Friday, November 28, 2014

November 28 – The devil’s smoke and mirrors

When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you.  (Isaiah 43:2 NET)

If most of us had our way, we’d change this promise to say, “Don’t worry folks, I’ll never make you pass through streams or walk through fire.”

Interesting that God’s promises imply that rushing streams and fiery tests will definitely come, but that they will be no match for the protection of our God.  We will never be in danger as long as we live in faith.  Though the paths God leads us down might look extremely dangerous, God wants us to have the faith that what they look like is not what they truly are.  Reality for us needs to be what God promises.  The sensation of fear when we feel threatened is not reality at all.  

When Evelyn was 8, her family took a trip to Disneyland in LA.  Having lived in the poor developing country of Korea until then, she was enthralled by the huge shiny theme park and its top of the line entertainment.  She especially remembers the haunted house, riding along a track in the small “doom-buggies” with her cousins as they passed through room after room of unending scary sights and sounds.  She was terrified and screamed more than ever in her life – and loved it too!  Ten years later at 18, she visited her relatives again and had the chance to take that same ride.  But this time she could see all the wires and projectors and mechanisms and could appreciate the work that it took to create this well designed attraction.   She was disappointed that it had become merely amusing instead of scary. 

This is how God wants us to view the threats of the devil all around us.  They are just Hollywood effects, and cannot harm us, IF we walk by faith, serving God as our only Lord.   It doesn’t mean that we won’t feel fear from time to time, it means that we take control of fear and choose to see our situation with the eyes of God.  Faith allows us to see the smoke and mirrors, the fake background music and the plastic mannequins.  We are to go right through those streams that threaten to overwhelm us, and right through the fake fire that can’t consume us.

The problem that most Christians have is that they are surrounded by people of doubt - both in and out of church.  There are few examples of true believers who have walked unscathed through fire and flood before our eyes.  But just because faith is weak in others, doesn’t mean that it has to be weak in us.  Our trust in God has to be based on His promises, not on the poor examples of others.  We will not be overwhelmed or burned, and if we say we believe, we have to put that belief into action. We need to be the examples that lead the way for others.

Don’t try to squirm out of a trial of fire or flood that is ahead of you. Trust Him today, and take that ride, and you’ll come out stronger.  It’s not as scary as you think. 

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