DRAWING NEAR – PART 21 12/13/2015
THE OSTRICH ATTITUDE
It is interesting to some, how unique and diverse the human personality is among us. We are all similar but there definitely differences in the way our brains are wired. For example, I was talking to a young man the other day that was from Singapore and the topic of emotions came up and I asked if he was an emotional person. He said no and that hardly anything moved him to tears as it seemed that deeply moving events were handled in more of a business manner than with upsetting and unstable “feelings.” I later learned this is common with many from the Asian culture for several different reasons including being taught that revealing emotions is a sign of weakness. On the other hand, I am very emotional and it does not take but a glimpse of any type of suffering and my eyes are welling up with tears. These types of differences within our psyche are also observed within the world of topics we are passionate about and the amount of time we spend researching facts about them. Think about all of the types of professions in the world and how many have spent their lives trying to become “experts” by gathering as much knowledge as they can about the subject. Many people accrue specific things while others study about certain civilizations, wars or whatever it might be. Others may collect pottery, guns, paintings, clocks, maps, books, art, etc… and they search everywhere they can to find out where and when it was made and who was the one who created it. Then of course there are some that do not care about anything and only function in a small and simple existence of breathing and eating while watching life pass by. Nonetheless, it is common for all humans to form their opinions and worldviews according to how “deep” they are willing to discover facts and invest serious research to KNOW why and what they believe. This brings us to our point; what difference does it make how much we know – if we are not willing to let go of our “habitual” trespasses?
It is true, that many people “think” they are scholars in the religious world. One reason is because they have sit in a church pew for 50 years and listened to thousands of sermons and teachings of other peoples interpretations. This does not count as personal wisdom no matter how well the speeches were presented because divine illumination is a gift within a personal relationship with God and receiving holy truth directly from Him. Teachers can help “lead” us and inspire us to research the scriptures on our own, but the church was never intended to spoon feed the lazy. It is not only dangerous to accept someone else’s opinions but we are missing the vital aspect of our spiritual intimacy between us and God. Many have never been taught to pray, study or worship on their own and this is the why we have such an anemic church today. Instead of studying themselves, the average Christian takes the easy road and listens to someone else. Instead of worshipping God on their own, they “listen” to a worship CD. Instead of making prayer our highest priority, we bow our head in church and believe that hearing someone else pray is counted toward our quota for the week. Shame on us! Humans have a built-in nature that comes standard in all makes and models which is seldom talked about. It is an “office” within the conscience that has the typical filing cabinets, desk and papers strewn around and one of those tucked and pleated chairs. The person sitting in the chair is Mr. Will and he is usually upset, anxious, stressed and overworked because he has been in charge and realizes it is up to him to singlehandedly make all the decisions within the individual. Mr. Will is a pretty sharp character as he watches and analyzes everything that is seen and heard. This is how he processes what he believes and what he disregards as meaningless. Not only is he constantly trying to sort out information but he is also on guard for opportunities to take advantage of situations of course for the benefit and success of the entire “organization.” When it comes to spiritual wisdom, Mr. Will is not really that interested especially if it involves any type of personal sacrifice because in his view this is very uncomfortable and basically unnecessary. Mr. Will feels much more safe and relaxed around good old harmless traditionalism and can tolerate seemingly innocent rituals and ceremonies that have been handed down through the centuries if need be. He considers logic and common sense a more practical way to live and actually deep down believes that religious people are weak and silly. Besides, there are so many other more crucial things to do with our time!
For those of you that have spent years studying the Bible trying to learn about God, you can relate to what I am saying about becoming “more aware” and knowledgeable with the subject. There are levels of research for example; some people just want to read the Bible and nothing else. They really do not comprehend much of it but they do receive a sense of spiritual peace by just reading it. Some may just be interested in certain topics such as eschatology and all the prophetic mysteries connected with the end of days. Others try to find as many solid resource materials as they can to help them gain a more in-depth understanding of the background and historical accounts of facts relating to the text. Still others go further and study ancient civilizations and other religions to see the bigger picture of how God’s Word and the Christian faith has influenced the world and how differing ideas have been intermingled within what we now have accepted as holy. With all of the seeking and interest for the absolute truth, we can agree that the more we learn the more sensitive we are about the way we live and the more accountable we are to God. One of the more profound revelations of truth is how sobering it is to realize that Mr. Will lives in us. We are the one sitting behind the desk making decisions every moment to either ignore God’s voice or submit and allow Him to lead us. This is very important if we are to ever come to the place where we actually walk in His Spirit. In closing, I just want to say that it is difficult to do what God is requiring us to do. This is exactly why hardly anyone is doing it! It is one thing to NOT be aware or comprehend God’s desires for us but it is completely another issue when we know and refuse to change. The truth is always offensive to Mr. Will however, it is even MORE offensive to God to continue sinning even when we have learned it is wrong. A crucial part of our holiness and purity is understanding what is keeping us from God’s presence – and having the courage to walk away from it. Are you willing to sacrifice what you love in order to make Jesus your FIRST love? Again the spotlight is on Mr. Will – we can put our head in the sand and DENY God’s holy truth – or we can embrace it and allow it to set us free.