Friday, July 09, 2010

2010 – July 9 – Basking in Illusions

Study from God’s Word Isaiah, Chapters 18 – 19; 20: 1 – 6; as well as Chapters 30 and 31: 1 – 9 … Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 30 : 10 – 11 … NIV 10 They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!"

My Journal for Today: Judah was a bad child of God, rejecting Isaiah’s word from the living God, wanting to look everywhere but at THE TRUTH. And today’s readings in my “Daily Bible” studies document Judah’s desire to blissfully ignore God’s warnings and His mirror of truth. And that is so much like what we see going on in the world today, … and yes, even the way those who think of themselves as “christians” isolate themselves by self-denial and the lack of willingness to confront the truth of the Gospel and God’s word.

Today’s highlight passage, drawn by Dr. Smith from the readings from Isaiah’s prophesies, could be speaking to those in today’s post-modern church who are in serious denial as they stick their heads (and minds) in the sand, unwilling to read or hear what God’s word really says about what’s happening in the world. Certainly non-believers don’t want to even hear the truth from God’s word. No, they’d rather have their minds tickled with new-age fantasies and the tasty non-truths coming from the “church of Oprah” or the psychobabble of Dr. Phil.

But that’s not surprising at all. I used to be one of them, calling myself an “agnostic,” and thinking of myself as an “intellectual,” I tried to fill the hole in my soul with all kinds of far-eastern religious thought process. At this time in my life, if it had “ism” after it, I was probably pursuing it, trying to find the answers for life from those who were very simply and literally “devil’s advocates.” So, again, I’m not surprised at any pagan pursuing pagans who bear untruths which tickle the fancy of our sin-bound nature.

It’s those who call themselves “christian,” and are unwilling – or unable – to see themselves trying to be entertained in “churches” rather than enlightened. So, those who fancy themselves as “believers” flock to hear the pseudo-teachings of teachers/preachers like Joel Osteen, hearing the warm fuzzies and sugar coated half-truths which concern me so greatly and lead them down a garden-path of destruction. And as the lives of these so-called “christians” become imprisoned by habitual sin, such as addiction to pornography or eating disorders or the chemical chains of drugs or alcohol, the first symptom for those who think of themselves as disciples of Christ is to fall prey to the seers of the world, not wanting to hear teachers/preachers who really are proclaiming God’s truth. Today “Christians” are turning away from God’s truth, unwilling to get into and surrender to God’s word, and moving away from churches where they have to look into the mirror of truth from God’s word every Sunday.

The words of today’s highlight passage, though directed by God, through Isaiah, to the tribes of Judah, could be words describing today’s Christian climate of isolation from the truth of Scripture. When Joel Osteen will tell Christians how great they can be by declaring their own self greatness, many would rather hear that than the messages of truth from God’s word; and so the witness of Christians becomes diluted and dampened by believers turning away from the discipline of pouring God’s truth into their minds through deep and abiding study into God’s word daily?

So, my friend, we all need to be asking ourselves: Do I really seek God’s truth? Am I willing to look deeply into the mirror of God’s word daily, digging for God’s wisdom, … mining for the mind of God; … or … am I in isolation from God’s truth, avoiding the die-hard disciplines of the faith such as a deep/abiding daily devotional time with God and His word – EVERY DAY? Does my Pastor tickle my mind with comfort every Sunday; or am I shaken by my Pastor in church weekly to pursue Christ and share Him with others?

My dear one, you have to answer those questions for yourself; but I hope that you’re not trying to avoid God’s message and His mirror of truth. I will pray – even today – that we all are digging deeply into the mind of God through His word and we’re willing to look at ourselves in the mirror of truth (i.e., study of the Bible) rather than to isolate ourselves from its clarity.

My Prayer for Today: Oh, Lord, I pray that all who read here are coming to Your mirror of truth daily, looking at ourselves in the light of Your truth, willing to see where we need to surrender to Your Spirit and be transformed into Your image. Amen

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