2020-03-04 - Bobcats
Richard and I were recently driving home from a trip to visit family in North Carolina. At one point, on a secondary road, we were trying to figure out what was preceding us slowly up a two-lane road. All I could see were two white objects. The left one looked like the head of a bobcat, and the back one looked like the tail, and the length of the object matched up with that of a bobcat. I couldn't see anything else around it, but as we moved closer to the object, we discovered that it was an 18-wheeler, and the white objects were simply part of the truck's logo. We hadn't been able to see the taillights at all, because we were in a hilly area, and oddly, the truck had no lights on top. I was actually a little disappointed that it was "just a truck!" Of course, if we hadn't been locked up safely in our car, and with Richard's CCW, I am sure that I would have been relieved!
Regardless, this bobcat illusion reminded me of our spiritual walks. Sometimes, we encounter illusions. Some people are under the illusion that they can find contentment in material possessions, in alcohol or other drugs, in their career or a myriad of other things. They believe that if they just have this or that, everything will be wonderful.
Sometimes we are under the illusion that we are pleasing to God, because we read the Bible, go to church and live pretty innocent lives.; we don't commit felonies or even misdemeanors, we help the poor as we should, we work hard at our volunteer or paid work, or we pray every day for others. But if we are arrogant, if we don't seek God before making decisions, if we don't love our neighbor, if we consider evil to be good - exchanging God's Biblical standards for the world's - then we aren't pleasing to Him.
Some of us are under the illusion that we can earn our way to Heaven. When we think that way, we have things backwards. First, we are to accept the salvation Christ has already provided, but we don't have to "do" anything to earn it; we are incapable of earning it. The "doing" should follow the salvation.
James 2:18-20 (Phillips)
We should obey His word and do good works - but not to gain anything, but rather to honor God and to show our gratitude to Him. We live in a day today, when there is too often a spirit of ingratitude, and instead, we find an attitude of "entitlement." I admit that I have little patience with this, since this isn't the attitude that God's word teaches us.
These are just some examples, and I am sure that you guys could think of additional ones. May we all ask God to open our eyes, when we have spiritual illusions that hinder our relationship with or obedience to God.
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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.