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What Lies Beneath

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

Last Sunday I reflected on some spiritual insights I gained from a recent free golf lesson I was generously given by Barbara Lynn's brother, Jon. Apparently on hearing about this, Jon though he should have charged me a little extra ๐Ÿ˜Š (if you missed the message, you can catch it by clicking here.)

One thing I mentioned there was about the benefit of having someone "mirror" either what they were trying to teach you, or what they see you do so that you become more aware of yourself. Of course this means we need to foster the kind of safe, trusting relationships that have the 'space' to handle this kind of sensitive, Spirit-led work. The good news truly is that this is precisely why Jesus came, to model this for us and to make it possible by defeating the powers of darkness that previously held sway over our hearts and minds (see Ephesians 2:1-5).

Though we may "feel" certain emotions rising up, what inevitably gives them power are thoughts that have become established in our minds. This is why the mind is always the battleground in the spiritual life, and therefore in all of life. It is why transformation is a consequence of changing our minds (repentance), being renewed in the way we think according to Christ. This is hard work because we have a lifetime of living by negative, worldly thoughts. We don't interpret everything 'in the moment' but also through the lens of previous experiences too, often stretching way back into our past. But the good news is that God understands and has made available to us tremendous resources to help in this work.

First of all, God who is Spirit, has taken flesh, being born as a man (in the 'likeness' of sinful flesh - Romans 8:3) and said to us, "I am the truth" and "I came to testify to the truth" (John 18:37). Then he has also sent the Spirit of truth into our hearts and minds, to help lead us into truth! So, as hard as this is, all things have now been made possible if we will trust in God's Word. But we must go further than just saying we believe is we are to be truly transformed and set free.

We must seek to become conscious of who we are, what has shaped our lives both good and bad, and develop some insight into our life experiences, especially those in earlier life that have had the deepest impact in shaping our sense of reality ... including connecting with the pain that has been experienced as a consequence of being let down by other broken people. Remember, Jesus thoroughly understands this having experienced the same and more, and he cares about us!

When you think about a gun, and I am no expert on that despite being from Texas(!), there is more to a gun than the trigger. There is the firing mechanism, the barrel, and the ammunition itself. But without some kind of explosive, there is nothing to propel the bullet towards the target. Others may "pull our trigger", but we have to take responsibility for the kind of explosive material that is within us. Will we be "driven" by the energy of the sinful nature, with all its damaging repercussions, or will be learn to express the fruit of our union with Christ Jesus through the Spirit, by which we are "called" to release kindness, compassion and mercy?

It is through deeper connection with a few trusted believers that we get to assimilate truth. They become a 'mirror' for us, along with God's word, so that we can better know ourselves. This is why we are called to 'prophesy to one another', speaking God's truth in love in a relational environment of love, acceptance and forgiveness. We are all in the same boat, no longer villains or victims for Jesus has dealt with all that on the cross ... do you believe this? It is meant to transform us and transform the world through us. Lord, let your kingdom truth come!

Much love and prayers,

Pastor Mike

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