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August 29, 2021 1:00 am
The dark secret in all too many families is abuse. It takes several forms: verbal, physical, even sexual. The hurt caused by abuse is incalculable, both for the abused and the abuser. The devil seeks to destroy the family, especially the role model of the father. And the devil uses abuse to accomplish this goal. If you are a victim, or a victimizer, it is crucial to understand the hurt of abuse—and how to find healing.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
The darkest secret and all too many families is abuse. It takes several forms verbal, physical, even sexual.
The hurt caused by abuse is incalculable both for the abused as well as the abuser, the devil wants to destroy the family, especially the role model of the father today what to do if you are a victim or a victimizer. Stay with us from Chicago. We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Lidster on this program. We continue a 10 part series on fighting for your family. Later in our service will learn about the hurt and healing of abuse. Pastor looks or comes now to open our service, were glad that you are here were going to pray together and then were going to sing gospel song that blesses us each time we think about it. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. What a marvelous hymn to sing God's praises would you join me please. As we pray together. Father we pray today that you might come and unloose the emotions.
The pain of bitterness, whatever it may be that works with in us come to set your people free.
We thank you that we belong to you and we worship you in spirit and in truth.
In Jesus name, amen and he is charming, helpful, appears to be generous willing to commit himself.
The kind of man that many people think that you ought to marry you do notice that sometimes he does things for you that make you feel uncomfortable, but after all you're thankful for the attention, such as it is. And furthermore, as you stop to think about it and that you begin to reflect you do notice that he is somewhat controlling but it's nice to be loved by a man who seems to take charge. That's a welcome relief.
The problem is that as time goes on, you begin to discover that he's very controlling and that your opinion doesn't matter that much because he always knows what is best and he knows what should be done. Something else that gives you a bit of pause and that is the fact that he speaks disparagingly of his own parents and you notice that to everybody seems to have wronged him and then you notice that he even speaks disparagingly of your own family and that that becomes very important and will be very important. After you're married because he's going to want to separate you from your family, but he tells you that you alone understand them.
You're not like everybody else out there and so it is he perhaps pressures you sexually beat you begin to think all manner like that will by the way all men aren't like that but you begin to think that that's maybe somewhat normal and so you commit and you marry him and what you don't understand is he's not interested in a partner. He's interested in someone whom he can control someone whom he can possess. That's really what is interested in and then you see his dark side.
First of all, it is verbal putdowns as he tries to minimize you as he tries to criticize you and make sure that you know that he is so much superior in you are so foolish, and maybe even stupid. And then he begins to tell you you're just like the rest of them. After all, you are not the woman that I thought you were going to be, then perhaps his temper gets the best of him and you begin to notice that it is physical abuse he slaps you and you hope that it will be the only time in he may actually ask forgiveness.
Of course he will remind you that you made me slap you. So the good news is he might ask forgiveness and when he does he is genuinely sorry the bad news is it won't change anything. He will do it again and then when you have children. Perhaps he will abuse them physically, verbally, maybe even sexually welcome to the world of abuse and of course you as a wife. Don't know what to do. Who do you tell all of your friends think that is such a nice man that if you were to indicate what was going on at home. They'd either call you a liar a or else be. They'd say what kind of a horrible woman.
Are you any way to make such a nice man act that way because remember his reputation in the neighborhood and in the church is still great.
It's not necessary for him to be good but it's very necessary for him to appear good so you don't know who to tell you to know who will even believe you just for the sake of the record here at The Moody Church. If you come to us and tell us that you have been abused or you are being abused. We will leave you keep that in mind well, but I'd like to do today. As you know is to speak about this very difficult topic in a couple of words by way of introduction, first of all, even though I'm going to be speaking about men, primarily as the abusers of course there are women who also abuse their husbands, oftentimes because they are very passive aggressive or in other ways, and of course there are mothers who abuse their children.
But during this message. I can't continually refer to that in remind you of that. Even though it will become apparent as the message continues. Furthermore, this message is not only for the abused, but the abusers when I was a young pastor I would speak to all those who were abused and forget the fact that if it is true that one in four girls will be sexually molested or in some way disparaged by the time she becomes a teenager or older. I used to think to myself right now who is doing all this and then I realize that in a congregation like this and the wider audience that we had well beyond the walls of Moody Church. The wider audience. There are plenty of people out there who are the abusers and I would speak to you abusers now as I will later and tell you that first of all I care about you.
