Monday, January 25, 2010

Hardness of Heart

Mark 3:4 And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent.
Vs 5 And after looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out you hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

In some circles, people are very concerned about grieving the Holy Spirit. But I've never really heard much about grieving Jesus. Yet here in verse 5 of Mark 3, we see that Jesus is both angry and grieved. Why? Because of the hardness of their hearts. The religious people of the day were more concerned with the religious form of keeping rules. And worse than this, the Pharisees were watching Him, to try to catch Him at breaking "God's rules" in order to do good. They were 'rule keepers'. They were not good. They called the good works that Jesus did 'Evil' and could not discern the evil in their own hearts.

They were the religious leaders of the day, but according to Hebrews 5:14 they were immature.

Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.


JaneDoeThreads said...

This is one scripture that has come to me often. Today also, the one about the man who prayed, thank you God that I'm not like the adulterers and so can do this though with other things like 'why people don't care about issues', etc., because that is how I did that, God showed me,

anyway, listening to God today, just hearing Him and you know the thing about hard hearts is that they can be like skin, that over time hardens over wounds and then something opens up the wounds and then the skin hardens again, throw in some sun damage and one day the skin can be like leather. Our hearts are like that too, and before the living water can pour forth the bitter water has to pour OUT, water is Tears. The heart has to be cracked open, dug, God said in Isaiah that its like fallow ground.

Have you ever tried to plant anything in clay soil? That has hardened? You can water it but the thing with it is that its So compacted that the water evaporates before it can really soak through, so one must dig up and dig up and plow/turn the ground and then add other nutrients to where the soil becomes less dense, or less compacted. This process takes time and sometimes it can take a couple of growing seasons to get the soil healthy again to where when you water it the water is soaked in and then the ground can produce herb, flowers, etc.

What many try to do is start planting before the ground soil is truly healthy and while some flowers may come up the soil is vulnerable and the flowers will strip the soil of what little strength is has and the next year the soil won't be as productive. There is also the fact that poor soil Attracts bugs, disease and fungus, depending on type of soil, etc. Those too will attack any herbs trying to grow.

Our hearts are like that, the problem is we get in a hurry and try to plant before the heart is truly healthy. A broken heart is heavy to bear and cannot produce or Give anything, and then life demands we give so we harden, little by little we harden with denial or comparisons or shutting down, but we harden and over time those vulnerable soft areas are so buried,

to where the heart can only see through the clay. No sweet water can be poured in until the clay is broken and the bitter water runs out...

we, clay, are vessels. Its not until we are totally poured out of ourselves, our 'mental faith', our knowledge, our strength, our perception, everything, that God then can begin to work in pouring His Spirit in, because hard hearts do not have the ability to touch people, to know what to say, when to say, when not to say anything, only God can do that and have Any Real power. Hard hearts 'Think' they know the right things and they may say them, some times,

but its without any Power. Paul said something about that he didn't speak with words of wisdom but with Power. For vessels to be used they have to be In God, empty and filled up With God, to be of Any use.

When we have nothing to give and we give from our will power, we eventually come to a place of burn out--loss of faith--that is living the Religion, not walking IN the Spirit. Truly to Walk in the Spirit one must be filled with the Spirit--

and that heart, broken up, the clay, to get at the very core, of all there is--that what is Real--but its the digging of the heart's soil, that we often fight God on. Our world tells us we are to be Sufficient, to be Together, to not be frail, weak, or failures.

The opposite is true though in Christ, it is our failures and our weaknesses and our inability to do Anything that is truly good and not full of Pride, a pride that is truly, vanity. It's worth nothing, though we measure by what we have been led to believe and so we parade through life living the lie to hide the fact that our soil, is rotting and hard and dry.


JaneDoeThreads said...

