Reality is a place I do not often like to go. If I can escape it, I will. If I can change it, I will. The deep impressions of life are rarely formed by us; rather, we receive the deepest of impressions from our reality when attached to an “author”. In effect, circumstances are what temper our strength and our weaknesses. It is who we permit to be behind the formulation of our reality that gives power or weakness to our strength. (I am speaking of perception, point of view, and understanding of who is behind the “event” we call life.)
Frame of mind is everything. What is “real” to you and holds the most value will be what you gravitate to most—what you live for and operate from. If perception/formulation directs how circumstances impact our lives, then who dictates your perception: you? God? Or, the world?
Many will claim that “we” define our own reality. However, making that claim renders you an “original thinker” (which is not original at all), and—in a way—a god claim. If you let the world define your reality, then you and I will fall prey to the ruler of it. (The world will always make promises that it cannot keep because its ruler is the father of lies.) If the lie is a good one, the world will be consumed with the viewpoint that what it does offer is from God/is godly/or morally acceptable. And, meanwhile, it is the devil pulling the strings—pulling the world into his ideology. We truly do live in the midst of a great war: ideological warfare. It is where all violence comes from: the rationale of the mind and the conflict of ideals.
Disappointments abound through a dismantled world apart from law and it’s original governor…. For instance, a programmer knows how to make a program run efficiently and effectively. But, if an inept programmer violates the rules of operation, then a program (or task) will take a tragic turn of inefficiency at its best moments. It will undermine the design and destroy what good it was intended to do.
I’m often both refreshed and horrified when I return to the account of Genesis and the fall of man. How simple. How profound. How…tragic. The “program” could have continued unhindered if the ideals of the devil had not been adopted. And, while we both recoil and scoff by saying within ourselves, “how simple of a thing to obey!”, we forget what drove them to do it: to have knowledge, to become wise. The sin of eating the fruit was the outcome of believing the lie. The tragic turn was not only eating the fruit, it was the great exchange of truth for a lie.
Every day we have the same opportunity: to exchange truth for lie, or “parry” the sword of the devil with truth. The battle you fight will bear marks on your soul, making you the person God intends for you to be. To embrace the essence of what it means to be a son and daughter of God means you train under his auspices, see the world the way he sees it, and conform more deeply to his image through the story he is telling through His Word and through your life.
The opportunities for discouragement abound, however, we often forget that our stories are not just for us. Our life experiences, disappointments, conflict, trials; they may in fact be the anecdote to a pain–a remedy to a malady–all experienced by another person other than yourself! God is a genius and efficient in this way: not only do you grow, your life is intended to be a trail blazed for others too. By virtue of watching heroes of our faith (many whose stories are not made a record of), the narrow path is becoming more worn and trodden day by day. Let the scars of life make you strong and the healer become more evident. The characters of God’s story operate more valiantly when they recognize the narrative they are part of. As a child of God, embrace your true reality, live valiantly, and let God fight for you in every endeavor.