Friday, June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013 … Perception Is Reality … NOT!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 165

Passage of the Day #1: 1st Peter 5: 8 [Just because we hear a roar doesn’t mean it’s really a lion!] [NLT]  
8 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.
Contextual Study for today’s passage: 1st Peter, Chapter 5 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Matthew 14: 25-26 [Is it really a “ghost?” ] [NLT]  
25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

Reference Passage #2: Jeremiah 17: 9 [We can be so gullible, can’t we? ] [NLT]  
9 “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

My Journal for Today: Os Hillman, the author/editor of my daily devotionals this year, was in the advertising business; and he reminds his readers (i.e., me) that in that business there is an old, tried, and seemingly true principle … that “perception is reality.” In other words, if the advertiser can get us to perceive that we need a certain fragrance to be more sexy or attractive, then we’ll more likely buy the product because we think [i.e., perceive] that we NEED it for our life. The reality is we actually just WANT the product; … we don’t really NEED it! So, … perception is not necessarily reality.

Hillman also reminded me today, through the highlight and reference passages (copied above) that Satan, whose name means “accuser” or “deceiver,” is a master of using perception to create a false reality. Many times we see or hear things in reality and our perception, filtered through a very deceivable heart (see Jeremiah 17: 9 above), becomes reality. For example, it’s like the lion (of 1st Peter 5: 8) who roars to get the fearful in the flock to flee away from the shepherd. Or it’s like the disciples, who (from the story of the storm in Matthew 14) thought they perceived a ghost walking on the water; and who was it? Yeah, … it was Jesus!

So, our perceptions are not always reality, are they? And we’ve got to be careful in this world, because we can often let our desires, fears, or mistaken perceptions create a reality which causes us to fall into Satan’s clever ploys or leads us down mistaken rabbit trails and right into a cleverly design worldly trap. How many of God’s children are led into the minefields of life, fleeing from the roar of a lion or because they think they see a ghost coming their way; … when in reality it’s simply Satan or the world playing with our very gullible perceptions.

Just because I perceive pain in my life doesn’t mean I need to take an opiate to relieve the hurt. Just because I need more intimacy in my life doesn’t mean that my need will be satisfied by p0rnography. Just because I desire to be perceived as younger than I am doesn’t mean I need a facelift or a tummy tuck. How often do we let our choices – in reality – be guided by what we perceive as NEEDS, which – in reality – are actually our WANTS?

Okay; … I’m having to do a life inventory here; and I have to admit that I too often bolt in fear when the lion roars or I begin to salivate with desire at certain TV commercials which create a false need in my heart, often leading me to pursue something I WANT rather than something I really NEED. I’ll leave it you, fellow Christian, to do your own inventory of the perceptions we so often make over into reality.

My Prayer for Today …Lord, give me the discernment from Your wisdom to know what I NEED, … not just what I WANT. … Amen

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