To really Know Him is to be broken, one cannot Know Him without being broken because that is pride. Pride comes in many forms, it is THE hiding place to hide our true state of nakedness that there is. Especially hiding our shame. But Jesus bore our shame---He tasted death, He tasted shame, He knows and when we start to see that, its then that we feel safe enough to allow Him to take His shovel and start to dig and remove the hardened clogs, then the bitter water starts to seep out. Oh what a vulnerable place that is because all our preconceived Ideals are shaken and we realize just how truly wretched and lost and without hope we are...without Him to reach down and pull us from the pit. And pull us He does when we get to the point where there is no one else we can cry too in our darkness but Him. All resolve and strength and last resorts are gone, used up and there are no more Resevoirs. (sic)

To be at the end of ourselves....its different for each person, God does not work in a religious box, I am finding. But the one thing that is really something, its when we Get to that place of knowing how much we Don't know and Don't really in our gut believe, that He, reveals Himself to us, in such a Real way, not just to Reveal but we truly Hear Him...that He's been there the whole time, grieving...just waiting, for us, to let Him, remove the hardness, so that He can begin,

to water us. And His water, truly is, Living Water, and it Doesn't, evaporate or dry up...



JaneDoeThreads said...

[oh, this btw, once it starts, I've been told, is a long process that can vary in time according to the individual and just the extent of the hardness/and clogs...for me, it's a time of grieving,

all the losses but more so, the not having the mother I needed so desperately, He is now, being the mother I so did need, the thing is, we Can't walk this the 'religious' say, with the withered hand or withered heart,

we can't do it, not without the healing. When there is child abuse, it is not a scripture fix in an instant solution--it simply does not work that way. The problem is though is that we are told and we believe it does and when it doesn't happen that way we begin to doubt and then those doubts add up. We live lives of sin to deal with the deep depression of grief and loss that isn't just gone because one forgives or receives God. And the thing is, counselors, changes in life, all of that, none of that will fix and give what is so needed, only God can do that---and what I didn't know,
is that, He wanted to do it all along and that it is through this [He can use other losses, mine is child abuse, the not having any parent whatsoever and then having to function as an adult without that foundation, running on empty with nothing to give and always longing], but its through this,

that the vessel is poured out---and Religion just won't do it. IT takes a Real God, and a Real Faith, and a Real Walk, a Real Presence, because with religion, one can 'mentally concur' with the Word--but its not until the heart is broken of all its reserve and shell and pretense and the whole thing---that the Spirit then fills up. Then there is the beginning of peace...and then

His healing has begun....


JaneDoeThreads said...

ON another note on this, Mara I hear Exactly what you are saying, what this scripture is saying too, about the religious...that's a lot of it too, the religious look for 'success' in religion as The indicator of spiritual health/acceptance by God, so forth,

because its not about [to them] what God works but what 'humans' do, human effort. Spiritual health indicators are not measured by how Well we are doing in life,

but how we are Depending on God for everything, circumstances don't always change, in our time frame expectations or by any amount of human effort to change them, to the religious that is seen as a sign of failure and disproval. (sic)

What they don't realize is that when God is ready for the circumstances to change that HE GETS THE GLORY, HE AND HE ALONE.

NOT human effort--but God. God is not going to share His glory with anyone--

the religious, its always what They have accomplished, some will say with God's help as if God is some helping hand once and a while, but no, its not just with God's help,

it's with God Period, EVEN our FAITH, if it's True FAITH, is of HIM, without Him,

we can do n.o.t.h.i.n.g.

But, to know that, is to live that, and it goes totally in the face of religion and especially in our 'human success' based culture here.

Jesus was right, it is a Difficult walk...because God strips Everything away, that is NOT of HIM.



Mara Reid said...

Jane: "the not having the mother I needed so desperately, He is now, being the mother I so did need, the thing is, we Can't walk this the 'religious' say, with the withered hand or withered heart,

we can't do it, not without the healing."

Yes, Jane. This is crucial.
Whatever we were missing growing up, God can restore. He can build it into us.
He is our All in All.
Better late than never, right?

But here's the rub.

Let's say an individual had an abusive father and the individual needs to be re-fathered by God.
Often, you CANNOT tell them that.
Any thought of 'father' brings only sorrow and rage.
So they must approach God another way for a time...
Shepherd to the sheep.
Kindly Master to the servant.
A Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Something else besides 'father' until that trust is built.
Then when the individual is ready, and only God knows when the is, then He can introduce the thought of father and become that Father.
Anyone trying to shove 'Father' down the throat of someone not ready has it all wrong.

