Healing the City

Spiritual Formation: Relief

March 02, 2021 Eric and Susan Cepin Season 1 Episode 87
Healing the City
Spiritual Formation: Relief
Show Notes Transcript

Eric and Susan continue their conversation regarding the Table of Decision.  When we feel oppressed by all of our false beliefs and the lies of the enemy - How do we deal with the emptiness we feel inside?

Speaker 1:

The healing that city podcast is a ministry of the village church in Tucson, Arizona. If you enjoy the healing, the city podcast, and wish to support it financially, you can go to villagers online.com, click the we give tab and follow the instructions. Thank you for listening and enjoy the podcast healing , the city podcast with Eric Sipan and Sue Sipan. So you've been getting a lot of the seasons during quarantine, but today we're going to talk about , uh, just the way the enemy engages us in context to our , uh, decisions and how we kind of deal with life and in the conversation that might be happening between us and the enemy and us and Jesus. So part of what we're talking about , uh , comes from a model that we developed many, many years ago , um , called the table of decision or it's nickname , the hot seat model. And just to make it really a short, what it deals with is this idea that when you experienced something like an argument or some adverse thing in your life , um, an event that you have an emotional reaction and in that emotional reaction like that negative emotion , um , we argue that at that moment, the enemy in first Peter five, eight, it says that Satan rooms to, and fro seeking whom he may devour. And this idea that when you have that negative emotion, that anger, that the anxiety, the fear, that that's a point that the enemy begins to attack. You begins to dialogue with. You begins to , uh, interact with, with the things that you believe about life and begins to accuse you. And so we believe that you end up developing out of emotion , certain emotions, a set of false beliefs that return to these emotions. They're almost like they're attached to the emotion themselves. And so you have these well-developed false beliefs about yourself that are linked to those emotions about other people. Sometimes a lot of times, without whoever you are interacting with, and then the one that's hard and elusive for people, but I think is really essential is that you have a set of false beliefs connected to your negative emotions about who God is, where God is, what he's doing in things. And so out of that, and we've talked a lot about this already out of that. Um, it's as if you could freeze time, you have a choice to make as to what you're going to do, because you feel the emotion you hear in fast motion, all of those false beliefs about you, others, and God, you kind of have a sense of those either subconsciously or consciously, and then the enemy begins to dialogue with you. Um, and I know this is maybe uncomfortable for people to , to really , uh, connect to. I would argue that Satan himself is not sitting there arguing with you, but darkness and evil and the forces under the command of the enemy are accusing and attacking you because you are a person of a light and they come against you. If you're not, because if they just have a much stronger hold on you. So it's as if time stops and you're at this table and that's why we call it the table of decision. And on one side, the enemy begins to say, to talk to you. And , um, so I don't know if you could kind of begin to break that down and you, and I can do that together as to how that works and what, what kinds of things happen there?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Uh, in relation to what you were just saying also, there's the, a variety of constructs that are at work in this moment , uh , that push us towards doing the same thing. We always do the well-worn paths of our sin patterns and including the world and the flesh. Yes. So , uh, I, there's kind of a whole set of things at play , um, that God is inviting us out of as he transforms us and does make something new up us in us. So , um, the first thing that we often see physically in these moments is what action we might take. So a lot of times our first response to a false belief situation, a negative emotion is to find relief as soon as possible. And so relief is what we use, the word that we use to refer to. What is it you did after that, if you, or what are you being tempted to do right now to find relief from this experience that you're in?

Speaker 1:

Right ? So, and , and belief can, a lot of times , I mean, it is so broad and the more you dig into how you find relief, and when we're talking about relief or like alleviating the feelings of fear, anxiety, anger that are welling up inside of you. Um, and so they can be from, you know, going to the frigerator to , uh, to alcohol, to drugs, to your own contempt for someone else like taking power and using that anger to reduce someone like there's lots of , lots of different ways to use that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I would say even some are not visible, like ruminating over something or practicing a conversation in your head or , um, any number of things that other people wouldn't see or recognize.

Speaker 1:

Now, this relief has to be offered as often offered to you and you don't realize it's offered to you. And a lot of times it will , it's offered to you because the enemy has began to affirm the things that you have believed falsely, right? Like that's like the relief. Isn't just a , I need to get out of this experience because I I'm feeling this. And I feel all this shame about myself and I , and you believe a whole series of things about the people who personally might be experiencing the conversation with or whatever the adverse event. Um, but the enemy is , is really strong and reminding you of all the other times that this has happened all the other times, you've failed all the other times that this person is not considered you all the other times, you feel like God has abandoned you. And you begin to , to part of you begin to hear, like you almost have like the , the radio signal is just overloaded in those, those accusations and rumors .

