Spiritual, Emotional & Sexual Abuse Workshop Transcript #2 (of 4)

Transcript for Session #1

Obie Welcome everyone Session #2 of our workshop
Spiritual, Emotional & Sexual Abuse Workshop: Connecting the Dots of our Disconnected Lives
Finding Healing Through Cooperating with God
(Healing is not instantaneous, there are actions we need to take, attitudes we need to work on. God is our strength and He helps us, but His help requires OUR response)

Without further adieu, I hand the mic over to DvoraElisheva who is leading out workshop

DvoraElisheva Thanks Obie. Hi everyone. I’d like to ask Member #1 to open in prayer.

Member #1_ Abba Father
You are holy and mighty and good
You are righteous and true
You are Light
Wisdom and understanding come from you and through you
It is in You as in love which is perfect
And the freedom to be Whole in You
Give us a open this, and the courage, and the will to hear your voice
And to know that you call us in Your love
You lead us in your authority, and your great peace
This day Lord be with the workshop leader and all of us here, who want to know your heart

DvoraElisheva I’m truly blessed to be here and to share with you. Last week we looked at what we called “disconnects” in our lives, and discovered that the best way to handle them was to face them, since God already has an answer for us. This week I would like us to take a look at what it means to cooperate with God as we seek healing. We will also look at some scripture verses with very practical application to help us as we seek healing from the many wounds in our lives. I hope your notebooks and Bibles are handy!

I’d like to share an experience with you. I’m sure that many of you will identify. I will never forget the first time I met with my therapist back in 1995. She asked me what I wanted from therapy. I told her, “I just want to get better..” She answered, “Debbie, I can’t cure you…” She then went on to explain that she would help me acquire the tools to get past my pain and to live. Years later she shared with me that almost all of her clients have the same expectation at first—they come into therapy expecting to come out “fixed” or “whole.”

A lot of the time we approach God like we do a doctor or a therapist. We want God to fix us. I know I did, and sometimes I still do! I had read the Bible, I knew Jesus healed people. I knew Isaiah 53:5 , “… and with His wounds we are healed…” and I had wanted, and sometimes even demand that God heal me. I wanted HIM to make my pain go away, to protect me, to stop people from betraying me. I knew He could. I prayed and prayed only to wake up the next morning and discover I was still hurting inside, or physically. I was still battling my addictions, my dysfunctional behavior. I wondered what I was doing wrong. If I could just get it right… everything would be OK. Or I’d get mad at God—why was He refusing to change me, heal me, fix me?

Does anyone else identify with these feelings?

Member #2 yes

Member #1_ yes

Obie yes

Member #3 yes

Member #5 yes

Member #4 yes

DvoraElisheva I was stuck in that feeling for a long time. To be truthful, with regard to some of my current physical struggles, I still battle that feeling. So today’s workshop has as much meaning for me, as I hope it will for you. When I get to feeling as I’ve described above, reading the Bible often left me feeling more condemned than comforted.
Has that ever happened to you?

Member #1_ Oh yes

Obie nod

Member #3 yes

Member #5 yes

DvoraElisheva Wow, looks like we should start a club! 😉
Here is one verse in particular that I struggled with: 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. When struggling, I’d get stuck with this part of the verse and forget to read the rest of it, nor did I think about what came before or after this verse.

Could someone please give me a synonym for the word “everything”?

Member #5 all

Member #1_ All

DvoraElisheva Are you sure?

Member #1_ Not now

DvoraElisheva Peter couldn’t possibly have meant ALL, could he have?

Member #4 yes

Member #1_ YES

DvoraElisheva It’s figurative, right? Peter didn’t really mean everything, all things, every situation and every circumstance—did he?

Member #1_ He did

Member #5 agrees

DvoraElisheva ouch! This is why I struggled. I sure didn’t feel like God had given me everything for every situation and circumstance, especially not my pain and my dissociative behavior.

Member #2 relates

DvoraElisheva Obviously Peter knew something I didn’t know. Duh! 🙂

Member #1_ Yep

Member #5 nods

Member #4 😉

DvoraElisheva Peter saw what Jesus did. He heard what Jesus said. He knew and noticed something that we often overlook. Have you ever noticed, that in almost every case, when Jesus healed someone he forced the person seeking healing to DO something. Sometimes it was to answer a question, sometimes it was a physical action, but the person had to DO something. In most cases, the healing Jesus gave was a cooperative experience.

