Today’s episode with Dr. Karl Lehman is part two of our discussion about his work in developing the Immanuel approach for healing. The Immanuel approach was developed as a unique therapeutic tool to heal trauma by accessing God’s presence in the midst of painful memories. Drawing on a history of Christian inner healing work and recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, the Immanuel approach has been used around the world to facilitate permanent resolution for trauma.

Today, I discuss with Karl some needed cautions and disclaimers as people begin using and facilitating the Immanuel approach. We also talk about what I think is an even more exciting outworking of the Approach: it’s what Karl calls, “The Immanuel Lifestyle”. This Immanuel lifestyle is what allowed me to find sustained healing and growth over the last several years as the experience I had in the Immanuel approach took on a life of its own and created a whole new set of behaviors and beliefs about God’s love and presence in my life.

If today’s episode is encouraging to you, I’d welcome you to visit the Immanuel approach website: www.immanuelapproach.org to find more resources. I’d also welcome you to join us on our Immanuel approach retreat in Elijay, GA March 1-3 next year. You’ll get an overview of the science and theology behind the Immanuel approach. You’ll also have the chance to try a number of interactive exercises designed to facilitate an experience of God’s presence in your memories and your daily life. You can get more info at mailchi.mp/6d428b62877e/immanuel-retreat-save-the-date

 

For more information on resources discussed in today’s episode:

The Immanuel Approach: www.immanuelapproach.com

The Immanuel Retreat: https://mailchi.mp/6d428b62877e/immanuel-retreat-save-the-date

Global Disciple Builder: www.globaldisciplebuilder.com

Global Disciple Builder Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/globaldisciplebuilder/

Romal Tune: Author and Speaker

“I help hurting people find healing”— has become the six-word mission statement that defines Romal’s life and his platform. His commitment to living an authentic life allows him to share his journey of faith in God plus therapy as the combination that lead him to wholeness. As an author and speaker, Romal has become a global leader who guides individuals, organizations and institutions to recover from setbacks and achieve success by honoring their unique stories. With an infectious style that has impacted audiences around the world, Romal moves people to action! Through compassion, and systemic change, he creates and environment that will empower you in your life’s journey.

Richmond Wandera moved to a 12×12 hut in a Kampala slum after his father was murdered when he was young. His mother sent him out to the streets to fend for himself until a young woman named heather began to sponsor his education through Compassion International.

 

Since then, Richmond has earned a masters degree from Moody Bible Institute and a PhD in philosophy from Lancaster college. He spent 6 months studying the gospels to learn how Jesus multiplied disciples that could disciple nations. He has since returned to Uganda where he founded the Pastor’s Discipleship Network with a passion to see Uganda’s 85,000 pastors deeply grounded in God’s word.

 

In 2016, Richmond spearheaded a campaign to build the Daraja Center which has been used to train over 2,500 pastors so far.

 

Richmond’s enthusiasm and vision for discipling the nation of Uganda is contagious. I found myself thinking after our conversations that God would use him powerfully in the transformation of his own country. His passion to develop research-based solutions to pressing problems and his willingness to think outside the box make him a formidable leader. Yet I also found him to be warm and engaging as he shared his eagerness to draw people into the life of Christ through a deeper understanding of God’s word.

 

For more information on resources discussed in today’s episode:

Global Disciple Builder: http://www.globaldisciplebuilder.com

Global Disciple Builder Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/globaldisciplebuilder/

Worldwide Discipleship Association: http://www.disciplebuilding.org

Pastor’s Discipleship Network: www.pdnafrica.org

Lancaster Bible College: www.lbc.edu

Moody Bible Institute: www.moody.edu

Arahdna Music: www.arahdnamusic.com

Contact Nate: nharkness@disciplebuilding.org

forgive painting

Forgiveness is a lovely thing to witness. Having led more than a few Restoring Your Heart (RYH) groups, I’ve had lots of opportunities to watch the forgiveness process as it unfolds in people’s lives. The following is one such story.

