Betty Edmondson - September 7, 2001
WHAT WE CAN DO…
How did we arrive at our current state? If I had to minimize my words on this subject (Lord forbid), I would say: “Propaganda and Mind Control by those in power capitalizing upon the weakness of our flesh.”
Before I continue with the subject of the power some people exert to control others, I would like to talk about what it is to be a victim and how we can come into that category. I am not talking about helpless victims (children, the elderly, the handicapped) who are intentionally victimized by brute force and the evil that men do; I am talking about our inner weaknesses that underlie the choices we make that allow us to come under the power or influence of harmful people or harmful things, and result in our making compromises with lies and deceit in high places.
I believe that original man was fulfilled and happy in his knowledge of God. He was complete. He was good. But, the farther one wanders away from knowing God, the more restless and dissatisfied he becomes. The hole in his heart just gets bigger and bigger and bigger, until he has a whole landfill of trash in there, trying to maintain his life.
I heard a beautiful song called “He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.” That is so true. We are needy. We are born needy. From our first cry to our final death rattle—our soul is needy. And, since we have forgotten our heavenly Father, we don’t even know what it is we are seeking. It is an endless, aching need. The need consumes us until all we can do is try to pacify it or block it out of our consciousness.
We gravitate toward those who appear to have it “all together.” We gravitate toward those who seem to be enthusiastic about life and who seem to know where they are going. We gravitate toward to appear to have high goals and ethics and who seem to have some inner confidence and power that we don’t have. We gravitate toward those who are friendly to us and make us feel better about ourselves. We gravitate toward people who look beautiful on the outside, and we try to emulate them and look like them.
I want to share a little social experiment I conducted, just to see if it really worked. Wanda knows about this, but she probably thinks I would never tell on myself. However, I accept your forgiveness for my actions in advance, in exchange for my sharing it with you. That way you can be my partner in crime.
About eight years ago I was kind of on my own and trying to make a decision on where I wanted to live. I loaded up my computer and suitcase and went to Des Moines to live with Wanda and Robert a couple of months and check it out. At the time, I was reading this book called, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. After I got settled in, I went to a temporary agency and got a job as editor for a printing company there. Since I was a total stranger to all these people, and nobody knew anything about me, I just couldn’t resist trying out these principles that I read in this book.
First, I dressed up every day with beads and earrings and makeup and the best clothes I could borrow from Wanda—so I could present an outward appearance of being “somebody.” I pasted a perpetual smile on my face and looked at each person like I was just absolutely overjoyed to see them. I never talked about myself, but asked them everything about their health, their families, their tastes, etc. I found a brochure of the company on a table in the lounge and read it. The next time I saw the manager, I made an “informed” comment on what the company had achieved in its short duration and asked him a simple question. He called me into his office and talked to me over an hour about the company and its progress. He was feeling very important while I was taking this in all wide-eyed and impressed. Before long, I got invited to lunch at the Triangle Building in the very upper story that is reserved for the elite. Just about the time I realized this façade was really wearing on me, and decided I needed to come back to Oklahoma, I was called in and offered a permanent position in the company and a good raise, which I had to decline.
The principles in this book really work when one applies them, but, as much fun as I had playing this part, I couldn’t keep up this image forever. No matter how other people see me on the outside, I know who I am on the inside. Another thing I learned by that escapade is that there are thousands of professional people in high places that put on an act like that every day of their lives. That’s how many of them rise up in the business world, and that’s how most of them get elected into public office. At first, one might feel like a wolf is sheep’s clothing, but after a while of living with that outward image, I imagine one would get to believing one’s own image in the mirror.
Jesus knew what is in men. He knew their greatest need. People followed Jesus around because he had an aura of power that emanated from self-knowledge. He really had something they wanted. Even though they didn’t understand what he was talking about, they knew that HE knew, and they trusted him. He must have been concerned about what they would do after he was gone, and they had no one to follow.
He said in John 14:15-19
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you ANOTHER COMFORTER, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU.  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”
This is a real mouthful of scripture. It is fully packed. Jesus knew that every man that is born into to this soul realm needs a comforter. The Spirit of Truth meets that need. He also added that even if the world could not see his outward appearance, WE can see him in Sprit because he lives within us.
