When Surreality Intersects with Real Life Actions

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Negative Surreality in Action
Acting the Part - Brings the Surreal Experience...
The Biblical Perspective of Surreality

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When Surreality Intersects with Real Life Actions



If you have been paying attention to the international news over the past 10 years you will notice that the word 'Surreal' has been used in many instances. For example, when the TV anchor-person was reporting on the Indonesia tsunami they said 'Wow this feels so surreal.' When the news media was recording the live episode of the Chilean miners being rescued on national TV the words 'this is so surreal,' were echoed across the world. 

I have heard the word surreal repeated many times as more and more catastrophic and tumultuous events have occurred. The word Surreal means - "very strange or unusual: having the quality of a dream."  In essence when something appears surreal it appears as if the event must be a dream; or that the event or circumstance itself cannot be distinguishable between a dream and real life.   So what the TV anchor personnel meant was ... 'I would never have believed what I just witnessed if I had not been here to witness the actual event; it is so surreal,' or, 'If I didn't know any better I would think I was living in a dream.'

A good Biblical example of a surreal experience is found in Acts 12:7-9.  The Apostle Peter was in jail handcuffed with shackles when an angel appeared touching him on his side. The light that shined into the cell caused his shackles to fall off, allowing him to be led out by the angel. Peter states 'I could not tell if this circumstance was a dream or if it was really happening to me.'  Peter's experience was in essence a moment in time when a dream/vision was meeting reality; it was a surreal experience.

This spiritual bulletin is intended to show that surreal experiences are increasing and playing out before our eyes. This is part of the reason that during the past 5 years over 3 Million people have stated they have experienced some sort of supernatural experience that has been unexplainable, but real.  They have been surreal moments.


A Modern Day Example of Negative Surreality in Action


Actor Charlie Sheen is living out a surreal experience as his real life has become somewhat the character he portrayed on the TV series two and a half men.  His character in the show represents a single-man whose ideal life is to enjoy as many sexual and non-committal relationships as possible.  Unfortunately, his acting life has now become his 'normal life.'  What he acted out has become who he now is in real life.  In fact this same thing has happened to numerous movie stars in the last few years. The part they play in their acting life is who they have become in real life. They are like Peter in essence; they can no-longer tell if they are acting life or living life in reality.

Last year I was asked to sign one of my 'Dreams' books to a Hollywood star who is the main actor in a leading Soap Opera. The request was based on the visitation of this movie star back into his small home town where his family had been ravaged by divorce.  As I signed the book, the word surreal came to mind. My thought was around the fact that the false or dream style life this actor lives in the Soap Opera show has now become part of his real life. In other words this actor's pretend life became his real life. He was entering a 'surreal' realm of the world.

Acting the Part - Brings the Surreal Experience

Theater Masks that Hypocrites Wore in Ancient Days

The example of the actor mentioned above and Charlie Sheen reminded me that the word hypocrite comes from the Greek word (hypokrisis) which means to 'Act-out'. In fact, the actors and actresses in early Greece were called Hypocrites.  The early actors would hold up physical faces in front of their real face and act-out the character they were playing.

This reminded me that in the confused world we are living, people are much more prone to 'act-out' a personality that God did not create for them.  When people act out or imitate a false life, it may be only a matter of time before surreality intersects their life, and they can no longer remember who they really are. During this intersection of surreality with their actions, they become the very person they are acting-out.  If the mask they are wearing is different than who they were created by God to be, they will eventually turn out to resemble the 'masked' person, rather than the person they were designed to become.  The intersection of surreality and life has become accelerated and magnified  in our society as the 'pretend' world is much more easy to follow when we are trying to escape the pain, disappointments, or hurts of societies current reality.


As  the world becomes more complicated and stressful, people naturally try to cope with the stress by 'acting-out' or pretending themselves to be someone they are not.  This is one of the reasons that Facebook, MySpace and other social networks have been such as smashing hit. They allow people to create an online image of themselves that connects with people more readily than they could in real life. Within a matter of days they are connecting with new and old friends that they could not do in their 'real' life.


