Who am I?- Healing the image in our soul - David Mitts

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. (Jas 1:23-24)

We have been, over the past few weeks, looking at the inner conversation that frames our world, what the Bible calls faith. Every person lives by the inner conversation of their heart. The conversation of our heart will come from one of 2 sources, summarized by the names of 2 trees in the garden of Eden. One is known by the name: The Knowledge of Good and Evil. The other tree is known by the name: Life!

We know from the account recorded in Genesis 3 that Adam and Eve, our ancestors were forbidden from partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We also know that they were deceived by the serpent in violating that instruction of their loving Father with a temptation that if they partook of the forbidden fruit, they “would become like God knowing good and evil”. This would occur through something called having their eyes opened. Let’s look at the account again:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. (Gen 3:1-7)

The fall, as we know it occurred when Adam listened to the voice of the serpent and allowed the desire to have his eyes opened, knowing good and evil to become the dominant voice in his heart. This voice, desiring to be able to judge the goodness or the evil, the right and wrong of a situation apart from God, which is the key, to be a self-referencing source of judgment caused what was called “the eyes to be opened”. The opened eyes revealed nakedness and resulted in shame and self-protection and covering.

A couple of sessions back we looked at the open eyes which determined a new reality, nakedness and shame. We know that reality came from a transformation of the inner conversation, the speaking of the heart.

If we read on, we see that God defines this as a voice as well:

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" (Gen 3:8-11)

The” sound” of the Lord God, is the voice. Adam and Eve lived in an environment of the voice. There wasn’t silence and the Voice. The Voice always was in the garden. So, how was it that they listened to another voice? God always gives us the choice of our listening because listening is the doorway to our faith.

"So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him." (Luk 8:18)

As we listen we give honor to the voice that we give our heart o. This is called “honor”, or in Hebrew “kavod” from which we get the term, “glory”. As we learn to listen, we learn to give honor or glory. This is why the root prayer, the gatekeeper, is the shma, Deut 6:4.

Today, I want o to expand what we are talking about to bring another piece of the puzzle into play. In this case, it is the puzzle box itself. This tie of year, our family loves to attack a new jigsaw puzzle. Anyone who has jigsaw puzzles as a passion knows that the box is key. You need an image to conform the puzzle to.

Typically folks begin with the edge or border pieces creating the frame for the picture. Then pieces are assembled in sections based on patterns that match the box. Depending on the puzzle, odd shapes also help guide the assembling of the final puzzle.

I want to use this as an analogy for the inner conversation of our heart, which forms the picture of our lives. Returning to Adam and Eve and their garden experience, what changed for them was their picture of how the puzzle of life came together. They went from a picture of being full of the love and care of God to a picture where they had to determine what was “good” and what was evil.

What is not mentioned in the story but seems clear enough when you think about it, is where the shame came from. When does being naked become shameful and need to be covered up? Is there any shame in a little baby running around naked? No. So what brings about shame?

Let’s look at something Yeshua said to get a glimpse.

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mat 5:27-28)

Where does the adultery exist? It exists in the heart as lust. But what is lust? Isn’t lust rooted in lack? We never lust for what we have but for what we want to have. Lust requires something to be missing to be wanted. It is the opposite of being grateful and in abundance.

Going back to Adam and Eve, lust is what brought nakedness into shame. What produces lack? The knowledge of good and evil, comparison. It is when we determine something is good that we lust for it and want to possess it or if it threatens us, then it quickly becomes evil and we want to destroy it.

How does all of this work though? Again Yeshua gives us an insight. Matthew 5:29,30

"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. (Mat 5:29-30)

I know this sounds a little barbaric, but you have to understand the context of His conversation. The eye, in Hebrew, is not just a ball in your head. No it is the representation of how you view and act upon reality. It is a kingdom gateway metaphor. Yeshua wasn’t a terrorist mutilator! No, He loves you and would never encourage mutilation as a solution for sin! No! What He is speaking about is how you see your world.

In this statement, the eye and the hand are about how you see things and what you do about what you see. At some other point, we’ll talk about the hand and what the hand is all about. Today, I want to focus in, (pardon the pun) on the eye.

The eye is not just about what we see but also why we see it. To be born again is to see differently.

Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3:3)

If being saved is being born again, then salvation is about a transformation of perspective.

If that is true then who we are inside affects what we see outside. I want to talk about the images in our heart. These are connected to inner conversation and actually are the picture the conversation is working to fulfill what we call faith.

Hebrews 11 tells us:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Heb 11:1-3)

Faith is the inner conversation. The inner conversation is the words or the substance of the image, called the hope, that reflects what is unseen, how we see ourselves. The verse goes on to say that the elders obtained a good story, a testimony through their inner conversation being made manifest in their lives. The worlds, plural, were framed by the word of God, the things seen in our lives from the things unseen. If we synthesize the truth in this scripture, we see that the hope, the image, drives the faith, the inner conversation which is the power structure that upholds the image. All of this is invisible and yet through the power of God, and His word brings the unseen into the seen realm.

This is the mechanics of as a man thinks so is he. Our reality is empowered by our thoughts which are an expression of hope. Hope is the image we carry, our expectations of what we deserve.

This is what Adam saw, a change in image. He went from a God-child to a deceiver’s son in his inner image. He went from created in Glory to shameful and needing to cover-up his nakedness.

Healing is the undoing of that process a restoration of the image, the true God-child image that we all carry. This is true hope. Hope drives faith. What we see determines what we can believe for ourselves and about ourselves. The true man of the heart is waiting to be revealed in each of us. What keeps us hidden from ourselves are the lies we believe and the supporting strategies which, like Adam’s fig leaves, are veils over the truth. The veils are an inner conversation that desires to hide and lives in shame. Look with me at 2 Cor 3:15-18:

But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2Co 3:15-18)

In the context of this verse the veil represents the inability of the carnal heart to appropriate the truths of the inner conversation of God as revealed in His Torah. Moses is another word for Torah. The veil also represents the dividing line into the Holy of Holies. The veil, essentially, is what hides the truth from us and us from the truth. In very real terms, the veil is our self-protection strategies, what is known by the collective term, sin.

When we surrender our lives to Yeshua, the veil is removed from our face. In this place we can allow His voice to become Lord and freedom is returned to us. What also happens is the face that we wear is transformed.

Faces express the story of a life. We have worry lines, laughter creases, anger scowls that etch themselves into our face over time. Part of our redemption is our face. Not just the outward face that the world sees but the inward countenance, which is how we see ourselves. Moses met with God face to face and was transformed in the seeing. This wasn’t just a phenomenon of seeing God. It also was a discovery of Moses’ true face, as the reflected image and likeness of God.

One last verse for today:

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (Jas 1:23-25)

We have raised the question of having so much revelation that it is hard to remember it all. That is as it should be. What makes things stay with us is when they transform us. Our self-image has to shift for the word to become flesh and then become doers of the Word. We manifest the truth we are, not just what we profess to be true. Many can quote the scripture, but they do it out of self-protection. Few can actually approach the word in humility and allow it to cut them and transform who they are. It is only when the word is made flesh and dwells among us can we remember it as part of our change of heart, our repentance.

Activation: Ask God, what do I need to see differently about myself?


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