I talk a lot about sowing seed, because I believe the predestination of everything is contained within the seed that is sown. We have the power to sow seed with every choice we make. Sometimes, it is only when harvest time comes that we can see our mistakes. Sometimes, we can grow by these experiences, and sometimes we are overpowered by the fruit of the seed we sow.
Galatians 6:5-9 For every man shall BEAR HIS OWN BURDEN.  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, THAT shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Although this principle sounds good and wise, it cannot be comprehended in full by a natural (outward-based) mind. Therefore, we attempt to fulfill these spiritual principles by applying them with a mind that has not been transformed, or by acting out the examples of others and conforming to the pack, such as everyone wearing the same uniform and identifying with that uniform. Here is a general example that we can all recognize:
A beautiful baby boy is born. His parents call him Junior, Daddy, Jr. All his life, his mom tells him he’s just like his father and will never amount to a hill of beans. His dad tells him he’s no good at sports; couldn’t hit the side of a barn with both eyes open. This kid grows up very insecure because all his worth is based on who he thinks he is in the flesh dimension and what he thinks he can’t do in the doing dimension. He knows nothing about his spiritual (BEING) dimension. There’s a big hole there that’s vacant. Some kid at school offers Jr. a cigarette. Jr. almost chokes on it, but after a little while a feeling of “comfort” floods him and settles his jitters. Jr. soon finds that any time he is nervous or discomfited, he can just reach for one of these little magic sticks and he finds temporary comfort. (I speak first-hand about this because I used to be a smoker.) There is always a part of his brain that reasons that the ‘comfort’ part is worth whatever it costs in money or health.
Jr., this weak teenage boy somehow finished high school and turns 18. Suddenly, without any warning, he’s a man, and he’s scared to death. All he wants to do is run away and hide. Jr. is a prime candidate for the military, and as he walks by the recruiting office in town, he sees a picture of a big father figure with patriotic clothes pointing the finger at him and saying, “Your country NEEDS YOU!” Wow! Jr. enlists. Within six weeks, Jr. has lost his curly hair, he is wearing a uniform, he has had the last nth of self-esteem ripped out of him, and he has been reborn as a fighting machine. Jr. is issued a powerful weapon and taught to use it. Jr. has changed his whole self-image. He’s important as long as he wears that clothing because it represents so much. He salutes that flag and does the drill. He can clean that weapon in so many seconds flat. His sergeant is proud of him. He will follow that sergeant to the ends of the earth, obeying every command without a second thought. He is no longer an individual with a mind of his own; he makes himself great by identifying with something great. It has to be that way in the military; unquestioning obedience. That uniform commands R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
He’s in the army now—he’s not behind the plow. He’s not the same scared little kid he used to be. The army is his home. It gives him prestige. First, he’s a private; then he’s a sergeant; then he’s a lieutenant; then he’s a captain (or however that hierarchy goes). He just gets better and better as he marches up the line of c-o-m-m-a-n-d. The girls fall head-over-heels for his uniform and what it represents, and Jr. marries one of these symbol-loving chicks.
Then… after six months on the front lines, he decides he liked it better back behind the plow, and he starts counting the days until he can get out. Once he’s out of uniform, he has no place to go, but back to the farm, where he soon realizes that even under all that outward appearance, he was still Jr.
Well, he’s married, so that makes him his own boss. He and the little wife begin to have one kid after the other to feed and clothe. His once-lovely wife is buried in a mountain of dirty diapers, housework and disillusionment. This boy realizes he is still weak and small and helpless, and is also disillusioned by his inability to change his circumstances. He still smokes, but now his wife is nagging because he is spending money on cigarettes, and she doesn’t have a sewing machine. So now he feels the additional load of guilt upon his narrow shoulders. He wonders how he got yoked up like this.
This man’s inadequacy to fulfill the image he had established for himself begins to smolder, then turns to anger, which he acts out upon the kids. He starts yelling at them, saying the same identical things his father had instilled in him, making it their fault. This little voice in his head tells him that it would be different if he had married somebody else; if he didn’t have all these kids tying him down.