The man with the withered hand had to stretch out his hand (Matthew 12:13). Think about the circumstances, he is already vulnerable, now everyone around is going to see his deformity. Maybe the feeling he had could be compared to the first time you had to sit in a group and admit your addiction in front of everyone. The blind men sitting by the road had to tell Jesus specifically what they wanted (Matthew 20:32). They have asked Jesus to have mercy on them, isn’t that enough? Apparently not. And this question, “what do you want” was frequently asked by Jesus.

In John 9:7, Jesus made some mud from his own spit, put it in the blind man’s eyes, and then tells the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. I want you to picture this. How would you feel if you were dragged in front of someone you couldn’t see, accused of a sin for being blind, told it would glorify God, and then had someone SPIT and put mud in your eyes, and told you to go wash, and didn’t offer you any help to get to that pool.

If you were that blind man, how would YOU feel?

Member #1_ Crazy

Obie unnerved helpless

DvoraElisheva Did the man go and wash because he wanted to get the much out of his eyes, or because he believed? We don’t know. We know he believed AFTER he got his sight. But BEFORE he got his sight, he had to cooperate and go along with what was happening. Did he have any idea what would happen? What do you think?

Member #1_ I think he did

Member #3 don’tknow

DvoraElisheva that he believed before of after?

Member #1_ During

DvoraElisheva Use your imaginations… there is no right or wrong answer…

Member #4 he had hope and faith enough to ask, but as it was happening it probably waivered…

Member #2 his desire was strong to heal

Member #6 he believed enough to obey Jesus and go wash his eyes out

DvoraElisheva I think you all have a point…. regardless what he was thinking or feeling though… he cooperated.
In these and many other cases, physical healing was a cooperative effort that required an action on the part of the person being healed.

Why is this important? I think because sometimes we get our salvation mixed up with how we live and how God will heal us. My salvation requires belief, but there is no physical act I can do that will save me. But LIVING this life requires many actions and deeds on our part. Yes, God gives strength, but we are the ones that have to cooperate.

When you have time later on, read Col. 3:12-17. Note the way these verses are worded:
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you…”
“Let the peace of Christ…control your hearts….”
“Put on (Greek: to wear) heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility etc…”
What do these words “Let” or “Put on” or “to wear” have in common?

Member #1_ Action

DvoraElisheva Good, what else?

Member #5 doing

DvoraElisheva Keep going…

Member #1_ Choosing

Member #6 receiving

DvoraElisheva Very good, any other thoughts?

Member #6 allowing

DvoraElisheva What does all this have to do with the healing of our souls that have been wounded by this world? Do you have any thoughts about this before I continue?

Member #5 we need to do the action before we can get, or achieve the results

Member #4 agreed, even if this action is simple cooperation with God

Member #2 seems like faith fits in here

Member #5 yea

DvoraElisheva Very good… anyone else?

Member #6 yes cooperation

Member #5 nods

DvoraElisheva Excellent answers 🙂

DvoraElisheva You see, we have to ALLOW God to work in our lives by responding to Him. Have you ever considered that HE gives us His peace, but we can reject it. We can choose to hate or be bitter instead of to love, and then we can’t experience His peace. We can chose to respond in fear—but if we do, we could miss out on a blessing. How do we cooperate with Him? Peter gives us the answer, and who better? He had to learn how to cooperate with God big time. Peter had to put his sword away, give up fishing, and eat a lot of humble pie along the way. Before I continue, I’d like to check if you have been able to download the handout I created for you? If not, please do so now. Let me know when you all have it open on the screen, so you can look at it.

Member #4 generally, as it pertains to healing – healing is a continual work not a final fix

Member #5 agrees

Member #3 sanctification

DvoraElisheva Great. From this point, if you have questions, please save them until I finish… as I’d like to give you a complete picture here. It will be a bit long, so please bear with me….