Yes, Jane. Let Him mother you.
You said many other good things.
But this is what stuck out to me.
This is what I have known.
And this is what I beleive for people who need to be restored.

JaneDoeThreads said...

I didn't know my father so I have nothing to draw on there Mara, I only have two very short memories, well, no, three of him, with less than 20 words. I had no father or step father growing up ever, the only way I know men is sexually,

and those have been abusive or abandoning so....

the only way I can relate to 'Father' is imaginary, if that makes sense.

The thing with the mother--is that in a way I think people tend to think that its impossible for a mother to reject and horribly abuse her child--because it just goes so against nature--therefore, its not just that mother abandoned, but that, Something is wrong with me because mother's just don't hate their children.

So actually, its not Easy at All to see God as Mother either because every thing to do with rejection and hell, stands out only more so, ALL THE TIME. Because if your mother, which by nature Should bond and love you hates your guts from the womb...

then you're 'defective' or 'evil' and then to hear how Evil we are as God says---

it Reinforces how evil you are. Not only did I have a mother who hated me I had a father who wasn't even there...who did Not rescue me, who did Not want me, etc.

So, it's not different for me there Mara, to see God as Father I see the abandonment and God as Mother as the Hater of my soul.

I cannot relate to God as 'father' really, except how I wanted a father but its very hard, but if I can see God, as a Mother, who is always shown as a Father image,

and you want to talk rage---where do I begin? My mother sexually molested does one even begin to Describe what that does? As for 'identity' all I know is that I watched others and copied them because I knew I, myself, was defective---or I lived in fantasy world, and that I think did the most damage--because that became a habit of escaping for me.

So I don't know how to answer this one Mara because there really isn't any easy answer, I wish I could but I can't...I've struggled with it all my life,


JaneDoeThreads said...

Not only that Mara, it was for me always having to 'conjure' up imaginary images of God the Father or God the Mother [and I hate mothers and to add to that, the imagery of God is Always as Father] so...

I did the whole see God as 'friend' thing but That didn't work either. Because you see Mara, when we are abused it kills us inside so our 'friends' that we have are often chosen by our bad radars to either reinforce those negative feelings or who like us, are just as Eventually what happens when attempting to walk with Jesus as friend,

is that when those REAL deep pools of LOSS come up, and THEY WILL, we get angry, and Rightly so--because we can see Jesus as friend [but He is Lord and That too causes conflict there because we are NOT HIS equals] but there comes a time when we realize,

hey God, you were in control and you allowed this so I am friend with the very one who allowed this?

Do you see what I mean?

See I get this impression a lot that people think it's easier for God to heal as Mother--when it really IS NOT. IN fact, its just as hard because we don't See much about God as Mother in the Word--and also,

an abusive mother is very much like an abusive male and THAT gets even more confusing because the gender roles we always here don't add UP. Something is so distorted and when you Try to get help, people Just DON'T GET IT.

People don't get that Yes there are mothers out there who hold their daughters down and rape them with dolls and sticks and call them every name in the book and who have other men rape them and you name it...but it HAPPENS ALL THE TIME---we Just don't HEAR about it because its So shocking and its just So unbelievable,

but in the support group I was in for daughters [and there are many for sons, its even Worse for them] that have lived through this nightmare---I've heard horror stories that would make you really believe that humans are nothing more than Demons.

And HOW do you rationalize that? YOU CAN'T. YOU just can't...WHEN you've been touched Intimately in the Spirit by that level of EVIL by the ONES who are 'supposed' to WANT and LOVE you---it doesn't Matter if its Mother or Father,

it [excuse the French but its really the best word] Fks you up like no other, it does something to your Mind---you can live and in the shell of normal, go on with life, but those DARK TRUTHS, are always there,

haunting. That is why many people who have suffered horrible abuse Do form multiple personalities---its a natural means of Surviving-the brain has to do something to survive,

then people think, that they can say, oh God the Father or God the Mother and it just like a wand all goes away. It Doesn't....

and let me say this, the many Ministries that say, Oh I was abused but God fixed it and I'm so fine now, you know something, I'd say half of them are full of shit. Seriously,

because I've been struggling with this for 47 years and you Don't just one day, oh, I'm Fine now. You're Never Fine--the Survivors of the Holocaust were Never fine,



JaneDoeThreads said...

