A Strong Vision, maturing mentally, part 3
By Ernie R Heavin
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015
Last edited: Thursday, April 02, 2015
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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How do you know which ideas are a truthful reality and which ones are deceitfully fictitious?
By Ernie Heavin
A Strong Vision!
“A Beautiful Mind” is the true story of John Forbes Nash, a mathematical genius and inventor of rational behavior who suffered from schizophrenia. Harvard Professor George Mackey asked him, “How could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logic, how could you believe that extraterrestrials were sending you messages? How could you believe that you were being recruited by aliens from outer space? How could you?” His answer was quite sobering, “Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way my mathematical ideas did. So I took them very seriously.”
A couple of questions: How do your ideas about God, family, just everyday life come to you? And how do you know which ideas are a truthful reality and which ones are deceitfully fictitious? The Apostle Paul writing to the Colossians stated,
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2: 8)
“See to it!” That’s a pretty strong warning. The secret to maturing mentally (to “seeing to it”) begins by addressing another question, “Am I constantly on my guard against the whispered suggestions of a malicious and deceptive enemy?” Maturing Mentally is more than merely becoming intellectually proficient, although that is part of it. Maturing Mentally is when the information is being processed through the wisdom of God. The result? Transformation, renewing of the mind as Paul will state in Romans 12:1-2,
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God---this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN (emphasis mine) you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is---His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Maturing mentally will involve the willingness and purposeful decision to stop conforming to the pattern of this world and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us, to renew our mind, the way we think, so that we can actually know His good and pleasing will.
MATURING MENTALLY REQUIRES COMFORT
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.”
In our personal exiles we so desperately need the comfort from God. (40:1-2) God’s people are about to go into exile and sense abandonment by Him. The people, like us, came to this interpretation quite simply because; if God was for us then our lives would be much more smooth and easy and we would not be going into exile. Sometimes the exile (God’s people being taken to Babylon) is their fault. Sometimes the exile (being unemployed, a serious illness, a spiritual wandering in the desert) is not the person’s fault. Sometimes it’s both. Regardless, what we need first and foremost is God’s comfort. And what we need to understand is that God does not choose or allow us to endure the exile to destroy us, but to strengthen us, sometimes even to save us from ourselves.
His comfort begins when we recognize just how strong and powerful He really is and He invites us to consider His updated resume of running the universe; from shepherding His people (40:10-11) to upholding the creation (40:12-14) to handling the nations who to Him are merely a drop in the bucket (40:15-20). Certainly your exile isn’t too difficult for Him to handle. But (and there’s always that, but) there’s that other underlying thought at hand: it’s not that God can’t help out, it’s that He won’t. However, the Creator addresses that whispered suggestions from a malicious and deceptive enemy with two thoughts:
First, He wants us to really think this one through, “Do you really not understand this, and does none of this make perfect sense to you? I’ve created everything just for you. Why in the world (pun intended) would I fashion this world into existence if it wasn’t for you? Think about it. (40:21-26)
Second, He confronts the thought that He is not a caring God by saying, “Why are you complaining, why are you thinking I don’t see what’s going on and that your life doesn’t matter to Me? Really?” (40:27) I’m your Comfort Keeper. I don’t grow weary, I don’t get tired, no one stumps Me. No one!” (40:28) God is telling us that we have been listening to the wrong voices and need to “See to it” that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy. He leaves us with these additional comforting thoughts,
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (40:29-31)
MATURING MENTALLY REQUIRES OWNING UP
Now, I’m going to use a word that is very offensive to people, Christian and non-Christian alike, here is it: repentance. You may be thinking, “But what have I done lately that I have to repent of?” It’s simple, it’s basic, and one of the sins that most of us or all of us need to repent of from time to time. It is the sin of diminishing God in our thoughts. (45:9)
“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making? Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?
If there is anything that really gets under His skin, it’s when the created tell the Creator how to run the creation. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Stop doing it. It is a lose/lose situation. God is not offended by our honest questions, but He does get a bit upset when we accuse Him of messing up our lives. We need to own up.
MATURING MENTALLY REQUIRES A HEALTHY DOSE OF REALITY
Part of the problem for not maturing mentally is that we just don’t live in reality. One of my favorite says goes like this, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” What is it that you are doing over and over again in life and expecting different results? The mind-set is so absurd that we can be going through life on a daily basis, completely making illogical choices and yet never make the connection of how ridiculous our life really is. For example, Isaiah takes a normal day out of the life of Judah, puts it on a theological YouTube and then says, “Just watch this and tell me if this is rational thinking to you.”
A man takes a piece of wood and he cuts it in half. Half of that piece of wood is used for fuel to cook his food. With the other half the man carves out this wooden idol, bows down to it, prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!” (44:12-19) God wants us to take a very close look at this YouTube nonsense, watch it several times and then asks, “And no one stops to think, ‘what’s wrong with this picture?’” And even a more sobering question is addressed in verse 20,
“Such a person feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?’”
What is the piece of wood in your hand (money, employment, food, drugs/alcohol, relationships) that you are calling out to, “Save me! You are my god!” And what is the lie that is in your right hand? The Apostle Paul and Isaiah are willing to walk us through in order for us to mature mentally, but they are also giving us responsibility as well, “See to it!”
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS ON PURPOSE: Consider the following,
Do you believe God is for you, against you or indifferent to you?
Can you make a mental list of the things you do over and over again and expect change?
Is there a lie in your right hand? What is the lie in your right hand? Are you willing to accept the comfort that comes from God?
OASIS LIFE TRUTHS: I'm glad God chose someone like Abraham to be the model of how one is made right with God. I'm glad the Creator of the universe actually overlooked all of Abraham's faults as though he never sinned or doubted in the first place (Romans 4:16-21). Because that means He overlooks my complete blunders and hang ups and treats me as if I'm batting a thousand. And unlike Abraham, I'm glad all of my sins and stupid mistakes are not posted all over Facebook in the way Abraham's are disclosed in Genesis. Really glad.
Site: The Writings From Heavin