First, let’s look at 2 Peter 1:1
Simeon Peter … To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Have you ever stopped to consider that the faith you have is the exact SAME FAITH that God gave to each of the Apostles? Think about that. This is huge. Peter is saying that you and I, have all received the exact same faith that Peter received, through the same righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is an important starting ground for cooperating with God. It is with THIS in mind that Peter tells us that God’s divine power has given us EVERYTHING, ALL, we need for life and godliness. Put simply, Peter is saying that the true follower of Jesus is in a kind of cooperation with God in producing a life that brings honor to GOD.

You see, God gives us strength, and precious and great promises. HE makes us partakers in His divine nature so that we can escape sinful desire. Knowing this, because of this, Peter says WE have to put forth the effort to add to our faith the following things: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection (philio love), and love (agape love). These things don’t happen overnight. We are able to do these things by cooperating with God and being willing to do this. It’s not easy. But we have the faith. We need to act on it. How do we do that?

Take a look at the handout I’ve made available. 2 Peter 1 3-7 has been called by some a ladder of faith. Think about how you climb a ladder. It has to have a foundation. You can’t float a ladder in the air. It must have some kind of support so it stands.

Member #5 yes. amen.

DvoraElisheva The support, the foundation, is our faith in Jesus. The same foundation the Apostles had. The ladder itself is made up of great and precious promises. These form the sides that hold the steps of the ladder in place. Each step leads higher, and it’s hard to skip a step when you climb a ladder. Maybe one, but not more. One step at a time, YOU move your legs to go to the next step, but Jesus is the foundation, and it’s held together with His promises (which HE keeps). You move up and down from rung to rung, but you keep moving… and as you do, you grow, and that growth leads to your healing, and makes you more confident in your faith (foundation) and stronger, and more able to climb from rung to rung.

Any thoughts/comments before I continue?

Ok, then I’ll keep going.

I’d like to show you how this works practically, from some things in my own life.

One of my grandmothers abused me, a neighbor molested me, and my mother was mentally ill. For me, moral excellence meant I had to be willing to forgive as Jesus had forgiven me. But HOW could I do that? Well, I had to add to my willingness knowledge. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of all that God had done for me, how much He had forgiven me, and in my case, knowledge that what had been done to me was wrong and to recognize it as wrong.

To that knowledge, I needed to add self-control to keep myself from focusing on the wrong and instead, focus on how God had rescued me. The more I did that, the more I was able to let go of my anger. This required endurance in a godly manner. Yes, they hurt me, no I would not let what they had done define me or rule over me. I would NOT let anger or hurt rule my emotions. God was asking me to forgive… but I wasn’t there yet.

I had to press on and keep focusing on increasing my knowledge of God and Jesus until I could get there… (do you see the loop?) Eventually, I started to feel phileo, a kind of brotherly love that began to think about the person who had hurt me, and their pain, rather than my own… and over time… God actually gave me agape love for these people… and when that happened, forgiveness came.

Member #3 please slow down a little. This is a lot to take in

DvoraElisheva will do

DvoraElisheva It was a process. It didn’t happen overnight. But this process is a cooperation with God. Our healing happens slowly, quietly, sometimes instantly, but mostly, gradually. It was years before I stopped and consciously realized, hey, I’m not emotionally dissociating! I’m in contact with what I’m feeling! When it really happened, I didn’t know, but one day, suddenly I just knew. I could feel emotions again and harbored no unforgiveness in my heart towards those who had hurt me.

I am sure you are all familiar with the imagery of our hearts as a house with many rooms. And We need to invite Jesus into each room. Well picture this passage in 2 Peter as the ladder you take into each room for refinishing it. New lamps in the ceiling, a new coat of paint or wall paper on the walls… you need a ladder to do that job well… this is the ladder you climb. Cooperating with Jesus, hand-in-hand, responding to Him… refinishing the rooms of your heart.

And if you fall off the ladder, your foundation remains sure. You just get up, let Jesus brush the dust off your clothes and get back on that ladder and keep on climbing… cling to His promises, and keep climbing….

Member #3 yes!

Member #5 amen. thank You Jesus

Member #4 it reminds me of the hymn Higher Ground 🙂

DvoraElisheva Neat 🙂
This ladder is part of what Peter meant when he said that we have ALL, EVERYTHING we need for life and for godliness.

