Mishpachah Yeshua Newsletter
A Newsletter To The Family Of Jesus From Restoration Ministries
The Hebraic family is not simply an individual or private matter.
Rather, it is an institution in which the whole community has a stake.
Thus, the Hebrew word “mishpachah,” meaning family, not only refers to parents and children,
but to the whole extended family worldwide in the body of “Yeshua”—our Jesus.
[click here for a printable copy]
May 2003 Topic: The Grief Connection
We’re focusing this month on helping
our Father’s children avoid the cancerous snare of what
the Bible calls “cold love”. Have you read David
Wilkerson’s recent news-letter entitled “The Unrelenting Love of God”? Wilkerson voices deep concern and sorrow over
how few Christians trust in the unrelenting love of our Father, and how few
are experiencing His love. Rather, they’re mired in the pit of self-condemnation. They
can’t believe that through the Spirit they can be
transformed into the character of Jesus.
Going to the High Places
Sue and I are continuing to write chapter
installments of Going to the High
Places, our study guide of Hannah
Hurnard’s classic Hinds’
Feet On High Places. In the
process, we’re gaining insight into hindrances that
hamper many Christians from fully trusting that our Father
truly loves them, and that they can experience this love on a
daily basis. Wilkerson’s letter confirmed to us how
much this study guide needs to be presented!
Feet On High Places, five chapters
pass before the main character, Much-Afraid, ever leaves the
Valley of Humiliation to begin her journey to the High Places
of wholehearted intimacy with the Shepherd. Our Father’s
children need unrelenting
determination to journey into
all the Lord promises!
Sadly, it seems as though fewer and fewer
Christians are leaving the Valley of Their Strongholds so that
they can press on into joyful maturity in Jesus. If
you’ve sampled much contemporary Christian writing, you
may have noticed that much of it appeals to those entrenched in
the Valley. Most modern writers have avoided the repentance aspect of
the pilgrimage, the decision to turn away from the sinful
attitudes, actions, and self-gratification that keep people
pacing back-and-forth across the Valley. They neither walk in
the victory of forgiveness nor do they press on in the
Let me give you an example. A few days ago
I was talking to my friend Barry Eitelman from Abilene. He and
his family are working together through Going To The High Places. Barry and I were discussing Much-Afraid and the nature of the
journey out of the Valley and why so few leave their old Valley
lifestyle behind. Barry’s a veterinarian so I gave him
this analogy to contrast Going To
The High Places with prevalent
Christian teaching of today:
Suppose a man came to your clinic with a
sick dog. The man would be very happy if you gave his dog a quick
shot so the dog would be better. [Current Christian teaching]
But what if your prescription called for him to put balm on
his dog every 4 hours for 2 weeks in order for the dog to be
healed. Now how does he respond? The cure requires extra effort
on his part. It’s not a quick fix! [Going To The High Places]
Far too many Christians who initially put
their trust in Jesus continue to live in the valley of
attitudes and behaviors that reflect no Christ-like character change. Much of modern Christian teaching emphasizes selfish
ease, encouraging people to stay in their Valley of familiarity
and carnal pursuits. But in the Valley of Their Strongholds
they discern no trust in our Father’s unrelenting love,
for they cannot experience it there. The clamor of the world,
their own fleshly desires, and the unclean spirits
they’re entertaining shout down the Spirit’s call
to press on.
While on our trip back East in April, we
spent time with family members who are wrestling to get into
the Hinds’ Feet material. I reminded them that our family
stronghold is rejection, the valley of demonically-influenced behavior
with which we grew up and are most familiar. That
spirit’s agitation drove us to seek achievement and
recognition to compensate for the emotional emp-tiness we felt.
In our own Valley of rejection we’d
seen that the Apostle John’s words fit us: “Do not love the world or anything in the
world. If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-—the cravings of
sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he
has and does-—comes not from
the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:15,16). When we sought worldly
pursuits, we could neither trust in nor experience our
Father’s love. The Valley of our Strongholds barricaded
Your journey to “High Places” represents your pilgrimage to the salvation in which your name
is proclaimed before the hosts of Heaven. The Holy Spirit
increasingly sanctifies you into the very nature of Jesus. As
Wilkerson writes, “Any believer can become as much like
Jesus as he or she desires.”
