It is important to realize that defense mechanisms will attempt to block outsiders, regardless if it’s further harm or the light of Christ. This will prevent the light of Christ from even reaching the wound so that it can be healed. The goal, therefore, is to address defense mechanisms so that the light of Christ is not blocked. We must make way for God to heal the wound! Emotional healing is a ministry of the Holy Spirit; it is our job to simply cooperate with Him to manifest that healing.

Roadblock #1: Unthankfulness. Being that defense mechanisms are there because of pain and hurt, they are generally unthankful. The Holy Spirit has shown me that thankfulness is definitely an important key to receiving healing for damaged emotions. We must stop dwelling on what was done to us and all of the fleshly reasons why we are unthankful, and begin to dwell upon the things which God has given us (life, a wonderfully made physical body, the steep price that Jesus paid for our redemption, perhaps a wonderful spouse and family, etc.). I have an entire teaching on thankfulness titled A Thankful Heart that I highly recommend reading on this subject.

Roadblock #2: Blaming others (including ourselves and God). Defense mechanisms are generally prone to blame ourself, others, or even God for what has happened. Blaming ourself opens us up to bondages of self-hate, self-resentment, self-unforgiveness, self-rejection, etc. Regardless of who our defense mechanism is blaming, it is enforcing a wall which is blocking our healing. It is keeping our eyes on the problem, and off of the solution (which Christ has provided). It is absolutely important for us to accept personal responsibility for our own ungodly and hateful reactions (in our heart) for what was done to us. If we choose to dodge that responsibility, then we can forget about ever being healed of the wound.

Roadblock #3: Fear. In many cases, defense mechanisms are afraid of being hurt again, therefore they are operating out of fear. This fear will cause the person to dodge situations which may expose the person to further pain, rejection, and so forth. This type of fear is ungodly, and leads to the person failing to trust God with those things in their life. God’s Word tells us to cast all of our fears upon Him, for He cares for us (see 1 John 4:18). Not knowing the love of God will make it difficult to trust Him. It is difficult, if not impossible, to trust somebody whom you don’t really know loves and cares for you. Therefore, an important key to overcoming these fears is to learn of the love of God for you, and meditate on His goodness. Fear also draws us inward, which makes us dysfunctional in genuine relationship building, and can even render us useless in ministering to others.

Roadblock #4: Unforgiveness. The issue with unforgiveness is actually rooted in a distrust of God’s justice. When a person refuses to forgive, they are afraid that nobody else (including God) is going to do anything about the wrong that was done against us, therefore they themselves will hold onto it and see to it that the person receives justice (in their heart). They do not believe that God is going to ensure that justice happens. Forgiveness is a form of trusting God to handle the situation, and bring justice. God’s Word tells us to give place to His wrath, for He will repay. Did you know that we can actually prevent that person from receiving justice for what was done to them? It’s true that if we fail to give Him that place, then we can’t expect Him to act on our behalf and bring justice. Romans 12:19 tells us, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

One of the keys to living a life of forgiveness, is getting it down into your spirit that God truly cares for you and what is done against you, and will bring justice to those who wrong us as we trust Him with those situations.

Roadblock #5: Incorrect perceptions. A very important key to inner healing, is the tearing down of strongholds. Strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns or perceptions that have been burned into our way of thinking. When we perceive God as a cruel, distant, and unloving taskmaster, then it makes it very difficult for us to trust Him and cast our cares upon Him. When we perceive that we are dirty and shameful failures, then we will not be confident in our relationship with God, and our faith will be severely crippled. We will draw away from Him, rather than to Him (where the flow of healing is). Properly perceiving who we are in Christ, the nature and love of God for us, and our relationship with Him, is a very important key to drawing near to Him so that we can freely receive the healing light of Christ to our emotional wounds.

By coming to know the true loving, forgiving, and accepting nature of God, and to be confident in our relationship with Him (because of what Christ did, we can enter the holy of holies with boldness!) creates an atmosphere where the walls which defense mechanisms have built can be lowered. Once you begin to see God as a concerned Father who is loving and caring, and eager to heal your wounds, and your defense mechanisms are lowered, then the light of Christ is going to begin to shine on your wounds and bring healing.

A word about trust versus forgiveness: Many times these two things are confused and misunderstood as being one and the same. That is not true. Extending forgiveness is always required of us (see Matthew 6:14-15), but trusting the person who has offended us is another story. Let’s say that you were raped or abused; while it is vital to forgive the person who has done this terrible thing to you, it may also be very unwise to allow yourself to be alone with them again (thus putting yourself in harms way again). While we are required to forgive the person who has wronged us, we may or may not ever trust them again in that area, and that is perfectly acceptable.

While we are not required to trust others who have harmed us, we need to trust God with every area of our lives. Trusting God requires a knowledge of His love for us. God’s Word tells us that perfect love casts out all fear, why? Because when we know His love, it’s a synch to trust Him with every area of our lives! Another factor that hinders our ability to trust God, is not feeling very confident about our relationship with Him. Many Christians are plagued with guilt, shame, and condemnation feelings. Somehow the devil tries to make us think that our failures are greater than the Blood of the Son of God, which was shed for the removal of our failures. Are you problem focused (your sin and failures) or solution focused (what Jesus did about it)? Is the Blood of Jesus, which was shed for the sins of the whole world, so weak that it can’t wipe away the failures in your life? If that’s what your thinking, then you are grossly underestimating the value and power of the Blood of Jesus!

It is also helpful to verbally confess your choice to tear down ungodly defense mechanisms:

“I now take down the ungodly walls meant to protect me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and can endure whatever is necessary that lies before me.”

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