The book of 2 Peter, particularly chapter 1 has become one of my favorites now.
Can any of you think of other practical applications this ladder of faith has for your own lives/situations? You can share here, or perhaps you only want to write it down as notes for yourself.

Member #1_ !

DvoraElisheva Member #1

Member #5 one of the things that came to mind is, as we go up the ladder, healing comes as a result; but we have to do the work. no one can do it for us, although they can help us along

Member #1_ I can relate to the process you went through, coming through abuse

DvoraElisheva Member #5: That is my point exactly!

Member #5 me too

Member #1_ And the forgiveness process, I don’t feel that I had an agape love

Member #5 understands

Member #1_ But I know that I had a agape actions, and God took care of the rest

DvoraElisheva I’ll be truthful… some of that forgiveness only came as I was writing my book!

Member #1_ Yes

DvoraElisheva Do you know, when I was writing my book, it was the first time in my life I’d ever asked myself how my grandmother felt?!

Member #5 wow

Member #1_ Understands

DvoraElisheva By the way, Member #1, the DOING love wether we feel it is critical for those of us who have been abused… thanks for sharing that

Member #5 tyfs Member #1

Member #3 I’m not sure we can arrive at perfect healing while here. We can move up the ladder but can we heal 100% ?

DvoraElisheva Member #3, I don’t believe so. THere are Christians who say otherwise, but I think they have forgotten we are still humans impacted by sin in this life…

Our HOPE is in Jesus and His promises… ultimate healing comes when we are with Him…

Member #4 agreed!

Member #5 does moving up the ladder bring about perfect peace as we progress?

DvoraElisheva I think it leads to that…
let’s look at the entire passage, just a second…

Member #5 ok

DvoraElisheva Verese 3-11 if you have your Bibles
3 His[c] divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by[d] His own glory and goodness. 4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never s

3 His[c] divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by[d] His own glory and goodness.

4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins.

Now here is the conclusion for this section

10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.

WE can look at it this way: if I have all these qualities (the rungs of the ladder), and keep climbing again and again (just like we do in sports or when practicing an instrument), I will NOT be useless or unfruitful in my knowledge of Jesus—people may say my faith is a waste of time but it’s the opposite. In fact, in verse 9, Peter says it very clearly—A person who claims to believe in Jesus who does not have these qualities in their live has become blind, they do not see clearly, and they have forgotten just what they were saved from!

Peter does not want you to misunderstand him though. He knows we all slip and fall. He fell off the ladder in Gethsemane. He did not endure (Rung 5) and denied Jesus. Some of us feel like we’ve barely gotten onto Rung 1 (goodness). So pay attention to what Peter says, “If these qualities are yours and are increasing…” You will grow, these qualities are in all of us—and all of us have slipped off the ladder in some way or another. But WE MAKE EVERY EFFORT, Cooperating with God, by an exertion of our will that plays out in our deeds. God steps in to help and strengthen us through HIS spirit and we are changed. We are different.

Peter reminds us, in verse 10, stay on the ladder, if you fall off, get back on—this is how you know you are HIS! He keeps working in you (that cooperation again) to help you get to the top. When this is our focus, we will not fall or stumble. It is when we get our eyes off Jesus that we fail… every single time! I know that is true for me.

Member #5 does the ladder work for all aspects of abuse, or are there exeptions to the rule?

DvoraElisheva I believe it works for all aspects… we have to remember the foundation the ladder stands on
Think of it this way. The ladder has to rest on SOMETHING in order to stand.
what is that something?

Member #5 Jesus Christ

DvoraElisheva Exactly!

DvoraElisheva So IF you fall off the ladder, what do you fall onto?

Member #6 faith in God through our Lord Jesus Chirst

Member #5 no storm can shake my inmost calm while to that ROCK i’m clinging

DvoraElisheva We cling to Him, and fall on Him
Something I didn’t have time to get into, but this is also important
Think about the sides of the ladder. USUALLY, most people climb a ladder but they cling or hang on to the sidebars
Those sidebars in your handout are God’s precious and great promises (Peter’s words) to us
Different abuse issues lead to us clinging to different promises…
I will never leave you…
I am with you always
My strength is sufficient for you
A father to the fatherless

OR, have you ever tried to climb a ladder and skip the rungs?

Member #5 not yet. LOL

DvoraElisheva Can you get to the top from the bottom without climbing?

