The Belief and Choice Principle

by | Feb 9, 2017


NOTE: Before we enter into this discussion it is important we say again that, it is unlikely that the global Body of Christ will agree with everything we propose in the Principles and Purpose areas of this training. What is presented in these two areas is our best attempt to explain both theologically and mentally what we believe occurs in a ministry session or in the Process. As we have already stated, even if you do not fully agree with all that we propose, you can still effectively apply the TPM Process.

However, if you do not follow the Process protocol exactly as it is taught, please do not call what you are doing Transformation Prayer Ministry.

What follows is a discussion that includes aspects of the age old argument of the free will of man. Please know that we recognize that free will has been discussed by theologians throughout history and there has never been a consensus. Please keep your focus on how belief and choice is understood in the context of a ministry session.


 

A Foundation Stone

Key Concepts

  • “Everything that occurs in the ‘ministry chair’ is directly related to, dependent upon, caused by, and rooted in the belief of the one sitting in the chair.”
  • There is NEVER never any reason for the ministry facilitator to rescue the person from anything during a ministry session.
  • Because we believe what we do, we do what we do. We believe something that causes us to feel something; therefore, we choose something and then do something.
  • When our heart belief runs contrary to the biblical truth we possess intellectually we become double-minded.

There is an overriding principle that could be said to be the foundation stone for TPM this prayer model, which we call the Belief and Choice Principle. Simply stated, it says, “Everything that occurs in the ‘ministry chair’ is directly related to, caused by, and rooted in the belief of the one sitting in the chair.” 

Of course there is no question that the Holy Spirit is actively involved in all parts and portions of what is occurring in a ministry session, but the Spirit will not force a person to do anything that he is unwilling to do. We will see that the person’s belief is a primary cause of all that occurs in any and every session. The only other reasons for what may happen in a session would be a misguided ministry facilitator “getting in the way.”

This means that anything the person feels or doesn’t feel – his perceived hindrance or blockage to moving forward, any demonic manifestations, any suppression, repression or denial, confusion, his not knowing where to go, inability to surface any memory, resistance of any kind – all of these things and more are always related to and an outcome of the person’s belief. We call all of these things and or behaviors “solutions” that are self-designed as an attempt to solve our perceived problems. None of these are coming from outside sources; we are the common denominator in it all.

With this being so, there is NEVER never any reason for the ministry facilitator to rescue the person from anything, give direction or personal opinion, or try to explain why something is happening or not happening,  do spiritual warfare and fight the devil, or supply the person with what he thinks God might want the person to know. None of these practices fall under the heading of the “Role of the Ministry Facilitator.”


Our belief and choice is the foundation to everything we do.

Because we believe what we do, we do what we do. We believe something that causes us to feel something; therefore, we choose something and then do something. It really is that simple.  Anything that occurs in a ministry session is because the person believes something and is making choices based upon this belief. What is occurring or not occurring is related to his belief. Because of this, during a ministry session all focus is upon identifying belief and not in trying to make something happen or rescuing the person from anything. When the person’s lie-based belief is replaced with the Lord’s truth, his choice changes accordingly.

As important as our intellectual beliefs may be for navigating through life (to include the truths we learned through Bible study, religious education, spiritual teachings, and sermons), it is still our heart belief that primarily governs the belief and choice principle. These heart (or core) beliefs that we learn in the context of life experiences, carry much more influence in our moment-by-moment decision-making process than our intellectual beliefs.  When it comes to interpreting what is happening in any given moment, our heart belief will always override our intellectual belief.

All the intellectual truths that we have learned and continue to learn are helpful, but they do not carry the influence that our heart (core belief) carries. Nor does the intellectual truth we hold produce any emotion. Our core belief is the seat of our emotions. This is why we say that “we feel whatever we believe.” How we feel in any given moment has the greatest influence in the choices and decisions we make. It is heart belief (core belief) that is the basis for the “belief and choice principle.”

 

Rescue Never Needed

Key Concepts

  • During a ministry session, all the focus is upon identifying belief and NOT on trying to make something happen or rescuing the person from anything.
  • There are no victims in the room.
  • Anything that occurs in a ministry session is because the person believes something and is making willful choices based upon this belief.
  • The primary task set before any of us as we participate in this ministry is to choose to identify what we believe that causes us to be where we are in the moment.
  • We will feel, move forward, remember, etc., when we make the choice to do so.
  • We will choose to do so when our belief that is contrary to moving forward is resolved.

