Sometimes I look at what’s happening in our world today and I get overwhelmed. I look at the different generations of people, how we all grew up at different times, with different cultures and technologies, and how different we are. The older generations alive today were mostly born during or right after the Great Depression. Their first experiences of the world were much different than the ones of today. My first experiences of the world were in the early 80’s, before the stock market scare. I watched the biggest companies of Corpus Christi shut down their offices and move to bigger cities where they could thrive more easily. As a young child, I watched as downtown Corpus Christi slowly became a barren district of empty office buildings. I watched the malls slowly die. And now I see new businesses moving in, rebuilding, investing, fixing up, and old businesses experiencing a new wave of success. In that mean time, between then and now, I watched the culture around me devolve. As I got older, I witnessed more and more people complaining about how bad they have it. Last night, I watched a movie made about 10 years ago that showed how much better our society is from the 1960s. In it, the main character almost mocked the people of his race when he traveled in time back to the 1960s because he hadn’t experienced what they had, and so he found it ridiculous to join them. The movie made a point to show how much better we have it now, compared to then. I was truly baffled, because the same actor has actually gone on record recently to say that we have it worse now than we did in the 60s. As I watched the movie and laughed, I also was stunned at how a movie like this was made just 10 years ago couldn’t and wouldn’t be the same now. It would have a completely different agenda. Revelation 20:3 and 20:10 show us that Satan is a deceiver, deceiving people. As I watched the movie, I reflected on these verses and how Satan deceives us, how people today are convinced how bad things are, when they're the best I have ever seen- at least in some ways. Of course not everything is perfect… not even close. But God has blessed us so much.
Our society is deceived. We fight about issues that God has already addressed, and we fight about it in church. We argue about how to deal with issues, as if God hasn’t already given us directions. Outside of the church, it’s even worse. The Church has done such a bad job representing God that the world no longer wants what we offer… and yet we openly declare things like, “If only they would encounter God, there is no way they would turn Him down.” We know this to be true, yet what we are portraying is not convincing them to come to Him. In fact, they are running away from God. Are they running from Him, or are they running from our representation?
I often encounter people who are running away from God because their parents, church, friends, etc. misrepresented God. They are angry, frustrated, irritated, or just broken. Typically, a simple conversation about who God really is ends with a statement like, “I have been preached at my entire life, and yet I have never heard about God the way you talk about Him. Why hasn’t anyone told me these things before?” It happens all the time…
I can tell you why: Satan is a deceiver, and he has deceived us.
Yesterday, I had a 4 hour conversation with someone I have been trying to work with overseas. For two months we have miscommunicated about plans and needs and intentions. But yesterday, I felt a prompting from Holy Spirit to stop everything I was doing and have a conversation with them. We cleared up so much of the deceptions and speculations that were causing our problems. We both felt Holy Spirit’s presence and began to get so excited about His plans, and quit worrying about our plans. Satan deceives with speculations and emotions, such as fear and worry. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 6 to not worry about anything, but instead to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We did that yesterday. We both quit trying to be the boss, and instead finally allowed Holy Spirit to lead us.
John 14:26-27 tells us that Holy Spirit will teach you everything and that peace will be given to you. That happened yesterday, when we quit trying to teach each other and quit trying to control everything.
In closing, I want to simply remind you of what Holy Spirit taught me yesterday: regular life is about going and getting what you want, but the life I designed for you is about you realizing I provide everything you will ever need. You don’t have to go get anything. Life with God is about giving, not getting. Providing, not taking.
Let Holy Spirit lead you, don’t allow your emotions and feelings lead you, and you will find peace. Bless you…
Written by a few for the many.