I know we have all experienced forgiveness at one time or another. Maybe by giving it or receiving it ourselves. Or perhaps been a witness to someone else giving it or receiving it. We’ve all learned about it, studied about it and most likely, struggled with it.

One of the most encouraging and unexpected times I saw forgiveness in action was in a RYH group I led many years ago.

Margie was about 45 years old when I met her. She had joined a RYH Processing Pain group that I was leading in a local church.  Margie, myself and five other women met together for two hours each week to go through the RYH Processing Pain workbook and share emotional hurts from the past. The purpose of the group is to better understand our childhood, grieve our hurts and come to a place of forgiveness. It’s a healing process. During the three months of meeting together in a safe environment, the group members generally form a close bond with one another. Margie’s group was no exception.

A little history on Margie. Margie grew up in a strict home. Her parents were cold and stoic, and as we went through the lessons together Margie told us how they frequently called her stupid and ugly when she was a child. She was neither, by the way.

Not surprisingly, Margie married a man who didn’t treat her much better. She was accustomed to being put down and although she didn’t like it, it was “normal” to her. One day, when Margie’s sons were close to high school age, Margie’s husband left her…for another man. And although in many ways Margie was glad he left, the way he did it confirmed everything her parents had told her about who she was, ugly and stupid.

When we started the RYH group, it was clear that Margie had an enormous amount of animosity towards her ex-husband. The lessons in the first half of the workbook are focused on childhood but Margie had a hard time staying with her childhood issues. She wanted to vent about her ex-husband at every session. About a third of the way through the workbook, Margie realized the process was moving towards forgiving those who had hurt us. She became very agitated and announced that there was one person she could never forgive…her ex-husband.

Everyone in the group validated Margie’s feelings, confirmed that she had been mistreated, and comforted her in her hurt and anger.

Fast forward to the end of the workbook, just past the forgiveness part. Margie walked into the group session that night and she looked radiant, seriously glowing. She was happy and excited. She looked like a different person.

“You will never believe what has happened to me!”

Of course, we all wanted to know. Margie looked so beautiful we wanted whatever had happened to her, to happen to us as well.   “What? What?”

“I have forgiven my ex-husband! I don’t know how it happened! I never thought I would forgive him! But I have and I feel SO FREE!! God is so awesome!”

During the process of Margie acknowledging her pain and grieving her losses, she was able, with the power of the Holy Spirit, to forgive. It not only changed the way she felt, it literally changed the way she looked. That night I actually saw the beautiful face of forgiveness.

If Margie’s story has encouraged you or perhaps touched something deep within your own story, and you would like to see and experience the healing power of forgiveness in your life, learn more about the WDA Restoring Your Heart Ministry at  www.RestoringYourHeart.com.

 

Heart of StoneWe often hear about people whose lives hang in the balance because of their damaged hearts. They need a new heart to continue living and cling to life while waiting for a heart donor. All of mankind has a similar condition. Everyone needs a new spiritual heart because the one we have is not open to God or interested in Him.

By God’s grace He offers us a new heart. He sent His very own son, Jesus Christ, as a willing donor. Jesus wants to replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, a heart that is responsive to God (Ezekiel 36:25-27). Actually, He wants to do much more than this. He wants to give us salvation, make us a part of His family, bring about our healing, enable our spiritual growth and bring us to heaven.

All of these blessings are possible because Jesus Christ came to this earth and died for our sins on the cross. We deserved to die, but He died in our place. Peter said it very clearly, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (I Peter 3:18).” Christ’s death and resurrection from the dead created the possibility of the redemption of all mankind. Now it is up to us to respond and receive the gracious gift God offers. For those who repent by turning from their sins, turning to Christ and trusting Him for salvation, all that God offers will be theirs. Once a person has received God’s grace and enters into salvation, God begins the process of transforming that person into the likeness of Christ. In doing this, God is restoring His fallen image in man. He is reversing the effects of the Fall.