Speaker 2:

And we refer to that as the affirmations of false beliefs.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And it's a part of, you know, sorting all this out is beginning to slow things down and to really think about those things. And, and , um, so, you know, here we can do this, we can do this really fast , uh, by giving people a live example. So, and we can also , uh, make a plug for pastors eat , uh , all in one thing. So we put our , our church, our two pastors puts out this little food review and one of our food reviews went up today. And there's a moment in the food review where Mark, my co pastor says , um, something about this wall that's behind us, where it's a Memorial to the owner of the pizza company. And he pauses Justin the right moment. And I say to the camera, man, shoot the camera up in his paws. And my moment, it sounds like I say a swear word. Okay. So that's, that's there. We also rate people's pizza. I gave the rating of an 80, but then when it shows up on the TV or when it shows up in the video, it says 82. Okay . So you have, you have that as the setting, someone in our church posted, Hey, LA like that , uh, and then they put like all the little , little exclamation marks as if I said a swear word, which I didn't know that I'd said this way . Um, because I didn't, but it sounds like it really sounds like it on the video. So I thought he was talking about the fact that I messed up the number. And so immediately I thought, wow, I put this thing out in public and now people are making fun of me. And I made a stupid mistake and I felt this like, just this dreaming in my , like, immediately, like, you know, how you can feel like just all the blood seems to leave your head and you're , and I just had that moment. And what I quick , I mean, I literally be like, the first thing I said was Eric yourself stupid? Why did you do that? Like, that was my immediate phrase. You could see. So when you say, well, okay, so what's my false belief about myself. Well, I'm so stupid. Like you hear that. Why was what's connected to that feeling? Why I felt caught embarrassed and, and usually I feel stupid when I'm hot or embarrassed. And so I believe that I'm stupid. Like that's the belief. And then like this belief that anytime anyone sees that they're going to point it out to you. Right. And so, you know, we can talk about what I believe about God, but let's introduce to go back to the affirmation of false beliefs immediately. I just, there was just a quick, I even remembered. I quick like, Oh yeah, that and that like, Oh, like a quick memory of a few of the times where I've done something stupid.

Speaker 2:

So you're forming a whole constellation. Now that'd be event connected events.

Speaker 1:

Right. And do you would say, well, that's happening in your mind? Yes. But the enemy accuses the brethren, the he's intertwining, this, this conflict is, you know, the arrows of the enemy are written by are the arrows of our emotions are written by the enemy. Right . They , they , they're looking to, to create dark spaces in our soul and take hold. Um, and so there it is, there's the affirmation, you know? And, and I was able to be like, whatever, that's not that big of a deal and work it through. And this I'm offering myself, but you can see how that

Speaker 2:

Yeah. The tension in it, the tension, and also the relief was brief, but it was still, it was self contempt. And something that example also brings up is going back to the time we talked about emotion, that there's a physiological response .

Speaker 1:

I had a physio. Very good. It's like , boom, you , I mean, it's all, it's so textbook. I had a physiological response. I felt vulnerable. I immediately started saying I was stupid. Other people always will see that and pointed out , um, people are committed to pointing out your stupidity. Like, that's my, like, you know, and you know, I know enough of how this works to know that God is with me. And I can kind of understand the other side of the table and work into that. But you know, the false belief about God that lingers in that experiences my mom alone, but God's not here. He's out there on the outside. And he'll, you know, he might take care of it, but right now in this moment, I'm by myself. Yeah. I got to figure this out and that's dangerous to stay there. So when , even though relief is, and we is, how do I fix this? I need to go online and explain what happened. Right.

Speaker 2:

Which is temporary relief because it leaves you in a pattern of belief that God is , is absent and you're not even pray . Or you don't even practice in that space. Uh, what, what is it , what do I do if God is present? Right. Even though I don't feel like he's present right now, which we can talk about in a future podcast. But , um, the other, the other piece that I want to address in this space in the , uh, in the model is what we call the justification of relief. And so there's, there's always a reason once we make a choice to do something that we are doing for wrong reasons, for the wrong motives to justify that choice and to say it was okay to do that because blank, or I obviously had to do that because blank . And so I wonder what your justification would be for pouring contempt on yourself.