Continued [see top two posts---its important to read all three as they are one long post]

So, in regards to surviving abuse and relating to God as Mother or Father, etc--

the most horrible thing today is the peddling of a magic wand God as Father or Mother type of thing in Any way--because its NOT something that we can assist in Anyone to imagine or walk in---to try to do so really cuts them short because THIS is something that ONLY GOD can do---AND ONLY HIM.

HOW HE does it, I think, I really believe, has to be to EACH individual because EACH individual's case is unique. Sure, there are some basic common scriptures that we can use, even some examples in the Bible but I have found, that the ONLY TRUE way to Healing,

is pushing through the 'answers' People give, facing God alone--doubts, dark and anger and rage--and keep keep knocking, keep praying, and one day,

He breaks through. You hear Him---and He just starts addressing those pains, little by little, He keeps telling me, Baby Steps, Baby Steps,

because when a Soul has been THAT injured--and has survived in a shell and I will say, with demon oppression because That level of abuse Does open the door to demons, I know this and well--

the man in the cave, naked who cut himself, who had the legion of demons that Jesus cast out? That story has more relevance to victims of child abuse, than any one in the Bible--as far as I'm concerned, and here's why.

That man immediately wanted to follow Jesus where ever Jesus went, but Jesus told him no. He told him to go back home and stay there and let the people see what God had done. Later Jesus went back to that town and the people Then received Jesus to hear what he had to say, remember the people were afraid when they saw the pigs run off the cliff,

Obviously that man had been abused or maybe tortured and was not in his right mind. But notice how Jesus didn't Immediately say, sure, come on and do the work and so forth? Why is that?

Because that man had been controlled and abused by humans/or parent or someone--and had KNOWN what being CONTROLLED and ENSLAVED was and to the point where HE, the man, was controlled by the demons to where he was cutting and in a horrible state of mind.

I believe Jesus not only cast out the demons but Jesus set the man free, free from control, to Show Him, that God, is NOT a control freak or an abuser--to give the man Time to heal, to be healed and to know God, either as father or mother or as Lord, ruler, etc., and one that is NOT abusive.

But only Jesus could do this...and He healed people in different ways, not always in the same method. The problem with many healing ministries is that they use 'formulas' and there Isn't any 'formula', there just isn't. Not one blanket formula, I mean,

so this is where Jesus says, these kind Only come out by prayer and fasting--meaning, they have to be dealt with BY the Spirit and IN the Spirit, not by Human Wisdom,

and that includes pop psychology and so forth, because only God knows, all the details and which demons and the history of iniquity and the level of damage to the soul, etc.,

they Only come out Mara, with prayer and fasting. It is by the Spirit---and with Each individual,

it is different. My suggestion, from what little I've learned thus far--is PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, and TALK, TALK, TALK to God about everything you feel--the BAD and the Good, but especially the BAD. The Worst thing to do, is tell God what you Think He wants to hear---because demons love that---they hide their dirty work behind that--Jesus sees through that though. Why I did rage, why I did push, why I did think, oh I am So going to hell, why I did have to go to the very pit of the darkness in my own soul,

con't [I hate these word limit things]

JaneDoeThreads said...

continued from the top four [sorry, its long but its Too important]

I don't know How really, God did it, I thought, no, I could FEEL the death inside me, I could FEEL HELL inside me--I was So afraid,

but He reached me Mara, He did...I don't know How but He did. And its not like, all 'cured' or anything, but I can feel the darkness losing it's grip, you know,

losing its power over me, that stronghold or no, strongHolds Plural---baby steps, baby steps...and walking it through. AND digging into Him, really digging into Him, and for me,

it has literally meant, to get alone, and learn to Listen. Satan attacked me so much there because I couldn't tell what was the Holy Spirit and what was demons pretending to be 'God', why I so needed the Word but you know those demons use the Word too.

I think--it really has to be just staying on the knees and keep crying out, because THAT truly, IS THE WAY,


because I am here right now, in my right mind, and I can tell you, He comes, He answers, and when HE does it, you will Know it.

