What is reality?

Published 8:27 am Friday, February 22, 2019

By Pastor Brandon Young
As I was praying, God posed two questions. The first question was “Who defines your reality?” and the second question was “How do you define your reality?” I thought both questions were very odd, but as I meditated upon them God began to bring clarity. To define means to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe, and reality is all your experiences that determine how things appear to you. I immediately thought of how our perception defines our reality, and I took it a step further.
Our perception comes from our senses. In fact, the definition of perception is to be aware of surroundings through the senses (sight, hearing, taste smell, touch). All of our senses are part of our flesh and human nature. Our senses can be misleading and dangerous. To believe everything we think or feel is completely detrimental. Douglas Adams said, “Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.” We must understand that any time the senses are involved there is potential for error. Until our mind is completely renewed by God’s guiding Spirit, our perception has potential for distortion. This distortion comes from Satan. Let me explain what I see as the issue.
Proverbs 14:12 states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Many things may look right when in fact they are completely wrong. Satan can paint a very convincing picture. He enchanted Eve and made her feel that it was OK to eat of the beautiful fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and she in turn, asked Adam to do the same. The true reality was that in the day they ate the fruit their eyes would be opened to good and evil, the earth be cursed, and death enter all mankind just as God has said. Adam and Eve made a terrible decision. Everything begins with a decision. We must decide now to oversee our own perception of reality using the Holy Spirit as our filter. If we don’t, there are plenty of folks whose sole purpose in life is to craft that perception for you on behalf of Satan. Do we trust Satan to have our best interests in mind?
We must take everything we hear, see, and feel and filter it by putting on the mind of Christ. We must look spiritually through his eyes and hear through his ears before we decide to act. We naturally feel that if we think something, it must be true because it comes from within us, but just because you think something does not make it true. So many different suggestions can come into the mind. The world puts suggestions in our minds that are false, and we are bombarded with those false ideas all the time. And, of course, Satan makes suggestions all the time. The Bible uses at least a dozen different phrases for the condition of our carnal minds which are an enemy to God. Our minds are:
a. confused (Deuteronomy 28:20)
b. anxious, closed (Job 17:3-4)
c. evil, restless (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23)
d. rash, deceived (Leviticus 5:4; Isaiah 32:4)
Our minds are broken by sin. Which means we cannot trust even what we think, ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We have an amazing ability to lie to ourselves. Let’s look at a few examples of how individuals took their reality and viewed it through the eyes of God.
Noah knew he was living in a desert. This was a reality. It was completely dry, and yet he was building an ark. Noah trusted the plan of God, and he was prepared when the first drop of rain fell. A very small shepherd boy named David decided to go and fight a giant and won! In all reality, a giant should have prevailed, but when you factor God into the equation everything changes. Job lost everything he had and sat in ashes while scraping the boils off his body, and yet he never cursed God nor sinned against him. How could he not allow his reality to get the best of him? He knew the heart of God. Three Hebrews refused to bow down to an earthly King, and they found themselves bound being thrown into a furnace, but a fourth man came into the fire, set them free with no burns and without the smell of smoke. This fourth man named JESUS must define our reality as well! Reality says that two fish and five loaves of bread will never feed a multitude of five thousand, but when we filter that reality through Jesus Christ all things are possible! In the confusing and often frightening equation of life, do not to forget to figure in the factor of JESUS! He must define our reality!
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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