Characteristics Of A Life When God Is Absent: Final Outcome

This is the eleventh post in our continuing series (that began with How The Devil Stole Your Soul) where we have been investigating Satan’s age-old strategy for depriving our soul from its rightful place in the kingdom of God (using our own efforts), how we do his work by handing down that strategy from generation to generation, the ways our thinking gets twisted, and finally, the characteristics we take on in life, when we make God absent by turning away because we don’t believe He’ll accept us.

We previously looked at the characteristics of living in the past, walking in fear, blustering in anger and being self-absorbed and non-communicative. Let’s examine the final one:

Characteristic #5: Unrelated

In other words, having become someone whose thinking patterns make it impossible for them to have a healthy relationship with anyone – with God, themselves, or with others.

This ‘unrelated-ness’ is not so much a ‘characteristic’ as it is the final outcome of living out the other characteristics listed above:

If you’re trapped in the past, you cannot be in present time where real communication and relationship exists.

If you are afraid of other people because of the threat that you think they represent or you’re they might learn something you’re trying to keep hidden, you will isolate yourself from relationship.

If you bound about like some angry ogre, trying to prevent people from ‘hurting’ you, you’re going to drive them away.

If you only present your mask, no one gets to meet the real you; and if you cannot communicate from other than your own agenda, no real exchange takes place.

(All of this is a result of not seeking God or from running away from Him – both of which deprive you of His love and peace.)

Thus, if you’re working one or more these strategies, what possible hope do you have to grow a healthy, loving, mutually nurturing relationship? A snowball’s chance in hell…

Our entire lives are lived within the framework of relationships – with friends, family, significant others, coworkers, God (hopefully) and with ourselves. Yet for most people, living in relationship is the hardest part of living.

No one gave us a manual (except God) for how to relate to others. In fact, we’re thrust into relationship at birth and then blindly plow through each successive one – trying to learn how to do relationship as we go along. And it’s even more challenging for those who have been ‘broken’ by life.

Our first exposure to relationship was with our parents, who, for the most part, lovingly (but unconsciously) passed down their life indoctrination (with all its un-examined, untruthful, and unworkable components). As a child, we absorbed them without examination either. The end result? Perpetuated misery.

Thanks to our sickly symbiotic relationship with the Dark Mind (that voice in our head), we end up either perpetually alone, or we fall in and out of ‘acquaintances’ because we are afraid to share who we really are.

We look at the world with eyes filtered by our ‘Life Story’ with all its embellishments of meaningless meanings. This is not because our past was so wonderful, but because we were traumatized by the events, or we traumatized ourselves by the meanings we attached to them. Ultimately, we’ve surmised that people aren’t safe, and that they’ll reject the love we offer – rejecting us. So we throw up walls of defense, e.g. our masks.

Our soul has taken on a ‘slipperiness,’ preventing us from being able to stick’ to others. Thus, our primary needs for love and acceptance go unmet.

We don’t even love ourselves because we believe that voice in our head when it says we harbor something within that’s revolting. Because of that, we don’t provide love and acceptance for ourselves. Moreover, we try to separate from our true self.

Until that is resolved, all ‘acquaintances’ with others will not fill the emptiness. After all, if you do not know how to love yourself, how in the world could you expect others to know?

So you see, we show up for relationships with a huge built-in disadvantage – looking for someone to ‘fix’ us. We’re sad, grieving over what we think is wrong with us and exhausted from trying to find someone who will give us what we’re sure we lack. Adding more insanity to this twisted logic, we present our false masks to those we seek to make them believe we already have what we’re convinced we lack.

We dance a frenetic dance in order to garner the favor of others so that we might receive repair.

However, we cannot get anything from anybody unless we are first willing to provide it for ourselves. It is not possible for someone else to alter the experience we have created of ourselves.

That experiential change must come from the inside; and the biggest change we must bring upon ourselves is self-acceptance. We will never feel love and acceptance from others until we first love and accept ourselves.

