Random Blog Clay Feet: February 14, 2008
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

God's Valentine

Speaking of Valentine's day, I think God may have had something in His heart along this line when He brought something to my mind this morning. It had something to do with the Ten Commandments and especially the first two.

Whenever I wake up in the morning I always try to make it my first intention and purpose to turn myself over to God completely and connect my heart with Him before allowing myself to get carried away by any other distractions. If I wake up from a bad dream which has been too often lately but not terribly frequent, I bring my emotions into consciousness and offer them to God as a sacrifice of myself for Him to take and repair. If I just start getting busy thinking about all sorts of things without the context of first placing myself into neutral in the presence of God and inviting His Spirit to be the atmosphere, the “background noise” of my heart for the rest of the day, then I feel empty and vulnerable throughout the day.

Anyway, as I was talking with God in my mind this morning for some reason it moved toward the idea of images and my relationship with God. I wish I could remember more clearly the path that took me there but I am trying to reconstruct it in reverse as I write. I do know that it had to do with the misperceptions about God that still plague me and cause me to remain afraid of Him.

Yes, it is starting to come back to me now after asking Him to show me “the dream as well as its interpretation”.

I was praying for God to touch my wife's body with His healing touch because of the pains she has been having lately. But then one of my oldest false gods within starting his worn-out line about not having enough faith to get God to perform a miracle, that I had to either try harder to eliminate all doubt or just give up praying for miracles. Yes, that was it. The rut of thinking is so routine and familiar for nearly all of my life that it feels like my identity.

And that was another important ingredient in the mix now that I think of it – my perception of my identity. As I explored in much greater depth many months ago, these false gods, these lying spirits that take up residence in my heart and reside in lies buried in old memories heavily manage my thinking and much of my life. They claim that they are my true identity and that I cannot be anything else but what they declare me to be. To prove their claim they then influence me, confuse me and cause me to make mistakes in line with their claims and they always dispute and deny any truth about my real identity that God declares in His word and by His Spirit. But I am so used to their subtle suggestions that I very often buy into their claims that they constitute my identity and I feel trapped into a lifelong struggle to overcome their discouraging manipulations of my life.

As I was distracted a bit from my praying for my wife's benefit by these doubting spirits and their claim that I will never have enough faith to please God, the thought progressed to the realization that I have within my heart a false image of God that I have worshiped all of my life. To reinforce this truth I was directed to the verse in Genesis that speaks of Adam being created in the image of God. Because of our penchant of externalizing everything we tend to think more of his physical features being like God but I believe that it had much more to do with his whole being and makeup. Man was created to reflect the likeness of God even more so than a mirror reflects the likeness of whatever is in front of it. For humans were designed to be a multi-dimensional and interactive dynamic reflection of all the characteristics of the Godhead.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

What does that have to do with my problem? It has everything to do with it because whenever I think of God it is necessarily referenced through the inner perception of what I think God is like – the image of God that has been created within my mind and has many false roots in memories of past experiences. But therein lies my biggest problem. My heart has been filled with false notions about God from all sorts of places and people for all of my life and so the God that I bow down to in fear within myself is most often a false representation of God, an image of a false god composed of the lies and partial truths of the lying spirits that still haunt me from my past. With some of them I can identify the lies even though they still remain attached, but because of the nature of deception many of my false beliefs still may feel very true and do not arouse enough suspicion on my part to even question their validity. They are simply the assumptions and paradigms which make up the context from which I make my moment by moment decisions and choices. They are the composite god that I know as God.

Then God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before Me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:1-4)

You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God. (Exodus 20:5 WEB)

Now it is becoming more starkly clear why it is so important to always include the first verses of Exodus 20 whenever thinking about the Ten Commandments. By removing those verses the enemy of God has literally stripped away the very context and motivation that brings sense and power to the Ten Words of God and turns them into impossible demands that cause us to recoil in discouragement or work harder in desperation. It is the description of the true God and His heart motives that have to be the context for thinking about the “commandments” or else they throw us into instant legalism. Those verses are a hark back to the original image of God that we were designed to have within referenced in Genesis. By disconnecting them from the abbreviated revelation of God's character from Mt. Sinai we reinforce the false image of God in our minds that was implanted by the serpent from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

I am beginning to see it more clearly now. Because most of my life is subtly influenced by the fears produced by the false image of God still wired into my thinking and the triggers still in place inside of my memories of the past, I am really being forced to bow in bondage to the power of that false image of God and in reality am in direct conflict with at least the first two commandments. I have seen this somewhat from an intellectual basis in the past but it is starting to make more sense to my heart today.

