Deborah Pt 8: Codependency
And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand (Judges 4:7).
Deborah, Barak and the 10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulun were to draw near to Mt. Tabor, but the actual encounter where the enemy is exposed and given over to them takes place at the Kishon River. By way of review, the action taking place in this outward battle typifies an inward battle all Christians experience as their flesh wars against their spirit. Deborah is a mature believer in the end times pressing into the fullness of the Spirit so as to be prepared as a pure, spotless Bride for the second coming of Christ.
She is going forth to accomplish this purpose of completion in Christ with the help of the Lord Jesus (Barak). In the verse above, God has told her that the battle is to be fought at the Kishon River where He will hand the enemy over to her and Barak. We learned earlier that Sisera is the captain of Jabin’s army and that together they represent the sin nature. We also learned that the chariots represent inner false judgments we have formed about our self, life and God.
The new elements of warfare we encounter in this verse are the “multitude” and the “Kishon River” where the battle is fought. We will examine the “multitude” first. A multitude is comprised of men, women and children. In this case, the multitude is our enemy because it comes with Sisera, and Sisera represents our carnal mind. We know that men represent the understanding, women the desires and children the fruits of their union; therefore, a multitude would be our thoughts, desires and the outward fruits or manifestations of these thoughts and desires.
In Hebrew the word “multitude” is hamown which means “a noise, tumult, crowd, and disquietude.” The multitude within us represents our uncontrollable thoughts and desires. When we seek to draw close to the Lord in prayer and Bible reading, very often we find our mind wandering. Most of us cannot control these intruding thoughts any more than we could control a huge CROWD of people. As much as we desire to subdue them, they are very NOISY in that we cannot silence them. They often cause our soul to be in a state of DISQUIETUDE. Webster defines “disquietude” as “a disturbed or uneasy condition; restlessness, anxiety, disquiet.” Disquiet means “a disturbed or uneasy feeling; anxiety, and restlessness.”
I believe that often our difficulty in focusing on our relationship with God comes from the codependency that plagues most people. According to Dr. George Whitfield, it is estimated that 70 to 90 percent of all people suffer with codependency (Healing the Child Within). In codependency we lost our true self and learned to focus on the needs of others. We tried to become what we thought they wanted us to be in order to be accepted and to protect ourselves from the pain of the rejection of our true self. (Please see my article on this site entitled “The Wounded Child, Codependency and Dissociation as Seen in Scripture”).
In other words, we come before God with our masks on. We don’t know what He wants us to be, so we try to be what we think He expects of us. A false self cannot have a deep relationship with God. God wants to connect with our True Self. We desire that too, but we don’t know how to get there. Since a false self trying to connect with the Truth Himself is not very satisfying, our mind starts to wander. We think about all we have to do that day, what so-and-so said to us or what to do about a situation at the office and although we set aside time to be with God, we find it is not producing what we had hoped. Then we get discouraged and cut our time short or forget to even pray or read our Bible the next day. Soon our commitment to spend time with God each day diminishes to the point that we find ourselves not spending time with Him at all.
God understands this, and He has an answer for us. If we are willing to go to the Kishon River every day, we will triumph over Sisera and his multitude because our mind will not wander to other things at this wonderful river. In order to find the spiritual interpretation of the Kishon River, we must start our study by looking at the river that flowed through the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve enjoyed uninterrupted fellowship with God before their fall into sin.
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads (Gen 2:10). In this verse we see that in Eden there was but one river, but once it left the garden, it was divided into four individual rivers. The single river in Eden represents the living water of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When we are in heaven and no longer hindered by the sinfulness and limitations of our humanity, we will be able to comprehend more fully the vastness of this one great river of Truth, but until then, we can only receive God’s truth in partial ways represented by the four rivers into which it was divided.
This spiritual concept of the four rivers was first revealed by the early church fathers (men such as Augustine, Ambrose, and Jerome) and much later explained by Andrew Jukes in his book, Types in Genesis. We can read about these rivers in Genesis 2:11-14. Here the names of these rivers are shown to be Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates.