The Belief and Choice principle is behind everything that occurs in a ministry session.This would include such things as; anything that appears to stall out the session, hinder or block moving forward, emotions going away, suppression, repression or denial, confusion, an inability to surface any memory, any demonic manifestation, or resistance of any kind.  All of these things and more are rooted in the person’s belief and subsequent choices.

Because this is true, there is never any reason for the ministry facilitator to rescue the person from anything during the ministry session. There are no victims in the room.  The facilitator never needs to help the person out should he get “stuck.” He should never suggest direction or personal opinion, or try to explain why something is happening or not happening. There is no need to ever fight the devil for the person since the person is always in executive control unless he concedes to the demons wishes. Demonic manifestations only occur when the person allows for it and it is serving a purpose (solution). The person never needs the facilitator to supply him with what he thinks God might want him to know. The Holy Spirit will grant the truth when the person makes the choice to move into the right position to receive it.

Our belief and choice is the foundation to everything we do.

Because of what we believe, we feel what we feel and we do what we do. It really is that simple.  Anything that occurs in a ministry session is because the person believes something and is making willful choices based upon this belief. Therefore, what is occurring (or not occurring) is related to his belief and not because of any outside force. Because of this, during a ministry session, all the focus is upon identifying belief and not on trying to make something happen or rescuing the person from anything. When the person’s lie-based belief is replaced with the Lord’s truth, their choices change accordingly.

So then, everything occurring in the ministry chair is directly rooted in and related to what the ministry recipient believes, feels, and is choosing.  Our choices are directly related to what we believe. Because we believe ______,  we feel _______,  and therefore, we choose _________.”

For example:

“I believe that my anger holds the one who hurt me accountable (belief), I choose not to release it (choice) and I feel angry.”

“I believe suppression of my pain keeps me from becoming overwhelmed by it, so I choose not to connect with what I feel so I feel nothing.”

“I believe that by blocking my memory I keep what happened from being true, so I will not remember.”

The primary task set before any of us as we participate in this ministry is to choose to identify what we believe that causes us to be where we are in the moment. If we find ourselves unable to move forward in a ministry session, we do not need the ministry facilitator to rescue us from being blocked, stuck, emotionally shut down, or anything else. The reason we are not feeling something, remembering, moving forward, etc. is because of what we believe. We will feel, move forward, remember, etc., when we make the choice to do so. We will choose to do so when our belief that is contrary to moving forward is resolved.

 

Difference Between Desire and will

Key Concepts

  • What we want to do is desire, what we are doing is our will. 
  • The choices we make are highly influenced by what we feel and how we interpret the world around us.  
  • My heart belief is the lens of my interpretation and creates the reality that I live in, even though it may be a false one.
  • We will not violate our own heart belief.
  • The focus of TPM is not on giving a person intellectual truth, trying to change emotion, or adjusting his behavior.  The focus is on identifying the beliefs that are behind what people feel and that are driving their choices.
  • When the truth is known with the heart, everything changes to match this truth.

What we want to do is desire, what we are doing is our will.
There is a major difference between our will to do something and our desire to do it. We can say we want to feel, move forward, remember, etc. (our desire), and at the same time refuse to allow it to happen (our will). Our will is always revealed by what is happening in the moment, not by what we say we want to see happen.

Our choices are based upon what we believe. If what we believe is contrary to moving forward, feeling, remembering, etc., we will remain “stuck.” Though it may not appear to be so, or even feel true, we are always in the executive position during the ministry session, controlling what is happening.

The choices we make are highly influenced by what we feel and how we interpret the world around us. Both the interpretation we give to each new life situation and the emotions we feel are determined by our beliefs.  There is no workaround in this process since it is natural, automatic and by God’s design. The process is not flawed.  It is working perfectly. The belief is flawed.


The “lenses” we have on makes all the difference in how we view our world.
If I believe in my heart (core belief) that I am worthless and unlovable, I will interpret life through those “lenses” and feel the negative emotions associated with those beliefs. Likewise, if I believe that I have value and am loved by God, I will interpret life through those “lenses” and in the same way, my feelings will match those beliefs. My heart belief is the lens of my interpretation and creates the reality that I live in, even though it may be a false one.

