When you follow after Christ, prepare to receive many revelations.
Always done in perfect timing, these revelations gently awaken our understanding to what God sees all the time. And in one recent instance, such a profound awakening happened to me.
The process began with a simple feeling that rose up inside. A prompting to fast quickly became apparent.
Having done so before, I knew the blessing that was going to come and so I eagerly accepted. For two weeks I cut out all dairy, supplemented with other sources of calcium, and continued to study, pray, and carry on with daily life.
Though God never gave me a reason to fast in the beginning, I knew He had something important to uncover. And a few days after the fast ended, He surprised me with a question, “Jessie, why are you hitting yourself?”
Hurting His Temple
Absent-mindedly, I had been jamming the back of my pen into my shoulder over and over again. What was I thinking?
I was thinking of how I couldn’t find the next words to write in my blog post. It was an insignificant and practically painless nuance to me, but to the Holy Spirit, I was hurting His temple.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, (1 Corinthians 6:19, NLT).
Admittedly, it wasn’t the first time I had hurt His temple. I suffered from years of mindless and repetitive physical and mental degradation, but it was the first realization that I was actually dishonoring His temple.
Layers Of Revelation
Yet, it easily supported a previous revelation given by the Holy Spirit just a year ago. As I began writing my testimony for this blog, I was stuck on one particular sentence: ‘I have an obsessive compulsive _______.’
Disorder didn’t fit into that blank spot. So I read the words again to myself and the Holy Spirit interjected, “Personailty”.
I had no idea that Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) existed, let alone that I had it. But when I researched online, my abnormal tendencies started to make sense.
With OCPD, I’m preoccupied with control, perfectionism, and high achievement. I struggle to give affection, and I have even more difficulty showing leniency to others who don’t meet my expectations. (For more on OCPD, click here).
Believing In Lies
And worse yet, when I do succeed, I’m often extremely dissatisfied due to some trivial and minute mistakes made in the process of getting there. As one can tell, this personality can be debilitating and is certainly unworthy of God’s temple practices; and even more so, it has been a stronghold for over twenty years.
In my childhood, criticisms slowly became truth, laying the foundation for my dysfunctional mindset. And little by little, through people and circumstances, the devil made me believe that I am worthy of desecrating and worthy of removal.
How was I going to tear this unholy belief system down? How was I going to demolish this tall and mighty Goliath standing in between me and my real self in Christ?
Just as Jesus could only cast out certain demons with prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29), God invited me to do the same. He started with small challenges, which ultimately led to bigger and longer ones.
Shedding Unholy Beliefs
And time and time again, I saw the blessings pouring out onto me. I received more revelations and began to shed even more unhealthy beliefs as I strengthened my obedience to Him.
And the blessings simply came when I showed my willingness to be with Him and to change into His likeness. Because God requires a willing spirit to tear down strongholds.
What does a willing spirit look like? It’s doing what God says regardless of explanations and understanding.
In my own walk with Him, God told me to fast and pray, to get rid of superstitious trinkets in my house, to stop watching R-rated films, and to meditate on Scripture every time I had poor thinking. Even if I was hesitant to do most of these things, I did notice remarkable changes sprouting from a willing and sometimes eager spirit.
Forgiving Past Offenses
Then, after months of doing what He asked, God surprised me with His next request: to forgive Him. Why would I need to forgive a blameless and just God?
It didn’t matter that He was innocent; I believed Him to be unfair and unjust in His dealings with me. I was offended by Him, and like with Job, I felt abandoned and rejected by God because I didn’t understand my sufferings.
From this abandonment, my heart held hurt and anger from His lack of rescuing when I asked Him to. And these hurts festered until resentment replaced any faith in Him I had at all.
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me; deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. (Psalm 59:1 & 2, ESV)
Covering Up The Heart
So hurting myself with thoughts, words, and actions became relief. And the pain temporarily dissipated with each debasing intention.
That’s what Satan aims to do – to bait me into creating an unholy belief system that ends up desecrating God’s temple. In hindsight, the enemy was successful in covering up my heart with confusion and deception.
I was confused at who I am in Christ. I was deceived into thinking that I had no value in life at all, and that my obsessions are the real me.
Some people today may feel the same agonizing defeat. Obsessions, fears, and other temple-desecrating habits often lead down a dark road to suicide, where the only one with the power to recover you is God Himself.
Uncovering The Heart
I know this because I was there. In 2012, I thought about swallowing a handful of pain pills and ending my life.
But God reached down and rescued me that day. And six years later, after He got me right where He wanted me, He began the process of uncovering my heart.
Maybe you struggle to defeat strongholds in your life because you see them as overwhelming obstacles? Or maybe you are angry with God for allowing those strongholds to form, causing you to be swallowed up by depression, loneliness, and unending darkness?
For whatever reason you suffer, pray to God for a willing spirit, so that He can uncover your heart and begin the healing process. And continue to seek Him in His Word, holding onto the hope of real change that will bring you closer to who you are meant to be in Christ!
Enter your email address below to receive this free Psalm 51:12 printable. You’ll be added to my subscription list, but that just means you will be among the first to receive new printables!
Disclaimer: Couch Crumbs, LLC, recommends seeking a medical evaluation from a licensed medical professional in order to determine if you are safely able to fast from food.