There are a couple of other things you might do in order to be loosed and free. Recall that we are dealing with primitive and forceful emotions that should not be in the forefront of our actions, thoughts and feelings at all. For anyone to whom asking for help from others has been anathema, for anyone who has been a victim of their own emotionality in the past, to do anything now just because you feel like doing it, (even when you trump up a “good” reason for such behavior afterwards), sad to say, is probably the worst possible basis for doing anything for quite a while.
So if we are not to be guided by our feelings, what shall we use for choosing our actions? Put bluntly, you need to use the brains God gave you, your spiritual values and your past experiences as guidelines-- not, heaven forbid, your destructive feelings. You don’t need to fight them however, just lower the tension level, let them go and put something else in their place --our brains, or minds if you prefer, are useful in two ways: To scan old experiences for self-defeating, self-damaging and self-destructive actions and situations, and to plan alternative courses of behavior, reactions and even thought processes-- in place of the negative experiences of other times and places. (Here I often find it useful, when unwanted impulses slip in as they will, to say sub-vocally or even out loud, “Out Satan, in the name of Jesus”. I found that only in His Name can one reliably bid the enemy out). But to continue, recall the things you have done in past circumstances as you anticipate recurrences (there usually will be), and deliberately choose, and eventually act, on scriptural, life promoting responses. “You will know them by their fruit...”, their results.
Consult the Word here. How wonderful it is to know that in place of insecurity and guesswork there is a plan for your life with reliable ways to behave toward yourself and the world around you. What a relief it is! You fearful ones who still yearn to control your own lives will face another difficult step; to let the lord mold, purify and justify you-- surely a hard and uncomfortable process-- but a lot easier than the way you have been doing things. “You have eaten the fruit of deception, because you have depended on your own strength...” (Hosea 10:13}
For those who have felt the fear of losing control, the stage of sharing control has to come; the phase of fellowship with believers who can understand and accept that you are making the effort to cope with problems of feelings and attitudes. Face it, you can’t do it alone, as much as you would still like to-- so look up your church and Bible study or prayer-groups-- they are your lifeline. At this point you will need all the friends you can get! It follows, of course, that within the range of individual differences some are more susceptible to anxiousness and depressive moods than others, thus some will have more changing, or reworking to do than others.
Do not avoid the fact that some of you may need, and should seek out, professional help. If that is the case, I suggest that you ask in the various registries for State licensed Christian Professionals. Since we all have somewhat different make-ups and backgrounds, professional help may be just what God wants you to have. A perennial difficulty is that some very acutely disturbed people can feel and appear fairly well at times, while other obscure problems are so disguised as to seem only in need of commonsense advice (whatever that may be). Paul said, “Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers...”(1 Cor. 4:15). To my capricious view here, this could mean that few will suggest kinship, but many may seem to become “experts” in your area of need. Seriously however, some people might get even more upset, while persons with no valid training in these problems may enthusiastically offer to “cure” them. I advise you to avoid such efforts, no matter how lovingly offered or engendered; if just listening to and reading the Word would always heal difficult emotional problems that would be O.K., but that is not the case. Anyway, it is the Lord who actually does the healing, according to his will-- your state of mind and spirit needs to be prepared to accept it.
Here I must figuratively leave you to God; you are in good hands-- if you have truly turned to Him and accepted Jesus Christ as your savior. Now at least, even if it takes more time than you would like or expect, your new life is assured. You may here be up against the hardest task of all for many like you-- to accept love freely and lavishly given. Controllers have ways of cynically rejecting love, or may buy into the devil’s ploy of assuring us, though saved, that we really don’t deserve it. A study in false humility, controllers may appear not to need love. (How many times have we thanked someone for some kindness or other, without daring to really appreciate it? Oh, the inner conflict however, when there is no love offered-- give up the charade!).
I should try to explain why I have been sharing these things. They are not all pleasant, I know. After all, we could ask in the same vein as Pilate and Herod, “What has all this to do with us? Just because at a certain time in some small corner of a vast Empire there were fractious differences among obscure sects of their own religion, what is that to us, anyway?
It is just that even after thousands of years have passed, it still occurs to many of us that throughout the Word of God there is wisdom, great joy and hope; perhaps some day soon each uncomprehending blind eye might see and understand, each barren lonely heart might receive, and give, real love rather than its many false and make believe versions. So the drama of Christian history, beginning with the "good news” seems far from over-- a new day will dawn and is now dawning
In fact it seems entirely conceivable, to me at least, that in every age, in every place-- and in every lifetime the whole drama is repeated again and again-- together with the same characters, taking familiar roles, in predictable struggle. If that is so, here is our grand opportunity; it will again be asked, “Are you the Christ? Are you the King of the Jews?” At last we have the opportunity to give the answer, “Yes, it is as you say”, and speak with pride in the Lord! Then rejoice! Your name may now be written in the Kingdom-- to the greater glory of God! Did you know that you are heirs...?
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to FEAR;
but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God:
And if children, then heirs: heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we
suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:15-17).
Such is my journey, and my destination, thus far....