In this season, it is more essential than ever to get serious about what we entertain in our minds, how we focus our energies, and the subjects we allow into our meditation and embrace. These are destiny-makers or breakers. God gives us each a destiny, but these choices determine the mindsets that can occupy or derail our passions, our pursuits, our willingness to be malleable in the hands of our Heavenly Potter.
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (Prov. 23:7) I quote this Scripture frequently because it’s a foundational, ground-floor building block, one of those from which a structure rises, stagnates, or falls. Yet it seems to me that it’s a block whose importance in the foundation is often underestimated or disregarded. Call it “casual carelessness,” that tendency to accept things as they are, not to envision them as impacted and influenced by either the Kingdom of Light and Mercy or the realm of darkness.
When Paul went to Corinth, he found a society similar to ours – intellectually-oriented, spawning a wide diversity of economic wealth among its citizenry, eager for new ideas….as well as a culture in which people were trapped in a half-truth/half-fiction quicksand of philosophy, religion and myth. As Paul went, so are we called – to hold the Light of Truth high above our heads for clarity, and throw these sinking, quagmire-enmeshed people one of God’s “ropes” of Life.
Yippee-yi-aye, that means we get to be cowboys! Unwind that rope of His Love or Acceptance, and toss it into that nasty pool of life-destroying gunk; pull out that rope of His Truth, Hope or Identity – make a lasso and encircle someone. Tell them to hold on while we band together as believers, grabbing our end of the rope and pulling hard… until that person is rescued from his impending suffocation. Then we dust them off, introduce them to the One who will switch their quickstand-stained clothes for royal robes….and we invite them to a hoedown. God’s hoedown.
Paul was a “cowboy,” too. Regarding their ability to discern the natural from the spiritual, Paul spoke to the Corinthians, “You are looking at things as they are outwardly.” (2 Cor. 10:7) He threw them the rope of Truth, Discernment. He continued by saying, “If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself….”
That advice speaks to us, as well. It’s much easier to look at things “as they are outwardly,” but that is the gateway to living in, and never breaking free from, that arena of the “casually careless.” When we scrutinize a situation under that Bright Light of being confident that we are Christ’s, it will help awaken our spiritual eyes, knock the sleep of disuse from our vision. With our spiritual eyes open, we are able to carry out the victories that Paul described earlier, those opportunities to destroy “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God,” and to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Oops…I forgot to mention the mermaids…
Well…birthed in deception and clothed in narcissism, they lead people away from the revealed truth of God and right into the realm of the speculative and “lofty things.” That’s truth. It’s how their existence lines up next to the truth of God: God created Adam and Eve with feet, and there is no record of any of their descendants having little toes that morphed into big fins. And this is a demonstration of why you can’t be both the cowboy and the mermaid: It is truth that sets people free, and deception that keeps them in bondage.
This upcoming season is a no-wafflling season. Casual carelessness has a price in every life that is touched. To those who are in desperate need of His Lifeline being tossed to them….put on a hat and throw a rope. Don’t assume it won’t make a difference and just toss them an oversized fish….