I can promise on that one...He does do what He says He will. And when He does---He is Mother, Father, Husband, anyone you need and so much more...teacher, companion, Comforter. And when HE does it, He speaks Directly to the very 'Exact' things [incidences, all of it] that haunt you---as only HE can.



JaneDoeThreads said...

Mara [see the top four posts]

I feel that many need to hear this because for so long Mara I did all the 'right formulas' you know, and they Didn't work. In fact, I got Worse. To where I started to doubt God...I did have to see how much I hated God, oh yea, that was probably The hardest TRUTH to face. And I'm not just talking the 'evil flesh nature' either. Yes, one can be Christian and in their 'MIND' do all the right things but deep inside Hate Him--because God we know is in Control and it goes so much more than the Why God.

I had to 'face that' to get to that place where I just broke--that child emerged and she broke, in a Million Little Pieces. And He, was there to pick Her up. And when That child breaks---you will know it, because you literally feel all the fragments, I can't explain it-but you do.

The fragments of the broken, shattered soul. And does it like, Poof, immediately all get glued back together again?

NO, and I cannot emphasize that enough. But you know when HE begins to put you back together again---that being Knitted, in His Womb, being Born Again.

You once told me Mara that He would have to re-knit me, well He does just that, He re-knits us, piece by piece, How, I have NO EARTHLY IDEA,

I can only share my experience of what's been happening of late. I am NOT totally well yet, not by a long shot--I know, that it is life or death, really, for me to stay very close to Him in prayer--its not a matter of religion or duty, it truly is for me, for survival, spiritual--maybe because when we've been to that pit we have Seen with our own hearts and yes what demons are and what they do...I don't know,

we know the power and the 'good taste' of sin---see people I think have a hard time facing that one too, they forget, that tree, Eve SAW that it TASTES GOOD and THAT IS WHAT IS SO DESTRUCTIVE ABOUT SIN,

it Does taste good, at first. But the Effects, of that slow poison, oh my gosh...when you really begin to Feel what it has Done--I think many ex drug users [meth, heroine] know Exactly what I am talking about here--well, let me say, there is a HUGE difference in

Knowing ABOUT Jesus, and Knowing Jesus. HUGE difference--and to KNOW Jesus, you have to KNOW just how DEAD you really are. I can't Explain it, and the scary thing is, it is like that walking on water because the doubts flood in--is this for real, am I being deceived, do I really Want to change, I mean, when you really See just how sinful and dark and you add abuse to that--all of it, and its like,

its like Falling Mara, its like falling into this black abyss, and you're reaching out for something that isn't there. That is what it feels like, its horrible...

and you cry out to Jesus, the worst is when you don't want to cry out but you know you have to but you don't believe He'll save you---oh, Hell, THAT IS HELL,

JaneDoeThreads said...

[this word limit thing I'm having to post in bits, sorry--so scroll up to the above four-five]

I don't know Why God let me get that far down but oh, when He came to me, something happened--and the first thing my mind did was say, oh this is just You,

but LOL, oh, God is So good--He has been proving to me, with these little ways its Him....Taste the Lord and Know He is Good,

like, I don't know Mara...but I do know this. All my life since I've been trying to get to Him--I've run to people and I've run to this ministry and that ministry and to this scripture and to that one and looking for this quick fix solution to end the pain--I went to sin and I went to this and that...I prayed and I claimed and I did this right thing and That right thing and Nothing, Nada, Nothing...oh, a bit here and there, but with no Depth.

Then I finally came to the Real place, of where I was just, this God thing can't be real--I hate Him anyway, etc., and facing how I feared Hell and that was the Only reason I was following Him anyway...and That I started to question,

and when I looked there, for Proof that He wasn't real--He showed up.

I can't say He'll do this for everyone, I don't know--again, I think its different for each person, He is God, we are NOT. We try to Do His work,

but LOL, its not OURS to do, its HIS. And He knows, what He is doing...the thing is, WE try to put HIM into a Box and others into a BOX, but God, will not be put into a BOX.

When He says, Nothing is Impossible for HIM--I am seeing, He means it.

But I'm still walking Baby Steps Mara, little Baby Steps...

Love, Jane