Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Deception's Lullaby

I read a 'missionary joke' years ago that probably had more truth in it than 'joke'.  The story goes like this....
The first year missionaries are on the field and they find bugs in the food on their plate, they throw the food out.
The second year they are there and they find bugs in their food, they pick the bugs out and eat the food.
The third year, they ignore the bugs and just eat them along with the food.
The fourth year, if there are no bugs in the food on their plate, they add them!

I was thinking about that this morning and I thought, while we chuckle at the story, it is an apt picture of how we become so accustomed to sin around us that we are lulled to sleep and no longer recognize the danger of deception.
I am purposely not going to mention any specific sin, but if you think about how much we, even as believers, not only tolerate, but accept and even participate in - be it attitudes, beliefs or actions - that would have a few short decades ago horrified us ...  we have to admit that we very much fit into that missionary scenario.

Adolf Hitler understood this about human nature when he said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
I think of the well-known saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt..."  What becomes familiar, we no longer question, no longer test, no longer are alarmed by it .  If we feel any nudge of conscience at all, we shrug it off as inconsequential.

I think of the verse in I Tim.4:2 ..  "... having their conscience seared ... "  in other words, lulled to sleep, no longer hearing the alarm, warning of danger lurking.

I am reminded as well of the verse in Isa_59:14 , " Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter." 

Is that not an apt description of what we see in our world today?  Ask the question , "What is truth?" and it will be most often answered according to personal interpretation, or the concept of absolute truth will be denied.  'Truth fallen in the streets' - ancient truths that stood the test of time are no longer valued and lie discarded in the streets.

We live in a vulnerable, violent, vexing time in history ... so how are we, as Christ-followers to live? 

So often, God's way is the opposite of what we would humanly choose or think to do - and for a 'time such as this', God's directive seems totally incongruent. 

Jesus spoke of the end time and the trouble defining that time, yet He said in   Luke_21:28,
 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." 

To 'lift up your heads' means to be encouraged rather than bowed down with dismay, worry, and fear. It means to rejoice .. and to look for our redemption -   The best is yet to come and it is nearly here!

Though the world around me is in darkness, 
I dwell in the Light of the God who is above all Gods, 
the One who is the beginning and the end,
 the One is the Judge of all, 
the One whose Word will stand forever 
and the One who is in control of all things!!  

"Lord, help us today, in a sinful world around us, to stay separate, to cling to your Truth as the standard that will never change ...Open our eyes to see the deception around us, that we will neither stumble, nor sleep.  Thank you, that you have made 'our redemption' sure ... 
Come soon, Lord Jesus!"