Sometimes for us to move forward we have to look backwards. Do you ever feel as if you want to move forward, but it's like something is holding you back? You feel chained to a stake firmly embedded in the ground which is holding you against your deepest desire.
It's a feeling many of us identify with and one I certainly know a bit about. As you may know from reading my books or listening to me talk, my dad was killed in a car accident when I was ten years old. One day, about thirty years later, in my heart, I was led back to that time and I know the Father healed my heart. It was during a week when I discovered that God was my real Father and that he wanted to be a Father to me. This meant receiving and experiencing the Father's love for me, it meant dealing with the loss and rejection and allowing my heart to come home. It was the reality of stepping into the Father's embrace and being held by him.
My heart was healed as a result of me being loved. Too often we seek the healing of our heart, we are desperate and we do need our hearts healed. But, by only seeking our healing we avoid what we really need. We need to be loved. We need to be held in the Father's embrace. We need God to be a Father to us. As we are loved, it is an inevitable consequence that our heart will be healed.
How long did that encounter take? Twenty minutes! I wish all such encounters could be as quick, but often we have to give ourselves to the process of being loved and letting change grow in our heart.
Two years after my dad died I went to boarding school. In many ways it was old fashioned, had strong discipline and was firmly rooted in developing good character. It was about being responsible and making sure the desired standard was always achieved.
I left school at age eighteen and became very involved in my local church. I brought with me that same mindset: performance, achievement, doing the right thing.
A few years ago I felt the Father say I needed a deeper homecoming. Instantly, I knew it was about boarding school and in my mind I hoped it would all be resolved within twenty minutes. Well, it took about three years.
Last summer my old school had a reunion. It was almost forty years to the day since I'd left and I'd only been back there on one other occasion (I'd actually preached in the school chapel).
I went to the reunion and, do you know, I had a great time. I met guys I'd not seen for forty years, we reminisced and talked about our school days as if it were yesterday. Some of the things people said to me were surprising, yet comforting and reassuring. I even looked into the eyes of one guy who'd bullied me and, with humour and goodwill, told him what he'd done. As I drove into the school gates I felt Father say "you've come back as a son".
When I drove away at the end of the afternoon, I knew it had been a significant time. More than that, it showed me the fruit of the healing that has come as I've walked as a son to my Heavenly Father.
To move forward, we need to look back. In Joshua 10 there is a story of Joshua defeating the armies of five enemy nations. He and his allies chase the armies and eventually defeat them. On the way, though, the cowardly kings of these armies go and hide in a cave. Joshua knows that's what they've done but he also knows it's not the time to deal with them. So he has a large stone rolled over the entrance to the cave.
After he has defeated the enemy armies he comes back to the cave, brings the kings out and deals with them. His victory was not complete until the kings in the cave had been dealt with. To move forward, he had to go back.
It's the same for us. We pursue freedom and a journey with Father but we leave the real issues of our heart locked in a cave. For us to move forward we have to go back and deal with the kings. The good news is, we don't have to do it in our own strength. In fact, we don't do it at all. Yes, we have to be willing but it's the Father who deals with the kings on our behalf. Our heart is restored from the secure place of being loved and held in the Father's embrace.
Sometimes the kings in our life are all too self evident, sometimes we need the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us. My experience is that when I look for the king I want to deal with it myself. I'm learning to rest in love and let the Father take me to those things that he wants to deal with. He only does it when he knows I'm ready. For me, the key has been to make love my greatest aim and to allow God to be a Father to me. As I am fathered, so I change.
Living Freely and Lightly
Jesus promises that, when we come to him and allow him to lead us to the Father, we will begin to live freely and lightly.
© COPYRIGHT 2021:
Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU