Living a Lie – Traditions of Deception and Patterned Responses - Purity 892
Purity 892 11/18/2022 Purity 892 Podcast
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Today’s photo of a tree stripped bare of its leaves on a green roadside under pleasant skies comes to us from our brother in Christ, Arthur Cincotti who captured this scene while travelling through “Amish Country” on Wednesday. Arthur and his wife, Suzanna are travelling south to spend time with family over the next week but they are taking the time to enjoy the journey as Arthur has sent me a few photos of scenes along the way that indicate to me that while their final destination is determined they are not so focused on the end that they aren’t enjoying the process of getting there. Yeah when you walk in the Spirit, the Lord will call you to go places and as I was reminded last week, sometimes there is more to the trip than what you will do when you get there. Every aspect of our travels with the Lord is noteworthy and can be a place where the Lord has something to tell us.
I especially like Arthur’s photo because it caught the reflections of window and “I don’t know what”, but it reminds me of imagery from Stephen King’s “The Drawing of the Three” where the hero was traveling through the countryside and was destined to encounter and go through doors that were just hanging in space with the cryptic titles on each indicating what would be found on the other side. I researched it this morning and was reminded those doors were labeled “The Pusher” “The Prisoner” & “The Lady of Shadows”. No spoilers from me but I particular lylike that book, of Mr. King’s in my youth.
Anyway it also reminds me of a particular meditation session I had back in my Buddhist days when I was seriously practicing and trying “to break on through to the other side”. I remember that I was doing a practice where you just meditate and look at the sky and you just rest, watching the clouds move and being open to the experience of the present moment.
Well, in my efforts to see “beyond” to see things as they really were, I was staring at that daytime sky with such intensity and the focus to see something that I contemplated the fact that beyond the light of day, the cold dark blackness of space existed just beyond the window of my perception. And while I couldn’t see the blackness of space, I knew it was there and when I thought of that I realized in a way the day time sky was a lie. It was an illusion caused by the conditions of the sun illuminating our atmosphere. With that realization, I imagined that the sky was like a hologram and composed of individual tiles, that if focused on and broken, that if I focused on the sky long enough my effort would “break the sky”. Okay, pretty crazy huh?
But the revelation of this experience pointed out the illusory nature of our lives here on earth and that two things that are seemingly the opposite of one another could exist simultaneously even though I could “see” only one. The cold dark expanses of space were out there. The blue sky was there. Both were true, but I could only see one. But as time would progress, things would change and one would “disappear” to reveal the other.
Likewise our world of flesh and blood is all that some people can see. Meanwhile there is the unseen spiritual realm that exists with angelic and demonic entities. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean that He isn’t there. And just like how the day dissipates and allows us to see into the far reaches of space at night, as time progress the spiritual world will be revealed, one way or another, to all of us. Just wait for it!
So what should we do to prepare for that day? Well, Christ didn’t come to earth and die on the cross for nothing. He came to reveal that which was hidden and shrouded in mystery. He came to let us know what God’s word really meant and to offer us a way to have peace with the Father, to place our faith in Him. So do that, and read the Bible to renew your mind with God’s truth so you can expose the world’s lies and live in harmony with God.
Lies are so ingrained in our world system and crafted by our experiences in it that sometimes we don’t even know how pervasive the lies are and how they continue to imprison us with patterned responses for living.
Addicts believe the lie that their drug of choice is “GOOD” in spite of the facts that they often experience negative consequences through its use and that the thing that gives them “PEACE” causes a lot of disruption in their lives.
Some believe the lie that they are men trapped in a woman’s body, or women trapped in a man’s body. This belief or feeling was once classified as a mental illness because biology, your chromosomes, indicate that however compelling those feelings may be that you are in the wrong body, that they are wrong. Biology would indicate that you are not in the wrong body, you are in the wrong mind. Unfortunately those who believe this lie were influenced by various experiences, dysfunctions, and traumas, and possibly demonic encouragements to believe they were not the people that God created them to be.
These are easy examples of deceptions though, although there may be nothing easy about being set free from these lies.
No, what I have come to see more and more, especially through some of the dialogs I have had through this latest Freedom in Christ course, is that we can have ingrained beliefs that just aren’t true that deeply affect how we live, sometimes in subtle or even benign ways that aren’t necessarily harmful but which cause us to remain “stuck” in the same patterns of thoughts and behaviors.
“I’ll always be depressed”
“Celebrations always involve overindulging in alcohol or in food.”
“I am a night owl. I don’t go to bed before 11 pm”
These are some examples of statements that are not true, or don’t have to be true, that I encountered recently that revealed to me the subtle way we can develop “traditions of deception” that keep us locked in patterned responses that go against what we would desire for our lives.
