And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

Reality is the quality of being real or true. Something is either real and true, or it is not. One of the key phrases during this time is the phrase, “fake news.” This is a clear reference to something that is being presented in a deliberately untrue way. In other words, fake news is deception, or untruth, and it is the opposite of reality. Deception is a form of untruth or something which is not real. With fake news of every kind all around us, how do we claim our reality?

There is a constant war raging between truth and deception, which is being fought in our minds. We are assaulted daily with images designed to make us to question whether we are smart, attractive, successful or valuable. We hold ourselves up against images of people we deem to be smarter, more physically attractive, more successful or more valuable, based upon the false and fluctuating narrative of societal standards. We find ourselves longing for someone else’s life- while neglecting our own. Because we have not understood nor embraced the reality of our own unique design, our lives remain on hold as the onslaught of false narratives and the resultant negative imagery continues to overwhelm us.

Wrong thoughts create a false narrative within us. It results in incorrect perceptions, which lead us to see our world in a way that is far from reality. While reality is the state of being real or true, perception is our ability to see or hear. Perception acts as a lens through which we view everything, and the way we use it ultimately shapes our reality. When our perceptions are not based on a deep understanding of who we were created to be, the uniqueness of our design by a Creator who loves us, then, like a computer program with software failure, our internal data becomes corrupted. It is at this point that our perceptions alter our reality.

I have counselled many people who were living a false reality. Individuals like these are not limited to certain ethnicities, and they can be found across every socio-economic status. Outwardly, they often appear successful and happy, but inwardly they are too often living out a false reality. Hurtful words from their childhood plague their adult life. They may be individuals who have experienced difficult marriages ending in painful divorces, and they stay imprisoned within the false narratives created by a spouse who was most likely the prisoner of their own false reality. Some individuals who have suffered unspeakable emotional and sexual abuse who struggle to see reality through the eyes of a loving God. The common denominator amongst them all is their false reality.

Another way to look at false reality is through the example of data systems. Data corruption occurs when there is a hardware or software failure. Our own human software comprises our thoughts and perception that form our inner narrative or internal data. What we have stored there shapes our reality, and it influences the way we function in our daily lives. But the data we have accumulated is not the only data in our inner software. Our Creator purposed a healthy life for each of us, a life based on the verisimilitude or reality of who we are in Him. There are no deceptions or traps in the reality God bestows upon us in His love.

If you are trapped in a false reality, there are several facts you must embrace that will reset your systems and eliminate the emotional bugs affecting your internal programing and altering your reality.

    1. Recognize that God did not create the false reality within you. Every word of the Lord is true. God created you to become an amazing person who would do amazing things to bring Him glory and honor (Psalm 119:140; Psalm 119:151; Psalm 119:160).
    2. You were created in the image and likeness of God, who is infinite in knowledge. God is omniscient, which means that He cannot increase in knowledge. Everything and anything that can ever be known is already known by God. Being created in His image means that you have genius capacity within you waiting to emerge. Your genius is revealed when you connect with God’s purpose for your life (Genesis 1:26,27; 1John 3:2).
    3. You were created purposefully. Your purpose was determined before you were born. You were created to be a difference maker who would become a history maker. Regardless as to whether or not anyone else in your family has accomplished great things, you can. A new family history can begin with you if you will dare to embrace and commit to God’s reality (Genesis 1:26-28; Judges 6:15,16).
    4. God created you authentically. Your genetic design, natural abilities and gifts are unique to your purpose. You have capacity and anointing to function according to the program written by God for your life. When you submit to imitation of someone you admire, you are trying to alter your inner program in a way that was not intended for you. (Gen. 2:8; Psalm 139:13-16; Psalm 94:9; Isaiah 43:7; Isaiah 43:21).
    5. You were created intentionally. Purpose refers to having a purpose, the reason you were created. Intentionality refers to having been planned. You were planned. You may have been a surprise to your parents, but you were not a surprise to God. Your parentage, ethnicity and gender were planned by God. Nothing about you was left to chance, not even your address. Like the prophet Jeremiah, your life has been planned by God (Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 29:11; Acts 17:26) and is in His hands.

The powers of darkness create circumstances in your life designed to hinder you from submitting your life to God, who truly loves you. When we embrace a false reality rather than living a purpose-filled life marked by fulfillment and joy, we settle for a dismal life of mediocrity. Don’t settle for living in a false reality. Allow the power of God to restore the broken places in your life. Restoration brings us back to God’s reality. This is where we experience the rich Presence of God and supernatural grace to become who we were created to be. Darkness, hoping to alter our sense of reality, will continue to use issues of life to wage war against our minds hoping to alter our sense of reality, but the power of God is available to us to help us overcome darkness. Philippians 2:5 states: “Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Receiving the mind of Christ will reshape your reality. The mind of Christ is available to all believers and is received through cultivating the discipline of prayer, worship and the study of God’s word. It’s time to get your life. Let’s go.

We must discontinue alienating ourselves from each other over racial, ethnic, socio-economic and political differences. They only create factions within the Church and hinder our witness. Our lives must bear witness to the power of the redemptive blood of Jesus. When this happens, unbelievers will observe our life of love and unity despite our differing ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic status or political views. A diverse church is reflective of Heaven, God’s home. A diverse church is a powerful church moving in the power of the Holy Spirit, loving God and each other. A diverse church, that is loving and honoring of each member will experience abundant harvest in this decade and beyond. Let’s go.

Dr. Venner Alston is the author of Next Level Spiritual Warfare: Advanced Strategies to Defeat the Enemy. Her book can be purchased on Amazon or wherever fine books are sold. Her second book, Prayers, Decrees and Confessions to Defeat the Enemy, can be purchased directly from her website: www.drvjalston.org. Order your copy today!