit, the Holy Spirit helps remove diseased bits of your character and replaces it with bits of Jesus’ pure character. It is a slow process. If it were any faster, you would lose your sense of self. You would lose who you are and, in the process, become somebody else.

God does not want somebody else. He wants you.

God wants you to keep your personality but to heal your character.

Just like a heart transplant is a long road, so is a character transplant.

However, since you know this in advance, it gives you a great advantage.

So here’s what to do when you experience some of the pain and stress of healing:

Keep going.

When you stumble and fall:

Get back up.

It’s that simple. You don’t have to whip yourself. You don’t have to beg on your hands and knees for hours asking God to be merciful.

Just get back up, and keep going.

Do not beat yourself up. Do not cry (for long).

Yes, you will feel sorrowful. Whenever you act selfishly, you will see the contrast between you and Jesus. It will, at times, be shocking. It will be painful. It will be cringe-inducing.

Just get back up, and keep going.

Call out to God. Tell Him you know you messed up. Tell Him you are sorry, and that you did not want to sin. You still need His help!

And God will provide. He will never abandon you. NEVER.

I guarantee it!

You will stumble and you will fall; by which I mean, you will commit acts of selfishness (sin).

And when you do, get back up and keep going.

Think of God as your biggest cheerleader and most excited coach!

You know He wants you to win!

In fact, He promises you will win, if you just keep your eyes on Jesus.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

Look at that verse very closely.

If we take it at face value, it means that you might not be completely healed—Jesus might not finish His good work in you—until the very moment when He returns to planet Earth!

But do not worry! Remember the promise?

YOU WILL WIN, if you just keep your eyes on Jesus!

Listen, I admit I have cried many times on this walk. I have hurt the people I should have been loving with my life. To this day, I cringe at who I used to be—and who I still am!

But I rejoice in who I will be when Jesus finally finishes the good work that He has begun in me! I am able to walk this path with peace and joy in my heart because I know three things:

  1. My past is forgiven.
  2. My present is productive.
  3. My future is secure.

Our Creator is worthy of all praise!

Let us rejoice together!

The Enemy

The other obstacle on this path is the Enemy.

This Enemy is God’s enemy, so He attacks God’s children because he is angry and vindictive. He does not want you to win.

But it’s too late. God has already won for you. Remember?

You just need to keep your eyes on Jesus!

The Enemy is called the “accuser of the brethren” for a reason. He will come at you with accusations about your character.

He will bring up the failures of your past and the present flaws in your character.

Please ignore his accusations. Your past is already forgiven, and your character is a work in progress.

He is a defeated foe, and he knows it.

The only reason he will attack you is that he believes he can still win you over to his side.

He will tell lies like:

  1. God doesn’t exist.
  2. God is selfish.
  3. God cannot love someone like you.
  4. God cannot save you, because you are beyond saving.

These are all lies.

Read them again, and recognize them when the Enemy wields them against you.

Remember these are lies even when you tell yourself these things!

Sometimes, you will ask yourself if you can even be saved. In those moments, ask God for comfort, then look at Jesus. Remember the love God has demonstrated, not only for human beings, but for you specifically. Remember His promises.

The Enemy is a defeated foe. Because he knows his time is short, he will harass you. He will attempt to disrupt your life, your peace, and your joy.

You are safe and secure in the arms of the Creator. Hold on!

Where We Are Going

Since I was first introduced to the God of the Bible, it has taken me twenty years to see Him completely.

You are blessed! If I had known then what I know now about the God of the Bible, I don’t think my journey would have been so bumpy.

I would still have had to deal with the same issues in my character, but I would be on a stronger, more sturdy platform that would allow that healing to take place! I would not have caused so much agony and stress in others. My path would not be littered with the victims of my selfishness.

We are not puppets, however. Yes, God promises to deliver us to heaven completely healed, but we have to be willing to be made well! He will not help us unless we ask for help. He will not force the Remedy on us.

We can do a few things in cooperation with Him to achieve this goal.

It starts with asking Him for help.

I would also encourage you to find a like-minded group of believers and meet with them often, weekly at least. When you join with other followers of Jesus, it is much easier to grow in love. The community will be supportive and helpful as we walk the path together.

