Have you ever said no, I’m not having it. I won’t be hurt that way anymore. Or, no, I’m never going to be subjected to this kind of stress and strain again. I know I certainly have.
Growing up always involves some mix of pain and life lessons that sets the stage for how we manage and function in the world. We may have drawn lines in the sand declaring we would not experience certain feelings ever again (such as pain, anxiety, sorrow, and so on), and, on the unseen, spiritual level, these declarations were put into effect.
Resolving to not feel pain or sorrow or be duped — yet again — can actually harm us because these kinds of vows have unintended consequences. When we block our negative senses, we also block our positive senses. Our capacity to experience joy and beauty then mirrors our capacity to experience pain.
By making these kinds of inner vows, we give the enemy the legal right to mess with our emotions. The enemy has power but no authority unless we give it to him. Jesus had joy as his goal while he endured the cross. He was able to see joy ahead because there was no legal place in him for unhealthy, sinful emotions to land.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
To experience this kind of freedom and joy, we must:
- Admit we have been wrong to make willful declarations about our emotions and what we will or will not feel.
- Erase the lines we’ve drawn in the sand and give God permission to guide our emotional lives.
- Tell the enemy to vacate the premises because he no longer has the legal right to mess with us in these areas.
- Stand firm in the truth and word of God. Christ has the power and authority to forgive us. He cleanses, redeems, and restores our emotions.
- Receive God’s forgiveness and welcome his loving kindness and mercy.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
We can experience the freedom of feeling all our emotions, including joy and pain, and know that God is good.
This has been my experience. I have been taking my authority in Christ and have found the most unexpected joy and tenderness in my spirit to beauty and sorrow. It is the Lord reordering and restoring me emotionally as he aligns me with his truth.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.(Psalm 34:8)