The process of our sanctification requires
an unrelenting desire to become more like Jesus. Our old carnal
nature has nothing in common with the character of Christ. That old nature always resists the Holy Spirit.
It must be crucified along the journey to the High Places of
Christ’s character. Each of
us must let go of the old nature that was formed in the Valley
of Our Strong-holds and turn to the Holy Spirit to impart the
character of Jesus on our way to the High Places. Breaking free
from the Valley of Our Strong-holds that are so familiar to
each of us, we must be determined enough to journey into the
unknown — to the High Places of Jesus’s
All of us are “Much-Afraids”
of sorts as we attempt to keep our “Valley
identity.” Consider getting a copy of Hinds’ Feet On High Places and downloading our series Going to the High Places from our website. Find the beauty of transformation as you “continue to
work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who
works in you to will and to act
according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12,13).
“Small is the gate and narrow the
road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:14).
Our Lord has been revealing the
unprecedented cooperation that demonic principalities have been
exercising in the US.
We recently felt compelled to research the
demonic influences assaulting this nation, beginning with its
founding. Today, two hundred-plus years later, demonic
battalions have earmarked arenas of morality, education, the
justice system, marriage dissolution, and wholesale
desensitization to sin in general. These are now coming
together to bear the fruit Satan has planned — the
ultimate destruction of our nation.
One sphere of demonic operation in
particular illustrates our point. So many children of Christian
parents are being indoctrinated by a totally godless education
system, a system that denies moral absolutes and the basic
sinfulness of mankind.
Removing the Lord of the universe from the
forum in which most young people receive their education
minimizes His reality in their everyday world. God becomes
identified with Sunday morning services and mealtime prayers
— a function, not an ongoing relationship. He is thus
disconnected from their daily lives.
A quick perusal of Proverbs confronts you
with repeated admonition to choose between the way of life and
righteousness, and the way of wickedness and death. The word most often
used for “way” is derekh [dare-ECK], a journey of lifestyle
decision making. Think about the pressures being put on young
people today, particularly as they’re urged to exercise
“tolerance” and “unity” in regard to
every religion and moral issue. Could you withstand this
daily confrontation in a system in which your parents are
urging you to succeed, when you can’t even mention the
reality of your Savior and His perspective?
Our website article, He Has Showed You (available under Hebra-ic Articles), uncovers the diabolical plan that has now
brought this nation to the brink of self-destruction. A small
yet increasing number of courageous parents and faith
communities have discerned the snare of godless humanist
education and have taken the training up of succeeding
generations into their own hands.
Who better than God-loving parents and
supportive faith communities to train up our children? Who
better to role model, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your mind” (Matt. 22:
Now is the Time! Prepare Yourself to Love
Dark Days Ahead
Measures for martial law have already been
put on record as Executive Orders by former Presi-dent Clinton.
Because fear has overtaken so much of the populace, President
Bush is exercising some of these Executive Orders. People are
willing to forfeit personal rights if they perceive
they’ll be protected from harm.
But consider this: The next Presidents
will be in position to take this unchecked authority to a
higher level of unquestioned domination. Our nation is no
different than the Germany of the 1920’s that ushered in
Adolf Hitler as their protector and economic savior.
In the near future, when more of these
orders are put into effect, the Dark Days of chastisement will
wilt the love of all but a few. But take heart! Some are now
preparing themselves to be loving representatives of Jesus when
others have hardened their hearts.
This preparation process is all the more
painful for those who truly follow Jesus no matter what the
cost. They may feel isolated because they aren’t
encountering many wholehearted followers of Jesus in their
relational realm. The support they could receive from
intergenerational extended spiritual family may not be in place
In their quest to raise up a God-fearing
generation to follow them, today’s parents find little or
no help from the senior community. Parents of past generations
were undergirded by their own parents and the older folks in
their faith community who reinforced the spiritual/moral
fiber of the children. Today’s generation of parents is
almost devoid of senior involvement. A recent Barna Report
found withdrawal by seniors from their faith communities to be
on the rise.
