Illumination And Faith
Not Revelation but illumination
- Heart belief always overrides our intellectual belief when one is held up against the other.
- Heart believe is the seat of our emotions and emotion is a powerful force that motivates much of what we do.
- The renewal of our minds is not so much about receiving new truths, but rather about having the truth we know intellectually illuminated in our hearts.
- Only God can persuade us of His truth within our hearts causing us to believe it with absolute certainty and thereby, be transformed by it. “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6)
When we believe a lie in our heart that is contrary to the truth we hold in our minds, we will find ourselves in a difficult place called double-mindedness. Our heart belief always overrides our intellectual belief when one is held up against the other. We may exert much effort to do the truth we believe with our intellect, but the heart belief will eventually draw us back into its way. The heart believe is the seat of our emotions and emotion is a powerful force that motivates much of what we do.
Since most of us already intellectually know the truth that we desire to obey, it is not uncommon for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to our hearts of which we already are mentally aware. Even though we already knew this truth in our “heads” (intellectual belief), this same truth has not felt true in our hearts. Instead, what felt true was the lie-based core belief we had learned in our early life experiences. So we see that the renewing of our minds is not so much about receiving new truths, but rather about having the truth we know illuminated in our hearts.
When Paul the Apostle prayed for the church to know about the glorious benefits bestowed upon each believer he prayed, “I have not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Eph. 1:16-19)
Even the Strongest bleach will not cut the shame
On one occasions I (Ed) prayed with a woman who expressed great concern about feeling dirty. She washed her hands many times every day and “bleached” her house regularly. She said she did this to help reduce the “nasty” feelings she felt inside. She said she knew with her “head” that she was not dirty nor was her house in need of the bleaching she gave it daily. She washed because she felt “nasty.” This was a classic case of her heart belief overriding the belief of her intellect. She knew the logical and rational thing that she should be doing, and yet her emotionally charged heart belief was making their decisions.
I asked her why she felt the way she did; she could not come up with any logical or rational explanation. As a matter of fact, she held much “truth” about her condition. She knew that the feelings were illogical and irrational and there was no reason to feel as she did, but she could not make her feelings change. She found it “impossible” to resist the urge to wash.
She had made a connection between the dirty feelings and certain things she would experience from time to time. For example, she knew her “dirty” feelings would intensify anytime her husband tried to become intimate with her. When she tried to tell herself the truth about the gift of marital intimacy and tried talking herself through the sex act, somewhere along the way her dirty and nasty feelings would overpower her and she would reject her husband’s advances or become frigid and sexually unresponsive.
The truth she knew intellectually had no effect in reducing her “nasty” feelings. Nothing she did changed what she felt. She was confused as to how she could know the truth in her head and yet, be so controlled by her emotions. The problem was, she did know the truth with her intellect, but she believed something else in her heart experientially. She was feeling what she believed in her heart. Her final conclusion was rational and logical: “I just must not like sex.”
Later, in a ministry session, she remembered the time when she had come to believe the lies that were the reason for her current “nasty” feelings. Her lie-based belief was “I am dirty and cannot get ‘it’ off me.” In childhood, she had been violated by someone and physically bore the shame of his actions upon her. Following the experience of this deplorable act, she spent hours in the bathroom trying to wash off “her shame.” From that point forward, she felt dirty and shameful and believed that what was “put on her” could not be washed away. She believed that because of what had happened to her “she was forever dirty.” (In TPM we would refer to this type of lie as a “state of being” lie.)
Her solution to her shameful feelings? Just keep washing. This illogical and irrational core belief felt true to her and was constantly overriding her intellectual belief. It was her core belief that was producing feelings of being dirty and nasty. During her TPM session, the Spirit provided her with His perspective and all of her bad feelings instantly lifted. She left my office walking in a new freedom. When her heart belief changed, her emotions changed and her obsessive, compulsive washing also stopped. When we come to know God’s perspective in this experiential way, His truth moves from our intellect—where we usually already know what the Bible says—to our hearts. When we know the truth experientially in our hearts, we know it with absolute certainty and it transforms us.
When the Spirit reveals His perspective concerning the truth that we need, we will believe it instantly. This is the persuasion of God of the truth that results in our growing in faith. God is granting us faith through the revealing or the truth in our hearts. “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6)