Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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The Truth and Your “Truth”

The Truth and Your “Truth”

There is The Truth; The Truth of God. It’s what is truly real in this universe and beyond. Then there is each one of our truths, which are our unique perspectives on this world. No one views this world the same, which is amazing when you consider it. There are groups of people who view certain concepts similarly, but even among those, there are differences.

Most don’t consider these differences. For the most part in day to day normal interactions, we assume others see the world as we do. Yet, we all see life differently, and how we see it is truth to us, but that doesn’t mean it’s THE Truth; in fact, it never fully is. Our unique perspectives are a mix of different viewpoints of The Truth, as well as lies. The proportions of these vary for each of us.

How did we get this way? What is solution to the cohesiveness we seek? Why does it matter?

How did we get this way?

We each have different lenses affecting how we look upon this world. The makeup of our lenses comes from a wide variety of sources; our genetics, family, culture, society, heritage, media, teachers, experiences, religion, and so on.  Ultimately, it’s mostly the influence of others in some way shaping our beliefs and perspectives.

It’s my belief that God desires to shape us with The Truth removing all else, otherwise He wouldn’t tell us to seek for it above all else. Proverbs 4:7 When we diligently seek The Truth from the Creator Himself, He slowly opens our eyes to it. As a loving God who desires to be known by His creation, if we seek then He will reveal. Matthew 7:7 Over time, The Truth starts to replace our own mixed truth. However, being in this world surrounded by a multitude of influences, this relearning is an extensive process and takes patience and perseverance. To truly alter our beliefs isn’t a straightforward endeavor. It’s an intricate process for each one of us dependent upon the lies we believe. However, knowing and living by The Truth is the only path to becoming who we were created to be and living in peace, harmony and true love.

Realizing everyone is operating from a different perspective can lead to compassion, patience and willingness to understand their unique view. It can help us have a bigger picture of The Truth when directed by God. But challenges will persist, because we are all different as we operate based on varying realities. In our ability to have such different outlooks on life, it can broaden our understanding, but it also can foster misunderstandings and miscommunication. We can never truly walk in another’s shoes, only our own. We can seek to understand, but that is it. To truly know another’s perspective, we can not.

What is the solution to the cohesiveness we seek?

The problem with operating in our own reality or by our mixed truth is that it doesn’t work. Take a look around, you’ll see how true this statement is. You don’t have to look far; look at your own life. Following our own mixed truths and not seeking to follow The Truth doesn’t foster a harmonious and unified world. God created this world and it was good. Genesis 1 If we functioned as He designed, then we and this world would function very well. If we all were in line with one will, God’s will, things would look totally different. They would be much better, which is an understatement.

The problem is we all have followed our own way and not sought God’s way. Isaiah 53:6 In our extremely limited and warped understanding, we don’t know what is truly beneficial for ourselves much less others, as all we do has ripple effects. This dynamic doesn’t equate to a good outcome for anyone. How many decisions do we make in a day? How many are based totally on THE Truth? Who can possibly know what decision is best for all?

The One who does know is God. When we believe more in line with His Truth, then we act more in line with His Truth in the uniqueness of our characters. This is why our work is to believe in God and The Truth. John 6:29 Only by living life according to His will, do we do what is truly best for all. We’ve shown we can’t walk in His will perfectly on our own, so the solution? God gives us His Spirit, to move through us according to His will, which is bound by true love.

Yet, anyone who has truly sought God, knows this unity with God is a process and not easy. So in the meantime, God generously gives us His mercy, which reaches to the heavens. Psalm 57:10 He gives mercy in perfect proportion to sustain us and yet keep us groping for Him as we seek to be freed from the suffering we’ve manifested in our lives. How dependent we are upon His mercy. How grateful I am for it. Psalm 130:3

Despite our great imperfections and struggle on this path to abiding in God’s Truth, we need to diligently persist to seek the indwelling spirit of God. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 Seeking His face is the path to having His Spirit dwell within us. It’s a lifelong journey as we are transformed glory unto glory, and in my opinion it’s the only worth while way to live. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Why does it matter?

It’s God’s will that we are united to Him because it’s life to all. To remain abiding in lies causes pain and destruction to us and others for we each play a part in the outcome of this world.

God has made a way to Truth. The more Truth that we believe, the more our lives are a blessing to ourselves and others. Seeking and abiding in His Truth is the journey that God requires of us to walk. Matthew 7:14. We are to seek The Truth from Him, the source of Truth. When He is our Teacher, there is unity with others regarding The Truth because He is instilling in us the same Truth.

Jesus was an embodiment of the Truth. May we seek and not grow weary to be like-minded with Him, for this is the path to life, harmony, peace, and true love.


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Reframing Our Situations

Reframing Our Situations

 

We look at situations from a certain point of view and we think that is real along with the emotions that follow. But often we are off and need to reframe our perspective.

