Today I want to share some wisdom from God's Word about one of the major enemies of our relationships – Isolation. Many people are isolating themselves from vital relationships they need in order to be made whole. Some are even isolating themselves from God, blaming Him for the pain they are suffering. Isolating ourselves from God through will definitely hinder our inner healing and wholeness since He is the source of all healing of the wounded soul.
Some people have isolated themselves from their pastors. Somehow the enemy was able to make their pastor suspect in their mind. For instance a word of correction was interpreted as rejection. Something said in a message touched a sensitive spot in their soul and made them angry. The devil was able to sow a lie in their mind. The pastor was ministering to someone else at the same time they needed ministry and they interpreted his delay in meeting their need as uncaring. There are a hose of ways the enemy can attack this relationship, and believe me, he does. Isolating ourselves from our pastors and other ministers will keep us from receiving the Spiritual Ministry God has ordained we receive. There are some things God simply will not allow us to receive on our own. If he gave us everything we need directly we would not need to develop relationships with others. There are lessons we cannot learn in an isolated state. Remember, it is your responsibility to call your pastor if you need ministry. You call your Doctor if you get sick. You call your lawyer if your in a legal bind. Call your pastor if you need spiritual help. This is scriptural (James 5: 14).
There are many people who think they are healed but their attitudes and actions reveal they are not. They have blindness that they are obviously unaware of. Only when people begin to really listen to their pastors and spiritual leaders regarding their attitudes and actions and then pray for revelation regarding the root cause, can they begin to open up and receive inner healing. Jeremiah the Prophet was greatly rejected because of the unpopular message he had to deliver. However he was honest with himself and God, and cried out to God to show him the way to restoration. Here is the conversation with God, that help set Jeremiah free:
O Lord, You know; Remember me and visit me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, For You have filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain perpetual And my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that fail? 19 Therefore thus says the Lord: "If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, But you must not return to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you," says the Lord. 21 "I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible (Jer. 18:15-22)."
Jeremiah never isolated himself from the Lord. He remained faithful to the Word of God, and he nurtured his friendship with his assistant, Baruch. His alienation was not because of his unwillingness to fellowship with godly people. There simply were no godly people other than Baruch. His message brought him rejection and isolation in the midst of an evil and perverse generation that would not repent. He began to feel sorry for himself. He felt alone and isolated. So he did what he should have done, he sought God for answers.
First of all, God showed him that he must return to Him. Returning to God (repenting for wrong attitudes) and looking to Him is the first step to getting rid of isolation.
Secondly, the Lord told him to take out the precious from the vile. This speaks of deliverance. To overcome a root of rejection and receive healing in our inner man, we often need deliverance. Seek deliverance from the spirits of rejection. A spirit of rejection is rooted in having been rejected in some form or fashion. Abuse, ridicule, mockery, being shunned, acts of hatred, wounding words, and many other acts of hatred or unkindness cause us to take on rejection. The good news is we don't have to keep it. We can be free.
Thirdly, stand your ground with the Lord and His people. Don't seek acceptance from worldly carnal people. The Lord told Jeremiah that he could let those who had rejected him and his message return to him, but he was not to return to them. As God's minister Jeremiah had to stand for what was right even if it meant being separated from others. God told him to stand his ground for Him and the message He was called to preach. If people wanted to return (repent) they could, but Jeremiah was not to go after them to try to placate them. If he had, they would have misinterpreted his reaching out to them as though they were right. Sometimes a minister has to bring correction from the Word of God and then stand and let the Word do the work. The Word is always working, either to bring brokenness and a softening of hearts or a hardening of hearts among those who are rebellious.
Finally, the result was deliverance. Just as Jeremiah was delivered in the natural we can be delivered spiritually if we will take these steps.
From that day forward, Jeremiah rose up, stood in who he was in the Lord, and finished his ministry.
People who isolate themselves often do not see themselves as isolated. They think it is normal to withdraw and keep to themselves for long periods of time. They say, "I don't need those people." "They don't really care about me anyway." "What do I need them for?" "I like being alone." "I'm just a private person." "It's just too much hassle, to get close to people." "Every time I get close to someone I get burned, so I'll stay to myself."
Isolation is the result of people turning inward and becoming "Independent" rather than inter-dependent. Isolation is rooted in a self-willed approach to resolving rejection by the power of the flesh rather than by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To put it more plainly, Isolation is a selfish approach to rejection. Addicts often isolate. They are addicts because they seek pleasure to avoid pain. They get hooked on their pain relief activities. Often that pain is the pain of unresolved rejection. Addicts isolate to avoid accountability, correction, (which they interpret as rejection) and further rejection.
The isolated person who choses to stay isolated will eventually be destroyed by the enemy. As one minister said, "it's the banana that gets separated from the bunch that gets peeled first." The devil loves to get people isolated and in this computer oriented, video generation. It is easy to do. People can go for long periods of time without significant interaction and fellowship with other people of faith.
A person who is isolated has no wise counsel, often they don't want any. They are bent on their own agenda. An agenda destined to fail.
Prov. 18:1 says: A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
Don't play into the enemies hands. If you are isolated get help. Get help from your spiritual covering. Don't seek another voice. Seek the voice of your Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and His under shepherd, your pastor of your local church. This is the way to get out of isolation. Remember, isolation is an enemy of your deliverance, healing, and spiritual growth.
Bishop Darrell Ellis