Pison is said to represent our intuition whereby we receive truth via our spirit rather than by our physical senses. When we intuit something, we have a direct knowing that comes without the conscious use of reasoning. The river Gihon is said to be our perception whereby we learn about the material world around us through the use of our physical senses. Hiddekel speaks of learning that comes to us from the testimony of others as they share what they have learned via their intuition and perception. The Euphrates River is representative of truth we learn through our process of reasoning or reflection as we assimilate all we have learned through our intuition, perception and the testimony of others. Some believe Gihon is the Nile River that waters the land of Egypt today, the land from which we have spiritually been redeemed. The Euphrates, or reasoning, is the river that strengthens and increases spiritual Babylon.
Now that we have learned about these great rivers of Genesis, we have gained an understanding to help us determine what the river Kishon represents spiritually. This was a difficult type for me to comprehend, and I spent several days seeking God for this revelation. I awoke early one morning (around 3:00 a.m.) thinking about it, when the answer suddenly came, “The Kishon River is Bible study!” Let me explain…
The word “Kishon” means “winding.” A winding river goes one direction for awhile, then turns and goes another; back and forth it goes as it progresses across the land to its destination. Our Bible, the Word of God, is the living water of truth given us by the Holy Spirit as written by His anointed servants of past ages. If we were to begin reading in Genesis and go straight through to Revelation, we would be traveling down a straight river.
We travel a winding river when we study. For example, I may be studying a verse in Judges such as the verse we are currently examining that mentions the Kishon River. First I turn to the back of my Bible where the maps are to see where it was geographically. Then I remember the rivers of Genesis and turn back to read about them. The river in the Garden reminds me of the living water, so I turn back to the New Testament to read about the living water Jesus spoke about to the woman at the well in John Four. The next thing I do is turn to my concordance and find other places in Scripture where a river is mentioned. Then I turn to those passages and read them. The process of deep learning requires traveling down the winding river of truth as we turn back and forth through the pages of our Bible and its tributaries (lexicons, concordances and other reference materials).
Beloved, it is impossible for one’s mind to wander when studying the Bible! This is totally different than just reading. When merely reading, one can read an entire page and not remember what one has read. Some passages are so familiar we can actually find ourselves bored with them.
Study opens a whole new world. As we study, we must interact with Jesus and ask for His understanding. We remember the passage we studied that morning throughout the rest of our day. When we demonstrate a commitment to daily study, God gives revelation.
Revelation is positively addicting! It is the most wonderful thing anyone can experience—knowing that God Almighty, Lord of all the universe has personally spoken to you in His Word and showed you some precious gem from His vast treasure house. In this way, we begin to know who we are. The True Self that was buried under codependency begins to come forth in the presence of God as we study. I promise you, if you will commit yourself to study on a daily basis, you will hear from God as He shows you things from His Word. You will begin to feel safe in His presence and your True Self will begin to emerge.
As the True Self emerges, the false self will begin to fade away. It is the True Self that can commune with God. The True Self is the part of us made in the image of God and created for fellowship. Fellowship cannot happen with a false self in the forefront. The process of finding the True Self and doing away with the false self is a description of the healing of the soul. As our soul is healed, our body begins to be healed. God works with us from the inside out beginning first in our spirit, then our soul and ultimately our body. I know this from experience. The older I get, the healthier I become. Parts of my body that should be deteriorating with age are actually getting healthier than at any time in my life! You see, Dear Ones, as we travel the winding river it eventually flows into the healing river of Ezekiel 47 where everything in the river is healed! First we step in up to the ankles, then to the knees, next to the loins and then we are swimming.
I invite all my readers to boldly establish the practice of daily study of the Word. If you don’t know how, go to my article entitled “Bible Study Principles.” It may seem difficult or almost impossible at first, but it is definitely God’s will that we study. The Scripture exhorts us, …this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (I John 5:14, 15). If we ask God to help us study, and if we set that time aside each day and delve into it, we will enter into a new realm of relationship and wholeness in Christ beyond anything we have ever experienced.
The Lord told Deborah that He would draw out and deliver into her and Barak’s hands Sisera (the fleshly carnal mind), the chariots (our bitterroot judgments) and the multitudes (our wandering thoughts and desires) at the Kishon River (Bible study). All these elements that hinder and ensnare our lives are defeated as we study the Word. We are not alone at the river because Barak (Jesus) is with us to teach us and speak to us. He will show us our carnal attitudes and together we will thrust our swords into Sisera. God’s truth will unman and annihilate the iron chariots that have held us in fear and defeat all our lives. The multitudes will become silent as we focus our mind upon God’s Word allowing our True Self to come forward while the false self diminishes as darkness before the dawn.