You two are a human being and my desire is that you will be in heaven redeemed by God along with those whom you have abused as a testimony of God's an amazing incredible grace. So I care about you as an individual. Let me tell you about the permitting that we had on Wednesday we were praying about this particular message in this day and I asked if there were any women present who had been abused and we were willing to pray for them and one dear sister began to just pour out her soul so I invited other women to come around and to pray for her and about 15 or 20 perhaps gathered around and then when we are finished praying for her. I asked for other women who had been abused indicate their desire for prayer and was so wonderful to see that in the midst of all of this confession to see these women rally around one another and pray for each other so I'm going to let you know that at the end of this message.
I'm going to give an invitation. Rebecca and I are going to be appear to welcome you. We have prayer partners more prayer partners than usual because we what we'd like to do is for you to be able to experience the same grace the same outpouring of love and the same prayer support as we had at permitting this past Wednesday. People say to me you know is it difficult for you to preach a message like this in my responses. No, not really. And I'll tell you why I am so excited about the possibility that there are people who are listening to this message. Were going to be helped.
I believe that lives are going to be changed forever. As a result of what were going to share today and that excites me. I have four or five books on abuse and I read only one and that was plenty. My heart was absolutely broken. As I began to see what happens behind closed doors and I began to think of all of the pain that is out there, but most of us know nothing about. So today it is from my heart to your heart that I speak and I care about you abused and abusers all of us stand in the need of God's marvelous grace I'm going ask you to take your Bibles for a moment and turn to Psalm 147 Psalm 147. I want to leave you with this promise in the book of Psalms we have these words.
Psalm 147. I'm going to pick it up in verse two, Psalm 147 verse two it says the Lord builds up Jerusalem. He gathers the outcasts of Israel course. The Psalm begins by inviting praise to God because he is good, but he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars he gives to all of them names great is our Lord and abundant in power, his understanding is beyond measure… Up the humble. He cast the wicked to the ground so there you have it. God binds up the broken hearted.
If you are here today and you are brokenhearted God stands ready to bind you up, but his grace does not enter into closed doors.
You must let him heal you and that's what we're praying toward in this message well before we get to the healing part I want us to think briefly about a quintessential example of an abuser in the Bible and that is King Saul king Saul is very interesting and you may not have time to turn to this passage because I'm going to look at it very quickly, but test Saul was an amazing man because he had these advantages these strong points.
Saul was anointed by God. Chapter 10 verse one of Sam Samuel anointed him and says the Lord's anointing you to be king.
Wouldn't you like to be anointed as King while Saul furthermore had the gift of prophecy the spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, said Samuel. And you will prophesy, you'll be turned into another man and then Saul begins to prophesy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the people even ask. This is all in for sandal. Chapter 10 the people even ask is Saul also among the prophets and the answer is yes. Listen to him prophesy.
He appeared to be humble later on in the chapter. They are having a coronation. Samuel gathers the whole crowd to a place called the Miss Bunny said were going to crown our king, lo and behold, is Saul is chosen to be the one crowned and they can't find them. The Bible says he was hiding behind the baggage that appears to be humility and then when he was brought before the people. The Bible says he was taller than anyone else and he was impressive in appearance and you know that tall people do have a great advantage over the rest of us.
They are impressive.
Oftentimes, in appearance, Saul had all that and then you go to Chapter 11. You can find it there and what do you discover about Saul. He want to great victory for Israel. How would you like to have a king like that and knowing did gift did by God, but there was another card to King Saul. There was some darkness in his life and we discover this as we look at the Scripture now in first Samuel chapter 18.
I know I'm hurrying today but keep in mind that all this is in the text and you can find it yourself. It says in first Samuel chapter 18 I'm picking it up in verse six and as they were coming home when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with trombones and the songs of joy, and musical instruments in the women saying to one another as they celebrated. Saul has struck down his thousands, David is tens of thousands of brother Saul was very angry in the same displeased him. He said they described to me thousands he like that part of the song, but to David tens of thousands and so this man anointed by God, called of God gifted by God tries to kill David. The very next verse says the spirit from God, a harmful spirit rather from God rest upon Saul.
