However, I'm afraid that as the snake deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3
I must apologize for the long pause. But I guess it took 7 days for me to grasp the depths of the topic we are Honestly venturing into. We last discussed how our soul lures us away and yet we must not allow ourselves the luxury of choosing to be naïve. Knowing that guilt and condemnation have no place in our relationship with God through Christ, we have the advantage of holding our soul accountable while casting down it’s false, vain perceptions. There is such a vast array of wisdom written for us on the topic of self deception, vain wisdom, and lethargic learning. It is my opinion that learning through others flailing, falling or flying is what makes it real – not theology. Not that we don’t need both; otherwise we would simply be foolish leaders luring others into harm’s way.
Today we are going to glean understanding as we compare some pieces of Peter and Isaiah’s journeys. Both of these men LOVE, LOVE, LOVED God – but Peter had the wonderful experience of actually being able to walk alongside Jesus Christ. WOW….my heart leaps when I ponder what those experiences must have been like; but also, how devastating it must have been to Peter when he followed the lures his mind casted at times. Talk about an abrupt HIGH / low experience!
To review: Perceive means to be aware or discern while Deceived means cheated or mislead. The common denominators are these two are: information, decision and right of free will. Holding this variable equation together is our one and only ultimate constant; God’s purpose and personality are at the helm of the universe, not randomness.
We stopped last with Peter wanting to go “right now” with Christ. Can you imagine the fear that must have been luring him as he thought about Christ leaving him to go it alone? Not to mention that Christ validates Peters fear by telling him (my paraphrase) Hey Pete, I know you THINK you would do anything, but I will let you SEE how unrealistic you are about the depth of your devotion to me. I won’t even be far out of your view and you won’t be able to stand the pressure, much less let me REALLY be gone. I thank God that we have these true tales to walk through, or else I would feel like an utter failure at times.
Now let’s look at a few moments in the life of Isaiah: chapter 6: 8-13 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send and whom will go for Us? Then I said “HERE I AM…send ME!” and He said Go and tell this people: keep listening but do not perceive, keep on looking, but do not understand, render the hearts of this people insensitive their ears dull and their eyes dim; lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and return and be healed. Then I said “How Long?” and HE answered.
Do you hear any insecurity or second guessing in Isaiah? I heard passion for supporting THEIR cause and a perseverance to WAIT on God’s direction.
Today I want you to think about the contrast of each individual’s purpose, personality and continence. Consider these thoughts:
Could it have been a hindrance to Peter’s faith maturing because Christ was in His presence?
Could Isaiah have been at an advantage to step up because he had not been walking alongside Christ therefore alleviating self defeating thoughts of comparison?
It is my prayer for us today that in all ways we receive the good which God extends to each of us as we strive to bring honor to Him, glory to His son and unite in His spirit to testify the might of His ways. I pray we are faithful and that we will not shrink back, but lean in and be girded up to be one with His patience. May we be strength to those whose faith is not as strong, may we lay ourselves aside and be concerned with our neighbors and the good things that will build their faith. May we be like Christ who did not think only of himself but allowed the insults of others to fall into the hands of God’s mercy and grace. May we learn from those that witnessed before us so that we could perceive their endurance and find encouragement to continue to stand. And lastly, I pray that it is God’s good pleasure to give us all this same endurance and encouragement so that we may live in harmony with each other as we unite to live out the fulfillment of all things to the maturity of Christ.
©Candace Huffmaster, 2011 All Rights Reserved
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