Do you ever feel like King David writing the psalms when you reflect back on your old journal entries or seasons in life? One day you may be really going after God with confidence and the next you're a blubbering ball of mess? Sound familiar?
The word "process" has become such a buzzword in the church over the past few years. It is common to hear friends say things like "I'm in the process" or "I'm processing" when you ask them how they are doing. More than any figure in the Bible, I think King David understands the process of the heart; His emotions are allll over the place, but his heart is pure gold.
The process is healthy and it's a vital part of growth. It's a time where God reveals to you the deep things within your heart and gives your clarity about a given circumstance. The process is GOOD, however the problem occurs when we remain in the process for weeks and maybe even months or years.
Oftentimes people will remain in the process because it's an excuse for staying the same. Other times people remain in the same cycle because the enemy has a toehold somewhere. When we process with God, the process is typically short and the fruit is abundant. If there is no fruit and there is no progress, then there is a problem.
It's okay to let our hearts get messy before God, but it's not okay to drag our feet and remain a mess; There is a difference. Sometimes we just need to let our hearts drain out the toxins and let God know that "THIS. IS. HOW. I. FEEL! And I'm upset about it!"
Just get that crap out of you - It's making you sick and keeping you from experiencing true freedom in Christ.
Here is an example of my own personal process of overcoming bitterness. I've definitely been bitter in the past, but I've never struggled with spiritual bitterness until more recently. This is the process of identifying the roots and lies so that they can be removed, and so I can step into freedom.
Journal Entry: 8/19/2017
Sometimes I feel so hopeless, like everything is my fault. That I'll never amount to anything. that my dreams are unattainable; they are just too hard... so what's the point of pursuing them at all? I've been really struggling. One day I feel amazing and ready to conquer the world, and other days I feel like it's too hard and want to give up. I constantly remind myself of what Mama Heidi (Baker) would say "if you don't quit, you win". I fear that I am "missing it" (in terms of my calling or spiritual promotion) because I see so many friends moving forward, and I see the spiritual atmosphere shifting for the coming revival. And personally? I feel like I'm just staying the same. Why am I not growing as quickly? Why are others being sent out and I'm still stuck at my job? Why?
I know we're on the brink of revival in America and in nations all across the world, and I want to be a part of it. I want to stand with the church and take my place in stewarding this thing in well. However I feel so small, so voiceless, so unworthy. I feel compelled to preach from rooftops, but instead choose to do nothing. Doing nothing is easier than trying and getting disappointed because nothing happened. Papa, I fear hearing Your voice because I'm afraid of what You might say. I'm afraid that I'll hear the wrong voice. I'm afraid of being wrong. I'm afraid of hearing from You, doing what You've asked, seeing You do amazing things in other people's lives as the fruit of it, and as for me? I fear I'll end up disappointed, misunderstood, ridiculed, persecuted, and with my heart torn in pieces because I usually do. I've been disappointed so many times, and yet I still feel compelled to follow You, love You, and preach Your word. Still, I remain silent, and it's making me sick. Papa, help.
"If I say, 'I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,' there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. " Jeremiah 20:9
One month after writing this to the Lord I was standing on the Mount of Beatitudes in Israel, and God spoke to me very clearly,
"I am not disappointing you, I am protecting you"
And just like that I was fine. Why worry? Why be upset? Why blame Him? He's only protecting me. Why did I doubt Him and His goodness? Doubt prolongs the process.
Want to know the problem with my Process? The absence of praise.
It's okay to get the hard stuff out and be vulnerable, but praise is the key component to your process that will shift your mindset from despair to hope. We read over and over again in the psalms about how King David poured his heart out in despair, and in the following psalms he is overcome with gratitude.
Never stop giving Him praise even when you don't feel like it because it will move you from pity to victory.