Synopsis of the Lessons: Matters of the Heart
The 24 Main Healing Lessons
For bringing our hearts to God and receiving His Heart for us
1) The Spiritual Roots of Disease
Medical science has conclusively demonstrated that emotional stress is the root issue for most of our diseases. Living in the peace of Christ is the antidote for emotional stress. Therefore cleansing our heart of such issues is a third legitimate path to healing—the first two being prayer and going to doctors. This medical insight is a wakeup call to everyone in the Body of Christ to learn to live free of negative emotions (carried from the past or present).
2) Truth or Consequences
We see by science and the Bible that all negative emotions are not only stressful to the body, they are also sinful conditions of the heart before God since they drive out the peace of Christ. Where then is God in all of this? What can His attitude be towards us if unrighteousness is such a common thing as living under emotional stress? And how is a thoroughly loving God correcting the world?
3) The Keys to the Kingdom
Jesus gives His disciples keys of access to the Kingdom of God on earth. His Kingdom reign is meant to come to earth through our prayers and our trusting and obedient hearts and lives. What is the Kingdom? What is living in it like—especially in terms of the emotional life? How do we get locked out—so that we need keys to regain access? What are the keys and how do we apply them?
4) Kingdoms in Conflict
The Kingdom of God is opposed by yet another invisible realm—the kingdom of darkness, ruled over by Satan and his demons. We are warned repeatedly about this kingdom in the New Testament and admonished to be aware of the enemy's ways so that we can resist him. What are evil spirits and how do they have power and influence over us? How can we become free of their interference in our life?
5) Separation from Sin
Again the question is asked: how does God see us? If the penetration of the two kingdoms is a deeply rooted, often shifting tug of war going on in our emotional life, what is Father God's attitude toward us especially when the enemy seems to be getting the upper hand over our emotions? On this question hangs our hope for an established heart—we need to learn to see ourselves as God sees us!
6) The Pathway of Temptation
We are not the author of our own waywardness! The tempter is real and we need to understand how his kingdom works upon us. The process of temptation is not initially to outward acts of unrighteousness (in word or deed) but to inward unrighteous states for it is out of the heart that evil deeds precede. What are the steps of temptation? What is the enemy's main purpose in temptation? What is our place of refuge and power?
7) Steps to Freedom
God has given us the pathway of repentance to counter the pathway of temptation. Freedom may be hard won at times but the promise of it is real—and this applies equally to the inner life besieged by negative emotions as well as to our outward life entrapped in fruitless patterns. These eight steps are God given means of enabling us to return to Him and the promised place of refreshing in His presence.
8) Beholding the True Image
Two images fell when Adam fell. In coming to earth Jesus not only has restored to our hearts the true Image of what God the Father is like, but He is also restoring to us the lost vision of what we are like—in our full (not fallen) humanity. We are transformed by beholding Him. This is because what we behold we bear (carry) and the image we carry (in our heart of hearts) begins to be “birthed” into our lives. This principle is so powerful that it is the means the Father is using to rescue the earth.
9) Our True Identity
So important is this reality of image bearing that any distorted image of self we harbor will hinder and even cripple our walk with the Lord. Our emotional life becomes liberated as we learn to recognize who we really are in Christ. Whatever is not like Christ within us is not our true, reborn self either. We can learn to recognize and renounce all that is not Christ within and separate ourselves from life patterns that grew in us out of our contact with the fallen world around us.
10) The Father's Love
The image that we carry in our heart of hearts of Father God will determine how we seek Him, how we think about ourselves, how we act towards others. We become like the image we bear—especially the image carried deep inside. For many of us this image has been distorted by Adam's nature, earthly parents, and even misguided church teachings. Jesus came to reveal to us what the Father is really like by both His life and His death. Our emotional life depends upon beholding the Father's love.
Why is it that the flesh is often such a problem to us? Our flesh has been crucified with Christ, but wherever we have had habitual agreements with negative emotions (sins) we likely have built up strongholds in our flesh that now resist the Spirit given life of grace. Such strongholds as generational sin, unbelief, accusation, bitterness, trauma, rejection, unloving, envy/jealousy, the occult, fear and addictions have to be brought down (crucified by us) for those areas of the flesh to be laid to rest.
12) Generational Sin (the initial stronghold)
The first stronghold that any child encounters are those sins and their consequences that are coming down through the generations which comprise their family system. We can learn to recognize and fall out of agreement with such generational patterns, but it must be through forgiveness, love and acceptance of the ones whom the Father chose to be our heritage—for the sake of the generational blessings He wants us to receive and walk in.
13) The Power of Believing (the stronghold of unbelief)
As Christians we have unquestionably had our eyes opened by faith to behold the Lord of Glory. But have we been blinded by the light? We believe, but often we are captured by unbelief in ways that we don't recognize and therefore cannot resist. The scriptures promise joy and peace—real victory over the negative emotions—to those who believe, so it is evident that there are things God is challenging us to believe about the Truth of His Word which we haven't yet grown into sufficiently.