Man is now made alive spiritually.
Man, who was dead spiritually, is made alive through personal salvation. Paul describes what God has done in his letter to the Ephesians.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:1-4)

To be alive spiritually means that we are able to relate to God and experience a special relationship with Him as our loving Father. This new relationship with God saves us from His wrath and will last for eternity. God will never tire of us. And we will never tire of Him. This relationship, like any other, grows as we invest time in it. We have not only gained an eternal loving Father, but we have also become part of a whole new family, the family of God. He is the Father, and we who believe are His children (John 1:12).

Man can now choose to do what is right.
Man, who was enslaved to sin before being made alive spiritually, can now choose to do what is right. He did not lose the ability to choose at the Fall. Rather, he came under the negative influences of his sin nature, the world and the continuing deceptions of Satan. These influences confuse his mind so that he regularly chooses wrong and is blinded to his sinful human condition.

Christ has changed all that. We have been enlightened and delivered from enslavement to sin (Romans 6:6). Through our new relationship with Christ, we can now find wisdom and strength to choose to do what is right. God has given us the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, to live in us and to empower us to live for Him. The Holy Spirit together with the Bible and the people of God show us truth so we can make good choices in our lives, choices that are right and bring glory to God.

This is not to say that we will always make the right choices or do the right things. We can still choose to do what is wrong. In fact, all our old enemies (our sin nature, the world and Satan) are still trying to deceive us and blind us. We are in a spiritual battle in this world, and our enemies are formidable. But Christ is greater and stronger than they are. As we learn to depend on Him and mature spiritually, we will increasingly overcome these enemies, but this battle is an ongoing one, one that will continue throughout this life.

Man now has confidence before God.
Man, who was shamed when he was spiritually dead, can now have confidence before God. Since the Fall, man has had a problem with sin and the resulting guilt. He is not able to live up to his own standards, and deep in his heart, he knows it. There are many ways he tries to cover his guilt, but they are generally unsuccessful.

Jesus came to take that guilt away. His death was sufficient to satisfy God’s wrath against all sins: past, present and future. He removed the barrier of sin that was between God and man, and now, nothing separates the believer from God. Paul put it this way, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

The concept that we are fully and totally forgiven, even when we continue to sin, is a difficult concept to accept. Satan and our consciences continually condemn us and tell us that God certainly cannot love sinners like us. We need to focus on the truth: there is no sin too great to be forgiven, and Jesus has come to cleanse our guilty consciences. Therefore we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. In fact, God tells us to do that very thing. He instructs us to approach Him with confidence in our times of need (Hebrews 4:16) and to pursue Him aggressively.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

Man is now made one with other believers.
Man, who was at odds with his fellow man, is now made one with other believers. Needless to say, man’s treatment of his fellow man has generally been less than admirable. As cultures move farther and farther away from Christ they become increasingly ruthless (Romans 1:18-32). There have only been 144 years of recorded history when there hasn’t been some kind of a war going on.

Jesus came to reconcile us not only to God but also to one another. He has leveled the playing field and removed reasons for prejudice by dying for all people. Everyone comes to Him on the same terms; He makes no distinction between races, sexes or any other classes of people. All who come to Him join the same family of God and have equal access to the Father. Christians are a multinational group of people who find their commonality in Christ. The oneness they share implies intimacy, agreement, companionship and teamwork. Christians have shown over and over that they can demonstrate these qualities with other believers no matter what other differences may be present.

Revelation speaks of our common heritage and inheritance in Christ.

You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve God, and they will reign on the earth.

Summary
God, through Christ, reverses many of the effects of the Fall. He takes away our spiritual deadness, our slavery to sin, our shame and our hostility toward one another. He replaces them with spiritual aliveness, the ability to choose right, confidence before God and oneness with one another. The reversal of these effects begins at salvation and continues as we grow spiritually. Finally, when Christ returns for His people and sets up His Kingdom, all the effects of the Fall will be removed and replaced with something far better than we can imagine. We have a great hope and a great future!

Application Suggestions:
• Meditate on the benefits of being God’s child as you read Ephesians 1:3-10.
• What changes have you seen God make in your relationship with yourself, with God and with others?

 

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