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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It may not be Disneyland every day

We have been studying for a while about some of the obvious differences between the fool and the simpleton and the lackadaisical way they live life vs. the wise and those who use the common sense God gave them.  The differences can be dramatic, or just plain obvious!  Yet, there are times when the differences aren't so obvious - when it looks like we are making wise decisions and acting in pretty honorable ways, only to discover the path we are on is really one marked with all manner of selfish intent!  The wise come to realize some of their decisions may not have been "founded" in the right stuff.  The difference between the wise and the fool or simpleton in those moments is what they do when they come to realize self has been at the center of their decisions. Trouble manages to find us out - exposing what it is which is at the core of our being.  We encounter trouble for a variety of reasons in life, but one of the surest ways to encounter trouble is to make a commitment to live a life of obedience to God and him alone!  When we make him the center of our lives, all hell literally breaks lose!  Why?  Satan isn't one bit happy about our commitment and he will work to expose just how much of "us" is still at the center of our thoughts, actions, and attitudes.


My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.  If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm.  (James 1:2-6 CEV)

The testing of our faith engages us in things which expose the heart - the truth as to what motivates our actions.  We begin to see the depth of our faith and what (or perhaps the better word is "who") we are trusting in.  The wise will embrace trials and troubles as ways to expose hidden things deep within the heart which only serve to trip us up later down the road.  Instead of balking at trial or trouble, the wise embrace it - making it serve them as God intended for it to!  You see, God's intent in trials is to expose our faith and to purify us along the way.  As the trial dawns, the heart's roots begin to be exposed to the reality of what it is they are sunk deeply into - either the foolishness of self, or the solidness of Christ and Christ alone!

It should not surprise us that God brings wisdom into the solution for dealing with trouble or trial in our lives.  In fact, he wants us to ask for the solution - not just our deliverance!  Too many times, we only focus on the desire to be "out" of whatever it is we are "in" rather than to see what we can see while we are there!  I don't fully appreciate the reality of the hidden cave until I explore the depths of its walls, hollows, and trickling streams.  In the depths of exploration, I come to appreciate the path the waters have taken to form the inner depths of the caverns - leaving behind some beautiful displays to adore, but also carving out recesses which "leave their mark".  

The wise don't mind having their thoughts uncovered - for in so doing, they avoid making mistakes down the road.  They wise embrace the searching eye of the Holy Spirit - knowing he will expose only what no longer has a place in our lives.  I cannot emphasize the reality of this truth to you well enough - God isn't going to let us get away with coming to him, giving lip service to his truths, and then not allowing his Word to do the work it was intended to do.  The Word of God is not there as a thing to "consider".  It is in our lives as something to guide our thoughts, influence our actions, and separate the good from the bad in our lives.  It will expose the hidden, but it also presents the pathway to be free of whatever it is we have hidden away so well.

We want the easy road, but the wise will embrace the road "less traveled" in order to see self firmly dealt with by the grace of God.  Herein is the wisdom of asking God to take us on our journey rather than suggesting to God which journey we'd rather be on!  We often want Disneyland everyday of the year, but in truth, Disneyland is merely a place to delight our senses, satisfy our yearning for fun and games, and create a sense of happiness which is really not founded in truth at all.  If we want true happiness, we embrace the trial - not the "pretense" of happiness!  Just sayin!