14) Discerning the Enemy (the stronghold of accusation)
The enemy began his attack in the garden by sowing doubt regarding the trust-worthiness of God's word and character. These convincing accusations continue to this day and out of them grow the areas of separation (from God, self, and others) which are the root issues of our emotional distress as well as our diseases. We must learn to recognize the voice of the accuser, if we are to live free of feelings of condemnation and become intercessors (not accusers) for others.
15) Freedom through Forgiveness (the stronghold of bitterness)
Listening to and agreeing with the enemy's accusing thoughts towards others (coming from within ourselves or from others) leads to un-forgiveness, the initial stage of a root of bitterness. This powerful stronghold is not only a great obstacle to prayer and spiritual growth, it is also a root cause for so much of our incurable illnesses. There are 5 great motivations for forgiving and 10 steps of forgiveness that really work for those who are willing to work them.
16) Mending the Broken Heart (the stronghold of trauma)
Untruth broke the world. Untruth has been breaking hearts and lives ever since. The truth about trauma is that Jesus has come to mend the brokenhearted and that all emotional trauma can be mended by the One who said that we would know (have intimate knowledge of) the truth and that the truth would set us free. There are 5 ways by which the Lord mends emotional trauma. The setting free is a process, often painful. We have to be committed in bringing our hearts to the Lord for cleansing.
17) Accepted in the Beloved (the stronghold of rejection)
Feelings of rejection by others are among the most painful and damaging emotions we can experience for they often lead to distorted images of self and unfruitful coping patterns that can become deeply etched into our personalities. The Lord's antidote for rejection is to reveal the total forgiveness and acceptance of the Father and then to enable us by His Spirit to shift our hearts from seeking the approval of man (the sin of idolatry) to discovering and resting in the perfect love of God.
18) Love Thyself! (the stronghold of self-rejection)
Crossing the hurdle of self-acceptance into emotional maturity has become a huge obstacle for many. The pain of rejection by others often cause us to become rejecting of ourselves. The fear of rejection by God often leads to great insecurity about ourselves. True love of self cannot thrive in either climate. Because Jesus has commanded that we shall love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we have God's permission to learn to rightly love ourselves. Learning to do this brings incredible peace.
19) Godly Contentment (the stronghold of envy and jealousy)
Only the faith awareness of perfect love received into the heart provides the protection we need against comparisons with others through envy and jealousy. Since this stronghold began growing out of a sense of “getting less than others” (or what we imagined we deserved or needed), God's antidote is for us to grow a great trust that our loving Father is a perfect provider of all that we really need.
20) Exposing the Darkness (the stronghold of the occult)
Like trauma the occult is a door point for the enemy to enter our lives with lies and emotional bondage, but unlike our experience of traumatic events, we may never have realized that we were crossing a line that would damage us. The enemy's kingdom thrives on what is hidden in the dark. The occult realm has to do with forbidden means of predicting the future, forbidden means of contacting the dead and forbidden means of accessing spiritual power.
21) Fear Not! (the stronghold of fear)
Fear is a giant seeking to block entry to a daily life lived in the peace and joy of the Kingdom and to the pursuit of our high calling and assignments. Fear can be held in place by bitterness, by unmended trauma, by the occult, and by false images of God—among others things. We will all need to learn ways to recognize and overcome fear if we are to enjoy the abundant life we have been promised.
22) No More Idols! (the stronghold of addiction)
Addicts are not a special class of people. All of us have sinned and fallen very far short of the glory of God and need great grace. Anything in our life that is not of God (consider the emotional strongholds) and that we cannot just say no to, has become a besetting sin for us (it trips us up whenever it shows up) and needs to be overcome. All besetting sins/addictions are held in place by three powerful lies: the lie of the broken heart, the lie of the distorted image and the lie of the idol.
23) Spiritual Warfare 101
We have all been issued hearts the way recruits in boot camp have been issued rifles, but unless we learn how to keep them clean and well-guarded our hearts can become a weapon in the enemy's hand that is used against God, self and others. There are two primary works of the Father that go on 24/7 for our conformation and transformation into a life like Jesus lived. But the enemy has read the book, knows this, and has 2 very effective counter strategies. Engage the battle for your heart!
24) Christ Conscious Guidance
The point of becoming free of the strongholds that resist the Spirit given life of grace is not to get free and then walk away. We have been set free so that we can live in greater union with Jesus through His Spirit. The new creation life works by 100% grace and by 100% guidance. We have all been guided by the Lord in many ways all of our lives; we need to learn to recognize and cooperate with those “un-self-conscious” ways. He also has many ways of leading us as we consciously seek His guidance.