Just too good not to share…
I have been contemplating this idea for quite some time now. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels we see the same quotation by Jesus.
Mar 12:30 – And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.
31 – And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32 – And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
33 – And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
34 – And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him [any question].
I have not encountered too many people in my life who have any issues with God. I realize now that most people have issues with His people, or other people in general. I used to say, church would be wonderful if there were no people to deal with! But the truth needs to be told, I honestly do not believe we as a people understand this concept of love thy neighbor ‘as’ thyself. It could be quite possible that we understand it, but our state of mind and being just won’t allow us to engage. The great thing that Jesus addresses is this pseudo form of christianity and spirituality. The Scribe in the story of Mark says you are right Jesus! Like Jesus really needs any confirmation or affirmation from him. This only proves the arrogant spirit by which the Scribe spoke in the first place.
The Scribe seeks to validate himself by agreeing with Jesus publicly. He recites to the letter exactly what Jesus was teaching. But Jesus says an amazing response to the Scribe, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” No one even know what to say to Him after that. I interpret that as you can ascend to an understanding, and a head knowledge of the ideology. You can conceptualize it in your brain, but until you actually practice it, you will always see the Kingdom as being a place to attain to, rather than live in. Could be possible that Jesus exposed this man’s religion for what it was, a bunch of concepts and principles.
This famous portion of scripture has come to be known as the ‘golden rule’. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is so much more than a golden rule. It’s the Kingdom rule and way of life. I am concerned in this day and age that people do not have a clue what the latter part of the ‘rule’ truly is? We all sort of have an idea about what it means to love God with our heart, soul, and mind, and strength. But honestly I am convinced that we would get so many variations and ideas of what it means to love others as you love yourself. The obvious question that I would have for people, is not only what does that mean, but do you? Do you truly love your neighbor as much as you love yourself? What does self-love mean anyway? These are valid questions that I am processing. If I had the time and resources I would love to do an anthropological research on this one concept. I somehow think it is key to our Kingdom Living. I am not convinced that we have or can manifest the Kingdom of God without first loving our neighbors as ourselves!
I believe that people would rather be in a revival outpouring than a community one. I have been to and experienced the true anointing and revival atmosphere. I mean in the very literal essence of God almighty. Where even like Job, he says the hairs on the back of neck stood up! I have been in this environment many times. My question to all of the apostolic reformers, and revival seekers is this; can you have a true move of God, without community life? Did the people in the book of Acts join the church, once 3000, and then again over 5000; simply because of the miracles? Or did they join because of the community life, and the fact that everyone’s needs were met. Not one single person lacked in that community. Which would be a bigger miracle and impact? Seeing God heal someone, or people living in true community and looking out for each other?
In America we are blessed with a curse at times. Our Constitution guarantees the pursuit of happiness. (self-love) And we are under the banner of independence and freedom from others. Kingdom living is contrary to the American way of life believe me. I read somewhere not long ago that this generation will go down in history as one of the most narcissistic generations of all time. Loving thyself and narcissism are a million miles apart. Self love has more to do with respect, honor, care, and boundaries. narcissism is all about the Ego / Carnal Mind and self loathing.
Sigmund Freud came to the conclusion that every human has the inherited default (gene) propensity to narcissism. I call that the Ego/Carnal Mind. Narcissism is egotistic elitism that tends to be indifferent to the plight of others. To be overly consumed with ones own sense of self-importance and need, compared to others. We somehow in our culture call that spirituality. The ground is level for all, with the opportunity to become unequal. That’s what I have heard all of my life. And God only helps those who help themselves. I believe we are all unique individuals with individuality. But I am convinced that this idea of not caring for others is interfering with our opportunity to manifest our true nature!
Today I was reading and came across this idea of shame being like a swamp. I have been contemplating the whole Adam and Eve story for years, and very intensely the last year or so. I can not seem to shake the idea that we are still dealing with the effects of that fatal day. Misty Edwards is an amazing prophetic psalmist. In one of her songs the line is, “If Grace is an ocean then we’re all drowning.” I truly believe this statement, I also recall Stevie Nicks had a line in a song that said, “Drowning in the sea of love, where everyone would love to drown.”
Well if grace is like the ocean, and love like a sea; then shame has to be like a swamp of the soul! Lets take a look at the swampland first shall we.
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. A common feature of swamps is water stagnation.
Swamps are characterized by very slow-moving waters. They are usually associated with adjacent rivers or lakes. In some cases, rivers become swamps for a distance. Swamps are features of areas with very low topographic relief.
Swamps were historically often drained to provide additional land for agriculture, and to reduce the threat of diseases borne by swamp insects and similar animals. Swamps were generally seen as useless and even dangerous. This practice of swamp draining is nowadays seen as a destruction of a very valuable ecological habitat type of which large tracts have already disappeared in many countries. However, the generally messy nature of swamps, with their diffuse boundaries and lack of enclosure, prevents humans from being able to collect and capitalize on their precious natural resources. Generally swamps are assessed as having low land value even while they are being protected from damage. [Wikipedia]
Shame is definitely like a stagnation to our souls, the life and flow of it. It is also uninhabitable for the most part by humans. So it’s definitely not a good place to live! We know there are many insects, and predators that lark in the hidden terrain. Most of I see metamorphically speaking, a very low-lying place. To our souls with shame is exactly all of these things. It is a terrible and dangerous environment for the soul.