Otherwise, the only kinds of people we’ll attract will be those who run the same unworkable schemes that we do – people who will abuse us in direct proportion to which we tolerate it from the Dark Mind. Think about it. If you search for acceptance from others for who you really are, while simultaneously presenting your mask and your potential partner is doing the same, (i.e. they are like you, trying to get something from someone without giving anything back) how will either of you find satisfaction?

We stay on the hunt for that imaginary ‘fix’ even though we are frightened beyond measure to find it, because deep down we’re afraid they will reject us by invalidating our beliefs, dominating us and swallowing up who we are, or will refuse to meet our needs.

This painful fear comes from our relationship with that voice in our head whereupon we judge ourselves unlovable.

Because of prior experiences with ‘failed’ relationships, we have a tendency to equate relationship with pain; and it is human nature to avoid pain. Out of fear then, many people avoid relationships – denying their loneliness in aberrant isolation.

Love cannot coexist with fear. (1 Jn. 4:18)

So, this is how most people show up for a relationship: scared, defensive, defeated and sad – all before it even begins…

According to God, relationships are everything:

…for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him. 2 Chr. 30:9 NKJV

And behold, I am with you and will keep (watch over you with care, take notice of) you wherever you may go… Gn. 28:15 AMP

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Dt. 31:8 ESV

For You have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living. Ps. 56:13 NASB

The LORD preserves all who love Him… Ps. 145:20 NKJV

This is but a fraction of the love of God, and it’s all yours for the asking. All He asks is for you to be related to Him. And He’s just waiting for you to initiate it…

For the Son of Man came to save [from the penalty of eternal death] that which was lost. Mt. 18:11 AMP

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn. 14:6 NKJV

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Jn. 10:10, 11. NKJV

I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. Jn. 15:9 AMP

The only way to be related to God is to be related to His Son. That relationship expands your life and opens the doors to eternity. It brings the love and acceptance relationship you’ve always yearned for…

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – The Spirit of Truth…you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. Jn. 14:16, 17. AMP

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you of things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” Jn. 16:13, 14. NKJV

But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 1 Cor. 2:9, 10. ESV

…the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. Rm. 8:26 NKJV

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Cor. 3:18 NKJV

When you are related to God (through Christ), you are guaranteed a relationship with the Holy Spirit – who reveals the truth of God to you, which in and of itself reveals Christ and He is also the Holy Vehicle through whom God brings your divine transformation, readying you for your heavenly entrance.

Emmanuel Swedenborg, (a 1700’s theologian) described this heavenly threefold relationship we enter into in this manner: God the ‘Divine Soul’ related to Christ the ‘Divine Body,’ from which emanates the ‘Divine Love and Wisdom,’ (i.e. the Holy Spirit) to work the salvation of Man.

You can’t help but be your highest and best when you are in a relationship like that.

And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Gn. 2:18 NKJV

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mk. 10:7 – 9. ESV

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Pr. 31:10 – 12. ESV

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself…let each of you love his wife and himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:28 & 33. ESV

Behold, children are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Ps. 127:3 – 5. NASB

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and the admonition of the Lord. Eph. 6:4 AMP

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you my live long on the earth.” Eph. 6:1, 2. NKJV

What are we seeing here? It’s the Divine importance of the relationship of family. Men and women were God-ordained to come together in marriage to create a family – one where the husband and wife love and respect each another. How do they do that? They have to love and respect themselves first! (see above: Eph. 5:28 & 33.)

We see that children are the Divine outcome of this union and they are to be loved and treasured – brought up in the word of God. Also, the children must be taught that God says they are to mirror this behavior (along with respect) back to their parents.

Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to life him up! Again, if two lie down together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Eccl. 4:9-12. AMP

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Pr. 27:17 NKJV

A man who has friends must himself be friendly… Pr. 18:24 NKJV

A friend loves at all times… Pr. 17:17 NKJV

God says that a friend is one who lives in a love relationship with another and that having that friend will elevate and enhance many areas of both their lives.