Speaker 1:

Well, and that's interesting, and now I would have to process a little bit more. So let me, let me think that through why give you the other justification? Cause my quick relief was just fix it. Yeah. Right. And the justification is, everybody needs to know. I can't , can I have a sitting out there and the here I thought, you know, he was talking about the 82 and the eight

Speaker 2:

Ranking . You can't have the 2% misprint.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I can't have that. Or then , then , you know, then when I found out it was the, so I kind of had a double experience because when I found out it was like a misunderstanding, maybe I said a swear word online, then uh, I was like, Oh, well we definitely need, like, people need to know, like they can't, this can't just be out there. Right. So there was , that's an easy justification. I think that self contempt justification is a little harder, but because I deserve it, like I do this, I remember, you know, before we put up the thing, we did a preview of the video and Mark and I saw the 82 and it was going to take me some work to fix it. And I've had , it's kind of humorous. I said 80 it's 82. We're just calling attention to Tino's pizza. We were , and we're just doing stuff for the community. It's not, it's not about the details , the details that's okay. In fact, it's kind of humorous, the pastor said 80, and then it says 82. Right. The pastor was autocorrected. Right. You know , it's funny. But uh, yeah. So I think that that self con tent , just like, you always do this, you never, you never go, no , you, you deserve it. Like, that's just the justification like you w

Speaker 2:

Right. And what we discover when we get to the other side of the table is that our justifications really fall short of reality. Yes . Because they don't stand in light of the gospel at all. No. And the gospel says the opposite of you, right. It says you were rescued from great contempt, right . By the death of Jesus, which was precious and at great cost. Right. But we'll get to that in a future.

Speaker 1:

Cause we don't want to leave people without the gospel, even if we have to wait for the gospel. So, you know, you might be listening to podcasts going, I have no idea what they're talking about this hot seat model, this table decision. Well , I think there's some good things in this and I think you could go listen to the other podcasts and try to construct it. Or you can listen to many of the different sermons that we've done on the hot seat model, or you can come join the village and get into a poking group and experience the seat . Hopefully though we've done less of it over COVID as we've just tried to read scripture over each other and pray and

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And it's, it's hard to jump into hot seat

Speaker 1:

And zoom, zoom. Yeah. It's not always,

Speaker 2:

And we're sitting outside with a bunch of masks on and

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Freezing. Yeah. There's just a lot to do so,

Speaker 2:

But I think also , um, the idea of justification that that was only one example of what might come up. Yeah . And I think that there are probably some more clear examples. Like , uh, if I decide to yell at somebody in my family , uh, there will be a justification for that, for why they deserve that or why it's actually necessary for me to do , uh, to do that.

Speaker 1:

And I think, you know, sometimes justification comes at the statement of, I need like, you know, you have these experiences and your relief is maybe overeating or eating more time or eating extra ice cream. It's just, I need this. That is the justification. Right? Like these justifications don't need a lot of examination . They just need to be present and they always are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And it's helpful to shine a light on them and say, huh, I wonder if that was true. Yeah. And because they're part of the, the lie system. Yeah. So I think the other piece in this , uh, you know, the side of the table where we're listening to the enemy , um, that I just want to mention is that the ideas themselves, the words themselves, aren't actually negative words. Like sometimes there's relief that happens that is godly where, you know, you think something horrible is going to happen and God saves you out of it. Or, you know, somebody comes along and does something kind and relief. Isn't always a sin pattern or the result of a sin pattern. Um , there are positive affirmations. There are, there is a theological justification. And so I just want to acknowledge that the words on this side of the table are not bad words right there. These are things that , uh, are basically being , um, overhauled by the enemy and used for evil or for harm in our lives , um, that it , where it becomes a sinful relief, a justification of sinful relief or an affirmation

Speaker 1:

False beliefs. Yeah. I mean, I think it's good to really lay that out. And I think, you know, in particular with the word relief affirmation is just, is it , you know what to say here , the language person to affirm a false belief as a, as an adjective or an adverb affirmation is a noun is a noun. Really? Yeah, it is. Well, anyway, I'm not a very good person that way, but here here's what I mean is that relief itself, as you know , Jesus addresses relief directly. And , you know, in Jeremiah two 13 where he says, you know, my people have they've they've , um, they've had 2 cents . One is they forsaken him, the living water. And two they've gone after broken cisterns and dug themselves broken systems that don't give any kind of water. Um, and I think that's what we're talking about is that when the relief, Jesus says, I am the relief and we say an ice cream cone is relief. Right . That's right .

Speaker 2:

Right. And so what makes these words and phrases negative is actually what is motivating them?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So, well, that's really good. I haven't tried this conversation too. I always love talking about this once you and I dive in, we could go forever in discussing these things because they just are so powerful in the way that we approach and deal with life. So I hope people got something good out of it . Thanks for joining us. You've been listening to healing the city podcast with Susan Sipan and Eric secret . You can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.