Facet 2: The False Identity - Transcript

Welcome back to Awake. This second facet, The False Identity, is vital to understand. This is where we look at what went wrong in the story of humanity, and what our core problem really is.
Last time, we talked about the eternal prequel—the Great Story before our story: that before time and space was the Divine Family. And together They birthed this universe and we as Their children were the crown jewel of creation, made to walk in love and to reign over the creation in relationship with God.    
You can see hints of this today. You can see our incredible potential for love and compassion and unity. You can also see the authority and power that we’ve exerted over the elements. But of course, you can also see other things. In our world, you see a major breakdown of love . . . and a perversion of power.
We live in a world filled with war. There’s war between nations, war between races, war between brothers and sisters, between spouses, between our own souls, even within our physical bodies between red blood cells and viruses. There’s war and division everywhere, and all of it leads to death in one form or another.
Some people, most people, have accepted this as reality. “It is what it is” goes the expression. But I want to you know that this is not reality. This is a false reality. It’s a dreamworld we’ve created because we’ve fallen asleep to the truth.
Now, if you were look at all the different problems in this world as fruit hanging from a tree, the real problem is not the fruit, but the root system underneath. People always wants to fight the fruit—the immediate issues—but when we do that, new fruit will always come back.
The root system is what you really have to deal with. And there is a hidden root system that produces all these fruits of division and death.
To understand this root system, we’re going to go back to the book of Genesis, which is a book of origins. And we’re going to look at the story of the Garden of Eden. Now you might be listening to this and maybe you don’t take one ounce of the story of Adam and Eve literally—but whether you do or not, its message cuts to the literal heart of every human being on this planet. And it calls for our attention.
The story is both simple and strange. There’s a serpent in it, a creature of deception that comes to humanity summed up in Adam and Eve.
God puts Adam and Eve in this beautiful Garden and tells them that they are free to enjoy all of the garden—and all of creation. No heavy restriction, no religious control, or fear; just wide-open abundance for them to enjoy and feast upon. In fact, the word “Eden” is the Hebrew word for “Pleasure.” It was literally called the Garden of Pleasure. That’s what we were made for.
Now, that said, there was one tree that they were not to eat from, and that was the Tree of Right and Wrong, which we’ll unpack more a little later. God told them, if you eat from this tree, death will be the result. So this is for your protection, God is saying, because I love you, not because I want to control you.
But the serpent comes and asks Eve a question: “Did God really say to you that you couldn’t eat from any tree in the Garden?”
Now he’s already trying to twist her mind there and make her think that God is stingy and holding out on her. So Eve responds, “No. We can eat from just about any tree out there. But there is one that’s unhealthy for us. If we eat from that one, we’ll die.”
The Serpent responds: “You won’t die. In fact, God is holding out on you, because he knows that if you eat from that tree you will become like him. And he doesn’t want that.”
Well, right there the Serpent is presenting Eve with a subtle but powerful lie. He’s insinuating that if she wants to be “like God,” then she has to eat from that tree.
…And she takes the bait. She “bites” into the lie. And this is where we get at the deception that is underneath all the world’s problems.  
You see, there are two main lies happening here at once. The first lie was about her identity. Eve believed that she wasn’t like God, and that she needed to do something to become “like” her Father.
But Eve was already made in the likeness of God, if you read the first chapter of the story. So what happened here, is that Eve began to believe less of herself. She began to believe that she was not a true child of the Trinity. She lost sight of who she was and began to feel a separation between her and her Creator.  
Now the second lie was also about identity—but this one was about God’s identity. Our view of God became distorted in that moment. Just like we lost sight of who we are, we lost sight of who our Father is. And we began to doubt his heart. His intentions. We began to doubt that he was good.  
And believing this lie produced distrust—and trust is the currency of relationship. If you lose trust in a relationship, that relationship goes bankrupt, and the only possible way to restore it is to start filling the account up with trust again.
Humanity lost trust in God’s nature—in his goodness and love—which meant we lost the relationship. And that was not on his end. This was because of the lie we bit into… And that lie destroyed the world.
Now that might sound overly simplistic to you when you look at the overwhelming problems in society. How can believing these simple lies affect all of civilization?