This past week was the first time for me to leave my kitties at home alone overnight. And not just one night but four! As I was packing up that morning, I picked up Malcolm and tears started to flow. How lonely they would be. They might think we are never coming back. They might think we abandoned them. At that moment, I knew this wouldn’t work. One, I would be a complete crying mess and two, I might not get on that plane. Then I realized how silly my thinking was. Sure they may feel a bit lonely because animals do – but all that other stuff – I don’t think so. I was projecting human thoughts onto them. So I stopped and the spirit of truth reframed. They are going to have a great time, jumping on counters, scratching our dinning room chairs – all those things they aren’t suppose to do. And the loneliness they feel will be minor. At that point the tears stopped and I made it out the door without another drop – barely. Our perspective is powerful in what it creates.

God has been teaching me a lot about reframing. There have been several situations lately (some mentioned below) that when I stopped and sought His input of truth I discovered my initial view point was off and I needed realignment. God is adamant about us seeking truth because the consequences of living in lies are extensive. The wrong outlook can destroy relationships, our purpose, and ourselves. It can destroy our body, mind, soul and spirit. Once you live in the truth, how living a lie affected your life becomes clear. I’ve been amazed at what the lies created in my life – and it was nothing good.

I am finding that this simple act makes a huge impact in our work, response to problems, relationships, ourselves, you name it. And when you reframe your point of view your emotions change and your emotions aren’t erratic or damaging but appropriate and helpful.

The part of this that isn’t simple is seeing the truth. From our birth we are inundated with lies. We develop concepts about us, others and the world that simply aren’t true. Only by abiding in God’s pure truth as the Spirit as our teacher do we start to learn the truth, start to see clearly. And it isn’t instant. Developing an intimacy with God that leads to His truth invading every recess of our lives is a journey. Intimacy requires trust and trusting God is a process. We have to know Him to trust Him and knowing Him as He is and not our images of Him takes time. Our lies about Him are some of the first ones His expels.

Abiding in His Word is the key. When we dive into God’s Word and abide with Him as a bride, in time He reframes our perspectives on Him us, others and this world. As a result, we are more aligned with what is true and real. Because of our limited physical capabilities we can only know in part, but that part is much more accurate, and it is a view that brings life, abundant life.

I have a friend who I only see a couple times a year. I had certain expectations about how I wanted that time to be spent – engaged with one another, one-on-one time talking, catching up, and diving into intimate conversations. I told her that was my desire. But that isn’t where she is at – she is a busybody running to and fro. When plans didn’t go my way, I started to get frustrated and hurt that she didn’t have the same expectations. But when those emotions started to set in and my actions were becoming jaded, I stopped and the Spirit reframed. I accepted that we were at different places, decided to enjoy what we have for what it is, and not try to conform her to what I want in a friend. The hurt and frustration dissipated and I ended up having a good time. My previous emotions would have wrecked havoc on the friendship. The latter ones allowed me to enjoy what have whatever level it is on.

One more example . . . my older brother and I aren’t very close. When I visit my parents, he stops by and we have a thin and brief conversation. I thought we just didn’t connect and he wasn’t interested in a relationship, and left it at that. But this past week was different. I put those thoughts aside and engaged him in a deeper conversation. It was wonderful. We discovered we shared many things in common. We had a stimulating long talk that neither wanted interrupted. God altering my perspective of how I viewed our relationship caused me to respond differently to him and as a result him to me.

Review your relationships and situations that are bothersome to you. Seek God’s wisdom and counsel. Perhaps it is a reframing issue.


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Seeing the Truth

Seeing the Truth

 

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Author, Poet and Philosopher, Henry David Thoreau

To be able to see what is true and real far exceeds physical sight. There are multiple things that fog our vision like faulty cognitive filters, false beliefs, and deceptive people. Because the factors, which fog our vision, started in childhood rarely are we aware that our vision is anything but okay. But for all of us, it is way off and the decisions of our lives, troubles, pains, conflicts, and so on tell just how off it is.

So how does someone who has foggy vision and doesn’t realize it ever see reality? The only way is to gain another set of eyes. When God’s spirit dwells within us as part of our new life in Christ, we get another pair of eyes searching the depths of our souls. As we nurture our relationship with God and draw near to Him strengthening His Spirit within us our sight comes more into focus and we begin to see things as they truly are.

The closer I draw near to God, the clearer I see myself, others and all the things around me. As I gain my new sight, it astounds me how blind I’ve been in my life. I have made many many poor decisions from not seeing clearly. And my greatest blindness has been about myself – which I think is true of everyone. We have always lived with our frame of mind and perspective. Until we have someone separate from ourselves, who is as close to our soul as we are, and who is nothing but truth then we will always be blind to some degree.