You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. Mt. 22:39 AMP

…he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 Jn. 4:21 NKJV

“…love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples…” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV

Finally, we see that there is no one with which we are to withhold our love – including ourselves! God is saying that you are related to everyone!

In order to receive all this love and the associated benefits, we have to practice relating in relationships that work!

Stay tuned…

Good night and God bless.

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Characteristics Of A Life When God Is Absent – Part 5

This is the fifth part of a subset of ten posts (beginning with How The Devil Stole Your Soul) that examines the behavioral characteristics commonly found in people who have either never sought God or have slunk away from Him, rendering Him absent in their lives – feeling undeserving of His love because of who they think they are, or as a consequence of what they have done.

We generally see character patterns such as fixations on the past, fear, anger, and being overly concerned about oneself. Let’s look at yet another:

Characteristic #5: Incommunicado

When you were born, you communicated perfectly. Your coos and cries brought joy, love and immediate attention from your parents. However, after the generations-old world conditioning was handed down to you by your parents, peers, schools, government and the media, your ability to communicate was squelched.

Yours wasn’t a solitary incident. Most others suffer from the same predicament. There is no communication because everyone is engaged in sharing their illusory ‘Life Stories’ through the mouths of their false masks. There is no exchange of reality, of truth.

We learned as children that if we (innocently) told the truth about something and our parents didn’t particularly want to hear that truth, we got punished. So, like our parents, we learn to edit out portions of the truth (i.e. lie) and to speak no more of them to avoid further recrimination.

When this behavior becomes entrenched, we will have accepted lies about ourselves, others and life itself, and they will constitute our ‘new truth,’ which differs from other people’s new truth. Thus, we don’t have a common viewpoint from which to engage anyone with.

Combine that with our obsession to be engrossed in a chronic conversation with that voice in our head, and eventually we find that we are incommunicado.

Yet we cling voraciously to our particular viewpoint because our lives are structured around them – lies and all; and lies are never a good thing:

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator… Rm. 1:25 NASB

After all, what is the mask that you don, other than your created thing? It’s the thing you give all your energy to, all your attention (worship) to – seeking the acceptance of man instead of God.

“We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29 NASB

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape. Pr. 19:5 NKJV

And isn’t someone who is living a lie and unable to effectively communicate, living in punishment already?

Given the seemingly insurmountable barriers to communication that people instill within themselves, you’ll find that many withdraw from the task – trading communication for isolation, caused by their own prejudices and blame-laying. They’re living in their heads instead of in the real world.

Their communication style becomes an action / reaction exchange – whereby they speak behind walls of defense, always on the lookout for some potential trigger that might open their old wounds. In this mode, they cannot listen because they are focused on meeting the needs of their self-image, which is promulgated by that voice in their head.

Thus, your attention is totally focused upon yourself during any conversation as you impatiently wait for the other to shut up so that you can smear your truth on them.

Your need to be ‘right’ keeps you from learning anything new, so that you cannot outgrow your past.

(You know you’re in this situation when you hear that voice in your head say, ‘I’ve heard all this before.’)

You can only be ‘right’ if you make others ‘wrong.’ So now you’re making enemies, which leads toward a solitary life. Where there is no communication, there can be no love…

For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is compiled with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. Gal. 5:14 AMP
Goodnight and God bless.

Characteristics Of A Life When God Is Absent – Part 4

This is the ninth post of a series (beginning with How The Devil Stole Your Soul) where we are looking at what becomes of someone who unconsciously absorbs the social conditioning that was authored in antiquity by the ‘father of lies.’ This conditioning revolves around two root sentences: ‘I’m unlovable,’ and ‘I’m not good enough.’

