“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5 (NIV)
I look at my journal, that precious place where God and I meet, and I see a great, big “SHOULD” button flashing in my brain. I try to pick up my pen, but I can’t start to write. Shaking my head, I drop the pen back on the desk and push away the journal. “No,” my insides shout, “not now,” so I sigh and turn to face the lush green woods outside my office window. Something tight, something heavy, blocks my wonder, my creativity, my productivity; I can’t even finish the simplest of tasks. I can almost feel a physical grip on my heart.
“Oh, just do it,” my earnest evangelical friend (whose voice resides firmly in my head) exhorts. “Don’t think and introspect; Only start, and the rest will follow.”
Fair enough. Plenty of times, my mountain is moved by small ant-sized accomplishments. But this is not one of those times. I know myself. This lack of rest, driven busyness, and restless non-work are not driven by a lack of will. Gutting it out may work as a short term prod, but never as a long-term solution.
“Ah,” my charismatic friend might say, “Your symptoms scream ‘enemy’! His hallmarks, right there, holding you back! Pray against that stronghold!”
Maybe. In truth he is undoubtedly at work. But that’s not where to start, not by a long shot. Instead, I think about my reactions: my busyness, the piles of work I can’t complete, the immobilization that halts my every start. The busyness isn’t my enemy—it’s just a coping mechanism.
What really lies at the heart?
Lurking beneath my roadblocks are usually deeper issues—reasons I don’t stop, or don’t rest, or can’t accomplish. Unearthing those reasons will free me to move forward—or step back—intentionally.
Ironically, pondering will have to lead to journaling, that thing I don’t want to do because I’m afraid of what I will find. Yes, that’s one block: I’m afraid to rest and find out what’s lurking because I surely won’t like my own sin, or the sin done against me. Perhaps I won’t like the solution, either. Can I trust that the word the Lord speaks will heal and not destroy. Another block, surely.
But underneath is yet another lie. A bigger one, sucking me dry. I know it’s there, and I know the process: find the lie, discover where it came from, and pray for healing. Listen to what the Lord says, and feel His presence changing my perspective surrounding its birth. He pours grace and peace over the still-throbbing ulcer and the pain subsides. He heals the wound and changes my heart, and my body and soul return to rest. Gladly.
I don’t know what it is yet. I can’t tell you what the offending lie is, nor where it came from. But I promise you this: I will not rest, cannot rest, until it is found. Jesus and I… we will find that thing that chokes me, and Jesus will dissolve it.
And so I’m off on a lie-hunt. And what about you? Do you hunt, too?
Let’s hunt together, you and I. We all have those callouses of long-forgotten lies, built up to protect our vulnerable hearts. Now they hurt instead, keeping us from all that Jesus brings: healing, restoration, and rest.
Can we join forces here? What are the lies that hold you back? What healing will free you and destroy them?