Matthew 13:15 (NLT) For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’
I’ve not been able to get this Scripture off my mind this week after using it in ministry on Sunday. I’ve read this in the past and thought of how people willingly turn from God and their hearts harden. I believe this certainly can be true. But today, I also see many whose hearts are hardened by so many other things, such as the traumas, disappointments, frustrations, neglect and abandonments of life. The word “hardened” in Louw-Nida means “mentally dull”. We become mentally dull due to so many wounds that remain unhealed. We have eyes but can’t see the truth. We have ears but can’t hear the truth. Our minds are “dull” and we do not receive the Words of Truth from God. Yes, many willingly close their eyes and ears, yet many do this out of self-preservation and their minds become dull to believing there is hope or help for them. Their hearts become hardened and they cannot or will not see and hear when someone wants to help. They don’t trust or believe that someone could care for them. They become isolated from truth and in denial of any other options available. They become hopeless. We see this on a regular basis.
With what we have seen recently with Brain Health Therapy, I believe God has given man another option to help clear the mind so he can then once again hear what God is saying. When we are wrapped in pain, depression, anxiety, etc., it takes a powerful awakening to be able to hear and see what we need to hear and see. Physiologically, there is a shift in the brain from all the issues that life has brought, and we just try to pray or counsel it off people. Most of the time, this does not work. We know that God can do all things, but just as we reset a broken bone, maybe we need to reset a “broken brain”. Could God just snap His fingers and make it happen? Yes. Do we expect that with a broken bone? No. We get it set. I thank God for His patience with mankind and His grace in revealing how incredibly wonderful He has made us.
How many people sit in churches each week, broken from inner pain and disappointment and never hear or experience the Presence of God, while others are being set free? The Pastors preach the right answer, yet the people continue to feel hopeless, lost, unloved and the depression gets worse and worse and their hearts get more and more dull until they quit coming at all. They are resistant to counseling or instruction, because they have ears that CAN’T hear and eyes that CAN’T see and they CANNOT turn to Jesus for healing, unless someone helps them. They cope the best they can with addictions, isolation, denial, work and we just don’t understand what is wrong with them and why they won’t change and then they are gone.
We must always pray! We must always give the Word of life to people. But we must truly understand that some people have been so broken and bruised by life that only a miracle can free them. I am so appreciative of the new Brain Therapy that is available today and the research that explains what really happens to our physical bodies when we have experienced years of trauma, abuse, neglect, disappointments, etc. I appreciate the work of scientist and researchers who have been graced with knowledge of how God has made us so wonderfully complete and complex. Now scientists have proven that words can shape our brains and our environment. The Word of God has been saying this for thousands of years. (Death and Life are in the power of the tongue. Prov 18:21). Scientists have proven how images that we stare into can literally change our brain and our behaviors. Technology becomes our idol and we have become just like what we are so consumed with. (Psalm 135:15-17) Scientists have proven the neuroplasticity of the brain and how the cellular memory of traumas affect us for generations. Again, the Word of God has been saying this for thousands of years. (The iniquities of the fathers pass down to the third and fourth generation. Exodus 20:5). What grace and mercy God has given to us that when we do not believe His Word, He has allowed us to see through scientific study that His Word is truth!
I believe this knowledge is a gift from God and He is showing us that we need both physical and spiritual healing. He is showing us how the spiritual condition of our lives affects our physical and mental bodies. One without the other is only a partial cure. Yes, all comes through God ultimately, but many cannot see or hear that God loves them and wants to bring healing. God is all things! He can do all things! And, He works through people loving people. He co-labors with us as we extend His heart to others, pointing them to the only source of true FREEDOM….Jesus Christ!
As we celebrate Freedom and Independence today, let’s look inside and ask ourselves if we are free indeed. The Word of God says that “he whom the son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36) Free from depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, disgrace, addictions, fears, hatred, prejudice, etc. The list goes on and on. Jesus came to set us free and IN HIM we are free indeed!