Some people attempt to bypass this God-created process and try to willfully change the way they feel or how they interpret things. They try to tell themselves the truth and distract themselves from their negative feelings utilizing different means (food, sex, entertainment, religious service, relationships, alcohol, drugs, etc.) All of these things and more have  proven ineffective in resolving lie-based thinking or changing the way one feels. The reason being is simple. We will not violate our own heart belief. When I believe something with my heart then it is the absolute “truth” for me. This is one of the reasons why no one and not even myself, can talk me out of what I believe in my heart.


Monsters Under the Bed
We cannot change what we believe at the heart level by telling ourselves the truth intellectually. This is much like telling a child who believes there is a monster under his bed to “calm down and go to sleep.” Even though you have him look under the bed and though he agrees that there is no monster, as soon as the light is turned off the fear returns. Lie-based belief cannot be overcome with intellectual belief. In similar fashion we cannot calm the child’s fears by giving him ice cream or a piece of candy. Once the ice cream is gone and the lights are turned out the perceived monster will return.

This is why, in TPM, our focus is not on giving the person intellectual truth, trying to change emotion, or adjusting behavior.  Instead, our focus is on identifying the beliefs that are behind what people feel and that are driving their choices.  We then look to the Lord for His perspective. When the truth is known with the heart, everything changes to match this truth. People can easily choose to walk in the truth that they know in their hearts, whereas intellectual truth is often very difficult to carry out, especially when it is contrary to the person’s core belief.

 

Double-Mindedness

Key Concepts

  • Double-mindedness is holding two or more opposing beliefs at the same time.
  • When our intellectual belief and our core belief (heart belief) are in conflict, we find ourselves stuck in an inner struggle.
  • Will power is the force that we consciously try to muster-up to help us do what we desire to do.
  • We approach our spiritual walk with the “Just Do It” mindset instead of slowing down to discover the belief  that is causing us to hesitate.
  • Our resistant feelings come from core belief, whereas our desire to do rightly is based upon what we intellectually “know” is the right thing to do.
  • Our “will,” on the other hand, is the direct outcome of our belief. It is what we ARE DOING, not what we are trying to do.
  • the way forward is not found through will power, grit, determination, or effort; but rather, through experiential knowledge of the truth.
  • Life experiences will expose and distinguish between what we believe in our hearts and what we merely intellectually understand.

 

 “…like the wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind…”
When our intellectual belief and our core belief (heart belief) are in conflict, we find ourselves stuck in an inner struggle. This state of being is what James the Apostle called being “double-minded.”  (Ja. 1). Double-mindedness is holding two or more opposing beliefs at the same time.  Holding opposing beliefs occurs when our heart belief runs contrary to the biblical truth we possess intellectually. This state of being double-minded is frustrating and difficult as we become “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind… unstable in all our ways…” (Jam. 1:6-8)

For example: I may have memorized the Bible verse that says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). My having memorized these words is no indication that this truth is a part of my core belief.

Life experience will expose and distinguish between what we believe in our hearts and what is merely intellectually understood. For example: if we are ever fearful or feeling unprotected or worried or anxious, then the before mentioned Isaiah passage is not our heart belief. It is only what we believe intellectually. If we find ourselves in a precarious situation, needing to tell ourselves this verse over and over to calm ourselves down, then it is not our heart-belief. It is only what we have memorized. We can say that we believe it, but our emotional status reveals what is believed in our hearts.

An example of being double-minded might be when I want to let go of the anger I feel towards my father, knowing that it would be the right and healthy thing to do. However, at the same time, I feel the need to hold onto it because I believe that doing so will keep him accountable for what he did. I want to let it go (desire), but “need” to hold onto it and continue to hold it (will). This phenomenon is very common in a TPM session. People will desire to connect with their emotions, remember things from their past, ask the Lord for truth, etc., but are seemingly unable to do so because of lie-based beliefs. So, with their intellect they know the right choice, but are unable to make that choice because of what they believe and subsequently feel.

 

Our “will” has nothing to do with our will power.

When Our Desire to Do and Will to Do are not in Alignment
There is a famous tennis shoe commercial that says, “Just Do It.” This slogan is an attempt to motivate the person having difficulty getting out there and exercising  to make the decision to “just do it” anyway. They are saying, “Put on your shoes, push through the resistance and hit the pavement.” Doing this is an attempt to muster up willpower.