But difficult undertakings that require
steadfast dependence on the Holy Spirit are nothing new for
those who follow the Master wholeheartedly! Let’s help
each other reaffirm God’s ways of keeping those in Jesus
from being seduced by the growing darkness.
In His discourse on the Signs of the End
of the Age, Jesus warns, “Because
of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow
cold, but he who stands firm to the end will
be saved” (Matt. 24:12,13).
How do we stand firm? What can we do to keep our hearts from
“For in Christ Jesus...the only
thing that counts is faith expressing itself through
History demonstrates that as evil abounds
throughout a society, an emotional callousness covers the mind,
will and emotions of the people. Demonic evil slowly but surely
smothers compassion. But we who are in Christ don’t have
to follow others into this darkness!
We are empowered through the Holy Spirit
by our trust in Jesus to keep
expressing His love through us as
His vessels. We are constrained by God’s Word to be
different from the evil the world so relishes. (See 1 Corinthians
vital the charge to love is to those who take up the journey of
As His Word commands, we can mirror His
love to those in need of Him without engaging in their sin. Through the
Spirit of Jesus, we can always be light no matter how dark our
circumstances. That’s a lesson our millions of persecuted
brethren around the world practice in the extreme!
Don’t Let Your Love Be Stifled
You’re familiar with the phrase,
“Men don’t cry.” That Stoic expression is a
product of generations of Hellenist influence on the Ameri-can
male mindset. Hellenist philo-sophers denigrated emotional
ex-pression and emphasized hiding your feelings.
But think for a moment about that mighty
warrior king David, who wasn’t fearful to release the
pain in his heart for his dying infant or even for his
suffering friends-turned-enemies! Can you hear his voice
brimming with emotion? “I
went about mourning as though for my friend or my brother. I
bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother” (Psa. 35:14).
Men who give in to stifling their pain are
hindered from fully experiencing the way our Father created
them to be. How often does the Word express the wide range of
emotion that our Father has revealed of Himself? Mankind was
designed in His image to wrap their emotions around who and
what they value. The value you place on people you care about is fleshed
out in your loving, affectionate expression toward them.
A large part of Christiandom, however,
perpetuates the lie of Stoicism by emphasizing a cognitive, creedal adherence to doctrines. Many Christian men in the US are more
concerned with being right than with living His
love as Jesus did, with
affectionate expression and appreciation of those with whom He
Feminism wrongly encourages men to express
their inner feelings in order for them to express their
“feminine side.” But nothing could be further from
the truth. Hellenism, not masculinity, stifles expression of
emotion in this culture. The shortest yet most expressive verse
in the Bible is, “Jesus
wept” (John 11:35).
Put yourself in the place of the men who
retrieved the broken body of their beloved brother: “Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for
him” (Acts 8:2). According to
this verse, these men grieved with “great lamentation”
over their fallen friend, beating their chests in pain and
Today’s Stoic men are calloused to
their inner feelings. Their dearth of loving expression drags
down everyone around them. Rather than affectionate
appreciation to hallmark their faith, men who pride their
religious knowledge and tradition lack grateful exuberance
toward God and heartfelt response toward others.
That old scripture song, “They’ll know we are Christians by
our love”, voices a
biblical truth. Yet, do men today desire to experience
affectionate love themselves so that they can pass it on to
How wonderful it’s been to hear from
men who have embraced the Hebraic facets of trust and are able
to recognize how their feelings can cooperate with their faith
expression. Their Spirit-empowered love becomes affectionately
expressive as does their worship of God.
Have you ever experienced the grief of
losing someone to whom you had failed to show loving
appreciation while they were still alive? Grief is the sharp
sorrow or emptiness you experience when someone or something of
great value is taken from you. Your
grief and your willingness to let
yourself grieve are God’s way
of tenderizing your emotions.
