But First You Must Set Yourself Free
In the movie The Matrix (1999), the character Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) shares insights with his protégé Neo (Keanu Reeves) about what it means to be free and what it means to be captive: “Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.”
[Spoiler Warning: In this dystopian world, humans created artificial intelligence that took over the planet and subjugated humans as their source of energy to power the machines. Neo is one of these people who was oblivious about his captivity, but Morpheus offers him the opportunity to escape the captivity and understand what is truly real. Neo accepts the opportunity, and Morpheus proceeds to explain to him what “the matrix” is and what he can do to defeat it—as the fate of humanity depends on him.]
In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo:
The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. … It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Like The Matrix, we are all born into a world where our mind is imprisoned. Like Neo, we must learn what “the matrix” is and how we can defeat it in our own lives.
Here are three things you must do to get yourself free from “the matrix” you were born into.
1. Realize you have been taken captive
In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that in order to become free from “the matrix,” he must free his mind from the limiting beliefs that keep him stuck there. But first he had to be made aware that he had limiting beliefs in the first place.
You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.
Everyone has been born into a world where their mind has been imprisoned. But before you can get free, you have to believe that you have been taken captive. You have to recognize the limiting beliefs that keep you stuck.
This is not about salvation from sin. But it is about becoming free from the hold that sin has on you—even after salvation (Romans 7). To do that, you must engage your mind.
The Scripture says:
Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge (Isaiah 5:13).
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
Regardless of what you say you believe, you can still be ruled by fear, doubt, and disbelief. Only once you realize that these things can have a hold on you can you get free of them.
2. Realize you can be free
In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that he has to be fully engaged in the effort to free his mind from “the matrix.”
I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.
Just wishing these limiting beliefs away will not set you free from them. You have to fully engage your mind to get rid of bad ways of thinking. It is important to compare every thought that you think with what the Scripture says (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The Scripture says that
- You are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
- You are amazingly and marvelously made (Psalm 139:14).
- God loves you (John 3:16).
It is important to fully let those scriptures sink into your mind. Do not gloss over these truths. These statements are the highest honors anyone could ever bestow upon you.
The fact that you are made in God’s image refutes any negative statement that anyone could attribute to God about you. You are made in God’s image and that’s all that really matters.
The fact that you are amazingly and marvelously made refutes any insult against your intelligence, your beauty, or your abilities. You are amazingly and marvelously made and that’s all that really matters.
The fact that you are loved by God refutes any limiting belief you impose upon yourself. You are loved by God and that’s all that really matters.
You have to engage your mind against these limiting beliefs—or else they will keep you limited.
3. Realize you can help others get free
In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that “the matrix” around them is not something that they should learn how to get along with.
The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy.
The system that forces you to think in a way that goes against your nature is not something that you should accept. Realize that you are made in the image of God, you are amazingly and marvelously made, and you are loved by God; you should not believe anything to the contrary.
Also, everyone else is made in the image of God. They are amazingly and marvelously made. And they are loved by God. And they should not believe anything to the contrary.
The Scripture says that you as a servant of the Lord should be gentle, patient, and able to humbly teach those who oppose themselves—in the hope that God may give them the ability to repent and acknowledge the truth—so that those who have been taken captive may be able to recover themselves from the snare of the devil (2 Corinthians 2:24-26).
Like Neo, it is important that you realize that your thinking been taken captive, so that you can free yourself, so that you can free others. Because others are counting on you.