Monday, March 9, 2015

The Grand Illusion

For hundreds of years "magicians" have thrilled and excited audiences with amazing feats.  Typically these are accomplished through sleight of hand and illusion.  These are the same tricks Satan uses in our lives to create distance between us and our Heavenly Father, and his greatest illusion is that of control.

We as humans, and maybe even more so as Americans, want to control everything.  We save and invest money so that we never have to be without it (or so we think).  We control our homes: temperature, environment, sound, weather-proofing exterior and interior walls, windows & doors.  Some people can even control their home remotely with any smartphone or wi-fi enabled device; don't even get me started on that topic, but if you can unlock your doors remotely a hacker probably can, too-food for thought, people.  We control our bodies by exercising, eating gluten-free, cage-free, grass-fed, organic, locally grown, non-GMO everything.  We control our friends....don't tick me off or I will un-friend you on Facebook faster than you can say "slap my grandma!".  (It strikes me as many of the terms in this paragraph probably did not exist 20 years ago....just more food for thought. Discuss amongst yourselves.)

This is by no means a comprehensive list of what we try to control in life.  And that is the ultimate point, we try to control ALL aspects of our lives.  But control is an illusion.  I love a quote by Corrie ten Boom "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God," and that is the truth about human nature-it fears the unknown, the out of control.  But we control nothing; the man who saves all his life, wisely invests so that he can live well into his twilight years could die in a car crash today, the woman who eats as healthy as possible and takes excellent care of her physical being could die of cancer in 6 weeks.  We are so quick to put our trust in the things man has created, money, healthcare, food trends, brick and mortar; but, all of these things hold no promise of the future for us even though Satan would have us believe they do.  Only God has promised us our future. Only God.

Only God knows the future.  Only God knows "when I sit and when I rise" and only God can "perceive my thoughts from afar" and only God can "discern my going out and my lying down" (Psalm 139:2-3a).  We were "knit together in our mother's womb" by a God by whom "all of ordained form me were written in Your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16b).  I am overwhelmed by the power of these words. 

There is nothing wrong with planning for the future and even making long-term goals.  The problem comes when we worship our plans more than His will.  When our job becomes more important than making time to read the Bible with our children.  When it is more important to clean house than interact with our babies (see what I did there-I got out of housework in the name of God!).  When the TV, smartphone, tablet or game system draws us away from the real, live people in our life.

There are no guarantees in this life, no promises of the future save those given to us by God.