Throughout my ministry, I have had to deal with believers whose lives have fallen apart spiritually. Some of them have seen their marriages crumble or they have given in to sin addictions that surfaced and destroyed their credibility as a Christ-follower, or a leader, or a pastor. Though each had signaled there was something wrong before the explosion, it appears that nothing that any outside friend or leader said or did got at the real issues soon enough and deep enough to help.
I have received some pointed questions from others who came to know of these sad cases. Why aren’t seemingly mature people more submissive and obedient to Jesus in such matters? Why don’t these people seek help and fellowship before this kind of stuff happens? I realize that each of these questions is worth asking. But the real question is much more basic – Why do people ignore the chance to draw closer to God and let Him heal them in their deepest places before Satan uses their unfinished business to destroy them and their families and rob them of the joy of their salvation?
Some of you who are reading this are close to the same kind of precipice. You have unfinished business. If you are alive in this world, whether you are a newer Christian or a seasoned saint, you have unresolved soulish business that is a time bomb waiting to go off in your life, your home and your church fellowship. Whether it is out where everyone can see it for the looking or buried under layers of an efficient and successful lifestyle, the unfinished business of your inner self continues to make its mark on you until you intentionally choose to see it rooted out. This is always a painful process. If you ignore it, it will terrorize you. If you face it, it will fight you to the death. But it must be done or the unfinished business of your life will do what you secretly fear – bring destruction into your world and, even worse, rob you of becoming the person you were created to be by God.
What exactly is unfinished business? It is simply whatever unresolved emotional, mental, or spiritual baggage we continue to carry. It is what traps us into living out our life in unhealthy ways, hiding behind the mask of “I’m okay.” Or at a lower level, “I’ll survive.” Unfinished business is the monster that lives under our bed, bodies hidden in our cellar, skeletons in our closet, secrets not told. It is the unsettled issues that we avoid even now dealing with – or deny that those issues even still exist in us, as if they were ancient history. These are issues from our past that we have never let anyone, including God, touch.
You may think about getting healthy, of seeking relief from the pressures unfinished business create in your life, but you never really take step one to deal with it. By this I mean decisions that will put you into a healing process with God. So let me ask you as a fellow believer – why do you risk all that you love by not letting God deal with your most closely guarded secrets – some so secret that you yourself have not ever been aware of their presence in your soul?
I have noticed over the years that those who lead in God’s Church tend to become involved in the mess of others’ unfinished business only after the bomb explodes. I want to suggest that we consider taking a different path from here on out. I suggest that we start dealing now with our own unfinished business so that we can rolemodel the kind of spiritual life Jesus promised. That through our own transparent process with God we draw others away from destruction and towards freedom and healthy emotions, true spirituality and the renewing of their minds.
How do we do start? Here are a few affirmations that we all must grab hold of as we begin this ongoing process to let Jesus explore and heal the hidden recesses of our souls.
- First, affirm God’s purpose for your life. God is in the process of conforming you into the image of His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29). So you are not just traveling to the plateau of being good enough, but you are on a journey to be changed into His likeness.
- Second, affirm that God is using all that happened to you as a part of this process, even the bad stuff (Romans 8:28). This is not just the tragedies and triumphs in your current life, but includes all that has happened to you since the day you were born, even the parts you do not want to remember.
- Third, affirm that God is love and that nothing hidden in your life puts Him off or will keep Him from completing His purpose for your life (Ephesians 3:17-19).
- Fourth, affirm That God puts you into a faith community for this very reason (Galatians 6:1-2). You will need to find others to join with you in this pursuit, because secrecy gives power to the enemy’s lies.
As you proceed through my posts, take seriously the truths I share about this journey. God can use them to save you from personal destruction. They are not therapy lessons, an invitation to engage in positive thinking or a part of a self-help program. But they will help lead you somewhere further with God and towards the person He created you to be in Christ Jesus. I can affirm this from my personal journey.