Well, as a counselor and a social worker I can tell you that small things, things like events that occur in people’s childhood, where they come to believe a certain lie about themselves because of an abuser or a manipulator, a serpent—those things can set the entire course of someone’s life in the wrong direction.
One little root can produce a whole harvest of bad fruit. That’s what happened to our entire world…
Imagine a straight line on a piece of paper, and all of a sudden you let that line deviate ever so slightly one degree. At first it will still seem somewhat straight, but as it goes out, that little deviation will eventually veer way off its path.
When we bought into these lies about ourselves and God, that slowly led us away from that original line of blessing. With that deviation from the truth, we began to live out of a false identity, and we recreated god or the gods in our own broken image. That then produced all the opposites of love and life in this world, which lead to death.
In the first chapter of Awake, I brought up the movie The Matrix. In that movie there is this false world put over the eyes of humanity. And it’s a powerful image of what happened to us.

We fell asleep into a false reality that became a world in and of itself, a dreamworld built on the wrong foundation. Built on lies. This formed a new reality of division and death, which, again, is really a false reality.
So people like to throw around the word “sin” and it’s a word that can mean different things to different people. To a lot of people, the word sin has to do with breaking religious rules. You know, going against God’s holy law book or something.
But the word “sin” in the original Hebrew language that it was written in simply means to “miss the mark.” And that goes back to that small deviation in the line. We were made to stay on a clear path of peace and true pleasure. We were made to live out our true identity as beloved sons and daughters of the Trinity, ruling over creation with justice and goodness. On top of that, we were made to enjoy the happiness and friendship of our Triune God.
But we veered away from that, and that is what “sin” is. So instead of the English word “sin,” I’m using the phrase, “the False Identity,” because that’s really what happened. We embraced a false understanding of ourselves and God, and that led down a path to all the bad fruit we see today.

So right now I want to unpack more of the kinds of bad fruit I’m talking about. I want to give you five types of fruit, or effects, that came from this original root system of an identity crisis.
And these are things that all of us in some form or another have experienced.
The first type of fruit is “guilt.” Back in the story of the Garden, after they eat from the Tree, Adam and Eve run from God. They hide in the bushes. Now God didn’t run from them. You can read the story for yourself. God didn’t hide His face from them in anger. In the story, God actually pursues them.
The reason we hid was because of guilt. We did something wrong. And what guilt does is it isolates us from others. And it leads us into all kinds of destructive patterns.  
Any psychologist worth his salt will tell you that guilt and shame are at the heart of so many emotional and psychological issues within people. Yes, there’s genetics and chemical imbalances that affect things, but there is a deep element of guilt that empowers those imbalances and the generational problems in people’s minds and actions.
One of the things guilt does is it creates fear. We became afraid of God in our minds. You see, what happened was, we lost sight of the smile on His face and the kindness in His heart. We forgot the happiness—or the joy of His presence. In our new twisted reality, we began to make God the villain of the story. And that is the great tragedy of this world, that we have misunderstood the character of God.
That in turn has driven us away from the very Source of joy and life.
The second fruit from this lie is what we’ll call “the false self.”
When God finds Adam and Eve in the bushes of fear, they use a fig leaf to cover up their nakedness. See, because of guilt and shame, we now felt like we had to cover ourselves up. We had to make up for the lack we now felt in ourselves. Or you could say, the “evil” we now saw in ourselves—even though that wasn’t our true identity.
And that’s what we do all the time. We put on masks. We pretend to be something we’re not. We fake it till we make it. Which goes all the way back to identity. Because we feel “less-than,” we try to make ourselves look better than we feel.
Now remember, we were made as the glorious and loved children of the Divine, but because we believed that we lost that relationship, which was a lie, we now felt this gaping hole in ourselves. And with that comes the need to cover it up.
So you have men throughout the world who put on the tough guy image out of deep insecurity. You have women altering their own image for the same reasons. Both men and women, we cling to whatever good thing we can find in themselves: intelligence, humor, looks, whatever it is, we take that gift and hide behind it out of a fear of being exposed in other areas. And that produces a whole load of problems that have plagued the world for generations.  
A third fruit from this ancient lie is a very important one. It’s the fruit of “self-effort.”
