Sunday 31 July 2011

Rango or Finding One's True Self by Daniel Yordy

Chris Welch: Last week Ben ,Christine and I saw Cars 2. The inner story was the same as Rango. Towmater just had to be what he was in order to be the kingpin in the storyline.

Daniel Yordy – July 31, 2011
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Okay, I just watched the movie, Rango. God speaks to me through story. It continues to astonish me that, when Hollywood does make an effort to tell a good story, truth shines all through it. If you enjoy animated stories, watch Rango. But regardless, I will draw from it to illustrate how a man or a woman of God becomes real: how they find their true self.

Jesus said that if we lose our "self" (psyche - soul) in this world, we will find our true self. We never understood what He meant until we stopped viewing ourselves as a "self" separate from the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, as we walk in the knowing that Christ is our life; we have no other life, the nature of the delusion of being a "self" unto ourselves becomes so very apparent. Of truth, we lose nothing but an illusion - the Matrix.

And, oh the joy, to know that our true self is Christ Himself; we sink more and more into the complete peace and bliss of rest. Yet out of that utter rest, the Lord Jesus arises within us and we now see all things from an entirely different viewpoint. Now, for the first time, we are truly about our Father's business.

Rango starts out as a lizard in a glass cage with the question, "Who am I." Rango is an actor and he is very good at pretending all sorts of different roles, which he demonstrates. Yet he realizes that the only way he could know who he is would be to face a terrible crisis. As if on cue, the car in which his terrarium is traveling hits a bump, and he goes flying off to a solitary journey through the Mojave Desert.

Rango arrives at the town of Dirt, filled with funny little animal people, where he continues mimicking the oddities of others. He wanders into a saloon where he is challenged, "Who are you." Here is his chance; he can be anything he wants. So he calls himself, "Rango," and begins spinning a story to impress everyone. He succeeds.

Rango is made sheriff, and he enjoys some successes in leading the town's people in their desperate quest for water in the desert. But all of Rango's "successes" are little more than the accidents of pretending. Then the time comes when he is faced with Rattlesnake Jake and he can no longer pretend. Jake exposes his lies, and he confesses to the town's people that he never was anything that he claimed. He is a fake.

Rango walks back into the Mojave alone and defeated, leaving the town's people to the terrible death of desert thirst. Rango knows that all of his many skillful efforts to be "somebody," were always unreal. He does not know who he is and he doubts there is such a thing as himself.

The entire human race is psychotic.

The lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet are little more than an ongoing effort to pretend to be something, with the gnawing, nagging feeling, deep inside, that they are not succeeding. Most simply pretend even harder - except Buddhist priests, who have perfected the art of pretending not to pretend.

And then we have Christians.

Reality has entered into every single person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as a seed, as a taste. But God has ordained a transition time, a development time, between the tasting and the fullness of reality. Inside that transition time, we Christians have managed to develop the psychosis of the human race, the effort to pretend, to a high religious art form.

The majority of Christians (not all) are psychotic. I find myself, only now in my 50's, beginning to come out of that Christian psychosis into the discovery of my true self - the Lord Jesus living in fullness in me.

Now, the terms "psychotic" and "psychosis" are the same Greek word, psuche, that Jesus used when He said that we must lose the false psychosis of this world in order to find our true selves.

It seems that the Lord's discovery to me of all the ramifications of Genesis Chapter 3 just does not end. So let us go back there to see, so very clearly, the source of all human psychosis.

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." Genesis 3:9-10

Four distinct things: I heard Your voice - I was afraid - I was naked - I hid myself.

All the difficulty of the human race and all the pretending of Christians are so easily explained by these four statements.

The way to stop being a psychotic Christian, a pretender, is so very, very simple. "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

What is His yoke? We are dead; He is alive in us. Yet He has not annihilated us, rather He carries us in Himself - we are just along for the ride. His yoke is for us to let Him be all that we are, to believe that He is. He is Savior, you know.

Recently, as the Lord laid His commission for me upon Himself in me, I asked, "Lord, how can I do this?" His answer surprised me, "Just be yourself." I asked again. His answer remained the same, "Just be yourself."

"But I'm an unappealing nobody. I am not interesting to people. I do not come across as a 'man of God.' I sound hollow and weak to people. No one is lining up to 'hear the word of the Lord' through me."

"Did I know what I was doing when I formed you?"

"Yes Lord."

"Just be what you are, nothing more and nothing less."

It is no easy thing to walk with other Christians without pretending. True success in the Christian life is to walk together as believers in Christ without one ounce or shadow of pretending.

Before we analyze Adam's words, let's counter them with the direct words of the gospel.