He raved within his house while David was playing the harp as he did, day by day and Saul hurled the spear for your final pin David to the wall. David abated him twice so there you have it. The two sides of human nature gifted unknowing to the kind of man that any woman would want to marry an abuser. Even here we learn a couple of things about abuse that might be helpful.
How did David handle it.
First of all, he decided to run. He didn't say to himself, well, I'm gonna stay here and be a martyr know when the spirit came added. He dodged it and then he left and when you get to an abuser. Oftentimes, almost every time the best thing to do is to leave, but physical distance between you and your abuser. Because remember, were not dealing with people here who are rational, how would you like to be able to reason with King's soul.
This great man who was obsessed with jealousy, demonic jealousy, you can't reason with people like that. I've a friend who says that you should never wrestle with the pay. First of all, the pig is going to enjoy it. Number two, you will get dirty and number three the pig might win because he plays by a different set of rule Saul played by a different set of rules. He put out all of the witches from the land, but when he was in desperation he went to the one which that still was in existence.
In other words, what applies to you does not apply to me.
You can't reason with people like that and so what David did is run by the way did any benefit come out of that.
David being pursued by Salford and long years. The answer is yes is a book written, entitled the tale of three Kings. That explains that God use this time to take the Saul out of David's heart because David had the potential of being another Saul. And so God worked in David's life and as a result, we have some Psalms that we have never had if David had not been running from Saul. For example, Psalm 34 I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Many shall hear it in fear. I sought the Lord and he answered me and heard me and delivered me out of all of my troubles. We've never had those Psalms are at least a half-dozen of them written by David as he was fleeing from Saul God wanted to do something good out of something very evil. Well, the question is how do we begin the healing process as I speak to you as I speak to you today if you want to begin to cry and some of you may do that. I want you to know that you're welcome to do that and the people next to you will understand and if they don't it's their problem and not yours. However, I remember that some of you may be tempted to leave. I've had that happen when I've spoken on this before and I prefer you not do that. But if you feel that you have to. Why, then, indeed, do so. I think it would be very appropriate. Before we get into the steps toward healing. If we were to bow our heads and pray one more time that this might be a moment of deliverance for many people who've never faced these issues in their lives before. Would you join me as we pray father is. I've sought your face regarding this message. I pray today that it may go directly to the heart were counting on your promise that you heal the broken hearted do that today. Father and we asked that even though there may be pain. We thank you that the purpose of pain is for healing bring that about. For your glory in Jesus name Amen amen number one what you need to do is to face reality. We need to face reality.
You know, abusers live in denial and so do the abused I told you that this message was for both.
So first of all I want to say a word to the abusers. If there's anything about people who abuse others. It is this.
They are keenly aware of the hurts that are done to them. In fact, those hurts are revisited over and over and over again, but they are insensitive to the hurt that they are doing to others.
In fact, if they were abused, perhaps in their minds saying because it happened to me.
I have every right to do it to you in their destroying their children and their destroying their wives and families and really down. Don't care verbally sometimes.
I'm thinking of a father in the little child said this to one of our daughters. I wish I were a dog. The child said because my dad loves dogs. He's left the family.
But if I were a dog. He would love me. Listen, I'm speaking to you very directly right now because I want you to be in heaven but I want you to face reality. All right, this is what Jesus said. He said that if any of you because one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would've been better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of this, I plead with you today. Do you understand what you are doing to your wife because of your verbal putdowns and what you are doing to your children because you slap them and you speak disparagingly of them and you criticize them without lifting them up honoring them praying for them, encouraging them.
Do you understand that you must face reality of the Bible says in Psalm 139 search me oh God, and know my hard and try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. I'm interested in human nature, and I know something about it. Living with myself tell you this though, I have long ago learned that there are things about us that we will never to unless God shows them to us. Would you in this moment of honesty. See what you need to admit to God will show you what it is that you need to admit to, and of course you also as someone who is abused, you must face reality, you must recognize that indeed abuse has happened and there may be some of you listening here who have never been able to say that about your parents about your environment.
80% of all abuse. By the way, takes place either within the home were among relatives of the home and you've never been able to admit to it.
And so as a result, this pastor is within you, and I'm saying to you today.
