We have a special task ahead of us as we begin our Grace Bible Chapel reVision Project. This will be the beginning of our TLC project for our chapel. We will need all hands on deck and would love to have you join in with a little or a lot of help. Food & housing provided. Roll up your sleeves and jump in!
Here are some abbreviated draft notes from a message we preached Sunday in Philly. This is part 2 from last Sunday on Toxic Relationships. Next Sunday will be part 3 of the series and will be on Deliverance & Healing from Toxicity in the Soul & in Relationships.
Mark 7:20-23 - Amplified Bible And He said, What comes out of a man is what makes a man unclean and renders [him] unhallowed. 21 For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, 22 Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride ( the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness). 23 All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.
The toxicity that we all see in relationships come all too often from our own toxic heart. The toxic heart in the Bible is the heart in Ezekiel 36.26 where all the pollutants of Mark 7:20-23 can be found in everyman's heart.
God wants to replace this heart with a new heart. He gives a soft heart that is tuned to the frequency of God's thoughts and impulses - Jer 24.7
Toxic thinking begins anytime our thought process excludes God's Grace and we exit Faith thinking.
Toxic thinking is something that finds root when we surrender to toxic influences in 4 areas of life: 1. Commercial philosophy 2. Carnal Entertainment & worldly social trends 3. Toxic People 4. Man-Made Religion
Toxic thinking leads to:
1. Toxic emotions: >Bitterness and resentment >Envy and comparison >Anger and rage >Fear and worry >Resident Guilt & permeating shame.
3. Toxic behavior >Impulsive - Compulsive >Lack of focus, concentration >Addictive habits >Neurological & Pathological >Weak Character - lying, etc
4. Toxic words: >Lethal conversation
Points on Toxicity in the soul. 1. Before we deal with toxicity in other's we must learn to guard the heart by hiding His word in our heart.
2. Any area of our soul that we do not surrender to the cross is an area that will become toxic and corrupt the inside of the soul.
3. Toxicity oozes from un-healed wounds in the soul. Past relationships, betrayals, post-separation, or wounds caused by toxic people need to be addressed with applying forgiveness and prayer for those people. Otherwise the wound remains painful to touch & festers for decades to come.
4. Toxicity can be transferred from mother to daughter, father to son and even from partner to partner. It is transferred through the soul to another unguarded heart where it is emotionally embedded like an old shipwreck embedded in the bottom of the sea.
5. Toxicity causes bitter waters and anyone that drinks from them poisons themselves unknowingly. Guard your heart, Apply the cross in any toxic area of the soul. The cross is the healer.
The Cross - The healer of Toxic Waters in the Soul. "And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord, and the Lord showed him a TREE, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet."—Exodus 15:23-25.
In these past two weeks I have gotten several calls and emails about dear friends that are in such extreme pain that they feel they will lose their sanity. After prayer the Lord gave me a few thoughts I'd like to pass on.
"Before I was afflicted I went astray." - David the Psalmist
In our culture bent on pleasure people fear pain. Pain today is not accepted, pain is inconvenient, has no purpose, and not beneficial. Pain is considered a thief that steals. Today pain is treated with "pain killers" which may help somewhat but do not numb the soul pain that accompanies physical pain. Drugs and anti-depressants do not address the deep pain of the soul - but compound it. Many people have discovered that pain that God allowed in their life - whether seen or unseen - has become their greatest asset in their spirituality.
Basically the purpose of pain is to prepare us to receive something radically beautiful from God. Extreme pain and suffering brings the soul to a boiling point so all the impurities embedded in the soul rise to the top. God then removes these impurities of fear, anger, bitterness, and unbelief so that our soul is free from these elements that harm the health of our soul. When we are in extreme pain, don't strive in your spirituality; we should become very quiet in our soul and not try to say a lot to God or people. We should be quiet before God and still. People generally do not understand other's pain and often give poor counsel or even may say hurtful things that are so far from the Mind of God. People who have not suffered themselves or avoid pain in His Plan, lack a depth in their lives and cannot effectively counsel others in pain. Because of the few that voluntarily permit God to lead them into suffering there are few that know how to counsel the hurting. In your pain just allow God to love you and quietly speak to you. While in deep pain, there is the temptation to think subjectively in a sense of accusation, isolation, dependency, & loneliness, but learn to allow the truth of Isaiah 63.9 bear you up: In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. For those who allow God to lead them into the valley of the shadow of death must remember that it's just that, a shadow of death.
