“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” –Psalm 119: 18
“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.” –Psalm 25: 15
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” -Hebrews 12: 2
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” -Ephesians 1: 18
Deep heart healing comes to an individual when every current impediment is removed, and the Lord Jesus Christ touches him. We do not “heal ourselves”; instead we present ourselves to Father God for His healing. As discussed in other articles on this site, Christians have to a large extent lost the Judeo-Christian understanding of the heart (the deep mind and its way of knowing or spiritually perceiving). Intellect—the analytical, scientific, thinking and rationalizing parts of man; and heart—the intuitive, visionary, and artistic parts—must both be present for Body life to flourish.
The loss in Christian understanding of the heart can be partially traced to Greek roots in our educational system. According to ancient philosophers like Aristotle, reasoning through experience puts us in touch with reality. Aristotle’s first principles of knowledge ruled out the divinely inspired in man—poetry and prophecy, dreams and visions, and the way of love.
Many American church groups have incorporated rationalism and Aristotelian logic into their theology. The unconscious mind, or heart, may then be made unacceptable as a way of knowing. This has significantly suppressed the work of the Holy Spirit in the traditional church. During the late twentieth century, largely through the Pentecostal and Charismatic renewal, Western Christians developed more receptivity to heart awareness. As this took place, form and content in worship services became more varied and unpredictable.
Memories with their attendant emotions and beliefs are held in place by mental pictures that have associated significance. These meanings are peculiar to the individual. For example, in remembrance the visual image of a dog holds diverse feeling connotations for different people (the dog may be barking or biting, an object of great affection, or associated with the sadness of loss). Through the visualization of memories, the Holy Spirit can reveal himself and bring His healing power in unique and idiosyncratic ways, according to the individual’s personal worldview and experience.
Sometimes a memory can flow into a vision when the Lord enters to do His healing work. A vision is just as true and powerful, when God is involved, than any other method by which He touches our lives. Numerous examples of dynamic visions can be found in both the Old and New Testaments (e.g. Isaiah 2; Acts 10: 9-23).
Though in a sense we sometimes do practice “visualization” in heart-healing counseling, we don’t practice “guided imagery”; i.e., telling the counseling recipient what, when, and how to see or imagine. Our visualization use has the following constraints:
1. We allow the person to form an image concurrent with his own ways of experiencing God (i.e. visually, audibly, sensing His presence, as an “inner knowing”, etc.). We never direct the methods or circumstances.
2. We understand visualization as an expression of faith in what the Holy Spirit is doing or may do. The eyes of the heart see the Lord heal in imagination (the ability to create images in the mind) in a way God chooses and not always as the counselor anticipates. The Father does not speak in a vacuum; he uses everyday language and pictures, easily understandable to the person.
In summary, we do not tell an individual specifically to visualize, nor do we guide his imagery. At all times the counselee is completely conscious and in control of his imaginative awareness, even to the point of deciding to stop the process altogether. Especially to be avoided is the practice of invoking “spirit guides”. This is an open door to evil entities masquerading as angels of light.
Sadly, the demonic presenting itself as a false Jesus can come to deceive a sufferer. For this reason, we must be discerning not to ask Jesus into a memory if we sense the wounded one’s heart is not sufficiently healed to recognize the true Lord Jesus Christ.