When one makes these the pillars of their self-reference, they run from God – making Him absent from them; and their life is but a hollow core of what it could have been. You can spot people who are suffering with this illusion because they display certain characteristics. We already mentioned three of them: suspended animation (stuck in the past), panic (fear of life), and wrath (self-directed anger at their self-induced plight that they project towards others). Let’s continue:

Characteristic #4: Self-absorption

When you were born, you didn’t have a self-image:

So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gn. 1:27 AMP

You had a God-image. But somewhere in life, from the bumps and bruises and the berating from the voice in your head and the voices in the heads of others, you made a decision to deny your God-connection because you brought meanings to events in your life that weren’t true.

For example, let’s say someone turns you down for a date. It could have simply been that you weren’t their type, or they were afraid of intimacy, or they didn’t want a relationship at that particular time. But you make it about you – saying things to yourself like ‘How could they be so insensitive?’ Why can’t they see what a good catch I am?’

Then that voice in your head jumps in and ‘helps’ you see your situation in a new light as it says, ‘They are so mean. You shouldn’t go out with them anyway. Did you see how ugly and stupid they were?’ And, because the voice wants to keep you miserable in order to control you, it’ll then redirect the criticisms back at you: e.g. ‘How could you be such a moron as to ask them out? You are so ugly, stupid and undesirable. What will others think when they find out you were rejected? You’ll be alone for the rest of your life.’

It does that to bring you back to those two primary sentences we started this post with.

So what do you do? You combat these false meanings you’ve attached to events and to yourself with a new false image – a mask constructed of the lies from that voice in your head, who tells you how you must present yourself to please others. In other words, you try to appear as someone who doesn’t exist; and you never let your guard down because that same voice has convinced you that you have some monstrous inner parts, that if exposed, would bring you a lifetime of loneliness.

You become obsessed with the maintenance of your mask – self-absorbed, always tweaking your mask to meet what you think are the needs of the next person, trying to appear ‘flawless’ in their eyes. It’s both exhausting and unrewarding. Because these people are relating to your mask, they never get to meet the real you and your real needs are never met.

Your self-absorption becomes chronic because your number one pastime is to avoid rejection, which you feel you must do with just about everyone you meet. Thus, you have to continually promote your mask and it requires you having to build up some kind of ‘false pride’ in it so that others will be convinced it’s you.

Many of us get into this mess because we never examine how we think! We insist on being ignorant about who God made us to be and about what our ‘self-image’ has been up to. It is a purposeful case of mistaken identity because we fool ourselves into believing that our mask will bring the acceptance from others we so sorely crave – which keeps sending us that backhanded message of worthlessness.

That mask is built upon the framework of our suffering – the very thing we’re trying so hard to avoid. Thus, we keep that suffering on the center stage of our lives.

Your life never gets to be lived because the voice in your head feeds your self-image, knowing that as long as you’re obsessed with that, you’ll never see your own perfection.

You matter to God:

For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One.) For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy} Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:12, 13. AMP

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. Ps. 139:13, 14. NASB

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16 ESV

There is nothing wrong with you. Never was. Never will be. But you have to reconnect with Him to see it.

Until then, you will continue to judge yourself for who you are not; and then you exact punishment upon yourself, hoping it will make you good. You can’t beat goodness into anyone.

There is nothing wrong with any of us. It’s just that we’ve bought into the Big Lie – the lie that says we are damaged goods…
Goodnight and God bless.

Characteristics Of A Life When God Is Absent – Part 3

This is the eighth in a series of posts beginning with How The Devil Stole Your Soul. We’ve heretofore considered the wiles of the adversary, especially with regards to how he leads you to distort your thinking to such an extent that your sense of self has become misshapen as well.

As a result, many people hold a disfigured picture of themselves up for continual critical examination by themselves and by the voice of their egos, to such a measure as to bring misery upon every facet of their being – despising who they think they are and believing that God does the same. Thus, they hide from Him yet believe it is He who is absent from them.