He slams the door behind him as he tears out of the yard in his old pickup and heads to the pool hall where he has some old buddies who will understand. Joe Blow buys Jr. a drink and throws an arm around his shoulder and challenges him to a game of pool. Jr. has three of four drinks and wipes everybody out at the pool table. Wow! Feels so good. He really IS somebody. These guys are really great. He likes hanging out here.
The longer he looks in the mirror behind the bar, the more handsome he gets, and after another drink, it is perfectly obvious to him that he’s a real stud. That little filly sitting by herself in that back booth must find him totally awesome. So he saunters over, gives her the ‘look’ and asks if she wants to dance. The lady, floating in the same ‘beautiful me’ aura, swings her hips over to join him in the dance of Salome and the Seven Veils (to the tune of an old guitar). Another couple of drinks and they both realize this must be true love, so they hightail it to the nearest Motel 6 to live out this fantasy for a few hours. Next morning, it’s ‘sick, sober and sorry, filled with shame and hating themselves more than ever.
This guilty boy weeps on the way out, thinking of his little kids at home. However, his brain remembers the ‘comfort’ he felt while he was holding that bottle, so he goes by the liquor store, buys a fifth and hides in his toolbox. Then he stops by Sears and buys his wife a sewing machine on credit.
This becomes a cycle for Jr., because his brain cannot forget that, in an altered state of mind, he can ‘feel’ like somebody. He can get away from that weak man he hates and become somebody he likes. This feeling becomes addictive, and before long, he has to have that booze. He puts that first before his wife gets any grocery money. Of course, he hides this because he cannot deal with the guilt. He plays the scenario over again and again, addicted to it, while everything around him falls apart.
Somebody offers him a joint. Somebody offers him a hit. Jr. becomes more and more separated from reality as his brain craves the ‘comfort’ that he cannot find anywhere else. He hardly notices when his wife files for divorce, takes the kids and flees back to her parents. He feels terribly victimized when he gets papers from the court demanding he pay child support. That’s a laugh. He’s sleeping in his dad’s barn now and unable to get out of bed, much less work. Has to sell dope on the side so he can have his own stash.
Do you think there is anybody evil enough to capitalize on this great need of every man for a COMFORTER?
Because of the multitudes of people like Jr., who feel inadequate to cope with the stress, responsibilities and demands of living in this world, there is a bar on just about every corner. Or there is a party down the street where Bubba has some ‘stuff.’ People sit around on the floor in a circle, pass a joint around with a roach clip, and soon… they are… so… ONE.
But, in the morning, these people have to look in the mirror and see the same old self, same old face, same old terror. These people are sowing to the flesh. They are DOING, or ACTING out their self-loathing. They want to be ‘somebody’ more than who they think they are. The tiny seeds of self-doubt have grown to a huge boa constrictor that is choking the life out of them. And they have no power at all to resist. Their very will is paralyzed.
Jesus knew this. He knows it now. His love can search out that emptiness and fill it with a brand new self that is worthy. The Spirit of God, the life of God, is the only COMFORTOR in this universe that can fill that particular emptiness of self. Most of us try everything else first, and it is only the grace and mercy of God that can deliver us from the bondage of the seed we have sown.
There are those in the background who also have this knowledge of what is in men. For some reason, the churches want to change people from the outside, but it doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter how much one may CON-FORM outwardly, it does not transform one’s inner man.
It is known by many that you can never love somebody else if you don’t love yourself. It is not known by many that you can NEVER love your old self. But, when God gives you a new self by the Holy Ghost, you can’t do anything BUT love that new self. That’s Christ in you. THAT is our hope of glory. Jesus said,
John 5:30 I can OF MINE OWN SELF do NOTHING: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
John 16:13-14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak OF HIMSELF; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine OWN SELF with the GLORY WHICH I HAD WITH THEE BEFORE THE WORLD WAS.
And Jesus said:
1 John 4:15-18 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, GOD DWELLETH IN HIM, and HE IN GOD.  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because AS HE IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Now, that we can see where the weakness of mankind IS, and the hope that we have for a true ‘comforter,’ we are going to take a look at the vultures who are picking our bones and see what we can DO ABOUT IT!