Real or Not Real
Real or Not Real
by Emily Faggion, Broken Pieces Whole
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
So… I know people have mixed feelings about the Hunger Games trilogy, but there's one aspect of the third book, Mockingjay, that struck me as particularly useful as an analogy of our (very real) battle in this world.
In Mockingjay, one character is psychologically tortured by the enemy in such a way as to make him unable to correctly remember/interpret the truth of events in his life. Hallucinations are a big part of this as well. With this, the enemy can manipulate his behavior and perception of the world. Eventually, his allies are able to reverse some of the effects, but he is still very uncertain as to what is real and what is not real, because his ability to perceive the truth has been so brutally compromised. So because he knows he's susceptible to the enemy's lies, he gets into this habit/game of asking his friends/allies questions about reality (either past or present) to which they answer "real" or "not real." This helps him get his bearings and act in accordance with what is true.
It strikes me that we, as Christ-followers caught in a war against a very cunning, very deceptive Enemy, might do well to play this Real or Not Real "game" when we find ourselves under attack. And generally, the attacks will be very subtle--discouragement, doubt, lies about ourselves, about others, about our situation, about God, about His world, distortions of His truth. We're told to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." So when we catch ourselves feeling "down" or depressed or discouraged or in doubt… I submit this to you as a tactic:
Real or Not Real? Take those thoughts captive. First, identify the thoughts. What's causing the distress/discouragement/depression… what are you believing/thinking that is causing you to feel this way? And really think about just WHO'S voice is telling you these things. Is it God's? I doubt it. Not unless it's leading you to godly sorrow, repentance, and humility. Then play the "game" with God… take these thoughts before Him, before His Word. It might look something like this, if you're anything like me (and seeing as how you're all human, I think that's a safe assumption):
"I'm not worth loving. Real or not real?"
"Not real. I suffered and died for you, remember?"
"Oh, right. Howabout: I'm too stupid, too lazy, too weird to be of any good to You. Real or not real?"
"Not real. I have a magnificent purpose that only you can fulfill, and I have given you My Spirit to enable you to have victory and be used mightily in My kingdom."
"Oh, right. Well what about: You, Lord, put me in this fight alone, without reinforcements, without backup, without partners?"
"Not real. For one thing, I'm not just your Commander, I'm your closest, strongest partner. For another, I have an army and not just a bunch of lone rangers for a reason."
"Oh, that's a relief. But, then, what about--"
… you get the idea. We're told the truth will set us free. This doesn't just apply to salvation. If the Enemy can get us agreeing with the lies he feeds us, he gains leverage against us and, I believe, a certain degree of foothold in our hearts from which to work against us and foil our walk. The only way we can free ourselves from this and break that leverage against us is to break those agreements--to identify and reject his lies and replace them with the Truth.
Just remember, the Belt of Truth is the first article of spiritual armor we're told to don. Since we're talking Roman armor (on which Paul would be basing this), this belt could very well be referring to a special "belt" that--to be brief--made sure the rest of the armor stayed in place, no matter how much the soldier was jostled. If that Belt of Truth is compromised… chances are our armor will begin to shift and slip and we'll be much more vulnerable to other attacks.
Real or not real?
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