Identify Self Questions
by Teacher Maria vonAnderseck
It’s liberating to begin to recognize when a Self Question is presented to the mind. Sometimes it’s not even a question, it’s a statement that is made as the mind begins to rehearse something you said or did, or something someone else said or did that makes you begin to call these things into question, which is an invitation to begin a journey of self enlightenment, which ultimately leads you to justifying self, which lands your faith in the dead zone.
Identifying Self Questions is point #2 of our 6 Point Exercise in discernment, a powerful interactive tool that helps covenant believers work with the Holy Spirit to overcome self, the world, and the devil.
Identifying Self Questions is so important that we’ve provided a lesson to help you work through that part of the exercise. The 6 Point Exercise of Discernment is below. Draw from this lesson “Identify Self Questions” (on this page) and the 5-Step Flash Cards to help your generate your answers.
1. Explain the challenge in a way that is less about self and more about the kingdoms manifested
2. What “self question” did you identify? (draw from the lesson)
3. Generate a Scale Question
4. Explain how reflection helped you in the moment of challenge
5. The connections the Spirit helped you to gain by the anointing
6. The vulnerability assessed and overcome
Let’s first look at what it means to identify a Self Question and then look at examples of the 8 points provided from flash card #6 to see how they might be applied.
A self question is the pondering of the mind. The mind ponders to weigh knowledge, events, people, and circumstances on many prejudiced scales in search of many things. For example, the mind ponders in search of freedom. That is, freedom from another person’s opinion or criticism, or perhaps freedom to go beyond perceived limitations.
The Bible says, “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)
The mind ponders to weigh knowledge and events in search of understanding, to evaluate, to bring some sort of order in the mind to judge purpose, to know where we stand, to know where we can place our confidence, what we can trust, what can be gained, and how we can be shielded from loss.
As the mind searches to place these questions in some kind of order, it is making very quick calculations to test these perceptions. At question is: what is real, what is not real, what can be trusted, what can’t be trusted, where will this path lead me, to gain or loss? What is the threat, what is the promise?
When the mind ponders and weighs where we place our confidence, we are preparing ourselves to make decisions about what is valued, what should be defended and what should not be defended.
Is Satan Tying You Up in Knots?
This twisting and turning of the mind (defiled conscience) reminds me of the game Twister, that promises to “Tie you up in knots”. The game is played by 2 or 3 people competing against each other to keep their balance while following the directions of the Spinner to place their hand or foot on designated colored dots on a large floor mat. The object of the game is to keep your footing so to speak as you see how many moves you can make and maintain without losing your balance.
Mental Twister is the same way. As the mind ponders “What does this mean, how will I proceed?” there’s a carefully constructed set of principles and justifications used to shield vulnerability to try to keep the mind stable (false equity) while sorting out offenses or challenges.
This describes how the scale of self calls into questions the actions of others and leads one to fend off criticism to fend off vulnerability, to fight to stay in that place of perceived comfort of the flesh. A compounding takes place as the mind continues to offer additional thoughts as a means to accuse or excuse.
You may be thinking about what Christ means to you and what the doctrine of Christ says about the value of His tools, the healing of the soul, and the importance of offering spiritual sacrifices of prophecy, but there is an undercurrent you are not aware of that continues to pull your thoughts back towards yourself to labor in a maze of thoughts that turn over upon themselves:
Why do I continue to do that?
Why did he/she say that? What did they mean?
Why can’t I seem to say what I mean and means what I say?
Why is it so hard to get someone’s attention?
Why do people think of me that way?
There are many mechanisms of the mind to protect self. We do that because we are uncertain or afraid, vexed or frustrated. But God teaches us that understanding doesn’t come from darkness and begins to reconstruct our thinking patterns (renewing of the mind) by first drawing us into an experience with His grace for the divine change (regeneration).
Our faith is exercised by our willingness to reflect (second definition for faith). By our willingness to identify self questions, we allow God to challenge the scale of self, how self questions, how self evaluates; for we are to learn a new confidence by the Spirit, to first set our affections on things above to then trust the witness of the Spirit.
