Luke 15:28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him....."
It's a nasty condition and the effect on the esophagus can be profound. Acid bubbling up out of the stomach into the esophagus can burn lesions into the tissues. For a preacher one of the more disconcerting aspects of acid reflux is its tendency to reach up to the vocal cords and eat them away. At night time many people take their teeth out and put them in water; for those people with acid reflux, eat the wrong food at the wrong time and it’s like putting your vocal chords in acid over night. After a while it becomes painful to speak and your power of projection is virtually gone and many times, even your ability to maintain a healthy sounding discourse is also ruined. Acid reflux is nasty.
It is obvious to me that there is a parallel here; I may even suggest a connection, between physical acid reflux and spiritual acid reflux. Just the other day I took note of how regularly I became aware of my thoughts regurgitating painful scenarios of past conflicts. The emotions associated with each revisit were acidic. Not just one type of bad thought either, but a whole panoply of bad stuff. You know, anger, disgust, astonishment! Spiritual acid reflux is like trying to pick up a single hook from a bowl full of the same, but you can never get just one without pulling up a whole bunch of others! This regurgitated mass of kicking and screaming emotions, has a dreadfully debilitating effect on us. We become aware of a lump in our throats, a difficulty in swallowing what others have to say, a lack of enjoyment of certain foods of fellowship, an avoidance of issues and worst of all, a loss of power in that voice which is ours. The projection of our personhood and the totality of our wholeness are indeed diminished when you suffer from spiritual acid reflux disease.
There are several ways of dealing with physical acid reflux. Eat the right things at the right time, raise your bed head up 4-6 inches and of course take medication to immediatley neutralize the acid, until finally you find a medication to tone the acid down, and slowly gain some healing! You deal with Spiritual acid reflux in exactly the same way friends. What I am about to say next is good theology and excellent refluxology. So listen up! !
While the process of the healing of past hurts takes place, you may have to avoid scenarios which aggravate the issue. For sure, you may well have to deal objectivley and rightously with issues of great concern (2 Tim 4:14) but it must be at the right time. So be sure then, objectively tackle things at the right time and with that of course, learn to never stick your hand in a bowl full of hooks! Address issues objectively and do so while taking large measures of vocal forgiveness and including positive substitutionary thoughts in your mind and heart. With this you can then neutralize the acid of bitterness whenever the bile rises.
Now, all of this works well friends, but it’s very tiring when you continually have to do it! So we need to find a way of stopping the bitter and angry, deadly and depressive regurgitation today! So, just how do we turn the acid off? How do we stop the bile rising? Well, may I suggest that the best of medicine is the embracing our own sin and then the thorough embracing of our Saviour, followed by the embracing and loving of others, very much indeed. In other words, once you own your own sin, confess it and repent of it you must then thoroughly embrace the Saviour. Yes, like a legless drowning man would squeeze any buoyant object to himself, so we must thoroughly and desperately embrace the Saviour! I wonder if that when you begin embracing Jesus as your Saviour in this thankful, desperate and life-giving manner, then, and only then, are you one who realises that He has forgiven you much; very much indeed! This gripping embracing is so necessary, for you see, it’s only once you are aware of just how much you have been forgiven, that you can then begin to forgive and to love others as you should. Once you get that sense of being so very deeply forgiven yourself, only then can you truly forgive those who have trespassed against you. Does this mean you avoid the issue with the sins of other people against you? By no means! They must be objectively tackled both for yourself and the whole body. However, it is only in the forgiving of others, then and only then, that the bitter bile can be neutralised.
The truth is that some of you have got terrible spiritual acid reflux disease, because you have yet to realise just how much you have been forgiven. Do you dare to begin to enter and own the darkness which is yours today? Maybe you need to, for I am convinced that it’s only by doing this, that you are enabled personally, from your heart to truly love the Saviour and then objectively begin to confront the persons and issues of the trespasses against you, that you might begin to love them rightly.
Listen:- Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:44-47
Pray:- Lord, lift up my head. I have been forgiven much and no doubt, much more than I know or care to truly acknowledge. Father, help me to embrace my sin and my Saviour in such a way that I would love others well. In Jesus name I ask this, amen!