The Cross is where sins die and wounds heal

The Cross

Training participants nailed their red hearts (for wounds) and their black hearts (for sins) to the Cross.

BELIZE JOURNAL, PT. 2. At YWAM Belize on August 20-23, Westwood Ministries Potter’s Institute taught leaders the difference between emotional wounds and sin. “A wound is ‘other inflicted’ while sin is ‘self-inflicted.’” A wound must be opened to be healed. A sin must be confessed to be forgiven. Healing and forgiveness are found at the cross of Christ. On the cross He took our wounds and sins upon His own body.

But what of the wounds and sins we fail to bring to the cross? We hide them in a secret inner room of pain and shame. We keep them in the dark. We close this room to God but open it to the enemy’s lies. We remember what the enemy says about our wounds and sins, instead of what God says. Westwood showed us how to let God come into this room and turn on His light. For “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts” (1 Cor. 4:5).

Be ready to see all kinds of evil thoughts in your dark room. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Mt. 15:19-20). Westwood listed dozens of sins of the flesh, of lust, and of unforgiveness. They also included addictions, idolatry, media indulgence, and occult involvement, in case we overlooked any.

We must fully confess them before they multiply and overwhelm us. At the cross we see how great are our sins but also how great His forgiveness. At the cross we learn to forgive others for wounding us, just as we have been forgiven for wounding others. And for wounding Him. And for wounding ourselves. And for believing the enemy’s lies.

In place of lies, we need to receive deep in our hearts our true identity from God (Isa. 62:2-4). At natural birth and during childhood, our parents gave us identity and destiny. At our new birth and during our new life, God gave us a new identity and destiny. (Parents, do your best to help the natural and the new work together for your children while you can.)

But have we given God enough time to show us what our identity and destiny are? The Westwood teachers made sure we did. They wrote up for each of us personal cards showing what our natural names meant. “George” for instance, means “land worker.” The spiritual connotation is “walks with God.” The relevant Scripture was “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:24).

This is really what I was looking for when I came to the Potter’s Institute. To learn how to carry His presence. To be someone on whom the Holy Spirit comes, and remains. Too often I focus on what I am doing instead of cooperating with what He is doing. Enoch was not known for anything He did, except to walk with God. I have been too concerned to “run the race marked out” for me (Heb. 12:1) instead of to “fix [my] eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of [my] faith (Heb. 12:2). My new identity is Enoch, and my new destiny is Jesus. If I keep fixing my eyes on Him, I will fulfill the destiny He has marked out for me.

I don’t need to tell you of my wounds and sins. Because I nailed them to the cross. If I I slip into my old identity and commit old sins again, I will ask for forgiveness. His cross is big enough for that. But His resurrection also releases power for me to overcome sin.

Belize celebrates its new identity as an independent nation each September. Belize has often been called a jewel. I believe that is its God-given identity. Belize is a precious jewel in the rough. God is cutting it into many facets—the many nations whose refugees make up the population of Belize. If we come to Him with our sins against each other and our wounds, God will forgive and heal our land. As we yield to the Jeweler’s shaping, we will reflect His light, and see our destiny by His light. As we walk with Him into our destiny, we will be His light to the world. And this light will glorify our Father in heaven…

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Related sources for the cross.

Westwood Ministries

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We find forgiveness and healing on the cross.

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