Will power is the force that we consciously try to muster-up to help us do what we desire to do. The reason that we are faced with this resistance is because our desire and will are in conflict. Our efforts in trying to push through the resistant feelings is motivated by our desire to do rightly, but our belief producing the resistance is what determines what we choose to do. Our will is heavily influenced by what we believe which keeps us from moving forward. These resistant feelings come from core belief, whereas our desire to do rightly is based upon what we intellectually  “know” is the right thing to do.  For the most part, willpower has a very low success rate for many people and offers little long term benefit. The reason is, the heart belief will always eventually win out over willpower that is driven by intellectual belief.


Predictable Burnout
Too often we approach our spiritual walk with the “Just Do It” mindset instead of slowing down to discover the belief  that is causing us to hesitate. Trying to live the Christian life from this perspective is a primary reason for the epidemic of burnout so commonly found in believers. They want to do the right thing and are trying really hard, but keep hitting the same wall. They are hitting a wall of contrary belief. They know the truth intellectually with their mind, but their heart belief is producing an inner wall that will not allow them to pass. There is no benefit in trying to push past the wall since it will not be moved or ignored. It needs to be removed. But only God can do this by granting us His truth (Eph. 1:17-18) and renewing our minds (Rom. 12:2).

Our “will,” on the other hand, is the direct outcome of our belief. It is what we ARE DOING, not what we are trying to do. Trying to do something and doing something are not the same thing. If we will slow things down and examine what we are doing and ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing, much can be discovered. We do all that we do because of heart belief. When heart belief is changed, behavior will change accordingly. Trying to do the right thing when the right thing runs contrary to what we believe with our heart will result in struggle.

For Example: Trying to enjoy the taste of broccoli is not the same as enjoying the taste of broccoli. Trying to connect with your emotion is not the same as connecting with your emotion. And trying to feel compassion for someone is not the same as feeling compassion for someone. Our desire is what we are trying to do, and our “will” is what we are doing.


The will always has the last word.
Though it may not appear to be so, or even feel true, the person is controlling what is happening in the ministry session.  Everything that occurs is directly related to the person’s belief and choice: Always.  A person can say that he is willing to feel, remember, go where he needs to go during a session, but he will only do so when he willfully chooses to do so. The recipient may indeed want or desire to move forward, connect with emotion, ask the Lord for truth, etc., but the person’s “will” is on full display. His will always has the last word. And, as we will learn later, the way forward is not found through will power, grit, determination, or effort; but rather, through experiential knowledge of the truth.

 

Heart Belief is the basis for the Belief and Choice Principle.

Heart Belief Always Overrides Intellectual Belief
As important as our intellectual beliefs may be for navigating through life (that is, the truths we learned through Bible study, religious education, spiritual teachings, and sermons), it is still our core belief that primarily governs the belief and choice principle. These core beliefs, or heart-beliefs that we learn in the context of life experience, carry much more influence in our moment-by-moment decision-making process than our intellectual beliefs.

For example, I may have memorized the Bible verse that says “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). However, my memorization of these words is no indication that this truth is part of my core belief.


Life and its many difficulties will always expose what is believed with the heart.
Life experiences will expose and distinguish between what we believe in our hearts and what we merely intellectually understand. For example, if we are always fearful, feeling unprotected, worried or anxious, then this passage is not our heart-belief, but only what we believe intellectually. If we find ourselves in a precarious situation, needing to say this verse over and over to ourselves to calm ourselves down, then it is not our heart-belief, but only something we have memorized. We can say that we believe it, but our emotional status reveals what we are believing in our hearts.

All the intellectual truths that we have learned, and continue to learn, are helpful, but do not carry the influence that our heart/core belief carries. Nor does the intellectual truth we hold produce corresponding emotions. Our core belief is the seat of our emotions. How we feel in any given moment has the greatest influence on the choices and decisions we make. It is our core belief or heart belief that is the basis for the “belief and choice principle.”

 

Ministry Protocol

Nothing but belief ever has us “stuck.”
When a person seems to be “stuck” in a ministry session (or you yourself seem unable to move forward), it is never because of any outside force. The only thing that hinders us from moving forward in a ministry session is our own belief and choice. When a session stalls out, it is important to recognize this and approach this from a “solution” perspective as opposed to treating it as a problem.

Anytime a session stops moving forward it is always because the person is choosing for it to stop. When this occurs they are in the SOLUTION Box. Follow protocol and ask the three “De-Solution Tool” questions to help the person identify what he believes that is behind the choice that he is making.

 

Return to PRINCIPLES LEVEL ONE

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email