Most people are forever trying to put distance between themselves and their difficult places. If they struggle with temper, they try to stay away from people, places, or things that might trigger anger. If it their issue is lust, they create what I call “fences” to try to keep themselves in a safe zone.
Having healthy boundaries (“fences”) is a good thing. Few people can successfully overcome in difficult areas without the right kind of boundaries, but boundaries are not the ultimate solution. Only heart change can offer long term victory.
All things work by spiritual authority. As long as the authority in a person’s heart is weaker than the spiritual attack that comes, that person will lose the battle. Fences can provide temporary protection. They can limit the attack that comes. They can give the person the time he needs to grow. But eventually, God will allow the battle to take place. Why? Because He wants heart change. He wants every person to be transformed into His image. He doesn’t want us to be under the authority of the enemy!
Most of the people we work with get 2 to 3 months in a good place, experiencing a sense of peace and wellbeing before the trouble hits. It is so predictable, that we continually talk about the coming onslaught so that those currently experiencing the euphoria in life will be ready when the change comes. And it does come almost 100% of the time.
You can’t get healing from a distance. Getting better requires a microscope not a telescope. A phrase we use is “if it don’t show up, you won’t grow up.” The issues that can potentially destroy a person do not come from the outside, but are lurking in the deep places of his heart. We all tend to think that some ugly person on the outside caused our ugly part to surface. But if there was nothing there on the inside, it could not have come to the surface.
Most people try to get better by controlling people, places, and things. God stirs up the stuff within and says, “Now what are you going to do about it?” The first thing we need to do is to accept that it is our issue. It is not just the product of a trigger from bad people or experiences. The second thing to do is to recognize that we are powerless to defeat that inner darkness unless we receive help from God and others. The third thing to do is to get the help needed to win.
Winning generally requires healing of a wound, or forgiveness, or some kind of partnership with someone or something strong enough to help us overcome. God has created us so that we share outcomes with those we run with. Who you partner with is likely to be the most important decision that will lead to winning or losing.
Eventually, there has to be a confrontation with the inner darkness. Victory comes by squarely facing those painful and difficult places, not from walling them off. There are times when living near the boiling point is exactly what is needed to get to breakthrough. It is a dangerous time. If the person just explodes one more time, chances are good that the inner darkness becomes more entrenched and the self-hatred and hopelessness sets in even more.
However, if the angry person is exposed to someone who understand God’s ways, the outcome can be amazingly good. When we help others find the root causes of anger and get release, heart change is possible.
The boiling points will come. Are we learning how to use them for the good that God intends?