8/21/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
If you have ever driven a car, chances are you have seen this warning on the passenger sideview mirror: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” Basically what the manufacturer is saying is that you cannot actually believe what you think you see in the mirror.
If you read my blog last week you may remember that that I actually spent some time planning a getaway in Boston for Judy and me to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. As many do, I went on the internet looking for things to do, places to stay, as well as inexpensive ways to do them!!
Although we had a wonderful time, I did find out that not everything you see on a website is what it appears. I went to the website of this well known, historic, fancy hotel in downtown Boston. According to the website it would be a spacious room with a beautiful view. (See image below.) In reality, our room size was somewhere between 180 – 280 sq. feet. That might not mean anything to you, until you realize that the average room in a Motel 6 — is 325 sq. feet.
If you noticed the view through the window in the room, it is a view of Boston. I am sure that this is an image of an actual room with an actual view, just not ours. This is our actual view… we could see only one of the many buildings in Boston.
I signed us up for a 2 hour dinner cruise in Boston Harbor that promised a beautiful view of the Boston skyline at night and a scrumptious dinner buffet. The beautiful Boston skyline lasted about 15 minutes while the rest of the night we looked at dark office buildings that were closed for the day. The scrumptious dinner buffet had great dinner rolls, but dry chicken, some prepared fish that was really “blah” and desserts that looked like they were bought at a supermarket.
Although we had a great time being together, and we actually did enjoy the things we experienced as well at the memories we made, I was reminded that in our spiritual life we had better remember that not everything we hear or see is ‘as it may appear.’ As a matter of fact Paul warns Christians that we are to… “stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
What are some of the devil’s schemes? In Acts 5 Satan convinces Ananias and Sapphira that it is okay to lie and steal from the Holy Spirit, and it cost them their lives on the spot. In our men’s Bible study last week we looked at some of the lies that men believe about sexuality. Satan will try and convince us that instead of fighting that inappropriate sexual urge or sexual thought that is “normal,” it is okay to give in to it. Only to find countless marriages being destroyed because of it.
I don’t feel like the hotel or the cruise ship company lied to us, I just think that they didn’t tell us everything. When it comes to our spiritual life, please understand that whatever Satan tries to sell you, he isn’t telling you everything. How do we know that there is more to the story? Because he can’t tell the truth… He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
The fact is, Satan is the exact opposite of God. God is not only the source of truth, He tells us that He is the truth in John 14:6. For Satan, it is impossible for him to tell you the truth. God is holy; Satan is evil. God is love; Satan is a murder. God gives His children eternal life; Satan damns his followers to eternal death.
God produces… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 Satan produces… sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Galatians 5:19-21
God use trials to help us persevere, to mature, so that we lack nothing. Satan wants to use trials and temptations to destroy our life, our faith and our testimony. God frees us from the bondage of sin; Satan wants sin to enslave us, not only now, but for all eternity.
Jesus is our advocate, pleading our case before God. Satan is the accuser, blaming us before God. God forgives our sins and chooses to remember them no more. Satan wants to remind us of our sins and failures. Because Satan opposes everything God does, Satan opposes those of us who are God’s children.
It was lunch time and we were walking through the Boston Commons looking for a place to eat. We came across this “hole in a wall” eatery called ‘The Thinking Cup.’ There was no fanfare, there were no balloons or neon signs begging us to come in. We walked in, found a table for two, had a nice lunch, an eclair for dessert and Judy remarked that she just had the best tasting coffee she had ever tasted.
Sometimes in life it is not about all the advertising, the in-your-face commercials and fanfare, sometimes we just need to be looking for God and we may be surprised where He leads us. I think the Bible calls it a gentle whisper… The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12
At the end of the day, there is nothing like hearing that gentle whisper and then, just follow…