You see, once we believed we were less-than, and we were separate from God, we became filled with an insatiable hunger to become good enough…to become worthy of love.
And this is huge, this is how religion was birthed! Religion is man’s efforts to become right. IN other words, to become good and acceptable by the works we do. And so I am in full agreement with many strong atheists out there who say religion is a huge problem. Religion, in and of itself, is a problem. We weren’t made for religion in this sense. We were made for life and joy.
And striving produces anxiety. It leads to a constant restlessness that we’re not measuring up, which also involves perfectionism. And that can then to depression and sometimes even suicide. And that’s actually sometimes why religious people obsess over going to heaven. They want out of this world because they’re exhausted, when really they haven’t woken up to the true life God designed for them.
Now another type of fruit that came out of this great identity crisis is what I’ll call a “dust mindset.”
The Scriptures say that because man bit into that lie, he would return to dust. Now that is literally true, but it’s also symbolic. Mankind was born from the dust of this earth, out of the chemicals and processes of the universe, but we were made to be more than dust. We were made divine, and we are infinitely precious.
But when we bit into that lie, we began to see ourselves as mere dust. At best, we saw ourselves as just highly evolved primates filled with complex chemical bonding.
And because of that limited perspective, we treat each other like animals. We treat each other—and ourselves—like dust.
Any person who abuses their own body, who cuts themselves, or takes substances that damage their being, they’re under the influence of this lie. They’re living in that dreamworld; the matrix where you don’t see who you really are.
And when we abuse others, it’s the same thing. When someone spits on another person, they’re seeing them as nothing more than dust. Racism that looks at the outer skin of a person is the same problem. And things like rape, or just lusting after another person’s body yet not caring for their soul, that is another ugly effect from this.  
When we don’t see who we truly are and who others are, it deforms our behavior. And it turns the Garden of life into a wilderness. A wilderness  of despair.
Now the last fruit from this ancient lie is perhaps the most powerful. It’s what we’ll call “the orphan spirit.”
Did you know that the most common denominator in the statistics of men in prison has nothing to do with their race or their crime? The most common thread that runs across men in prison is fatherlessness. It’s that they didn’t have an active, healthy dad in their lives.
That is a small but powerful picture of a much larger reality affecting the human race.
You see, this great lie about ourselves and the resulting distrust toward God led us to feeling rejected and abandoned by God. Because when you feel guilty, and you can’t handle the guilt, you start to blame-shift. You start to put the onus on others.
But God never rejected us. In fact, He came after us. Even when we left the Garden, God continued to pursue us. Over and over again, you see this all throughout the stories of Scripture.  
But we felt rejected in our own minds. And so we began to believe that we are all alone. We are just orphans floating on a strange rock without a father or mother.  
And hey if I’m alone, then I’m going to be a survivor. I’m going to do it my way. And hence you have the story of so many lonely and ambitious people; trying to prove themselves, trying to make their way through life, even at the expense of others.
It’s with this sense of being alone that anger and resentment also emerges. And just like many of those people in prison resent their earthly dads, humankind began to resent her heavenly Parent.
Now a lot of people express this resentment by saying, “God, you don’t exist,” even though the existence of the divine is obvious, but we became blind to it out of a hidden anger that many choose to deny.  
So these fruits or effects—guilt, self-effort, the false self, a dust-mindset, an orphan spirit—these things are behind the major problems in our lives. And as hard as it might be to believe, all of them stem back to those simple lies about identity.
We were deceived about the true goodness of God and our true identity in His image, and that led to all kinds of bad behavior, false behavior, which evolved into entire lifestyles of darkness that became ingrained into our bloodlines and cultures and religions.
I mentioned counseling before, and many of the leading theories in counseling have to do with how our thoughts impact our behavior… This is nothing revolutionary. It’s just the way the mind works. It rises or falls on the truth.
But here’s the good news. Here’s the glorious reality. There is a way out of that broken line of sin—that false identity. There is a way back into true life . . . into our original blessing.
The truth is that our Divine Family, the Creator, did not abandon us. He provided a way back to Eden—even for our lives right here and now. And that’s what we’re going to start getting into in the rest of Awake…