Many questions come to our mind in pain. These questions must be stilled before the Everlasting Wise God who loves us. All these questions will be answered in time. As He delivered those 3 Hebrews while in the furnace, so he delivers our soul while in pain and not from pain. What God shows you in pain may be something that is not easily communicated to others until they themselves are suffering. After the horrible pain has ended we sense a cleansing and we trust Him and know Him more and he heals us from the scars of the pain that may linger in the soul.
When we suffer we have such a greater capacity of empathy with the ability to counsel and encourage other's suffering and pain. Remember, if someone permits the Lord of Psalm 23 to take them by the hand and lead them into suffering - the pain will translate into an exclusive reward and joy in what Paul the apostle called "the fellowship of His sufferings". After the suffering you will have the same confession as Job in the last chapter of his book: 42.5 "I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You."
Here are some draft notes from part 1 of a message we preached at Grace Bible Chapel (ggcphila.org) on Toxic Relationships.
Proverbs 14.1 is a tell tale verse describing healthy relationships and toxic ones. "the wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands"
People; women or men, who suffer a poor self image and hold a low value of their own soul can attract toxic personalities that are either controlling, manipulative, con-artists, betrayers, fault-finders, prying, narcissistic, abusive, promise breakers, accusative, possessive, dangerous, angry, religiously cultic, jealous, manic, deceptive, & that will continually tear down. These people will convince a needy person that has low-confidence in themselves that everything is their fault in the dis-functionalities of the relationship. Toxic people steal people's life energy and eventually their lives and their uniqueness in who they are in God's eyes. Toxic people may actually prey on needy men or women that are hungry for love & acceptance.
The truth of God's love is the most vital nutrition of the soul, The human soul feeds on this love and this love is like sunshine that makes the soul bloom in God's wonderful plan and grace. Needy people that are not filled with the fullness of God's love, truth and purpose, are people that are hungry, they are searching for meaningful relationships on the interent, at work, at school, in church; that will feed their deficit for love. But they will go from relationship to relationship seeking for what they will never find: eternal unconditional love only found in God. This is what we call deficit motivation in relationship. Deficit motivation produces co-dependence in a relationship that is not healthy, and the relationship becomes an end in it self. This is a cursed relationship that will never experience satisfaction and promote individual growth and joy.
A mal-nutritioned soul starving for love may not actually believe that they are worthy of a healthy relationship because of resident guilt and they may remain in a poisonous relationship believing that that is actually what they deserve. Even if they understand the toxicity of the relationship, they may lack the courage to break free of it or get counsel. This is bondage. It's a soul based relationship conscious only of itself and what it wants, nothing in consideration of the other. It is a "serve me relationship" and not a "let me serve you love". There is no spiritual content in the relationship and that ends in the downward spiral of the relationship into self- destruction.
Just as Proverbs 14.1 describes, a toxic person (in this case in the verse we see it is a woman) is a person that tears down anything that has value in their life and is not interested in building anything eternal and lasting in God's eyes in the relationship. That is because the toxic person is themselves be-shelved in their soul.
Signs of a toxic relationship: 1. Co-dependence to the point of the loss of personal individuality & freedom in Christ 2. Manipulation with guilt and emotional tantrums 3. Abusive, negative words that persistently tear down 4. No selflessness, but rather an ego-centric or narcissistic orientation in communication & behavior. 5. Insincere behavior - lying, stealing, betrayal, and promise-breaking. 6. Jealousy that manifests itself in continual prying; "where were you?" "who were you with?". Also invading personal property or information. 7. Over sensitivity due to unhealed wounds festering in the soul. 8. Unwillingness to allow freedom to be who someone is in the church or among friends & family. 9. A forced withdrawal from the church, family, friends, with the accusation "you don't love me" 10. A continual downward depression of low self-esteem, hopelessness, and feeling smothered & trapped.
A healthy relationship is one we see illustrated through Christ who is the best lover of your soul because He was the creator of it. He laid his life down to the shedding of His own Blood in obedience to His Father's love - Philippians 2 is a classic chapter on a healthy relationship between the Father and His only son and between each other in the church. The church is to be the place where an environment is provided by the Holy Spirit and the Word of Grace for people to courageously discover who they are in Christ as a new creation and what God's gifted them to do in their high and holy calling.
- P.Christian Moore
Enjoy a video of what Greater Grace Ministry is doing by God's enablement in Philly!
Today as we celebrate our nation's birthday we have a keen underlying persuasion of what true freedom is. The true freedom we rejoice in is that we have been set free from the slavery of the bondage that the Law of Moses brought in accentuating the law of sin and death. Romans 8.2-3 is our Declaration of Independence: "For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [ the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [ subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice]." We are now free to love God, His Plan, & His People!