I remember a funny story from back in the 60s that went something like this. A young man set out to “find himself,” but everywhere he stopped – to buy gas, food or other necessities – he found a sign on the door that read: “Establishment Closed: Gone to find myself.” I think the Beatles had something to do with this with their trip to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi so they could do more drugs and find themselves. Uh huh. I think this was “The Magical Mystery Tour.”
It seems that life is a never-ending journey to find who we really are. The search can lead someone into some strange undertakings, even going so far to have their reproductive organs altered or replaced so they can find their true gender or self. The self God gave them isn’t enough to please them or sit right with them so it’s off to find self-satisfaction and self-acceptance some other way.
“Transgendered at Work”
I once was “forced” (it was required by the agency I worked for) to sit through a seminar in which I was supposedly learning to communicate and understand a transgender person. “She” was about 6 feet four and weighed about 225 pounds. The voice was somewhat gruff, even though “she” tried to sound effeminate. The whole thing was a ball of confusion. I didn’t hate this person (the typical response from liberals today if you disagree with someone), but I felt sorry for him, because somewhere along the way he had gotten really confused, rejected and had constructed a lifestyle that was not synonymous with the way a loving God had made him.
The truth of the matter is the real self is found in the human spirit, where God can place His Holy Spirit, the revealer of all truth, if one is born again. Darien Cooper explained the essence of our spirit this way:
“Our spirits are nurtured when we know that God’s very essence or nature is placed in us. Our spirit is thereby legitimized. This truth is described I John 3:9. God’s nature abides in us. His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within us. See the Amplified version. Our human spirit resides in our spirit with the Holy Spirit. (Write in the Human Spirit above the Holy Spirit in the above diagram.)
What does this mean? An example is the fact that God is light (I John 1:5). Each of our spirits was designed by God before the foundation of the world, and was made from the same light that He is. That essence cannot be removed from us. It can be compared to when one candle lights another, the first candle is not diminished and the second candle has the same kind of light as the first one. We are assured that we have the light we need from Him to fulfill our assignment or our destiny. Our light is a mere speck in comparison to His light. Nevertheless, it is His light or nature.”
There are several things that can mess with this including religiosity (pick your poison), prenatal wounding, soul woundeness, molestation, abandonment, or just plain ‘ole going our own way, thinking we know best. In other words, we can get seriously deceived and off the reality track.
Finding the true self indeed can be a lifelong journey because we enter this world as rebels regardless of our predilection. Dr. James Dobson put it this way: “Some babies are born with a serving spirit. They say, ‘Hi there. Exactly how may I be of service?’ The others exit the womb smoking a cigar and giving directions.” Moms and dads know this best as they try to raise children in the same manner, yet find Jack and Jill are total opposites! Jill is that serving sweetie while Jack has gone up the hill to fetch a pale of water while finding trouble at every turn, or vice versa. I used to be Jack! LOL!
Most people understand themselves through the lens of what their brain has taught them, the influence of others, good and bad, their perceptions of the world, educational training and culture. Regardless of whether you live in San Francisco, California or Slapout, Alabama, the human spirit matters most when attempting to understand ourselves. Believe me; no, believe the Bible, that only God’s Holy Spirit moving in your human spirit can tell you who you are!
“Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].” 10 For God has unveiled them and revealed them to us through the [Holy] Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things [diligently], even [sounding and measuring] the [profound] depths of God [the divine counsels and things far beyond human understanding]. 11 For what person knows the thoughts and motives of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So also no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the [Holy] Spirit who is from God, so that we may know and understand the [wonderful] things freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak of these things, not in words taught or supplied by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual thoughts with spiritual words [for those being guided by the Holy Spirit]. (1 Corinthians 2:8-13 – AMP).
This amazing mystery profoundly spells out HOW God communicates to us, not only His thoughts but WHO we are! Let’s examine:
- All that is found in God is searched out by the Holy Spirit, who probes the depths of God’s being, about which human beings CANNOT know unless they are revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Your brain alone CANNOT tell you who you are! Your mother, dad, husband, wife or significant other is incapable of communicating to you who you are! Let me add that science, a deceived culture, a political party or a shaman from India cannot reveal to you your true self.
- One cannot know his or her own motives except through their own spirit. God provides revelation beyond our mind’s comprehension by revealing them in our spirit. The problem here is that our brains are so often so misaligned with God’s will and purpose that we overrule what God is saying to us in His still small voice. The defense mechanisms that “protect” us from truth will often abort the most important things we could ever know.
- The spirit of the world cannot reveal real truth, nor can human wisdom. This only comes as taught by the words of the Holy Spirit – the thoughts of God combined with spiritual words that are critically aligned with the Holy Bible. Separate these two things and you will find yourself a genuine bona fide fanatic or a legalistic modern day Pharisee!
If you don’t believe me, go to your average church. There you will usually either find it “word heavy” (preaching is the main event) or too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit without a balance of the Scripture. Either way, they’re off-track.
This is truly a lifelong journey. Having served God as a prayer counselor and inner healer/deliverance minister of many people for many years, I can safely say that self-worth is the biggest problem people have, including people who genuinely know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There are, I believe, a few main reasons for this. First, it’s because of what I’ve written about for several paragraphs – people generally have very little revelation about themselves as revealed by the Holy Spirit. God says, “I love you unequivocally,” and their brains/experience/shame/guilt tell them, “Yeah, but I’m so unworthy!” Second, we tend to believe what people tell us about ourselves, our own life experiences and our past more than what the Bible tells us. Third, we may have very little revelation that evil spirits constantly whisper to us that God really couldn’t love us because of our sinfulness. Four, self-righteousness acts as a huge barrier to finding our true self, which has no righteousness of our own. This constant search for “getting better” so God can love us is a major deception. The Heavenly Father once said to me while I was ministering to a man who had fallen into “works righteousness”: “Works righteousness is simply self-idolatry.” God’s righteousness is the only righteousness there is; everything else is a sad attempt to add to it. This is a playground for the devil, for as long as he can get us into the game of self-righteousness, he wins the battle about our self-worth.
Satan’s game plan is a never-ending effort to confuse us humans into believing something false. Take the whole New Age movement with its many variations. People involved in this are looking for spiritual insights apart from a true revelation of themselves as found in the Holy Bible. Usually, these folks want to know God without the Cross of Christ doing its work to kill their self life that is continually deceiving them. They ignore sin in themselves to promote a comfortable “gospel” that is nothing more than a repeat of the Garden of Eden scenario – power and knowledge apart from submission to the Heavenly Father’s impartation.
True knowledge comes from understanding our spirits in relation to the Holy Spirit of God, who has given us “all things that pertain to LIFE and Godliness.”
“For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature” (1 Peter 1:3-4 Amp).
Joseph Beckham is the author of Overcoming Bipolar Disorder & Other Mental Difficulties: A Christian Perspective.
Joe is also the author of Deeper Water for Thirsty Souls – http://amzn.com/1493781286