The Prejudiced Scales of Self
1. Self measures comfort zones to………other people. This is a false scale.
2. Self measures abilities to…..other people. This is a false scale.
3. Self measures prejudice to….. experiences. This is a false scale.
4. Self measures knowledge to…….. history. This is a false scale.
5. Self measures perception to…….. tradition. This is a false scale.
6. Self measures joy to……… gain. This is a false scale.
7. Self measures sorrow to…… loss. This is a false scale.
8. Self uses the eye of the flesh to ……..measure reality. This is a false scale.
These 8 prejudices scales of self are found on the 5-Step Flash Card #6. Self will always measure thoughts upon many prejudiced scales. Just as the inclinations of man are intertwined so also are the scales self uses to establish the grounds for perceptions we’ll then defend. It’s not necessary to draw all 8 examples into your discernment exercise. One or two scales is sufficient to gain understanding by the Spirit.
Let’s now look at the 8 examples above and think about how they may apply. Let’s say you woke up in the morning and your first thought is about the distress of the day and you begin to feel anxious. Do you simply say, “I’m going to trust you Lord” or are you going to stop and discern the scale self is using to call into question your confidence in Christ?
Where are you looking for your comfort? Maybe your mind is projecting for a conflict you’re anticipating from a co-worker or from your spouse, children, or unspoken responsibilities of the day. Self calls into question the presence or actions of others that we perceive will trespass our comfort zones. This means that we measure our comfort to other people, thus holding them accountable for our comfort and this is why we often show frustration when those projections are not fulfilled. [see #1 above]
When we say that we’re distracted by bothersome, worrisome, frustrating thoughts it is because self is using a false scale (the eye of the flesh) to question what is real, to determine what can be trusted, and how the perceived inequity can be resolved. [see #8 above]
The past (the history of the flesh) is a scale self often uses to measure (bring into question) what is real and what is not real, what can be trusted and what cannot be trusted, who is telling the truth and who is lying.
So our perception of the past that is tied to the fruits of iniquity is a prejudiced scale. Meaning, we are inclined to judge after the sight of our own eyes (which is what the carnal man does) to bring into question those things that most vex and frustrate our peace.
The Spirit of the Lord warns, “Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.” (Deuteronomy 25:14)
Christians, when in covenant with God, are taught how to use the one true scale of Jesus Christ to measure all perceptions upon. God taught us this when saying, “The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure.” (Exodus 26:2)
The Fool Follows That Which is Right in His Own Eyes
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” Proverbs 12:15
The scale of self is using a faulty perception to gage reality, seeking for grounds to justify distrust and suspicion. The carnal man begins to learn how to trust the scale of self because the carnal man takes every opportunity to reinforce the prejudice gained.
This trust that is developed through contact with what the carnal man can see and touch is in direct contradiction to that which God designed for the spiritual man to test reality. The righteous learn by the hearing of the ear the voice of God’s grace to learn of the Spirit new habits for the mind to follow whereas our trust is shifted from self to Christ.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Prov. 3:5
When the scale of self is not discerned then trust remains a concealed mystery, veiled in the hopes of the flesh, which under pressure, in the moment of challenge, uses the scale of uncertainty to measure peace.
We’re identifying the presence of the scale of self in order to obey the command to trust God rather than self. That is a process of reflection to gain God’s perception to then choose that over the flesh. It isn’t a decision we make because the Bible says we ought to trust God and we feel that is the thing God wants us to do to honor Him. It is a decision that is made after laboring with the Spirit to discern between the 2 kingdoms manifested.
Let’s go on and look at some more examples of how the scale of self might be seen in use:
1. You hear an opinion and perceive an injustice against yourself. Which scale will you use as reasonable grounds for suspicion (that you will then feel justified to voice)? The scale of your past, where these things occurred in the past and you had learned to perceive things a certain way? If you measure your comfort zones to other people you will always see a violation. [see #1 above]
2. You perceive that others have an easier time completing the tasks you are given and feel the pressure to compete and emulate for the honor of man. What is being brought into question? Your signature? What association is made to your experience in darkness? Self compares (measures) abilities to other people, using the eye of the flesh to measure reality. This is a false scale. [see #2 and #8 above]
3. You’re at work dealing with the unpleasantness of others. What scale offers itself to weigh your perception and response? Self has the habit of measuring prejudiced thoughts to past experiences, searching for grounds to defend self while standing in judgment of others. [see #3 above]
4. You’re at home and perceiving a criticism against you. How will this be weighed? What scale offers itself to weigh the offense and your response? Self brings the perceived criticism into question by measuring prejudiced thoughts upon the scale of the past (history of the flesh) to gain clarity. [ see #4 above]
5. You hear of someone else’s promotion and you perceive yourself as lacking. What scale offers itself to weigh lack. You’re feeling down so it’s easy to see how self measures sorrow to this perceived loss. This is a false scale. [see #7 above]
Self Questions are the ways in which self looks for signs of life in death, fighting for order in chaos. The expression, “You can’t see past it!” is used to explain the inability to move on past a traumatic experience (like Adam moving from the Garden of Eden to his new dwelling place—a cave) or the seeming inability to see past a blind spot to repeat the very behavior that brings on the frustration and vexation one is seeking to avoid.