To see clearly we need God. We need to be in a relationship with Him and growing in truth. Otherwise we will continue to live and make decisions as we always have based on lies about us, others and this world. As a result, we and our loved ones suffer for it. The ripple effect of not seeing clearly is tremendous.

But once we begin to see, the freedom we experience is remarkable. Blindness is a thief to true life and a destroyer of life. The truth does set us free, but we need the eyes to see it.


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Church Social Clubs

Church Social Clubs

 

Most of us are familiar with the social club mentality of many churches; extravagant entertainment, feel-good programs, focus on busyness, and messages that are a self-improvement book covered in Christian lingo.

Our knee jerk reaction is that being a glorified social club is wrong. However, with some further thought, I think what we all need to realize, especially if we are in a church, is that all churches are social clubs.  It is a healthier and safer viewpoint because that is the extent of what they provide; encouragement, support, connections, activities, and stimulating conversations. The problem is that people want and look to them as a source of truth, to enhance their relationship with God, to bind their wounds, to give them freedom, to bring peace, hope and rest to their lives; all the things that only truly come from cultivating intimacy with God in His truth, His Word.

However, churches appear to be gladly taking on this other role, which is outside the scope of their abilities, because when people are dependent on you it is good for business.  Even with good intentions, trying to be what they can’t misleads people and destroys souls. I was such a soul.  Our souls starve because we mistakenly rely on the wrong one for true life.  God and His Word is the fountain of truth which brings true life. Churches are a reservoir of people’s interpretations, doctrines, rules and regulations with some truth sprinkled in.  Many people end up worse off than when they started because they don’t realize they are hanging out at the wrong watering hole and thinking they have arrived at truth they stopped looking.

The majority of Christians are not living the abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give because they are relying on other broken people when they need to rely on God. People try to get out of teachers, pastors, leaders, programs, and ministries what they should be seeking from God and churches reinforce their warped dependency in what they don’t say, in what they praise and what they encourage.

As I read the New Testament, it seems clear that truth and an intimate relationship with God which brings abundant life come from time with Him in the Holy Scriptures being taught by the Spirit. (John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, 1 Corinthians 15:34, 1 John 2:27, 2 Timothy 2:15, 7, 2 Timothy 3: 14-15.) Yet this truth is often overlooked and people continue to give fallible humans, who are trying to figure it out just as they are, God’s role.

Churches are playing a role that they weren’t meant to play.  If we openly acknowledge and call church what it is, a social club, then maybe we will start heading in the right direction; looking to our God not man for truth and life. Even then we need to be very careful and aware of churches’ influence over our thinking, beliefs and lives.

 


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God’s Toolbox: Our Past

 God’s Toolbox: Our Past

 

Over the past couple of years, God has been unpacking my past. He has shown me the deep seeded lies I’ve lived by since childhood and the ripple affect they caused of bad decisions, poor behaviors, destructive relationships, depression, and on and on.  It is thought provoking to see how a couple of lies can create so much damage.

I have often viewed the things of my past as a bunch of screw ups and mistakes that revealed a person in need of a complete overhaul. They were things that didn’t have to happen but what was done was done and I needed God to come in and clean things up. I tried to be the sweeper but I just flung dirt around.

But the other night, my insightful husband re-framed it for me.

He said it isn’t that my past, his or anyone else’s is a big mess that would be better off voided like a bad check, but all the things we went through brought us to where we are today. Each detail served a purpose in chiseling us into who we are. We went through those things to grow and learn what we needed to learn.

I started thinking about what he said and though the things I faced were painful, hard, and sometimes pushed me to the edge of insanity, he was right. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I can’t believe I am saying that, but you know it is true. Through each experience God has taught me His wisdom that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

As God’s kids what we consider the wreckage of our lives are His tools to teach us what we need to learn, if we are willing. If we aren’t willing we remain on the hamster wheel running in the same destructive circles until we decide to sit up and listen.  A past unaddressed remains a controlling force in our lives. We aren’t to live in the past, but grow from it and live free.

As a good teacher, God won’t let us move on to the next level until we learn our ABCs. It is either keep running or starting listening. And the lessons are much deeper than we are a mess in need of Him. Each situation holds a deeper truth that will surprise you, as I am finding out.

This earthly existence is a training ground. It is a place where our spirits learn that our way is not the way to go and God’s is.  We are supposed to make mistakes that is how we learn that only God’s ways bring life, joy, peace, and intimacy with Him.  We start going backwards if we get wrapped up in this life and cease to realize that everything is to bring us into union with God.

Trying out many different paths that promised success and failing miserably inside and out is what brought me to my knees and when I fell before Him in every area of my life; I started to live the life I desired for the first time. So if everything I went through was to bring me closer to God and to create unity between us in purpose, will and desire – yeah it was all worth it and I am thankful for it.