Names of God

Bible Study notes: Jehovah-rapha The Lord Who Heals

When I ask for healing I usually ask for healing of physical needs. I am selfish. I want to be comfortable in this world. So I want to be healed of aches and pains. I also pray for healing for emotional aches and pains. But I RARELY pray for healing of my sinful heart. Why? Because that would mean examining my heart and admitting to my sin. AND that can lead to guilt and/or shame.

This week we talked about what God can heal.  We saw that He has the power to heal sickness, broken hearts, and even our broken spirit damaged by sin.

I have a few posts related to what God heals.  You can click here and here to read those.

Today in Bible study, we actually talked about the consequences of sin.  And our need for healing in this regard.

Today we opened up the fridge and grabbed that one tupperware in the back…you know the one.  The one that no one know what it holds inside.  The one you don’t even want to open.  Often times we just throw this tupperware away.  But today we are going to open it up, see what is inside, and ask God to clean it out.

We have talked about God as Lord, Adonai.

If we are to call upon Him as Lord, then we must be obedient to His Will.

Throughout our study we have gone back to week one’s definition of our purpose in life.

To glorify God: which we defined as living our lives in such a way that other people have a correct estimate or opinion of who God is.  Do we really reflect the glory of God to others?

This is a huge burden.  Do we really understand/grasp the magnitude of this?  Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

No pressure, right?  How can we ever live up to that standard?

To start our discussion let’s look at what sin in.

The word sin is an archery term.  It means to miss the mark.  Essentially anything that isn’t a perfect bulls eye is sin.  Pretty easy and pretty convicting definition.

When I initially walked through this lesson, I thought we could talk about how God likes to show off.  Focus more on the story where Jesus says the blind man was born blind so that God could be glorified.  And we can talk through this, but what about all the other verses that talked about physical ailments coming as a result of sin.

When I ask for healing I usually ask for healing of physical needs.  I am selfish.  I want to be comfortable in this world.  So I want to be healed of aches and pains.  I also pray for healing for emotional aches and pains.  But I RARELY pray for healing of my sinful heart.  Why?  Because that would mean examining my heart and admitting to my sin.  AND that can lead to guilt and/or shame.

Before we get into examining our sin, let’s look at two buzz words surrounding sin: Guilt vs Shame

I have heard in many churches that guilt is of the devil, but I do not agree.  I believe shame is of the devil.

Guilt, I am going to define more as conviction.  Guilt helps us recognize that we have messed up.  It makes us feel “yucky” about the situation, and motivates us to not feel “yucky” again.  Therefore, it helps motivate us to make a different decision the next time.  Guilt addresses a decision we made.  We made a poor decision, we don’t want to make that decision again.  Therefore we are motivated to put practices or safe guards in place so that we don’t make that decision again.

Shame on the other hand, does not tell us we made a bad decision.  Shame tells us we are bad person.  Shame leads to self-loathing, self-hatred.  And therefore, rather than overcoming the “sin” we cannot see past it.  Shame tells us we won’t be able to overcome the sin.  Shame tells us we will never be strong enough to make a different decision.  Therefore, shames contributes to us repeating the cycle of sin, leading to more self-hatred.  Shame tells us that we are no good, that we aren’t worthy of God’s promises. Shame tells me that even though Jesus died for me, I am not worthy of that kind of love.  So I am not really forgiven. So we keep on living in sin, rather than reaching out to the only One who can truly heal us.

That is why the cross is so important.  God is Jehovah-rapha, the God who heals.  He could not heal our souls without the death and resurrection of His Son.

Again, we cannot be healed without the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus did not stay because Jesus while on earth he could only be in one place at a time.  So He returned to heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to us.  When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit.  And he begins to mold us, to shape us into more of Christ’s image.

So as we examine our hearts, we do not have to be afraid.  Because we are not the source of healing for our sin.  Jesus is.

How do we overcome this?

In October at Mugs & Muffins we talked using the Bible as a workbook rather than a textbook.

One way to do that in regards to sin is to look at Scripture and let the Scripture penetrate your heart.  As I wrestle through sin in my own life, I like to look at the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Pasted from <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians+5%3A22-23&version=NIV>

This week at Bible study, we took time to look at the fruits of the Spirit.  {keyword:Spirit}

As we try to conquer sin in our lives we need to replace sin with a new habit.  We cannot do this on our own.  That is why we should pursue the fruit of the {SPIRIT}.

Kay challenged us in our study to pray for God to examine our hearts.  One way we can do that is to walk through Galatians 5:22-23 and ask God for guidance in how we can practically put these attributes into practice in our lives everyday!

So here is what I suggest:

Grab a note book or piece of paper and write:

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Faithfulness

Gentleness

Self-control

Then over the course of a day or a week, pray through these and ask God to show you how you can live these out in your life  Write down what God shows you.

The cool thing about this is instead of focusing on what you are trying to avoid…which only makes you want to do it more, you are focusing on what you are trying to achieve through the strength of the COUNSELOR that Jesus sent as our Helper…the  Holy Spirit!

So instead of praying, “God help me not snap at my kids today.”  I could pray, “God please let me display kindness to my children today by ___________.” {you fill in the blank}

God has so much for us to take a hold of.  Let us turn from our sin and fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith!

Just a note:  We will not be meeting next week .  So the following week we will discuss chapter 10.

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