Dr. Rene Brown says in her book, “The Gifts of Imperfections: Let go of who you thing you’re supposed to be and embrace who are”, That Shame is the ‘fear of disconnection and belonging due to my own feeling of unworthiness.’ In other words we are all hard-wired for connection and belonging, but somehow we get to a place to where our own feelings of unworthiness for whatever reason creates a disconnected mindset. We somehow feel that if you knew the internal struggles I have with in me, and my own knowledge of unworthiness you would reject me. This creates the shame.
She also rights in her book about Shame.
1. We all have it…..
2. We are all afraid to talk about it…..
3. The less we talk about it, the more power it has over our lives…..
Dr. Brown is a researcher / storyteller by profession. Over 10 years of shame, vulnerability, and fear research was done by her. I find the information very insightful into the human soul and mindset. I can easily see how this is such a huge issue in all of our lives. I believe with all of my heart that the Facebook and MySpace phenomenon is marker for what is going on in people’s lives and minds. Aside from the obvious narcissistic tendencies, and the voyeuristic curiosity of us all; The message that I hear from Facebook over all to me is the basic needs of humans at its finest.
1. The need to be Fully Loved
2. The need to be Fully Known (heard, seen, perceived)
3. The need to Belong
Of course Facebook has become a wonderful in communicating, promoting, and even was paramount in the Egyptian Revolution! This tool can also be a very dangerous tool in the hands of those that carry shame in the dark crevasses of their being. I poke fun sometimes when I say, Facebook can be a tool for creeping, snooping, and stalking. As a matter of fact the California legal community has said through its findings that 1 in every 5 divorces are because of Facebook’s ability to communicate. Facebook has become a very great tool for lawyers.
To navigate these swampy areas in our minds and souls, we are going to have to build deep trusting relationships with others who can listen without a judgmental spirit. If we can find these people the grip of shame will begin to erode and dry up as it were. And much like farmers we can drain the swampy waters of shame and despair, and once again plant productive fields of love and acceptance.
My Good friend Toby once told me the difference between shame and guilt.
Guilt: I DID something bad
Shame: I AM something bad
I will never forget this as long as I live. I realize guilt is a blessing from God to help nudge you to reconcile the offenses you may have occurred along the path of life so that you can live free and with an open heart. If we ignore the nudging then the inevitable consequence is shame. You will begin to identify a part of you AS the bad thing, instead of a slip up, it becomes your identity.
God help us to identify with the greatness within each and every one of us! As I watch the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan unfold, I am so amazed at the spirit of the people. There hasn’t been one single report of looting and violence, and they wait for over 3 hours to get water and some don’t even get it. Let us not even discuss what would happen in America if anything remotely like that happened? Just think New Orleans, and Katrina, or the fires in the riot in Downtown L.A.
Consider and pray about finding a trusted friend that sticks closer than and brother to navigate and dry up your Swampland of the Soul. This is your year to get it done! One thing I am 100% sure of…..
It will NEVER get fixed by ignoring it! That is what your carnal mind is trying to convince you of!
I was studying and meditating last week and this thought came to me. Corrupted file analogy. I think a lot about computers and the technology of the programs etc. because it so correlates with the natural and spiritual process of the mind. I mean computers have hardware, and software. These two must work together to get any actual work done.
I always see the next revelation of God as a new program or software system. We receive new software technology of the Spirit. But there are some new concepts, revelation, and processes of the mind and Spirit that are introduced but we can not run them on our current system! For example when our computers went to the 64 bit upgrades for processing, our old 32 bit programs could not run on the system. Likewise the new 64 bit programs could not run our old 32 bit hardware. It was a necessary step in the evolution of technology. Many people complained, but it was pretty much futile because change is the inevitable fact of life.
God has downloaded spiritual technology and upgrades to those who continually seek to progress deeper in the revelation of Him. The best way to describe what I am saying here is; try to think of some how trying to run the new Windows 7 operating system on an old computer system that has the 32 bit Pentium 1 processor, and with only 500mb of RAM. Well if you don’t know what would happen I can tell you! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!! Most likely it wouldn’t even begin to install. But if by some chance it began to install, I am quite sure that an error message would pop up telling you that you don’t have enough memory to even install the operating system, much less run it. So with all of the great program innovations, apps, and wonderful upgrades being revealed, it is pointless without a proper hardware equipment upgrade!
This is what Jesus was trying to tell us over and over again when He spoke about the new wine and old wine skins. He said you can not put new wine into old wine skins, the skin will burst and you will lose the wine and break the skin. With this thought in mind let me give you some ideas as to what I am sharing. The next and new real revelation that God is giving us will most likely not be able to run on your old (belief) system. I would venture to say that if you have the exact belief system that you had 10 years ago, then I’m pretty certain that you are not running the current software (revelation). I found it freeing this week to learn that it was OK to believe a little different from I did 10 years ago! I believe in the evolutionary process of growth and development as manifest son of God. So it is dangerous when the prophetic people bring back this great revelation from the future for the ‘NOW’, but not take the time to upgrade the system.