Because they abandon God’s truths regarding the magnificence in which they were wrought, they see life as a dangerous territory – to be at best warily navigated, or at worst, avoided. These poor souls have distinct characteristics. We’ve looked at the first two: suspended animation and panic; i.e. they are frozen in time (trapped in the past) and are deathly afraid of everything that goes on in and around them…

Characteristic #3: Wrath

One of the ways many people try to defend themselves against this dangerous world of their perception, is to strike out against others with their wrath (to do unto others before they do unto them). What do they hope to gain?

Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. Ps. 37:8 NASB

[Before we go there, we must consider that doing so is highly ineffective, because anger in itself (as well as its close cousins: envy and jealousy*) is really just another form of fear. It’s a form of oppression, where one tries to manacle another with their beliefs through intense emotion. This emotional offense is in reality a defense mechanism to intimidate someone into not trying to invalidate the angry one’s tightly held beliefs. And, if you stop to examine the beliefs they are angrily trying to protect, it’s always about some interpretation they made about something in their past.]

*(Envy comes from a fear of being ‘less than,’ believing others to be better than you. Jealousy involves the same, as well as including a fear of abandonment. Anger is the fear of life itself.)

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Pr. 27:4 ESV

For anger slays the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple. Job. 5:2 NASB

For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. James 3:16 AMP

The angry person is the one who is upset with the way that their life is turning out, (without taking any responsibility for it) projecting their wrath onto anyone whom they perceive is interfering with their survival mechanisms, e.g. someone who stops them from getting what they want (could be themselves), who keeps them from having an expectation fulfilled, or who disrupts their communication.

Anger is a form of ‘closing down’ by ‘striking out.’ It creates walls between the perpetrator and the object of their wrath. It is addictive – feeding upon itself and getting stronger with every outburst.

Anger has its roots in you not liking something (that’s only your preferences talking), wanting life to be different than it is (but allowing your ‘fear of change’ to paralyze you), seeing others as the ‘enemy’ (for not sharing your preferences), protecting against potential rejection (afraid the past will repeat itself), afraid of being ‘found out’ (avoiding the experience of shame or rejection for some misdeed you committed in the past), or you feel that others are trying to control you (especially if you see yourself as a victim of your past).

Wrath is a false relief valve. We explode to take the pressure off of ourselves and to shift our accountability for life onto something or someone else. However, with each use, anger magnifies until it becomes an uncontrollable torrent – so much so that we become afraid to express it (just like most of our emotions) yet it still comes, even if we don’t want it to.

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. Pr. 14:29 NASB

Our wrathful tirades drive everyone away (even those whom we want to hold close), leaving us with yet more shame and guilt. Worse, it does nothing to relieve our pain. You see, the danger that comes from indulging in anger is that it grows into violence that you direct both at yourself and others. At this point, how can you ever hope to touch happiness?

Ironically, this is one of the rare times the voice in your head will agree with you as it quips: ‘Didn’t I tell you that you were unhappy? See how horrible life is, how the world is, and what it’s done to you? How can you possibly get anywhere without me?’

What does anger do? It makes you think that you are powerful; but in reality it tears you down with high blood pressure so that you get to have a heart attack or stroke, not to mention ulcers, anxiety and cancer. Anger kills both the host and the target. Everyone around you runs away and you find yourself alone once more.

But that’s only if you continue to persist doing things your way. Far better to live reconnected to God and living your life His way – and that includes getting your coping / communicative skills on board with His:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Pr. 15:1 NASB

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31, 32. ESV

…everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19 NASB

Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense. Pr. 19:11 AMP

…you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love… Neh. 9:17 ESV

You see, God’s answers are always right, as well as the example of His own behavior.

Happiness eludes us because we become comfortable in our own misery. It’s what we know and we’re good at maintaining it. We know we won’t fail.

Moreover, we use unhappiness to justify our self-fulfilled prophecies about life’s disappointments, the perceived lack of fairness, our victim status, our distorted coping strategies, etc.

Without turning back to God, you will exit this life without ever having lived it. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Motivated to shed your old life yet? Just in case your not, (and I’m a bulldog for your salvation) there are still some facets of self-destruction yet to be uncovered…
Goodnight and God bless.