The video is here.
Some would say, “No, you can’t change the world.” Others would say, “One person at a time, starting with me.” For those who are staying to build the Kingdom, and not leaving in the rapture, we can get started on our assignment right now. Here’s how.
Personal change – The western bias premised on “enlightened reasoning” is that change happens when we change our minds. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything we say and do comes right out of our hearts. Our intellect is nothing more than a computer that offers up a rationalization for what we already believe in our hearts. That’s why intellectual arguments usually lead to more division than change. Our culture has no working model that accounts for the role of our hearts. We are not just conflicted with our neighbors; most of us are internally conflicted because we don’t believe or act in a way that is consistent with our own hearts… we don’t know what is in our hearts; it’s hidden. My own logical, intellectual beliefs have no power over my words or behavior. My affirmations, resolutions, goals and ambitions don’t work unless they coincide with what is in my heart.
For example, name your favorite contentious issue: global warming, GMO foods, immigration, politics… Rational facts are just tools to beat the other team up. Scientific support for a position is very often just a convenient alignment of data to support a preconceived position of the heart. Science was commonly used to support beliefs in a flat earth and the inferiority of other races. Nothing has really changed. People look at the same facts and reach totally different conclusions… for very good heart reasons.
We are stuck in our current division along party lines or belief systems which are collections of heart beliefs… some individually held and others collectively held. It’s worth noting that large numbers of people hold common heart beliefs which can last for generations… anti-Semitism, racism, terrorism, etc. Many ideologies have legs – a power of their own to reproduce and multiply. They have common roots in the rationale of the heart, and some of them have a spiritual power and root behind them. Our intellectually based culture doesn’t generally acknowledge influences on our hearts or our spirit. A related concept in psychology that misses the involvement of heart is called confirmation bias.
Mind, Heart and Spirit – Even Christians believe that if we “know” the truth it will set us free. The Biblical concept of knowing something is to “experience” truth in our hearts, not just know it in our heads. There is no word for “mind” in Hebrew. Our hearts are very rational and have good reasons for our current beliefs. Our minds don’t decide or change those beliefs; intellect just explains our beliefs. What we do believe on any topic is largely pre-determined by similar experiences in our past, which our heart has faithfully stored as a lens to interpret every new thing. Changing a heart belief can be done, but the implication is that our hearts have to have a good reason to change our interpretation of every similar thing in our history.
For example, a politician comes along with a new agenda. Will we vote for him? Our hearts will make that decision instantly on things like… Does he remind us (by appearance or personality) of someone who hurt or helped in the past? Are his ideas similar to our prior experiences that were hurtful or helpful? My point is that the current person and concept has very little objective influence on our response… which has deep and often hidden roots in our heart or subconscious.
How change happens – Hearts let go of old beliefs in exchange for new beliefs for one reason… a new heart experience. We have to “experience” a new truth to adopt it at a heart level. People change rapidly and radically when they have a heart encounter… experiencing love from another person, experiencing the presence of God, physical healing, resonating with a prophetic word, or hearing the voice of God for themselves in their hearts. I often see people light up and change if I can connect them prophetically and practically with a desire that God has written in their heart. His sheep heart His voice – it’s amazing! Let’s summarize:
- What we say we believe on any given topic is really a rationalization of something in our heart… not necessarily based on present factual reality, but there is always a clear connection in our hearts to a past experience (good or bad). Our mental explanations of what we believe are often just propaganda.
- There are themes of collective heart beliefs that cause people to think alike (or be at odds)… Like personality profiles or Jungian archetypes.
- If we address the root heart beliefs behind an ideology, we can heal / unite masses of people at one time.
Implications – Heart influences are just starting to be understood in fields like political psychology and marketing / branding. The secular explanation goes something like this, “Ideology is a set of motivational imperatives that have their roots in personality, socialization, and schematic bias.” God says it more like this:
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” Jer 17:9-10 Message Bible
God’s solution to the problem of dark and stubborn hearts corrupted by bad past experiences is that He wrote the desires of His own heart in each one of us. We are all created in His image and have a natural longing to be like Jesus. It is our destiny to be creative and powerful and healing. When we connect hearts with those natural longings, people run toward them and become themselves, get saved, take their place in the Kingdom and inherit their land. It’s really not that hard when we understand hearts instead of minds.
This slide has a very subtle but profound observation that we shouldn’t miss. Our ability to discern and receive new truth is determined by our connection to the Father… not our intellectual capacity! Everything starts with a heart experience with Jesus and our invitation for Him to dwell in our hearts. Sheep are not particularly bright, but our shepherd knows everything and shares it with us if we listen.
“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. John 7:17 NASU
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. Matt 6:22-23 NIV (eyes of our heart)
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15 NIV (the soil of our heart)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13-14 NIV
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? 1 Cor 2:9-11 NIV
One more level – Ideologies, or collective heart beliefs, can have a spiritual power behind them that must be recognized and either prayerfully dealt with or wisely avoided. The desires of our hearts can have roots in “deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim 4:1-3). Jesus told the Pharisees that they were unable to hear Him because “you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire” (Jn 8:44). It’s even more powerful to belong to our heavenly Father and carry out His desires (1 Cor 6:19). Spiritual powers and principalities do influence the spirits and hearts of people. Some heart boundaries are collective in nature and represent spiritual strongholds. Some deceptive ideas and concepts are ideological arguments that started with a demon.
I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2Cor 10:3-5
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:10-13 NIV
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 1 John 4:4-6 NIV
Here is the point. We have authority over the power behind false ideologies. Right now the news is filled with stories of terrorism fueled by the ideology of Islamic supremacy. It will be overcome militarily, but the people caught in the wake of this deception are also captives who need to be set free from an ideological bondage. Their hearts need a reason and an experience to turn to God. It’s our job to overcome the ideology and the spirit behind it. It’s very possible… the imperialism that was Japan and the Aryan supremacy that was Germany are distant artifacts of history today. We have to admit that our leaders around the world in every mountain are operating in an intellectual paradigm that doesn’t even acknowledge power of God’s Spirit to deliver us from false ideologies into what is really true. They are not able to engage in the complete battle… that’s why we’re here… to change the world.
When the key to the Kingdom unlocks the prison of an ideology, it feels like revival and reformation comes to whole nations. That’s our job to make disciples of nations. It’s the Spirit of God that comes in like a flood and overwhelms the strategies of evil (Isa 59:19)… demons are afraid of us. Needy people love us back.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20 NIV