My sheep hear My voice - Do not be afraid - Your life is hid with Christ in God - Walk in the light.

The entire New Testament, and especially the Revelation given to John, is written against the backdrop of Genesis 3. Adam's reply to God proves to me that the whole human race today came out of Adam. In fact, this psychosis of man, so clearly birthed here in Adam, is essential evidence in the present time of the reality of God and the emptiness of atheism and evolution.

Animals are not psychotic. Animals are real; they do what they do without any attempt to pretend or to hide. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals always scares me when I see them on TV. Helping abused animals is worthy, certainly, but that is only half of SPCA's equation. The other half is the utter contempt for the humans involved and the ongoing wish that they be treated in like manner with the cruelty of prison. It is the unveiled disrespect for individuals, created in the image of God, stained and stumbling, hurting and lost.

The all-prevailing human psychosis did not "evolve" from the animal kingdom; it comes entirely from Adam.

Let's restate Adam's words. I heard Your voice - I was afraid - I was naked - I hid myself.

The source of all human psychosis is that God is always speaking, He will not shut up, and man cannot ever escape His voice. Man proved that he can kill God, but he can't make Him stop talking. Man can cover his ears and close his eyes, but the voice of God is inside of him always calling, never silent.

The first part of the voice of God in the heart of man is this. My life, as I experience life right now, is not what life is meant to be. Life ought to be more. I am not happy or satisfied with my present experience, circumstance, whatever; I always dream of more and better. All human beings believe this absolutely and all the time.

The suicide is the angriest cry against God. "The life I have is not what I want, therefore I will end it." No animal commits suicide; all animals are content inside their lot. Though an animal acts naturally in self-defense, the thought of ending its own "miserable" life never comes into its mind.

All expressions of lust, greed, and envy come out of the futile human effort to silence that voice of God in the heart of man.

C.S. Lewis shares how he moved from atheism to faith in Christ through his contemplation of the reality of conscience in the heart of all human beings, that sense of "this is right and that is wrong." The Spirit of God enabled him to see Christ when he realized that only the reality of God could explain this universal voice in the heart of man.

An animal, moving in self-defense, is still completely real. Man alone carries in his heart the cry, "I have been wronged." Even the psychopath, who has no human "conscience," and can murder thousands because, "I'm the president of the United States, after all," still is angry when he does not get what he wants. Psychopaths seek to improve their reality more ferociously than any normal human with a conscience, unhindered by the concern of hurting others. Though they have escaped the voice of God in the human conscience, they cannot escape the voice that says, "Life must be more than this."

More than that, the voice of God covers the heavens and speaks all through the created world. "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse . . ." Romans 1:19-20

And Solomon says this in Proverbs 8:1-4:
Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors:
"To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men.

The voice of God goes out into all the earth; God is always speaking and man cannot shut Him up. Neither can any man ever escape for one second from the sound of His voice inside his heart.

But some of us, some of us, by the grace of God, hear that voice, not as a threat, but as the voice of our Shepherd. "Come to Me and I will give you rest - My sheep hear My voice."

Adam's immediate response to the voice of God was fear. "I was afraid."

Now, animal fear, the fear of self-preservation, even when we experience it, is normal and natural. We are perfectly willing to hurl down the highway at 60 miles an hour encased in steel and glass, facing a stream of other human beings hurling our way, just four or five feet from us going in the opposite direction only because we are convinced that the same "fear" of crunching, hurting, and dying, fills them as much as us. That "fear" is real and good; there is no pretence in it at all.

Adam's fear was something entirely different. Adam was afraid to give answer to God. Adam was afraid of giving an account of himself. This fear of giving an account that comes directly out of always hearing God speak IS the source of all that comes after, the source of all human psychosis.

And what explains that fear? "I was naked."

Man, who was created to reveal God to all creation, heaven and earth, as God's likeness and image, was now trying to "be himself" apart from God.

Man is unclothed, and he knows it. All humans know they are naked before the voice of God. All humans are utterly ashamed of themselves. Even the psychopath, who knows no sense of shame, is proof of that shame, having abandoned even it in his flight away from God. Even demons tremble in the light of God, always seeking to hide from that light inside of human flesh.

Thus we come to all the Matrix of the world. "I hid myself."

In these words we see all the realms and avenues, all the myriad tracks down which the human mind runs, all the pretending, all the games, all the play-acting.

Everyone is hiding from God.

Everything that is in the world, everything, is nothing other than the woven fantasies of the human mind in people’s desperate attempt to hide from a Voice they cannot escape.

