Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Importance of Inner Healing

In my counseling ministry I seek to help clients enter into the healing process and to give the Holy Spirit room to work in the lives that have been badly battered. Emotional, mental, and spiritual healing are in many ways far more significant than physical healing. Most people, when taken ill even with as terminal disease, can work through it with joy in their hearts and an expectation of seeing Jesus. But depressed, broken, beaten, and battered souls have no peace, hope, joy, or even love. They are the walking dead. Through the Spirit it is my task to try to illuminate the path to healing through Christ. Marla walked that path after her pastor sent her to me because of clinical-level depression. "I have been depressed for forty years," she told me up front. She had come because she was told to. Early on in our counseling, she said, "I don't want to be here. I wouldn't be here if my pastor did not demand I come and see you." As we began to visit, I learned that she grew up in an abusive home where she was neglected, and she had never bonded with her father or mother. She was the child they called "the mistake." After the first three-hour session in which I laid out for her the reality of spiritual warfare, though, she jarred me when she said, "I think you are quite stupid. As a matter of fact, the idea that the enemy can oppress someone who is a Christian is ridiculous. When God saved me, He put a shield around me that is impenetrable to anyone except the Holy Spirit. My depression is simply biochemical; there is no spiritual element involved here. So when you tell me I need to look at my life and my attitude, I honestly think it's ridiculous. You are one of the most stupid people I have ever met." As she left, I asked the Lord for unique grace to make it through the next two days; Marla had come to our offices from out of town for three daily sessions, each three hours in duration. "Lord," I prayed, "if it would please You, would You please cause the enemy to overstep his boundaries in Marla's life in a non harmful way." (Sometimes even we "compassionate" counselors pray prayers like that!) That evening she walked into her hotel room, and after she had settled down for the evening she heard a voice say, "You are right; Ken Copley is truly a charlatan. He is one of the most stupid people I have ever met, to say nothing of you. So you see, Marla, there is no hope for you; you might as well take your life." She had never heard a voice before, and now she remembered my words that her battle was merely spiritual. I think this might be the enemy Ken Copley is talking about, she told herself. The next day she came back with a whole new attitude. For the first time she was willing to pray, cry out to God, and ask the Spirit to show her areas in her life where she was believing lies. The Spirit of God dealt first with the issue of whether she was a mistake on the part of her parents in conceiving her. I showed her she was fearfully and wonderfully made; she was not the child of the worthless, but a child of the living God. The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures began to assure her heart that God had a plan for her. She confessed sins that dealt with her attitude, her rebellion, and her critical spirit. Truly repentant, she asked God to take back ground she had given to Satan concerning all these things. Wonderfully, her depression lifted. She decided I wasn't so stupid after all, and three years later she wrote me: "I have never again entered that deep black hole of depression. I know God loves me, I know He is with me, I know He has ordered the vents of my life and is sovereignty in control. I trust implicitly in Him." Today Marla is actively serving the Lord. But it came at a price; she had to humble herself, cry out to Him, and receive God's deliverance. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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