Imagine sitting by the wayside and unable to see, probably for a great many years. Picture the conditioning, the thinking patterns and survival strategies. Bartimaeus chose to demolish such strongholds the day he met Jesus.
Could it be that God is inviting us to do the same?
We learn through repetition. How many times do you find yourself singing along to your favourite song on the radio. Chances are, you will have heard it many times, now all the words are hardwired into your system.
Unfortunately we can also repeat unhealthy or toxic thoughts, or strongholds, into our brains as well. It’s as though they’re stuck on repeat; the rumination becomes 2nd nature as those thoughts become hardwired.
A stronghold is anything that keeps us bound, anything which we may rely upon that seeks to destroy or hinder us somehow. It is something which controls or dominates us.
We all have them, usually without realising. I’m not by any means referring to sin, but to thinking or behavioural patterns that often we default to.
Day in day out, Bartimaeus sat by the wayside begging and existing, surviving whilst life passed him by.
“Ill always be a blind beggar…..I don’t get the happiness everyone else gets…..I’ll never work…..It’s not fair…..Things will never change…….I’ve been this way too long…..”
Bartimaeus had a choice: to continue in his comfort zone, his strongholds and his beggar status or to let go of them and allow Jesus to change his world completely.
Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
Healing didn’t land in his lap. He performed an action, he threw off his coat first, in order to receive. He Let go of those strongholds.
As I read this, I wonder what God is asking me to ‘throw aside?’ Are there strongholds obstructing my healing?
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
2 Cor 10:4
Bartimaeus’ coat was his most valuable asset. Without it he had no means of survival since it gave him the license to beg. It was his security.
Casting off his garment shows his level of trust and faith in Jesus. He no longer needed his coat, what Jesus was about to do is far more valuable.
You and I may not have a physical coat to throw off, but we may have thought patterns which are stopping us from trusting God and dilute our faith.
In counselling we talk of Secondary Gains. These are all the advantages of having an illness.
Maybe you get a lot of compassion from others which gives you comfort? Unfortunately this will keep you bound.
Maybe others do your cleaning or shopping for you and you enjoy their help. Could you start, one step at a time, to do your own housework? Dependence on others is hindering.
Could it be that living with a disability, gives you an excuse to not serve in church or face other responsibilities? These too can easily become strongholds.
THE DISABILITY STATUS
Bartemaeus was accustomed to the way his life was. He had no money, was probably hungry and used to living on handouts from the crowds.
His coat symbolises his beggar status and his disability. It represents his identity.
He was invisible, pitied and looked down upon. Bartimaeus didn’t know any different than life with a disability.
The longer I live with pain, the more I forget what life is like without it. It’s as though I can’t remember what being well is like. I wonder if you relate to this?
Here are some of the strongholds I am partnering with God to demolish: ‘my life will never change….I’ve lost 20 years and missed out on life…..If only this happened when I was much older’
Each time I think these thoughts, it’s as though I’m adding one more brick to the wall which is becoming taller, longer and stronger.
But the more I undo the conditioning by replacing the thoughts and living ‘healed’, the more I increase my capacity to receive. I’m loosening the wall’s fortification.
In other words, I’ve wired in the symptoms, the thoughts and the way of living. Now I must learn to unwire them.
Take a read of ARE YOU CLOTHED IN CHRIST OR CLOTHED IN SICKNESS?
IN CHRIST ALONE
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17
You and I are like Jesus. He is healthy, well-able with sound mind. He does not have any illness or health condition whatsoever. This is our identity.
Sickness is part of the old man. When we were buried with Christ, all our illnesses were buried with Him.
When we arose again with Him, we became just like Him. Yes we may still sin, but all our sins are forgiven and God no longer sees them.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Cor 5:17
In the same way, we may still get sick, but all these sicknesses ‘are healed’ spiritually speaking, because we’re now in Christ. This is why the Bible says that we’re already healed, past tense.
Seeing yourself in Christ means seeing yourself healed, even if your body is in pain. The key is to not look at your situation in the natural.
Knowing who we really are gives us the ability to demolish those strongholds that are helping us survive; we realise those thoughts are ‘not who we are’
Imagine what it would be like, if The Holy Spirit’s grace and strength consumed us to walk out from this place of completeness.
It’s therefore not so much us consciously changing in our own strength, but as we focus on Jesus, we are changed. We begin to step out of those things that bind us as we allow Him to help us demolish any strongholds within us.
If you feel this is too challenging, please remember that it really is one beautiful step at a time.
Have a great day
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