What God seems to be trying to say to me, if I perceive it correctly and am translating it properly into words, is that somehow I have to become completely disconnected from any reliance on the distortions of Him that make up the false image of God inside of me and learn to trust only what comes through His word as interpreted by the Spirit of Truth and Love that reveals His true likeness to my heart. In other words, I have to rely totally on objective truth instead of subjective truth. But before someone lunges to affirm that statement as meaning I can never trust my feelings but have to maintain a completely dispassionate, intellectual head religion I must say that is not at all what I am perceiving here. That is another counterfeit of God's true plan, I believe.

What I am attempting to form into language but remains mostly outside of that restriction is my need to actually engage my whole being – body, soul and spirit – left brain intellectual capabilities and right brain emotions and intensity equally – in a much more balanced and intentional way. I need to interact with God through every means possible and have His image reinstilled within me while having the false gods of stony hearts removed. I have learned that I will never, ever win the arguments that I have with these lying spirits that have so long stolen my identity. They will never change their minds about who I am and unfortunately they often use other people around me to reinforce their assertions about my identity. Whenever I feel shamed by someone or am accused of self-serving motives or a desire to exploit others for my selfish satisfaction, the false gods within are eager to link up with the accusing spirits without and emphatically declare that what I am hearing is uncontrovertably true and that I just need to live with it.

All of what I am writing is coming to me as I write it and feels so real that it is unnerving. I think God must be taking me places inside where I have to let go of my control and trust Him to explore areas of my heart that make me very fearful at times. I really don't know what might be ahead of me, but I do want to accept the truth that I am seeing right now so that I may be equipped to cooperate with whatever He has planned for me next.

God, thank-you for communing with me this morning about this. How do I respond? I can only confess that I have been bowing to a distorted image of You for all of my life for that is all I have known. I cannot free myself from these lying images of You because I not only don't have the power to be free from bondage to them but I also still don't really have a very clear revelation of the real truth about You.

But what You have been sharing with me over the past few years has been very appealing to my heart and I choose to embrace it. But it is up to You to finish the work of restoration in me, of re-forming me into Your image, of once again breathing Your Spirit-breath into my lifeless soul that has been deformed in rebellion against You. I choose to cooperate with whatever You are doing today to reveal Yourself more clearly to me and free me from bondage. Please deliver me more completely from the unbelief of Egypt's spirits and break the bonds of lies that still enslave me. For I know that as the Almighty Yahweh that is supreme above all gods You are going to accomplish Your word and Your promises in my life.

Because You are my God Who delivers me from the enslaving, lying spirits of Your enemy and You break their bonds that hold together the false image of You in my sinful flesh, I will more consistently reflect Your true character as revealed in these simple statements of reality that You shared about Yourself. I renounce all permission for any of these false gods to have any influence any longer in my heart and mind and I invite Your Spirit of freedom and humility to replace them. I devote all of my allegiance and affections along with all of my burdens and cares, fears, guilt, shame, hopes and dying dreams to You, the One whose image I was formed to truly reflect.

Revive the unused parts of my heart that have been broken or damaged to interact with Your heart and Your thoughts and emotions. Continue Your massive repair operation within me. I claim Your covenant promises and protection for not only my own life today but for my family that You have given me. I ask for a flood of blessing to fill our lives with overwhelming attraction to You and fresh revelations of Your beauty as we see more clearly past the distorting misrepresentations of You that have made us so afraid. Let Your true glory intensify in our minds, hearts and emotions until we are swallowed up in Your consuming fire. Glorify Your name today and for the rest of our lives.