Sunday, September 16, 2007

About That Brain of Ours...

On the same morning that God showed me the lesson on tearing down/tearing out, He chose to reveal another truth to me. I suppose God thought it was just one of those weeks for me to learn a thing or two! At least these weren’t the “difficult” kind of lessons. Whew!

This lesson pertained to our brain and it causing us to see what it wants us to see based on its past experiences and understanding. Our family was at the museum when God shed His light of truth on this subject. We were in an area of the museum that was all about the human body. A museum employee began to do a presentation on optical illusions and we went to observe the presentation. The point he made was that our brains can actually trick us or stand in the way of us seeing things as they really are. Our brain makes assumptions and adjustments based on past experiences or on what it already knows, and it can actually make us see something a certain way when it is actually not that way at all.

I realized what a “spiritual realm” hindrance our physical brains are to us so often times. How often do we base our faith or our view of God or the spiritual realm on our past experiences and/or our understanding on what we have previously seen, experienced, or been taught? And how often some of that previous “stuff” hinders us from accepting or learning something new unless God allows us to get a hold of it in His miraculous ways—by experiencing it anew ourselves, by Him taking our “blinders” off, per say. For example, someone who has never understood a “That was God!” moment in their life may testify, “There is no God”. Someone who’s never felt they’ve “heard” the voice of God may not truly believe that He can and does speak to us. Someone who feels or thinks they’ve never really experienced or seen first-hand spiritual warfare may not believe it really exists. Someone may not believe in speaking in tongues, or in prophesying, or in miraculous healings because they have never had first-hand knowledge or experience with them before. If we allow our brains to trick us into believing a lie that there are no such things because we have never experienced or seen them before then we are missing out on a whole lot—we are missing out on God’s realm!!

Our brain tries to make logic conclusions out of everything. Like the example of a picture the museum presenter was showed to us. Let’s see if I can put this picture into words: There was a building in the background and it had a walkway in front of it with crates or boxes lined up along both sides of the walkway. It was a depth perception view. There was a person at the “back” of the picture by the building entrance (by our perspective on the picture). Another person was standing in middle of walkway, and another person in “front” on the walkway. The person in “front” of picture was the one furthest from the entrance of the building (which was in background). The presenter asked us which person looked smaller to us of the “back” and “front” one. Everyone agreed that the person in “front”, closest to us and furthest from the building, was the smallest one. He then switched the people around on the picture and reversed the “front” and “back” person. Again he asked us which one was smaller. Well, the person now at the front of the picture looked smaller although that one had looked bigger earlier. It turned out that both people were exactly the same size when they were placed next to each other. But our brains were using the entire picture and the context around the people in the picture to create depth perception and make conclusions about their size. Our brains assumed that the people were different sizes based on their place in the picture. It was making assumptions based on its past experiences and understanding, and it was not allowing us to see the real fact and truth of the picture.

The presenter again demonstrated this with two signs. He showed a sign to one side of the audience while the other side of the audience did not look at it. And then he showed the other side of the audience another sign. Then he asked everyone to say what they saw in the middle of the sign. One side of the audience said, “The letter B”, and the other side of the audience said, “The number 13”. He had actually shown the letter B. To one side of the audience he had show A B C. He had shown the letter B in the context of A and C on either side of it. To the other side he had shown 12 B 14. He had shown the letter B in the context of 12 and 14. And the letters were stenciled letters so the left line of the B was a bit separated from the right side curves, and therefore, easy to mistake for a 13 within a different context. As we can see, context is a really big deal as far as our brain is concerned and how it processes things and makes conclusions on what it sees.

Our brains are like computers—input becomes output. There can be no output of something that has never been input. Therefore, it is easy to see that for us to grow spiritually we must keep our minds very open to God teaching us and allowing HIM to input into us. It is critical that we not close our minds to any possibility because the Scriptures say over and over again that: “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37), that “All things are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23, 10:27, 14:36), and that “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). The Scriptures also say that “Faith is an assumption of what is being expected, a conviction concerning matters which are not being observed…” (Hebrews 11:1).

The guy who made the presentation at the museum had a title for the presentation. It was something like “Seeing But Not Believing” or "Believing But Not Seeing". Don’t we go around doing that with God and the spiritual realm all the time? Sticking to our limited view of Him and His kingdom, His realm, and His ways instead of allowing ourselves to be open to Him beyond what has already been “input” into us in the past? Are we allowing Him to provide us with further input and consequently expanding the borders we have placed around Him and the spiritual realm? In truth, the spiritual realm is much grander and ultimately of greater impact than the physical world we tend to daily focus on. There is a depth of God that He longs to reveal to us. “Deep calls to deep” (Psalm 42:7). His depths call unto our depths. If we will only truly seek Him, we will find Him; He will reveal more of Himself to us. The Scriptures also tell us, “Seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29), “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13), “I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10),

I praise HIM for HIS faithfulness because in spite of the hindrances of this physical world and the stumbling blocks we face each and every day it says in His word that we can be confident He will allow us to discover His depths and truths if we will only seek Him with our entire being. I praise Him for His faithfulness that He continues to work with us and WITHIN us, ever patiently and lovingly. “He Who undertakes a good work among you, will be performing it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

His “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Thank you, Lord and King over all!

For HIS glory…

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