A Call to Loving Community

by Judith MacNutt
2019 Vol. 05

Christian Healing Ministries, and of Francis and I, have a passion to not only to see individuals transformed, but to see the church become all it is meant to be.

If the church was to take hold of all that Jesus modeled for us when He walked on this earth, it would be walking in its highest calling and destiny. The healing ministry of Jesus encompasses the entire message of Jesus—spiritual healing, prophecy, deliverance, physical healing, and inner healing. Just as Jesus modeled, He would like us all to be equipped in every type of healing, using every spiritual gift. 

Our greatest need as human beings is for love. Love is healing. Our second greatest need is to have a sense of belonging. He calls us to be in loving community with other believers for this purpose.

Prayer for inner healing allows God to deal with our broken heart, our severed emotions and our traumatic memories. During inner healing, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is not bound by time or place, can reach back into our painful memories and remove the pain.

Every person experiences wounding and pain, but fear of re-experiencing our pain keeps us from our healing—we lack the tools. “I don’t need help with that!” “If I just keep reading the Bible, going to conferences and worship services, someday it’s going to click with me.” These are a few of the common responses we hear regarding our wounds.

Often when we experience trauma in childhood, we don’t have anybody to walk through that experience with us, so we repress the pain. Unprocessed pain is then stored within us. Years later it may manifest itself in sickness of body or mind. Not only that, we often project our pain onto other people. It becomes transmitted instead of transformed.

Most of us understand that churches struggle with creating healthy community because the people within the church struggle. People who experience inner pain tend to seek pleasure to mask that pain. We are not designed to carry all the strong emotions of fear, anger, grief and sorrow that attach to our wounds. To deal with our pain, we form attachments to things, people or substances.

Another term for an attachment is an addiction. Many of us have “acceptable addictions.” You know you shouldn’t eat that chocolate cake, but it makes you feel better! You know you shouldn’t have that second helping of food, but it makes you feel better. 

In the little town where I grew up, we had the best potluck system of any church in the area. I used to volunteer in the kitchen just to be on the receiving end of Thelma Deaton’s yeast rolls. They were so delicious, and I can almost taste them now in my mind. My mother was known for her gingerbread and the caramel sauce poured all over it. I watched many wonderful Christians try to fill their plates with as much food they possibly could. 

We can laugh about it, but this behavior is what I call a “broken will.” We can’t seem to choose what is best for ourselves, so we choose unhealthy attachments. We not only choose unhealthy food, but we choose unhealthy partners, unhealthy habits, or we abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol.

God designed us to have healthy attachments. We are meant to share our stories and accept prayer for our needs. We are meant to be in loving relationships. We are meant to be in churches where people address instead of hide from their pain. We are meant to be in loving communities where people are seen with the heart of Jesus—where someone can see when things are amiss. We are meant to be in relationships in which someone is willing to reach out to us and pray with us when they see us hurting.

In my private practice in Clearwater, FL, a man came for an appointment. This man, (we will call him John), booked an appointment on the advice of his doctor who said, “If you don’t go for counseling, you’re going to die.”

John had suffered a very serious heart attack. Although he was only in his 40’s, he had arthritis throughout his body. His feet hurt so much that he shuffled when he walked. John shared that when he was about three years old, his father left the family and never came back. He was raised in a household with his mother and two of his aunts. His life was miserable because all three of the women were very controlling as a result of their own pain.

The very first time I prayed for him I asked the Lord to bring to mind a memory where John had really suffered. In his boyhood home, there was a big, round dining room table with a tablecloth over it that hung all the way to the floor. When life was difficult, this was John’s hiding place—his safe place where he would take his little soldiers and other toys.

During our inner healing prayer session, he saw himself in his childhood memory under that table and he realized how broken that little boy was. He asked, “Why did my daddy leave me?” 

He saw Jesus come under the table with him and ask him, “What are you doing, John?”

He said, “I’m playing with my little soldiers.” 

Jesus asked, “May I sit and play with you?” Jesus sat with John and then He lovingly asked, “Would you let me hold you?” In his memory, John saw Jesus holding him and asking, “Will you forgive your daddy for leaving you?” The adult John cried and cried, and he was able to forgive. When he left my office that day the arthritis was totally gone from his body and his heart was healed. 

Learning how to move in the healing ministry of Jesus can begin to transform people. Jesus tunes into people and their hearts. He heals everyone who comes to him. The work of Jesus is the teaching of Jesus—to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons, to deal with generational issues in people, to deal with their brokenness and woundedness inside. This is what will truly transform the church.

What about you? I recommend you address your own pain as a first step. Some of us have so much anger, fear, grief and sorrow that it is literally making us sick. We may be transferring that pain to others. But we don’t have to wait for heaven to be set free; we can experience transformation here and now! We can be healed and restored here and now. Jesus is changing His church, and you are part of that!

Judith MacNutt Judith MacNutt is a licensed psychotherapist, author, teacher, conference speaker, co–founder and president of CHM. 2019 Vol. 05