If you believe you’ll always be depressed, you will be. If you believe celebrations always involve overindulging in alcohol or food, you will continue to overindulge. If you believe you are a night owl you will rarely go to bed early.
So what’s wrong with that? Nothing…, or possibly everything. These beliefs or other ones like them can cause us to stay where we are and not experience the abundant life God wants us to have.
Part of the process of repentance is to change our minds to align with God’s word but in order to do that we have to break the chains of patterned thoughts and behaviors and consider alternate ways, Godlike ways, of thinking and behaving.
If we want to receive the healing and abundant life that God has for us, we have to abandon what we know and surrender to His wisdom and adapt His ways. Part of the process of repentance is revelation.
You don’t have to celebrate by overindulging in alcohol and food. “Everybody is doing it” is lie. Look around some people don’t, thus you can be like them.
I will always be depressed. You don’t have to be if you understand the magnificent gift that the Lord has given you in your salvation and if you turn from your sinful patterns of thinking and behaving. God said:
6 “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?
7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Right from the beginning God encouraged us to do what was right, to cure our mental disturbances and to keep us free from the disruptive influences of sin.
As for the night owl, that may be harmless, although children of God are to be in the light, I suppose the night time hours could meet the needs for solitude and silence to commune with the Lord in Bible study and prayer.
But as a former night owl, I know that rarely are any spiritual practices the activities of night owls. Usually the nighttime is the time to indulge in selfish pursuits that are independent of God. However, they could be used for God so there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with staying up late.
But what could be a major obstacle to our freedom is the proclamations that identify ourselves by certain activities and cause us to remain in patterned thinking.
“I am”, I can’t, “I don’t”, “I never”, “I always”, and “I don’t want to” statements are all possible ways that we limit our freedom and keep ourselves in chains.
All of this came about this morning because I am going to the movies this evening and my wife reminded me that I will have “my soda and popcorn”.
I have been subject to my own lie or “tradition” that could be expressed in one of two ways:
I always have soda and popcorn at the movies.
I can’t go to the movies without having soda and popcorn.
And unfortunately, as it applies to me, my statement would have to include the word “large” – as in “I must have the large popcorn and soda” AND take advantage of the free refills at Regal Cinemas!”
So apparently the Lord is revealing this lie to me, because as I was working out this morning I considered it and realize that I have been living in a “tradition of deception” that runs contrary to my health goals. So I intend to break the chain of large popcorn and soda tonight.
So as we go into the weekend I wish everyone a Happy Friday, would encourage you to thank the Lord, and to examine your life to see what traditions of deception that you might have.
The Lord came to set us free and sometimes He came to set us free from the chains we willingly put on time and time again. So keep walking and talking with God and seek to discover the freedom and peace He has for you.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
The Community of Disciples Is Set Apart
The Disciple and the Unbelievers Concludes
What should the disciples do in the face of hardened hearts? When their approach to others is unsuccessful? They should recognize that they have no right or power over others at all, and that they have no sort of immediate access to others. The only way open to them is the way to the one in whose hand they themselves are kept, just like those others. This is what the following section is talking about. The disciples are called to prayer. They are told that no other way leads to their neighbor except prayer to God. Judgment and forgiveness remain in God’s hand. God holds the key. Disciples are to request, seek, knock, and God will hear them. Disciples should know that their worry and concern about others must lead them to prayer. The promise given to their prayer is the greatest power they have.
The fact that disciples know what they are seeking distinguishes their searching from the nonbelievers’ search for God. Only those who already know God can seek God. How could they seek what they do not know? How can they find, if they do not know what they are looking for? Thus disciples seek God, whom they have found in the promise Jesus Christ gave them.
In summary, it has become clear that in dealing with other people, the disciples do not possess any special right or power of their own. They live completely out of the power of communion with Jesus Christ. Jesus gives the disciples a simple rule, by which even the most simpleminded can evaluate whether their dealings with others are right or wrong: they need only reverse the I and the You in the relationship. They need only put themselves in the other’s place and the other in their own. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” At that moment the disciples lose any claim of special rights toward other people. They cannot excuse in themselves what they condemn in others. Now they are as tough on the evil in themselves as they used to be on the evil in others, and as considerate of evil in others as they are of themselves. For our evil is no different than the evil in the others. There is one judgment, one law, one grace. So disciples will always encounter other people only as those whose sins are forgiven and who from now on live solely from God’s love. “That is the law and the prophets”—for it is nothing other than the greatest commandment itself: love God above all things, and your neighbor as yourself.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship