BORN INTO AN UPSIDE DOWN WORLD:
Did you know that when a baby is born, for the first few days they stumble as their brain is trying to make sense of the upside down objects their eyes are seeing?
We are born into an upside down world, due to the anatomical nature of the optics of the eye and its lens system - The images we see initially are made up of light reflected from the objects we look at. ... Because the front part of the eye is curved, it bends the light, creating an upside down image on the retina. The brain eventually turns the image the right way up. - - source: sightsavors.org
You would think we would always see things as "upside down" and continually have problems navigating and dealing with objects coming at us, but no.
The part of the brain that assembles visual data into a meaningful and useful picture of the world out there recognizes "upside-down" as normal. So we go on to learn eye/hand coordination and such within this "flipped" visual world. -- Source: J Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic
WE ARE NOT LIVING IN HEAVEN
IN THE BEGINNING WE SEE THE TRUTH:
If God created all things - and if a baby represents the purity of life before it learns the ways of this world - than you would believe that the creation of our eyes was meant to show us the truth in the beginning - and our brains help us to adapt to the world that we were cast to live in which is FAR FROM GOD temporarily - because we are not in heaven - we are living in this world.
We adapt to our surroundings both physically (as our brains help us to do) and spiritually - your Soul deserves the same attention you give to your Flesh and to your Mental Health. You’ve heard of the phrase “Mind, Body and Soul” - The soul is the part of us that most people do not think they need to support because they question what a soul is and they question religion and associate a soul with religion - when our soul is just as much a part of us as our flesh and mind, it IS who we are.
GOD HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT OF OUR LIVES
We were cast out of Eden, away from God because of the original sin (Adam + Eve) - We are not living in heaven, we are living in a world that is far from heaven, that is upside down, and the values of the majority of the people in this world are upside down, they are not of God.
God has been taken out of our lives:
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:
There was a church group that got together and had a picnic at a local park. They were praying together while enjoying the scenery.
A couple walked by and the woman of the couple said “this isn’t the place for that”.
One of the gentlemen in the church group replied “to us, everything is a place for that”. With that response, the couple called the police to complain, and the police told the church group if they don’t have a permit they can’t have a public prayer group. - The church group explained they were having a picnic and decided to pray together. But they were told to leave the park still.
You see, in this world, people who don’t want prayer have more rights than people who want to pray - this is really turned upside down.
During the pandemic, a state allowed strip clubs to open first and to open churches last. IF that is not upside down I don’t know what is. “Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee jokingly suggested that churches should reopen as a “temporary strip club” since these establishments were exempt from Newsom’s lockdown order.” Source: TNonline.com - Dec. 2020 issue - Times online news
If the Devil is the ruler of deceit and has been deceiving us from the very beginning when he tricked Eve into eating the apple - can we not see that he has reign over the principalities, the authorities and the beliefs of majority of the people in this world?
Ephesians 6:12 ESV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
THE WORLD BLINDS US
Because we have been deceived for so long we start to believe that it is ok - or we start to logically explain the reasoning for the unGodly values - and think things like - “Churches are large gatherings so there is more of a chance of getting sick” - - - when strip clubs have naked bodies closer than 6 feet together. Do we not realize that the same amount of people are in smaller quarters in a strip club than in a Church?
Just as people were allowed to make their choice of going into a strip club, people should have been allowed to make their choice to go to a Church.
The scales must drop from our eyes. What the devil does is he blinds you. But there is a way of knowing the truth -a way out - when you get to know God through his word, the scales come off and you start to see the world, people, places and things through God's eyes. You begin to see how everything is turned upside down.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
DISCERNMENT TO KNOW TRUTH FROM LIES
How do you know which side is up and which side is down?
How can you tell if you have “fallen” into the lies of this world?
Part of it is knowing God. God reveals the truth in your heart.
When you build your relationship with God, the closer we get the more God allows us to have the gift of Discernment.
Unfortunately there are more people who live in this world instead of living through God’s will for us. They see the world in a completely different way than we do.
For example, there are people that worship the Devil. They believe that the Devil is more powerful than God, because he deceives them into thinking he is more powerful - that he can give them power. If God created the Devil, how can the Devil be more powerful than God?
EXAMPLES OF VALUES FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN
JUDGING VS. UNDERSTANDING:
Matthew 7:3-5 NIV 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Acts 4:12, NIV: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Here is why our negative impressions are counter-intuitive for that other person:
A research team went to:
In all those very different contexts, regardless of family income, demographics, IQ, there was one characteristic that emerged as a significant predictor of success: it wasn’t social intelligence, it wasn’t good looks, or physical health or IQ - it was GRIT.
GRIT is passion and perseverance for long term goals.
Grit is having stamina.
Grit is sticking with your future day in and day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality.
Grit is living life like a marathon not a sprint.
The best idea about Grit is from Carol Dweck at Stanford University - the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed - it can change with your effort...change and growth in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere then they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.
Source for above: Angela Lee Duckworth” Grit: The Power of passion and perseverance: TED Talks Education.
So then - If as family, friends or even strangers, we hold people to their failures, whether visible or not, then we are creating additional obstacles to try and hold them back from their success - which means - are we that unhappy with ourselves that we try to bring someone else down?
People with true GRIT do not allow their failures to hold them back, no matter how long it may take, or how many failures they have - they do not let the opinions of anyone else stop them.
THE GROWTH MINDSET: A CHARACTERISTIC OF A SUCCESSFUL PERSON:
This growth mindset of ALL successful people - They didn’t listen to the opinions of what other people said. They didn’t take their failure and magnify it. They moved past it and continued to grow, fail again and fail again - and push themselves forward until they succeeded.
If you can't see someone's succeed on the horizon, that just means they are continuing along in their journey towards what success looks like for them. And if you can't see it or if you don't want to believe in that person - that’s your own eyes deceiving you and holding you back.
Isaiah 5:20: 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
EVEN THE TWILIGHT ZONE WAS TEACHING US ABOUT OUR WORLD's DECEPTION:
There is an episode of the Twilight Zone where a woman is brought to the hospital to get her face fixed because she is the ugliest person in the world - compared to the rest of the people in the world who all have faces that clearly look like pigs. The moral of this episode in a twisted way is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
BUT - what is the definition of beauty- of righteousness - of truth?
Our guidepost, our north star is the BIBLE that tells us what the truth is for LOVE, LIFE, HAPPINESS, and PEACE. If you use the bible to keep you on the right path, you will start to see the truth and be able to lift yourself from the negative thoughts and judgements of others towards creating a life of peace, joy and fulfillment.
This may sound cliche, naive, or even idealistic to anyone reading this who doesn’t believe this is even possible. That is usually the first thought you may have - skepticism - because you feel you need to protect yourself from being hurt about believing something that you don’t understand.
That disbelief usually is when you haven't been able to find this for yourself. You may be too afraid to take that leap, to reach outside of what your circle of family or societal friendships know as their personal experience of what love and peace is.
No one said it is going to be easy - the trek towards happiness usually is not easy, because we do not live in EDEN. We are separated from God. We were cast out because of the original sin. But - GOD always provides a way back to him. It is our choice to believe that path, to take it, and to find God again. He is waiting. What are you waiting for? Make those choices for yourself, and once you do, you will find your intended path.
P.S. If you ever wonder how to fight against this upside-down world, it explains it very well in Ephesians 6:10-20 - how to put on the full armor of God to protect, defend and fight against the principalities of darkness.