The Established Heart 7 - Recovering Reality, Recovering Love - David Mitts
Shame, as we have spoken about, is a system of cover-ups to avoid exposure. It is rooted in the fear of punishment and death. This condition of the heart is actually a torment to the heart. It is death to our nature to live a life rooted in shame and trying to find a way to avoid being judged and then tormented in that fear of judgment. True joy is sacrificed for the illusion of emotional safety. As we seek to avoid the bullying impact of shame, we change by necessity, how we perceive life and reality.
This shift in perception blinds us and deafens us to the kingdom of God and the voice of the Lord. Yeshua calls this the blind leading the blind.
"Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."" Matthew 15:14
The blindness He is speaking of is not related to merely physical seeing but to perceiving reality as it is truly through the eyes of love. Shame and the fear of death that is represented to us, colors how we perceive reality. We tend to experience reality through 3 shame filters.
The first filter is the filter of attachments. These are the lusts we mentioned a couple of chapters back. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life are basically perceptions about things or people that we have determined that we need to be happy or feel good about our lives. These aren’t just desires but are interpreted as needs. They respond to the statement in our hearts, “I cannot live without…or I need this or that to be happy…”
These “needs” draw us to them and our seeing, hearing, and feeling are tied to them. In this way, our heart comes into bondage to our attachments. They become targets in our “reality”. We get pierced through with sorrows of them. The Apostle Paul describes this to Timothy:
"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich(have what they have determined as necessary) fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money (the representative idol of all attachments) is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Timothy 6:7-10
Attachments generate a distortion of reality through lust and what is sacrificed is love, true love. When we cannot get them, or more accurately possess them we get despondent and sometimes very desperate. Relationships are often sacrificed to allow us to manipulate life to get what we have decided we need.
The second filter is our beliefs. Our beliefs are the foundation stones of our reality. What we believe to be true about life is what we will allow ourselves to experience. This is the creation of the conversation of our heart. Our beliefs also condition who we want around us. This is the empowering of our beliefs by association. We become the company we keep. In surrounding ourselves with people and conversations that agree with us, we anchor ourselves to our truth.
This agreement in beliefs then becomes how we are known and also how we know reality. Our reputation is anchored to ur set of beliefs. People know us through this agreement. We become invested in these relationships as they give us the security of acceptance and a sense of community. The problem is they also define reality and become a boundary or a wall against the truth of God. Paul spoke of this:
"But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me." Galatians 2:6
Our reputation becomes dear to us and twists us by its grip on our heart. God is not partial. Think of life as a symphony. All of the people in it are like instruments that are part of the total experience. God’s nature is inclusive. To enjoy the whole you have to allow yourself to hear the whole. You can selectively tune into certain instruments to appreciate them but you cannot attach to them or you will tune out the rest, you lose the music of life.
This is the power of our beliefs. They cause us to select certain information that matches what we believe. Information, however, is not abstract. It is connected to a voice. The voice may be stored in written form such as in a book or it may be an actual conversation from our past. These voices become the walls and foundation of the house of our beliefs.
""Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall."" Matthew 7:24-27
Words, the inner conversation of our heart defines our reality.
The third filter of our heart is our fears. Fear puts us into subjection to what we fear. In this way, fear controls us.
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"" Romans 8:15
Fear rivets our attention to the object of our fears. Media journalists use this principle to control viewership. By selling an agenda of fear, it drives people to want to know whatever they can about the object they fear. Think back to a time when you heard about some calamity or threat to your well-being. Remember how glued you were to the news to keep updated and assess your fears. Fear magnifies and distorts reality.
As we have walked through the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen up close, the effects of fear on a global level. Economies have been severely crippled by fear. At the same time, our fear has given preferential treatment to the big and powerful. Companies like the grocery chains, Amazon, and other internet companies have flourished while the smaller community-centered stores, restaurants, etc have suffered and many have failed. All of this fueled by fear.
Is there a real virus? Yes. Is it dangerous? To some. What has been dangerous to all is the fear. Fear has caused isolation for many leading to many illnesses that come from being isolated. Fear has driven us to increase our dependence on the decisions made by government leaders.
It is natural when we experience fear to seek the protection offered by a power source. We turn to whatever voice of authority gives us a sense of comfort in the face of our fears. These voices are often a projection of our fears being solved by allegiance to the voice of authority.
What we might do well to remember is that the voice of authority is usually making things up to keep people from spinning out of control. Paul tells us:
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
Using the terminology of a “spirit” of fear informs us that fear affects the deepest aspect of our thinking and feeling. It drives the motivations of our lives. Our intentions become oriented at self-preservation.
We falsely think that our fears actually protect us. Instead, they enslave us, they rob us of the freedom to be the unique individuals that God has made us to be.
"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:14-15
Fear is bondage. It binds us to what or who we fear. Ultimately it binds us to the devil, who frightens us with the fear of death, which is essentially impossible for the children of the light.
"who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel," 2 Timothy 1:9-10
We are immortal beings, children of eternal light. It is time to embrace the reality of who we are and to begin to perceive our reality as it truly is.
"But as it is written: "EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."" 1 Corinthians 2:9
Our attachments, our beliefs, and our fears color our world. They take the world that God has made, conceived in love, and turn it into a jungle of hatred and fear. Instead of seeing each individual as a unique and special sound, a vibration in and of the song of the Lord, we only see disharmonies and discord. We polarize into right and wrong, left and right and we lose the symphony of love that the Father is breathing into our reality. Instead of seeing the signs and the wonders of His Presence and Glory, we diminish Him to our own vain imaginations.
This is a description of the world we live in:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:18-32
Now I know most of us don’t fit this narrative exactly but if continue to allow our fears, our attachments, and even our beliefs to be tainted by this present darkness we will lose the sight we need to see God's goodness and love in our world. It’s time to rededicate ourselves to open our eyes and hearts to the goodness of God in the land of the living!
"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." Psalms 27:13
Activation: Goodness of God- Ask God to show you what have you believed or feared or wanted so bad that it has caused you to question the goodness of God? Ask Him what the truth is about those observations. Let Him reveal Himself as love in those situations!