What you need to do is to look at reality and mourn the loss yes but face it and don't pretend don't pretend that it didn't happen because believe me, it may have added your listening as a child, would you go for help.
Would you speak to a teacher to the Sunday school worker to someone because we have to face this and not pretend that it's not here so first of all what we need to do is to move from denial to reality. Secondly, what we need to do is to go from hiding in the shadows hiding in the shadows to seeking help in the sunlight. Now if point number one is to admit to reality. Point number two is to go for help.
Point number two is to simply say that it must be brought into the light because if it is not brought into the light.
It is the devil who works in darkness and some of you mothers you know that abuse is going on in your home but you say to yourself, I'm not going to confess to it.
I'm not going to go for help because of the consequences of going to the authorities or wherever you must go to a counselor to admit to what's happening may simply remind you that the consequences of remaining silent in the presence of abuse are always far greater than the consequences of finally exposing it and facing the reality please keep that in mind. So what we need to do is to come from the shadows and go to the sunlight and again as I've mentioned, if you're here today and as a child in your listening to this message, you must go for help to know when we were kids we used to run under streetlamps.
I was born 6 miles from a town that had won the streetlamp.
It had about 75 people and one streetlamp and his kids used to run and see how long her shadows would become until the shadows were way out there on.
Then there were times when we would stand directly under the light and when we were directly under the light of her shadows were very small in bits and pieces. I urge you today to come to the light. It is the light that heals the Bible says in the book of James chapter 5.
Confess your faults one to another, that you may be healed. And so the Scripture is very clear that what we need to do is to recognize that it's not enough to try to deal with this on your own.
You've already tried that, haven't you no matter where you are on the continuing whether abused or abusers light has power to heal, come to the light. Let me say also that we must move from self-justification to forgiveness from self-justification to forgiveness and this is absolutely critical want you to take your Bibles and turn now to the book of Ephesians and Ephesians chapter 4 it's a familiar passage, but I want you to see it in your own Bible so that you remember where it is and how clear the Scriptures really are. Ephesians chapter 4 and I'm going to pick it up at verse 29 Ephesians 429 let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only as is good for building up, as fits the occasion by the way, to set verse rule in your home. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up that it may give grace to those who hear and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness to set characterize you possibly wrath and anger clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Now the Bible wouldn't ask us to put it away if we couldn't put it away because we can. And I think the next verse tells us how be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. I told you today that I want both abusers and abused to be in heaven together to rejoice in God's grace and may ice tell you today that when Jesus Christ died on the cross. His death was such a sufficient sacrifice for sin, that as we sometimes sing even the vilest of sinners who truly believes that moment from Jesus a pardon receives isn't that good news for sinners. Now if you're not a sinner. You didn't have to clap and so Jesus Christ invites us today to receive forgiveness and someone has well said that forgiveness first of all is between.
It's the key to God and me, forgiveness is the key between me and you and between me and me. You can't go on in life and be able to function properly.
As long as there is a long-standing bitterness in your heart that you will not give up and what the Bible is saying is that just as Jesus has forgiven us and cleansed us and we receive it in the same way. We offer forgiveness to people even if there's no possibility of reconciliation. Your abuser may be dead. Your abuser may not be interested in any kind of reconciliation because he's denying the abuse is most abusers do. Someone has said this the man I hate may be many miles from my bedroom, but more cruel than any slave driver. He whips my thoughts into such a frenzy that my innerspring mattress becomes a rack of torture. The lowliest of serfs can sleep, but not I I really must acknowledge the fact that I am a slave to every man on whom I poured the bile of my wrath.
God says to you and to me that what we need to do is to give it up and to recognize that giving up our anger is something that is difficult but it is a choice we must make if we want to accept the promise that God has given to us in his word that he heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Part of that healing has to do with forgiveness.
So what we do is we asked the Lord to forgive us and if you cannot come to Jesus Christ again. I invite you to do that. We invite God to come into our lives. And then what we do is we choose to forgive and to leave it all behind and then what we have to do is to accept God's forgiveness. Always remember this. The issue is never the greatness of our sin. The issue is the wonder of the righteousness that God applies to any one of us, whether abused or abusers. It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that is applied to us and as we began to open our lives to the Lord that healing ministry begins. I opened this message by telling you about a prayer meeting that we had last Wednesday and what we want to do is to give you an opportunity to do that today because at the end of this message.
