that expresses my thoughts about the season of Lent. Enjoy!
“…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)
There is an old magicians’ trick called misdirection. With it, a magician distracts his audience and gets them to focus on something unimportant (perhaps with his left hand), while he is setting up the real trick with his right hand. And then — du-du-duuuuhh!!! — the bunny appears, seemingly from nowhere. (OMG, DID YOU FREAKING SEE THAT??!!) Wikipedia defines this as a form of deception.
Dude, in the same way, the “old magician” is still up to his old tricks. And distraction is one of his fave things to do. Sometimes I call it “the tyranny of the immediate.” Let’s say that I have decided to spend more time with Jesus. And then all hell seems to break loose and many things “just have to be dealt with.” Or maybe I get pulled once again into the vortex of Facebook for an hour or more. And before I know it, a week has gone by and I have spent little or no time with the Lover of my soul — the One who created me from nothing and redeemed me with His own blood. And what is my excuse? Uh…well…stuff happens.
“…the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)
What an amazing time to be alive! What an incredible adventure is unfolding in our cities and across the planet! Aslan is on the move! As the Light and darkness intensify, and as we prepare for the Son of Man to return, God is desiring to pour out unparalleled anointing and blessings to those who are paying the price to really know Him. What a tragic thing it would be to look back on this time and realize that, like Esau, we traded away our amazing inheritance for a bowlful of unsatisfying sludge and distraction.
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Matthew 25:14-18)
Talents, in this story, are a weight of money or precious material like gold or silver. And according to this parable, God has entrusted us with precious things that He wants us to use to bless people and for His glory. Of course we all are born with natural talents and abilities, like doing math well or being a good dancer or…
But by far the most valuable things we have been entrusted with are His Spirit and His Truth. What an amazing adventure it is to be led by the SPIRIT of the Living God — and to share His eternal TRUTH with those who so desperately need to hear it!
“Forgetting what is BEHIND and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Today is the first day of the rest of your life…really. There is magnificent Grace in the Blood of Jesus and in His indwelling Spirit, to deliver us from the ghosts and regrets of the past. All that nasty stuff from the past is BEHIND you, so LOSE it!!! May we all, by faith, take advantage of that Grace today — to forget what is behind and to go further up and further in.
And I believe there are a few helpful, practical keys to attaining this victory: (1) Truly understanding the victory Jesus has won for us by His victory on the Cross. (2) Knowing Jesus personally and tangibly experiencing His Presence. (3) Being baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit. (4) Walking in the callings and purpose He has for your life. Nothing will make the disappointments and regrets and hurts of the past disappear faster than to experience these realities.
Posted: February 5, 2014 in From the Wall
Tags: bible, Christian, Christianity, church, disciple, discipleship, distractions, eternity, evangelism, faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, passion, reformation, revival, revolution, spiritual, spiritual discipline, the Reformation