In the US in particular, demonic
principalities have sullied the beauty of grieving. Movies
viewed by millions (Christians included) portray violent death
scenes in which little or no grief is shown. The media exalt
heroes who “gut it out” emotionally rather than
display appropriate grief. The hearts of many have indeed grown
For us who follow Jesus, the intensity of
our grief is directly related to the value with which we
hold someone or something. While grief is most often connected
with someone who has died or is suffering incurably, other
situations can devastate your heart as well.
I remember my anguish when we left the
retreat center in 1993. Even though we knew it was God’s
will to leave that ministry behind and press on to Israel, I
was so distraught that it took 3 months before I could even
visualize anyone’s face from among the dear friends we
made in our 10+ years there.
Unspent grief can be a prison of
co-dependency. Several years ago I met a woman whose depressed
husband had impulsively killed himself a month earlier. She had
two teen-agers, and I could see that she was in the bondage of
having to “be strong” for not only her children but
also for her husband’s parents.
God gave me guidance to share with her
that she must now let herself grieve his loss so that her
children and coworkers can respond to her without apprehension.
I found out later that she was indeed able to grieve, and to
then move on in the healing that God gave her.
Consider other areas in which people may
need to grieve rather than stifle their emotions:
Adopted children who one day come
to grips that they were given away by their birth mother. At an
appropriate moment, adopted children may need to face their
grief. It actually helps them to identify more strongly with
the family who adopted and loved them.
Children of divorce who confront
the deep sorrow of not having their two parents to come home to
each day. Studies indicate that children of divorce have much
less chance as adults to establish strong meaningful
relationships that endure. The need for these children to
grieve is often overlooked in the whole divorce mess that so
embroils their parents.
Divorced people need help to grieve
their broken marriage covenant. They didn’t get married
with the intent of divorcing each other. A terrible reversal or
series of painful patterns destroyed a once loving
relationship, leaving gaping emotional wounds. In the absence
of true grief over what they lost, divorced people can become
defiled with bitterness and later drag many others into the
Parents who have had a child
precede them to the grave often need special help to face their
grief. Many spend years afterwards trying to get past their
child’s death, often finding it hard to express affection
to others because unresolved grief still blankets their hearts.
Parents whose children have suffered from desperate life
choices such as drug abuse, abortion, attempted suicide, also
need the relief that grieving brings.
Even the loss of a favorite pet, a
cherished home, a special group of friends can be catalysts
that prompt the need to express grief.
Grief is God’s gift to keep us from
hardening our emotions. Over the years we have met so many
younger men and women, especially the children of divorce, who
guard themselves from the affectionate wisdom of older people.
The divorce indeed pained them, but their guardedness became
the true assault on their emotional well-being. The very people
God would use to help them are walled out.
“I grieve for you, Jonathan my
brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was
wonderful, more wonderful than that of
women” (2 Sam. 1:26).
David shared a wonderful cove-nant
friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan. After
Jonathan’s death David mourned deeply for his beloved
friend. Because they had expressed their love for each other
while both were still alive, David could so vividly put into
words what his friend meant to him.
Take the time to see if you still
have wounded emotions that were precipitated by a person or
event from your past.
Have you lost someone or
something that you never stopped to really express how much
they (or it) meant to you?
If you don’t grieve when you need
to, you’ll eventually grow hardened and bitter.
1. Your conversations will take a more
2. You'll withhold the level of affection
and support that others need from you.
3. Your failure to grieve becomes
compounded. Over time, your bitter-based cynicism will drive
people away from you because they tend to withdraw from callous
treatment and lack of affectionate expression.
In this way Satan is the victor as he
destroys relationships and holds people captive to bitterness
and withdrawal in their hearts.
Grief Articulates Affection, Affection
Grief reflects your heart’s
appreciation of the people or things you cherish. Throughout
life we all lose people and treasured items for a variety of
reasons. Some losses, though, can leave us emotionally wounded.
This is where your relationship with Jesus
is so vitally important. If you don’t turn to Him for the
healing that only He can do in your heart, you’ll begin
to emotionally guard yourself from being hurt by those with whom you
really do want to grow in relationship.