This is a frustrating event to everyone involved. The ones that have the new technology of the Spirit are rejected by those with the old systems. I mean think about the benefits of the technology of the computer. At first I remember the days of AOL and having to find the codes and manually set the settings at the various cities I travelled in. We used to have to connect to the internet via the phone line. The next progression was the ethernet, and now wireless, and coming on the scene having our own hotspots! This is all a natural progression, for the most use and benefit to us the consumer. I am thinking in this season, the prophetic revelation will be delivered and instituted to the groups that have had apostles upgrade to their belief system.
I learned something about these situations. Sometimes it just is a glitch in the software, and or hardware. Most of the time the file can not be repaired, and if you open it in another program you will see nothing but useless letters and numbers in some code form. The most common problem when you get this message, if it is not a glitch or a software problem, it could be a virus.
I thought it was awesome that the best and most efficient fix for this kind of file is to RESTORE from a backup version of the ORIGINAL! That is precisely what I have learning for the last 30 years. For the most part people have corrupt files (thoughts and situations) that no longer open or run. To put it another way, we have been trying to run Christology on Adamic systems and software! When we restore the corrupted file (Adamic mindset) with a certified copy of the original (Mind of Christ), then we will begin to see things unfold in our worlds like never before!
I believe now more than ever that we are in need of an upgrade to our (belief) systems. This is the only way to progress in the spiritual evolutionary process. I love the fact that everyone wants a revolution, and reviving, but these will all be futile without a proper infra-structure to support the new thing. I personally considered myself and revolutionist, and a man spreading revival with power everywhere we went. But I realize now it was new revelation and spiritual technology that the people could not run on their own, because their systems needed an upgrade.
Lets face it, most people hardly buy a new computer or system unless theirs crashes! So with that in mind, it could be quite possible that this year you will get your belief system upgraded before it crashes so you can run the spiritual technology!
Grace & Peace
I am happy to bring the I AM Experience to light through our podcasts. We have been in a consecration mode for the last six months, and this is the result of that journey so far. The I AM Experience is an exploration into our true Divine Identity, and also discovering what it is not!
I have made these podcasts especially for those who track with us, I am offering them as sort of unfiltered, non-religious observation concerning the Divine Nature. I also make a note that if you have any religious residue of the system still working in you, it will be exposed. I had to charge a minimal fee for the podcasts to help with all of our time and production costs. You can find the material on our product page of our website along with a description of each episode! The I AM Experience Podcasts Page
The Titles so far:
#1 I AM – A Living Being
#2 I AM – Not Ashamed
#3 I AM – C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigator) Eden
#4 I AM – In Living Color
#5 I AM – In Living Color 2
I ran across this article yesterday. I don’t think I can say it any better than Debbie did here. This is the place where I am at the moment in my process, I’m learning to catch and arrest these old tapes or thoughts. These are nothing more than the carnal mind or the Adamic nature trying to polarize my identity. The duality of my two natures can be very polarizing. I mean almost instantaneously I can be divine and VERY human in the same moment. In a tongue in cheek way to put it, it almost sounds like Schizophrenia. Get ahold of your divine self today and don’t let go, because in your Divine Identity is where the life you were made for can be found.
Consider this….We all seem to live with a certain amount of “stinkin thinkin.” Let me quickly explain myself : )) I’m talking about the old tapes that play in our heart that say, “you’re just not smart enough, or pretty enough, you will never amount to anything, you are a failure, what makes you think you can be any better?” etc etc. WHY do we allow things that were said to us in the past as children, students, athletes, teenagers or adults continue to affect the way we think about ourselves and our abilities? Why do we let outside influences determine our self-worth? This “stinkin thinkin” affects the way we respond to other people and events in our lives. If you pay close attention, DO YOU find yourself automatically responding negatively to most everything? Hey!! I know that there was a time in my life that was ALL I DID!! I was programmed…
I was suspicious of everyone, skeptical about most anything, and negative about everything. WOW…what a bummer. But you know I was conditioned to be that way…along with millions of others. IT IS NOT HEALTHY…and guess what? If you are one of the millions…then you are passing it on to your children and it is limiting your ability to THRIVE!! Oh no, you could be one of those people who seriously sucks the life out of others…OR you can be the spark that rekindles the positive flame in someone else : ))
It starts with YOU!! It’s time to TAKE OUT THE TRASH…focus on ridding your mind of the thoughts that hold you hostage. Thank heavens it doesn’t require major surgery or bottles of pills! It is really a simple concept that does take time and diligence. Out with the OLD and in with the NEW!! Start to flood your mind with positive, life affirming input. Read..listen…watch positive materials and fill your life with positive people and influences. MINIMIZE the negative and MAXIMIZE the Inspirational!
I want to leave you with an amazing performance of “Free Your Mind.” The lyrics refer to not judging someone by the color of their skin…but think of all the things that you need to free yourself from…NO MORE “STINKIN THINKIN” : ))
Debbie Dugan Reeder
(*used with permission)