I would encourage you to avoid groups that teach old, falsified ideas about God. Of course, nobody has all the answers. Nobody has all the truth. However, some are closer to the truth than others. And if you trust a God of love, we are all on the same path.

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch. We would love to answer any questions you might have!

our Part In God’s Plan

Our part in God’s plan involves three daily actions. These daily actions are simple and very easy to accomplish. The things that will complicate them are our own tendencies to behave selfishly or believe lies about God.

Daily Action One — Pray

Prayer is simply talking with God. That’s it. There is no formal outline required for praying. Talk to God like you would talk to a spouse or best friend.

The Bible encourages us to pray constantly. This is a great goal, but don’t expect to be perfect. If you want to start praying three times a day (or more), great! Go for it!

For the rest of us, it might be easier to start with one prayer a day. When you wake up, talk to God.

You can also talk to God throughout the day! Don’t wait for a set time. Talk to Him any time you have a free moment.

When you pray, always be listening for God’s answers. Initially, you might not recognize God’s voice. However, a conversation, even with God, is a two-way street. Be patient and keep listening. Keep talking to Him. Over time, you will recognize God’s voice.

Daily Action Two — Read the Bible

Read the Bible. Start with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are the first four books of the New Testament. They tell the story of Jesus’ first appearance on earth, from His birth to His death and resurrection.

The Gospels reveal how Jesus interacted with human beings. He treated all He encountered with unconditional love.

He treats you the same way.

By reading the Gospels, you are able to watch Jesus at work. You see what love does.

The Bible says we become like what we perceive (2 Corinthians 3:18). Scientific studies have shown the same.

Do you see why seeing Jesus is so important?

By beholding Jesus every day, you will begin to think and behave like Him!

You will become like the one you watch, so watch the one who loves!

Daily Action Three — Acts of Love

Practice acts of love. When you practice loving others, you replace selfish behavior with selfless behavior. Over time, you will find yourself treating others like Jesus treats you.

In order to practice love, you have to have some idea about how Love thinks and behaves. You get that idea by talking with God and reading the Bible.

In traffic, practice love.

With your ex-spouse, practice love.

With your children, practice love.

With your friends and family, practice love.

With your boss and co-workers, practice love.

With your enemies, practice love.

Becoming more like Jesus is not a matter of gritting your teeth and sweating while you try harder and harder.

It is a matter of talking with God, reading the Bible, and practicing love.

This is the easiest way to get better. When you focus on Jesus, you will get better.

When you focus on trying to stop sinning, where is your focus? On self.

Besides, just because you “stop sinning” does not mean you are better. You might still have selfishness raging in your heart.

Just because you cuss less in traffic doesn’t mean you aren’t still screaming in your head. You will know you have achieved a milestone when you can be patient in traffic and not get angry at all.

God’s goal isn’t to make you stop sinning; it is to change your heart so that you no longer want to!

God wants to accomplish a heart change in you, because that leads to true character and behavioral change.

The Right Request

With that in mind, if you find yourself stumbling with some self-destructive habit, make sure you are asking God for the right thing.

Often, we will ask God to help us stop behaving in a certain way. As we saw above, changing our behavior is not the point.

For example, let us assume you want to stop drinking beer. You want to stop that behavior because God wants you to be healthy and strong, and the alcohol in beer is bad for your brain and body. However, you are struggling with the temptation.

Instead of asking God to help you stop drinking beer, ask God to take away your desire to drink beer.

That is probably one of the hardest prayers I’ve ever prayed. We want what we want because it makes us feel good. Now, we have to pray that God take away the desire for something that makes us feel good?

Over time, we realize that God’s way of love is best. We trust that His recommendations for health and well-being are intended for our best good.

For example, nutrition science continues to show us that sugary drinks are very bad for our health. We cannot continue to consume sugary drinks and expect to have healthy bodies capable of growing in love.

So, if you struggle with something, instead of asking God to change your behavior (which He cannot do, anyway, since you are not a puppet), ask Him to heal your mind so you no longer have a desire for that thing.

May you experience the many blessings God has for you as you bless those around you!

Amen!

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