When The Bubble Bursts

Disillusionment is a good thing if it makes you susceptible to the truth.

Think about that for a minute.

dis-ILLUSION-ment

No longer under the illusion of whatever is distracting you from truth.

I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt us or cause us to be off-kilter for awhile when what we thought was true turns out to be a lie.

It does.

The difficult part is accepting that what we believe isn’t true…or truth.

Some people never accept truth or facts. It’s too hard for them to change…

…or admit they were in error…

…or that they believe a lie. Then pride gets in the way and they stay…deceived.

We all get to choose.

The Apostle Paul faced that same choice. He believed he was doing God’s work by imprisoning and killing the followers of Christ. After all, he knew God. He was a Jewish man. And not just any Jewish man, he was a Pharisee , educated in The Law and a strict adherent to the same Law.

That was until those same Christ followers prayed for him and God intervened in Saul’s (Paul) life:

“As he (Saul/Paul) was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

“And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:3-6

Saul, later renamed Paul, was faced with a choice: continue to hold on to his pride, position and tradition or accept that what he believed might not be true.

Thankfully for us, and for himself, he made the right choice. He made the decision to embrace the truth of Jesus, who is Truth, lay aside his own worldview and become a disciple of Christ. And the rest is history.

As you read the scriptures for yourself, and you come across something that is directly the opposite of what you believe, be willing to let go and grow in the truth of God’s word. And don’t be afraid to ask Him questions or voice your doubts or concerns. The Holy Spirit is a wonderful and creative teacher. He knows what will help you understand and believe.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” ~ John 8:31-32

Are you just a hearer?

Do you go to church or listen to sermons?

Are you part of a study group at your church, or do you sign up for biblical reading plans online?

Are you disciplined in reading the bible or do you engage in a daily devotional?

Do you still find it difficult to hear from God? Are things in your world still unstable?

Then consider that you may be someone who hears God’s word but doesn’t put it into practice.

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

Going to church and reading your Bible are good things. To activate God’s promises though, you need to do thing’s God’s way. You won’t experience the priceless gift of God’s peace if you don’t first do as He instructs us, through Paul:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” Philppians 4:6-7

We hear the humorous “Not today, Satan, not today”, which is partially based on scripture. But partially based isn’t the whole truth. You can’t tell the devil to be gone unless you are first lined up with God:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Submitting to God is first and foremost acknowledging Him as Lord. But beyond that, it goes back to doing things God’s way.

Read the word, learn about God, invite the Holy Spirit to teach you and give you understanding. Then, when you know what you need to do…DO IT! James shares an awesome promise to those who follow this instruction:

“But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25

En Garde

“Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

A beautifully poetic passage with a powerful foundational truth. The Good News Translation clearly states it this way: “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

I want my life to reflect His goodness, mercy, love and forgiveness, so I’m spending time with Him, allowing the Great Editor to remove, reword and reshape my thoughts…

“Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3

The Dangers of avoiding correction from God

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. ~ Psalm 32:5

The words above are lyrics to a song or possibly a poem, a psalm, written by David, the King of Israel. Like many songwriters & poets, David communicated his emotions through words and music, pouring out his heartfelt expressions of love, anger, fear & contrition. Psalm 32 falls into the last category.

David committed several egregious sins during his lifetime, yet God forgave him when he confessed those sins…each and every time.

Around the time Psalm 32 was composed, David had been confronted about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, another man’s wife. Not only did he have sex with her, she became pregnant with his child. In a desperate attempt to hide his sin, he first tried to get the man, named Uriah, to leave the battlefield and spend time with his wife, and by spend time I mean intimate time, which the man refused to do. David then instructed a military leader to ensure that Uriah be placed into battle where he was sure to be killed, which is what happened.

That was a cold blooded and devious way to deal with a problem. You can read the account in 2 Samuel 11:1 2 Samuel 12:25.

Most people would never consider bringing something this ugly, this heinous to God. But David knew God. He had spent years upon years in intimate fellowship with Him, learning to hear God’s voice and becoming acquainted with God’s character. He knew that God was merciful. He has experienced God’s mercy and grace in His life multiple times.

The beginning of Psalm 32 starts out like this:

Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat
.

We suffer physically, emotionally & spiritually when we refuse to acknowledge sin. It’s a heavy burden that produces guilt, shame, fear and condemnation. The more we harden our heart to the loving conviction of God, the farther away we drift from His grace, to the point where we cease to sense conviction and end up deceived and spiritually blind. This is a frightening place to be.

The next verse is the one at the top of the post, verse 5, when David finds sweet release & forgiveness:

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

David was grateful and overjoyed once he came clean before the only One whose opinion mattered – God. And he didn’t leave it there. David wanted others to experience the freedom and joy that comes from owning up to one’s own sin, and the consequences that come if you don’t:

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. 

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

I’m going to leave you with a scripture that I never tire of sharing. The truth is powerful, so don’t allow anyone or anything keep you from God’s loving arms of mercy –

Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! ~ Isaiah 1:18 The Living Bible

God Digs Math

God digs math:

He blesses and doesn’t add sorrow along with it (Proverbs 10:22) and adds everything you need (Philippians 4:19)

He takes away sin (John 1:29) (subtraction 😉)

He divides with His word (Hebrews 4:12) but abhors division (Galatians 5:20)

He is all about multiplication (Genesis 1:22, Genesis 9:72 Corinthians 9:10)

He is greater than > everything (1 John 4:4) and gives abundant grace & forgiveness to those who know they are less than < (James 4:6, Luke 18:10-14)

He even invented new math, lol, because with God, 3 = 1 and 2 = 1 (Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, Matthew 19:5, Genesis 2:24)

God’s knowledge is infinite (Romans 11:33), His faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2) and His love not equal ≠ to what you can imagine.
It’s to infinity & beyond !

In fact, we only see a fraction of Who He is, but He wants to reveal Himself to you more fully (Acts 17:26-27).

You don’t even have to be good with numbers!

 

God Digs Math (1)