People who have been healed by Jesus are
able to love. They can give themselves freely in other
relationships, enjoying intimacy and experiencing love in
return. Those who are not healed will avoid intimacy and the
relational accountability that connectedness calls for.
They’ll seek out activity-based relationships which
Hellenist churches offer so readily.
The unhealed are often found in vicarious
proximity to others in church pews and Sunday school classes.
They may appear friendly or even warm, but inside lays a dark
emotional emptiness. The emotionally guarded long for closeness
but are too fearful to drop their guard.
During one church retreat we conducted
years ago I remember one of the elders and his wife making a
startling confession to the others who had come with them:
We’ve never really loved you folks.
Years ago we were very close to three other couples. Over the
years two of them got divorced, and it hurt us so bad that we
swore we’d never let anyone hurt us like that again.
Today we’ve seen the darkness of our own hearts, and we
repent and ask your forgiveness.
Because of the activity basis embraced by
much of Hellenistic Christianity, the emotionally woun-ded are
more the rule than the exception. The focus on activity keeps
people from getting the relational help they really need. If others find out you
have emotional problems, you’re most likely told to see a
professional counselor or pastor for help rather than offering
to walk through your pain with you.
The wounded are often fearful of
vulnerability. Guardedness has blinded them in their own dark pit of self
protection. As Jesus tells us, “If
a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matt. 15:14). But what healing He could bring
if a brother or sister in Jesus could come alongside and
encourage the wounded one through His Spirit!
Failure to Grieve
Can Bring In Spirits of Independence and Divorce
Satan uses strongholds—de-monic
relationship destroyers — to wreak havoc in your
relationships. Spiritual strongholds of Indepen-dence and
Divorce habitually manifest many of the following symptoms:
Unaware of your impact on others, you create a bull-in-a-china
Sense of detachment; unresponsive to others’ needs.
Self-determined: You rely solely on your own analysis and appraisal
for personal decisions.
Devil’s advocate: You take a contrary position in discussions and
argue without considering others’ feelings or needs.
remove yourself emotionally or physically from real or
perceived hurtful and rejecting situations.
You rationalize with the intent to blame other(s).
Lack of trust:
You’re unable to rely or depend on others; your
underlying attitude is, “If
you hurt me or let me down, I’m gone.” That puts great pressure on a relationship
to never confront problems.
“Martyr complex”: Deceived sense that others will be better off
if you leave, or that you’ve failed in everything
that’s gone wrong.
If any of the above symptoms are currently
your experience, we want to refer you to our book Demolishing Strongholds. If you don’t deal with demonic influence,
you’re not only hurting those around you but exposing
yourself to further demonic agitation.
“You will grieve, but your grief
will turn to joy” (John 16:20b).
If you’ve refused to let yourself
become calloused, you already understand the joy that follows
grief. Joy, like grief, is an expression of your heart. These
are not cognitive responses; joy and grief both reflect your inner person.
Consider the impact that your grief and
sorrow have on you when you realize that you’ve sinned
against God. That inner hurt when you realize you’ve
grieved the One you love is made joyous when you repent and
experience His forgiveness. And this pattern can permeate your
Before you lose anyone else in your life,
why don’t you make your life and the lives of others for
whom you have deep affection more joyous! Stop and consider the
people you value:
What is it about them that makes
them special to you?
If you lost them, how would you
Have you expressed your
affection to the people for whom you have deep devotion?
If you haven’t or
can’t, what is hindering you? Can you talk about it with
someone you know cares for you?
Don’t let yourself live with a
hardened heart. This is all the more crucial as the darkness of
cold love descends on this nation. We followers of Jesus
can’t let ourselves grow cold toward others. We need to
make the love of God our banner and show it to others for the
glory due our Father. Ask our Lord to help you grieve where
it’s appropriate. God can use grieving to do wonders for
your heart. Don’t give way to cold love. Let’s
mutually encourage each other while we can!
Mike & Sue