And thus we understand the full meaning of Revelation 6:15-16. "And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"

This is the normal and necessary end to Adam's answer to God, "I hid myself." It is an end that must come; an end that we desire with all our hearts.

I want the age of human folly to end; I want it to end. Any person who understands this world shares that same desire because it is God's. God wants the hiding to come to an end. He has set a time for its continuance inside of His purposes, but He also wants the stupid, mindless hiding to end. It so dishonors the Lord Jesus Christ, God speaking always in man. The hiding is the only thing that keeps people from the grace of the Lord Jesus; it is pointless and absurd.

It was completely and totally unnecessary for Adam to say, "I was afraid; I hid myself." So what if he had been afraid, so what if he had hid himself. He still did not need to say it when God asked him, "Where are you?"

As always, we look briefly at Adam, and then we turn immediately to see the Lord Jesus in exactly the same place.

Jesus hung from the cross stark naked and bloody in front of His own mom. That's embarrassing. It's one thing to be so exposed in front of your enemies, but in front of your mom? The one who changed your diapers? (Yes, Jesus' mom changed His diapers.) Far more than that, He had become the offering for sin. He had become everything that was loathsome and hateful to God. When God looked at Jesus, He saw all the sin and lechery, all the rebellion and darkness, all the cruelty and hate of every human being from Adam to the great white throne. If anyone should have been ashamed, it was Jesus.

God asked of Jesus the very same question He asked of Adam, "Where are you?" And Jesus' answer comes sweeping out of time and eternity to capture our hearts with overwhelming tears.

"Here Am I! I - and THE CHILDREN whom You have given Me."

And thus we see Adam's true sin. There was nothing whatsoever preventing Adam from coming out from behind the bushes when God asked him, "Where are you?" And saying, "Here, God, here I am." Had He done so all the history of the human race would have been entirely different.

Although Adam's answer to God was 100% true of his psychotic state, still, it was coy and deceitful. Adam had fallen in love with fig leaves, with tree trunks, and with pointing a finger of accusation at his wife and at God.

Adam had fallen in love with pretending.

Isn't it fascinating that in our world today, the stars, the celebrities, the role models, the individuals who hold our attention the most, are the actors? The more skilled a person is at pretending, the more honor our entire society gives him or her. (That's an observation, not a condemnation. There is a difference between telling a story through playing roles and the pretense of the human psyche. In fact, it was "acting" in a play in college around age 30 that was part of my first seeing myself for real.)

Everywhere we look in today's world, we see psychosis and delusion. Mankind is truly insane. Everyone fervently believes things that cannot be true. Everyone pretends with all their might.

Let's bring our comparison of Adam and Christ back to Rango, back to our becoming real. The world needs real people today; the world needs the unveiling of the sons of God.

When we hear the voice of God inside of us, we hear only the Shepherd calling to us; we follow Him. We hear Him say, "Do not be afraid," and our hearts are quiet before Him. We are at peace with God: our will and God's will are the same. When the accuser speaks, when we are tempted to "feel" shame, we see ourselves only in Christ - our life is hid with Christ in God, we are found nowhere else. We are always casting shame away from our hearts, so long as its shadow reaches out to touch us.

And we always place ourselves in the light. Where am I, God? Right here, carried in Jesus. Look at all of me, there is nothing but Him, He is living as all the human me, right now in this world. We walk always in the light, unafraid of God, always giving an account - Jesus is my life; I have no other life. The blood is always flowing over our face, getting in our eyes. We can't see ourselves except through the blood.

We never ever look at ourselves except through the Blood flowing across our eyes.

I do not ever have to be anything except myself. I am free to be real; I am free to be me, just the way I am. Christ is seen by others in me ONLY when I am real, only when I am me.

But inside the Christian experience, somewhere between "Do not be afraid" and "Hid with Christ in God," the serpent enters the equation. He comes through the Old Covenant, through Christian theology and the reasoning of selfs who prefer pretending to simply being real - naked - before God.

"Your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked."

"Yes, Christ may be in you, but you are bad. You have to disappear so that Christ can be seen and not you. You have to be something different from what you are. Look at yourself. Isn't it obvious? Whatever Christ is, you are not. Whatever you are cannot be Christ. The only way you can know "Christ" is to escape your own heart, to escape your own person, to be something entirely other than what you are right now. Oh, despicable me!"

Now, understand this. We do NOT hear this voice speaking to us very much when we walk by ourselves. In the solitude of the mountains or the garden, I am at peace. But when we walk together with other brethren in the church we hear it loud and clear, always ringing in our ears, always demanding our performance.

And so we pretend.

