When, after his self-directed pep talk, Jason Vallotton hit me with the "Dave, you are a great man of God but I wouldn't want your life. You don't take care of your body or your soul and that's wrong"; I found myself struggling through a balance of knowing he was speaking truth but being totally caught off guard with the statements.
Jason continued both generously speaking about my spirit man, but also prophetically noting how I had been warring against illegal statements that have been playing in my ears from my earliest days. How that internal warfare had actually turned me into becoming a physical warrior. Jason spoke deep into my inner being about things only those who have walked where I have walked were aware of.
Jason honored a decade old turn away from warring against flesh and blood to me now being one who wars against powers and principalities. However, he noted that it was still a life committed to war not peace. Aware that I have been struggling with an auto-immune disease that was bent on taking away my mobility and energy, he said actually my body saying "enough" and was crying out for rest.
I sat parked long after Jason left to return to Redding, Ca. Grateful for the young man's faithfulness and appreciative of his willingness to speak, yet without a grid for how to process what he had spoken. Indeed, the Holy Spirit needs to guide us through such places.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Holy Spirit showed me I had shaped portions of my personality around a fictitious character. Someone who I wanted to be, but not necessarily who God created me to be. I had given the fictitious characters the job of protecting me from the mocking voices in my head telling me I was weak, a failure, and unworthy for any gift from God. (read part I from this series).
Here are six things I've learned.
1. Identify soul wounds. Such wounds show up in our behaviors such as consistent domineering or subservient behavior, outbursts of anger, inability to handle correction, self-absorbed mindsets, consistently negative outlook, escapism, angry with God-self-others, low self esteem. loner tendencies, out of balance giving or receiving etc. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal than write down the soul wound (s) you discover.
2. Cut yourself some slack. You are in great company. This is a big "me too" says everyone. As Graham Cooke says, God works from our present fullness to our future completion and so should we. Dealing with soul wounds will be a process that should be driven by a desire to live an abundant and joy filled life. Feelings of guilt, shame or accusation should be dealt with and removed.
3. Go through the steps of forgiveness. Unable to come up with a name, I petitioned heaven to hold no sin against any other human on my account (John 20:23) and asked for forgiveness for sin tendencies the Holy Spirit revealed to me. (1 John 1:9). I followed this up with taking communion.
4. Get a partner named Jesus. Read Isaiah chapters 53 and 61.
5. Monitor progress and allow a close friend to help. When my personality is influenced by a soul wound, I want a few (2-3 with one of them being my wife) to help me see it.
6. These steps shouldn't be skipped. I had mistakenly thought I had dealt with these wounds through the spirit part of "body, soul, spirit (1 Thess 5:23). All I had done was sidestep them:)
Love you all tons but Father God loves you tons more. He has an abundant, joy filled life reserved for you and I.