Member #5 no

DvoraElisheva I don’t know about each of you. I don’t know you personally, but we all share the same human condition.
I get lazy
I get tired
I feel sorry for myself
I get distracted
I forget my foundation
I forget to look at those promises
I forget that when God’s word hurts me, it IS healing me and maybe I need to read it closer, like I had to do with 2 Peter Chapter 1
I believe most of us do the same thing… and I think Peter thought that most of us do the same thing.
That is why he wrote what he wrote, the way he wrote it…

I hope that makes sense

This is the practical working out of our faith, based on a real relationship with Jesus. Yes, it is hard. But c hoosing to follow Jesus, and observe these practical steps in our lives is worth it.

There is one other thing I’d like to share… Obie, do we have time?

Member #1_ yes

Obie yes of course

DvoraElisheva A lot of people struggle with v11
For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.
note that “being diligent to make our election sure” does not mean we do something to MAKE SURE we are saved, rather our actions, and living out the above PROVES we are saved and helps to keep us from falling into sin (stumbling).

Finally, by living rightly in this way, we know that we have that abundant entrance into heaven and this links to the BLESSING in verse 2 – “Grace and Peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” We have an assurance of heaven, and life with our wonderful savior. As we continue in this practical way of living, we gain more knowledge, deeper assurance, and grow in Him, looking forward to that wonderful day when we are with our Lord forever.

By adding to our faith — goodness, and to goodness — knowledge, 6 and to knowledge – self-control, and to self-control — endurance, and to endurance — godliness, 7 and to godliness — brotherly affection, and to brotherly kindness — love—the reward is well worth it: Living a life of godliness and the assurance of a wonderful home in heaven with our Savior and God when the climb is over.

And as far as our healing goes…. one morning, we wake up, and we suddenly discover we are on the other side of recovery… healing is in sight, and we are improving… it happens when we pursue knowledge of JESUS, not knowledge of “how do I get healed”

Because HOW you will be healed is going to be different for each person. Just like Jesus didn’t heal everyone the same way… He is not going to heal you or me the same way.

Member #5 nods

DvoraElisheva I hope these thoughts are freeing to you. I know they have been and continue to be freeing to me…

Member #5 they are. thx so much for sharing them Dvora

DvoraElisheva I’d like to close with a prayer… and then if there is more discussion, I’m free…

Our dear Heavenly Father. Thank you that you have given us a solid foundation of faith in Jesus, a faith that is equal to the faith you gave the first Apostles.
Thank you for your wonderful promises. As we have sought your healing of body, soul, and mind, all too often we wanted you to snap your fingers and fix us instantly.

We have forgotten that you want to do more than to “fix” us, you want to heal us, and that so often involves getting to the source of our problem. That is a process and a journey.

You ask us to trust You and to cooperate with You. Some of us have fallen off that ladder of faith.
Help us to get back on. Give us willing hearts to cooperate with you, so that we can experience a new wholeness beyond what we can ask for or imagine.
Lord, if you want us to reveal our withered limbs, we will. If you want to spit and put mud in our eyes and to go wash somewhere, we will. We will cooperate with you, because in the end, we know that is best.
You have given us the ability and the desire, now help us to choose rightly every day. And thank you that you are always there to pick us up when we fall. Thank you that healing is coming and will not delay. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Member #1_ Amen

Member #2 amen

Obie Amen

Member #1_ Ty Dvora

Member #3 amen

Member #4 amen

Member #5 amen

Member #6 amen

Member #3 Thank you for another great session Dvora

Member #5 see you next week

Obie Thank you Dvora. Wonderful content

DvoraElisheva Thank you all… I appreciate your active participation and openness

Praise God! 🙂

Obie {Praise God indeed!!

Member #4 Thank you for talking about setting up the ladder in each room of our hearts and that we can be on different rung in different rooms. Sometimes I’d like to think of my heart as an open floor plan but it isn’t and when we think we have exposed every room, we need to ask the Lord to search our heart like David did. Thank you Dvora!

DvoraElisheva You are welcome! 🙂
God is so good…

Member #4 He surely is! 🙂

DvoraElisheva I’ll appreciate your prayers that I continue to listen to Him as I prepare these workshops.