I want to get at this thing more clearly. We look at one another in the church. We see weakness, foolishness, sin. We see flesh. People do not measure up. In the end, no one measures up, not even the best. We, each one of us, have an image of what "Christ" looks like. Some of the individuals in our local assembly measure more closely to our "image" than others, but before too many years go by, they also show their "true" colors. They offend us; we are left hanging.

We are all naked. And we look at one another and see "THE FLESH," and we "know" that Flesh is not Christ and Christ is not Flesh. As a result there comes out of every one of us an expectation, a demand, which we impose on one another - "If you were a "real" Christian, you would change your behavior, you would not treat me so." At the same time, we are fully aware that we ourselves do not measure up to this "image" that Christ ought to be. We know overwhelmingly that everyone in our local assembly is looking at us, seeing all our faults, piercing through our nakedness. We fear their judgment.

All of this calculation goes on in the heart of every one of us when we walk together with one another. The result is that we develop wonderfully crafted faces that we wear, a different face for a different set of people or circumstance. We hide ourselves behind pretending.

Now, the next thing we do is say, "You need to step aside so that Christ is seen and not you." Of course, such a thing is ludicrous. I cannot step aside from myself, except in one way. To step aside from myself is to live in a mask. Those who practice such a thing are mighty pretenders. They can never ever be real.

I know precious saints of God who have so wrapped themselves in pretending, fitting themselves to their own strict definition of "Christ," that they don't know anything else about themselves except the mask. The mask, of elder or pastor or even "apostle," is their only identity, and they wear that identity ferociously. Then, out from that mask, there comes a steady stream of judgment - "You must line yourself up with God (by that they mean "my image of Christ") in order to be acceptable to me.”

No one wants to be like Jesus - naked and exposed for all to see, even His mother.

To be real is to be naked and unashamed. Flesh? I've got it. Christ is come in my Flesh. (This is not, as Paul so clearly states, an excuse to be rude and crude. One who is rude and crude is still hiding from God.) An apostolic eunuch, among other things he or she is, is 100% comfortable with himself as God made him, and 100% comfortable with other believers, exactly as they are, warts, blemishes, flesh and all. Christ is come in the flesh.

This is why God always separates the hero from the community to teach the hero the truth.

Alone in the desert, Rango met with "God." In the movie, "God" was Clint Eastwood, but don't be bothered by that, it's just a story. So Rango said to "God," "I don't know who I am." And "God" answered him, "Hey, it's not about you. It's about them. They need you."

As Rango set his face to return to Dirt and to bring those who were now his people the water of life, he was asked, "Why are you going back there."

His reply: "That's who I am."

In all the rest of the story, Rango didn't do a thing. Not one thing, except to stand in the middle of it all and just be himself.

Yet Rango just being himself was like a catalyst that drew into the fold, into the family, the desperados, the vagabonds, the outlaws. Around the catalyst of Rango, others defeated the enemy; others released the water of life; and all danced for joy in the rivers of living water that flooded the town of Dirt.

It sure sounds like the gospel to me. Rango - finding your true self.

God is speaking about rivers of living water, real and substantial, flooding this planet, redeeming, healing, restoring, bringing life and blessing to all - and flowing out of our bellies.

That river comes into the church and through the church into the world, through an apostolic people, through apostolic eunuchs, as I share in The Gathering Together.

Rango didn't do a thing, yet everything that happened, happened because Rango had found his true self, and because he stood in the middle of it all.

Why did God set us aside into a quiet and solitary place to discover our true selves, to discover that Christ is our life, we have no other life?

For one reason, and one reason only.

It's not about us, it's about the Bride of Christ, His woman, that precious people scattered across the whole face of this planet, more precious to Him that we can ever know, and standing in the hour of her greatest need.

We have never before known who we are, what is our true self.

Despicable Me is another great story about a man who loved children with all his heart - he just had no idea that was so. All his effort was to be the greatest criminal in order, somehow, to please his mother, without success. Yet when he let go of all that pretending and danced in the joy of his love for children, for the first time in his life, his mother approved of him. What a story!

We have never known who we are; only now are we discovering what really makes our hearts sing. It is found in the words of God spoken through a fictitious Clint Eastwood in an animated talking animal movie!

"It's not about you; it's about them."

That woman, elect of God, filling all the heart of unbounded Passion and Desire, filling the heart of the One whose life we are. A woman clothed with the sun.

"Look at me God; I belong to You. You are free to fulfill all Your desire through me. I have no need to be anything other than what You made me to be. I am free to be real. I am free to be "naked" for all to see ME; for ME is YOU."

"Here am I; send me."

And they shall nourish her there.

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