The more we act-out to be someone that we are not, the worse our life can become. The reason is simply that we are circumventing the person God created us to become. In addition, whenever we put a 'mask' over our hurts, pains, and sorrows the more that the 'Mask' gets the attention vs. the real person.  If I need to be healed, delivered or set free, I need the real me healed vs. the mask that I am wearing healed. This explains why so many people never get healed, delivered or set-free. The mask they are wearing to act-out a different person gets the attention they should be getting.  In fact, I venture to say that the real Charlie Sheen is hurting on the inside while the mask he is wearing is getting all the attention. 


It is important to note that the number one trick of the enemy 'satan' is to disguise himself as someone he is not. He becomes an imposter and hides his true nature.  He tries this same trick with people and tries to get them to become imposters of who they really are.  He loves people who put on masks as he can move more readily through the disguise of who the person pretends to be. He does this early on in the imposter's life, but within a short time he has trapped the real person with the imposter and the two become one person - a real surreal moment.

The Biblical Perspective of Surreality


You may be assuming that I am painting a negative view of surreality up to this point.  The opposite is really true. I believe that God desires us to be creative, adventurous, and completely hopeful in becoming better people through-out our life.   In order to complete the process of improvement, I must act-out images of who I desire to become in Christ. I must learn to speak words of hope and pray as if my life can become something greater in Christ.  I need to have an expectant life to become everything God has designed me to be.  The difference is that I must start with who He created me to be vs. a pretend person I want to be by wearing a mask. The starting point requires me to surrender to the fact of who I am. If I wear a mask, I demonstrate to God that I have put an imagination between me and God.

The heavenly concept of surreality is the very reason that the Apostle Paul tells us to imitate himself and Christ.

         1 Corinthians 11:21 - Be imitators of me, just as I am also an imitator of Christ.

         Ephesians 5:1 - Therefore be imitators of God as dearly love children.

As I imitate Christ, His heavenly nature starts shining through me and I walk where He walks and talks like He talks.  My prayers will continue to be ... Lord may I see more of you and you see more of me, so I can imitate you and you can reflect in me.  In essence my surreality will meet my life's actions, which reflects Christ and the Kingdom of God.

This concept is quite a bit different than a person who imagines themselves to be someone they are not, and their imaginations are thoughts put in front and ahead of God Himself. These people will get the desires of their heart and their surreality will be of a dangerous kind. Their reflection will look exactly like the person they are acting like, or imagining to be.  This is why so many people end up in places they never set out to go; the mask they wore to cover-up and hide behind, ends up leading to the negative side of surreality.  For this reason God warns us to 'Cast down imaginations that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into the obedience of Christ." 2 Cor. 10:5                                                             



I want to live like Peter and have 1000's of surreal moments whereby God uses me to intersect my life on earth with the things of heaven. I believe that this surreality is meant for me, as well as every believer who has removed the 'mask' of imagination of who the world wants them to be.

We live in a season of time where God is ushering in His kingdom and desires to meet His people in fresh and heavenly manners. He is willing to meet his people like he met Moses 'face-to-face.'  However, how will God see us face-to-face, if we are wearing a mask of who we imagine ourselves to be?   I believe God wants to meet the real Charlie Sheen, but first Charlie must remove the mask he has been acting behind during his acting career and real life.

Surreality does intersect with our life's actions... which side of surreality are you experiencing?  If my actions are based on the reality that I am a sinner and cannot hide behind a false mask of imagination, pretension, or false humility and have asked Jesus into my heart ... I am promised the surreality described in the verse below.

         "Dear friends, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is."   I John 3:2

If you feel you have been wearing a mask and want to find what a spiritual life of surreality feels like, we encourage you to email us at the email below.


Mike and Pam Mathews

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 My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.  Psalm 45:1 (NKJV)

For the time will come when all the earth will be filled, as the waters fill the sea, with an awareness of the glory of the LORD. Habakkuk 2:14