Today I’ll share the root to all emotional and mental disorders and what Satan uses against us in the emotional and mental arenas of life.
“And in the same way that which is sown on stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word rejoice and receive it with joy. But they have no root in themselves, and so endure just for a time. When affliction (pressure of circumstances) or persecution (opinions of others) arise for the Word’s sake, they stumble (offense) and fall away.” Mark 4:13-20
Affliction, or the pressure of circumstances, affects us all, but those having a root learn to stand against the stresses, pressures, and fears of life. But for those having ‘no root in themselves’ that pressure which comes to take the Word (Living Word) from our lives, cripples them emotionally and their ability to function and make wise decisions.
Persecution, which is the opinion of others ranging from simple gossip to being killed because someone thinks being a Christian is worthy of death, requires root in oneself to stand strong. Most of the time we care what others think of us to a limited degree, and when someone says something that hurts or they think we should do X when we think to do Y, we deal with it and move on in life.
A person with no root in themselves when dealing with ‘persecution’ will turn inward and turn the opinions of others into hurt, self-criticism or hate. Because they lack root another’s opinion takes on greater weight than it should – parents, friends, co-workers, family – and they ‘stumble’. So what is that all-important root?
What is the root that should be in all of us?
“…that Christ may live in your hearts by faith, that you would be rooted and grounded in love (agape’ – unconditional love), and then you will be able to comprehend and know that which is beyond knowing, the height and depth and breadth and length of the love of Christ, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-20
Every child, every teenager, every adult should be rooted and grounded in unconditional love. That unconditional love is to come from parents first, outward to family and friends, and to the church family – everyone who goes to anything called ‘church’, whether celebrated in the home as the apostles did it and so many do today, or in an auditorium, the ‘church’ should communicate unconditional love to each person.
Paul said IF a person is rooted and grounded in that unconditional love they will be able to know and comprehend that which is beyond mere intellectual knowledge – they will know in their ‘knower’ they are unconditionally loved by the Father and the Lord Jesus and be filled with God’s fullness.
That security known in the depths of our being, vanquishes all fear, all pressure of circumstances, places other’s opinions as secondary and subservient to the opinion of the Father and the Lord Jesus of us, who love us so!
Being rooted in love means someone can ‘cut off’ the whole plant of our life, our work, our efforts, and maybe even kill the body, but they can’t touch the root. What they say may hurt to the point of death, but we know we are loved unconditionally by the Father and Lord Jesus no matter what man thinks of us. Knowing that is the source of a strength stronger than circumstances or man’s opinion.
This is why Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower that a person not having (that) root in themselves, stumbles, takes offense, falls away from His work in their lives – if they don’t know deep down that they are unconditionally loved, they can’t handle circumstances nor opinions of others.
An example of rooting destroyed
Last week I shared the story of a boy who by age 8 was in counseling for ‘Conduct Disorder’, and that he was a child of divorce. For whatever reason, he received the bulk of his dad’s anger.
He was 7 when his dad left the family, and consistent with the pattern of blame he felt at his dad’s whippings, he immediately took the blame for the divorce on himself. He suddenly believed and stated many times if he wasn’t around his mom and dad would still be together, if he wasn’t alive they would be together – in his mind it was all his fault.
His dad, through severe anger directed towards him, had destroyed any rooting in unconditional love that boy had, so that when the divorce happened Satan had an easy time attacking him. Affliction and persecution in this case were the divorce and consequences, and his dad’s opinion of his son - real or imagined.
Satan is all alone
Jesus said in John 8:44 when Satan speaks a lie he speaks it all by himself. Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together unless they are in agreement?” When we gather in prayer we do so because Jesus said when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name He is there in their midst. The power of agreement is key.
Satan is on the outside looking in. Satan is alone looking for someone to agree with him. We have Christ in us, the Father and the Lord and Holy Spirit all ‘for us’ and in agreement with the Father’s efforts in our lives.
Satan is by himself. He speaks things often like a shotgun blast, crazy thoughts, not knowing if anything he fires at us will stick. But sometimes he and his demons see an opening caused by lack of rooting and grounding, and a simple lie spoken to a person is received and believed by that person, and when that lie is believed by the person there is agreement, and suddenly that lie becomes truth to that person.
When that young boy received harsh punishment because his dad was angry at life, and then his dad left the family, it was a small thing for Satan to speak a lie and find agreement – “This is all your fault. If you weren’t around your mom and dad would still be together.”
And suddenly the lie once received by that person, became truth, and therefore everyone else was wrong. That opened the door for larger demonic influences and started the boy down the path of mental illness.
The truth was that boy was unconditionally loved by his mom, siblings, friends and neighbors, but once he believed the lie that it was his fault he could not believe the truth. The fact of agreement is that a person cannot believe both the lie and the truth at the same time.
Many believers lack a root of unconditional love and so down deep inside dislike or even hate themselves, yet they are in misery trying to believe the Father loves them and can’t ever seem to ‘get there’. It is because they are trying to believe and know the Father’s love while holding onto the lie(s) they’ve believed all their life.
A person must ‘un-believe’ the lie before they can believe the truth. That always involves revelation from the Father, and those first scary steps at rejecting old thoughts which were taken for years as truth – it’s your fault, no one loves you, no one can be trusted – to believe the truth of the Father’s love instead.
It is hard because years of life experience seem to confirm the lie which has been taken as truth, but there is no life history to believe God’s love (though there is but can’t be seen while holding onto the lie)…it must be known down inside in your spirit where things are comprehended that are beyond intellectual understanding.
If a person lacks that root in unconditional love they cannot receive the Father’s love past head knowledge, they can’t love others as they love themselves because they don’t love self…and a vicious cycle of failed relationships and poor decisions happens – starting a journey down the path of unhealthy emotional and mental turmoil that will continue until they learn to reject and un-believe the lie(s) and receive the revelation of the truth…
And we’ll pick it up there next week.
Until then, blessings!