Thursday, July 24, 2014

Message #76- Spiritual Detox 2

Hebrews 5:13-14- Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

James 5:16- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

Matthew 13:8- Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

I’ve done several liver detoxes this year with the hope of solving my problems with chemical sensitivity.  One of the effects has been the removal of toxic metals such excessive copper and cadmium out of my organs and into the tissues before being finally removed altogether.  Overall, 2014 has been better than the previous year but I remain well below my standards of performance.  I am not aware of any major exposure to heavy metals but it is a fact of life that in our environment, you will be exposed to trace amounts of toxins.  A healthy person should easily eliminate them through the skin, liver or kidneys before it becomes problematic.  However, because of my history of adrenal fatigue, I was not in a position to do so and the trace amounts of toxins accumulated in the organs.  When they were finally released, I experienced unpleasant symptoms such as breakouts, nausea, diarrhea and of course fatigue.  Surprisingly, use of liver and kidney supplements actually worsened the fatigue probably because they accelerated the removal of the toxins to a pace that overwhelmed my system’s ability to eliminate on its own.  Allowing the detox to proceed naturally with regular cleanses was the best choice.

We live in a fallen world and are all exposed to spiritual toxins from a young age.  Any attempts at self-help or self-improvement will fall short.  Jesus is the only way to truly remove those toxins.  Sure we all slip up and do things that we “don’t want to” (Rom 7:24) but as sanctified Christians, we should reject the glamour of sin and refuse to be mastered by it.  That’s where you should be if you claim to have been a Christian for several years.   That said, when reaching out to unbelievers or “baby” Christians, we must not look down on them because of their faults.  Rather, we should let the Holy Spirit convict them and thus “let the detox proceed at its own pace” or it could become too uncomfortable. If actions are not rooted in the love for the Lord, the changes may not be sustainable. Suppose that I encountered my current small group at the age of 19 or 20.  Maybe on some level, I would have admired their devotion but the discussions would have been way over my head and at best, I would have judged them to be weird and certainly would not have been a regular. Most likely, I would not have come back after a single visit.

As the Holy Spirit continues to penetrate deeper into your heart, certain things may be uncovered and brought to the surface causing “aches and pains.”  Actions that you never regarded as sinful are now called into question and it is common that old “friendships” that are toxic to your soul must be cut off no matter how much you enjoyed their company in the past.  I don’t have much experience with break ups but I can see how it can cause heartache even when you know it is the right thing to do.  I’ve never smoked but have heard that while your body begins to repair the damage within hours of quitting, you actually feel worse for the next few weeks even though you are actually getting healthier all the time.  The same holds true when giving up the sin that had held you for so long.

One last point that I would like to address is confessing your sins as part of the detox program.  In my view, it is always a good idea to talk to your pastor.  No matter what you have done, you will not be condemned as long as you are truly repentant.  The same should be true if somebody looks up to you as an accountability partner.  Thank the person for trusting you enough to share their shortcomings and continue to encourage them.

My friend Adam recently prayed over me that these devotionals and my memory of Scripture verses is “just the beginning.”  While I do a good amount of reading and studying, I waste too much time watching the same movies and YouTube videos.  God has gifted me with the ability to retain knowledge especially when numbers are involved.  Imagine if I knew the Word as well as my favorite movies.

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