When it comes to this thing, when it comes up, you always play the same thing over and over in your head. This means that the flesh cannot see past the carnal observations. It lacks the power to do so and needs the new power of God’s grace to gain God’s perspective to overcome self, the world, and the devil.
Which Voice Am I Listening to and Which Voice Am I Ignoring?
“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.” 1 Corinthians 14:10. By this verse we are taught how inspiration is drawn from either the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of God to counsel the heart.
A wise man weighs the counsel received. “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.” Jeremiah 7:24
The voice we hear in the daily self questions that speaks of our abilities or lack thereof, about our prosperity or lack thereof, about our happiness or lack thereof are just as suggestive as smell or sound associations. You know, how a certain song takes you back to a place in time or the familiar smell of fresh rain, or fresh cut grass, or the smell of burning wood starts your mind to drift back into time.
Just like certain sounds or smells evoke memory and strong feelings associated with those memories so also does the voice in self questions connect to our thinking patterns learned in the past while in the kingdom of darkness and must be weighed upon the scale of truth to be taken captive to Christ.
The principle, aspiration, and imagination will always be at play to use the scale of self to weigh knowledge to set the grounds for self to justify self. The 12 facets of the God-Code can also be easily identified in the scale of self.
The thought patterns are generated from perceptions that seem real enough because we can relate to them in specific ways, how in the past the same situation ignited the same challenge and fear might have then formed in the mind.
It seemed real enough, for example, when suspicions were seemingly justified. We could relate this to past experiences gained in this area. However, the fear and suspicion are based in the imagination, which Satan is using to magnify the things that are most vexing. Because of the Enemy’s sleight of hand we would then only see what he wants us to see and are then believing his promise of rest in the pursuit of suspicion.
The Scale of Self is Used to Predict
We use the scales of self to begin to predict what will happen. In this action (the need to predict what will happen), can we see what the mind is reaching for? I’m needing resolve and I’m using my past experience as a scale to reach for it.
It’s helpful to measure how thoughts patterns are adopted. We struggle with our thoughts because the scale we’re using ties us to the very issues we’re trying to define and gain clarity about.
We use these scales to begin to predict what will happen, what is right and what is wrong. Resourcing self to get to our own meaning of events to set equity by the flesh.
In Christ we not only consent to the severing of these associations and the bonds we once had and we once treasured while in ignorance, but we are given the knowledge and tools for this effectual working of the Holy Spirit to take place.
Self Questions are Common to Man
Keep in mind that the suggestions made to self to weigh thoughts upon a prejudiced scale to set order to chaos are common to man. It’s not helpful to say, “I don’t do that now that I am in covenant with God” because you’d then be skipping over the discernment process needed to overcome now in this moment.
There is a need for God to challenge these mindsets and thinking patterns that seek to dominate the mind. Each thought is an appetite that fights for our attention and offers justifications for it.
The hypocrite brings to the Lord his present state of thought, not to prepare his heart to combat with the revelation, but seeking to conform God to his thoughts.
God needs us to be able to have us compare that progression of darkness to the progression of His truth from the seed (knowledge) that brings enlightenment… to the strength of will when truth is watered by grace… to the liberty experienced to have gained and maintained God’s perspective.
The processes of both kingdoms are discerned by placing thoughts upon the scale of Christ. We bring our thoughts before God and weigh their value, to take them captive to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We then see through the eye of grace as we allow the Spirit to assist us in discerning their value. Grace arrests doubt and gives opportunity for faith. God grants an experience to measure thoughts upon the scale of Christ. We thus look for and seize each opportunity to reflect, that the heart might be enlarged by faith; that we should no longer need to find ourselves under the oppression of Satan’s heavy thumb of cluttered and vexing thoughts and distractions, but rather experience the liberating power of the grace of God to set order to our thoughts in every cycle of growth.