I'm going to be getting an invitation. As I mentioned in Rebecca and I will be here and were going to have counselors because I want you to experience the kind of freedom and the kind of prayers that enables you to pray with someone else to find God's grace and God's healing in your life. You know the Bible says regarding Jesus. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed because he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. How many people interpret that to be physical healing course there is healing and the atonement in the sense that eventually when we are redeemed, were going to be fully healed and won't that be a wonderful day. When finally the healing is complete, but at the same time. It definitely involves spiritual healing because the Bible particularly in the Psalms talks about Lord she'll my soul so I want you to realize today that God is available for your soul to be healed and he can do that in your life and one of the things I wrote. I said this in a seminary classroom, a professor whom we will call brother Smith was known for his elaborate object lesson this day was no exception. On the wall. He placed a big target and on a nearby table were many darts brother Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone they disliked or someone they actually hated that he would allow them to throw darts at that person's picture. One lady drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend another drew a picture of a man who had mistreated her and lied to her. All the students found someone they hated and did so very quickly. For some, the challenge was to choose just one among many who shall I draw the class lined up and began throwing darts with much laughter and hilarity. Some of the students through their darts with such force that their targets were being ripped apart and ripping the target apart. Just then brother Smith interrupted the students and remove the target from the wall and underneath the target was a picture of Jesus hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus holes in jagged marks covered his face. His eyes were pierced out. Brother Smith said simply, inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me. No other words were necessary as tears filled the eyes of the students. They could not take their eyes off the picture of Jesus. Even after the bell they sat in their seats until one slowly left and then another because every dart you throw at your wife, your husband, a friend and abuser lands in the heart of Jesus. We will never deal with the roots of rage unless we know the meaning of forgiveness and we will never deal with those roots until we know the meaning of acceptance and will never be free until we know the wonder of Jesus yourself, Pastor Lutzer, how do I know that I'm healed. It's a very good question.
You know that you are healed are in the process of being healed. When you begin to see that God has a purpose even in your abuse though doesn't justify the abuser. God will deal with him.
But God begins to use it in our lives, and it begins to work for us rather than against us. I've met many people who because of their experience are able to connect with people in ways that I can't connect with because I was brought up. Thankfully, in a nonabusive own, but God is able to use even that evil good used evil for good. In the case of Jesus. He was abused, shamefully abused because he was perfect and in the midst of all of that abuse.
He dies on the cross and purchases redemption as a reminder of the fact that for the believer who opens his life to God. No part of our past experience is ever lost you believe that, can you trust God for that. I'm saying this is clearly as I can. Whatever we do not forgive, we transmit we pass on, and if you do not allow God to transform you, you will indeed transmit whatever issue there is in your life and that's why I invite you today to respond to an invitation for special prayer in a moment were going to be singing together, and when that happens you can stand up and you can come. As I mentioned, Rebecca and I are going to be here. We have more prayer partners today. I don't know how many we will use but our intention is to pray for you. These counselors I should not call them counselors.
These prayer partners are not specific counselors. They are prayer partners if you need further help. They can perhaps connect you with other ministries and other opportunities but were only here to lift one another up in prayer were just were just a family saying who was hurting come and receive prayer today because these people, these prayer partners would love to meet you connect with you and lift you to the throne of God. We have prayed that this would be a healing moment for many people, and however imperfectly the message went forth today, I believe that God is working in your life would you join me as we pray together.
Father, we still cleave to the promise that says he heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds today. Father I pray that his many wounds would be open that you might kill them all through your grace through your power and through the prayers of your people help this to be a an important moment for many who say I need to special prayer that they might be healed in Jesus name, amen on today's Moody Church.
Our Dr. Erwin lutes or spoke about the hurt and healing of abuse. The eighth and a 10 part series on fighting for your family. Despite our best efforts. Sometimes kids go astray, even Christian kids anguished parents cry out to God for solution and that's exactly what God wants us to do in those tough situations next week. Join us as Dr. Luther speaks on the power of praying parents are current series can be yours on CD is our thank you for a gift of any amount to The Moody Church. Our just call us at 1-800-215-5001. Let us know you'd like to support Dr. Luther's ministry. When you call Vince in the series on fighting for your family. Call 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin lutes or and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago