Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

The Sunday when we move the clocks ahead one hour is traditionally a low attendance day. We were not terrible but we were 20% below the previous Sunday. I am aware of some who missed because they forgot to change their clocks and I suspect that there are others. People did seem a bit sluggish as we began worship and that seemed to carry over as we sang. There was good fellowship when the service was finished.

The messaged continued the series "Breaking Bondages" but it was not the message I had worked on all week. I was continually checked in my spirit as prepared the message. That continued Saturday evening, so I put it away, prayed and went to bed. Sunday morning that check was still there so I began to look another direction and everything opened up. So I followed that leading and trusted that it was the Lord.

The focus of the message was on our tendency to pretend. I compared it to fantasy sports. I love playing fantasy sports, especially baseball. I have been in the same fantasy league for something like 12 years. Four of those years I traveled 11 hours one way to get to the draft, so you could say I am committed. Maybe you believe I should be committed. The point is that I enjoy it, but I know it is only fantasy. I never confuse running my fantasy team with real major league baseball. However, I see many people who seem to be playing fantasy Christianity. They pretend to have it together when the truth is their life is not following Christ's Word or will.

We must recognize things that we are pretending to control, but that are actually controlling us. Why do we pretend? We do it to look good. I Samuel 16:7 "...Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Too often we are more concerned about our spiritual appearance than the true condition of our heart. We pretend to fool ourselves. We also do it to fool God. Would you really want to give your life to any god that you could really fool? The old Grocho Marks line comes to mind, "I refuse to be a member of any group who would have me as a member." We must also recognize that pretending doesn't change the truth. Even if we convince someone else, or ourselves, the truth is still the truth. Fantasy is fun, but it is not real. Fantasy is fun in many areas, but fantasy faith is devastating.

Fortunately healing is possible. Ask Jesus to examine you and your motives. Confess, an unburdening of your heart and mind. Jesus is listening, he already knows any area in which you are pretending but is waiting to hear from you. Believe in Christ's forgiveness. Don't fall for the lie that says what you are covering with your pretending is bigger than Christ can, or will, forgive. Then walk like Jesus walks. I John 1:9-2:6 speaks to these points. We must follow his walk and his way. If not then we are just pretending. The consequences of me not winning in my fantasy league is the ridicule of the others in the league. The consequences of continuing to pretend spiritually are eternal.

What are you pretending is okay? Will you walk the way Jesus walks?


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