Overcoming Illusion Psalm 36:9

#353  Overcoming Illusion Psalm 36:9

I see a threatening circumstance and I jump to a conclusion out of fear.  I hear something someone said that someone said and I make a judgment.  The issue at hand seems so unpredictable, it seems impossible to deal with.  Beware of optical illusions in life!

It is easy to “see” something in life, and to be absolutely sure of what we are seeing, and yet not see accurately.

And so the importance of letting the Holy spirit guide us into each next step of truth we need to see.  John 16:12-15

The challenge to see accurately:

By arranging a series of patterns, images, and colors strategically, or playing with the way an object is lit, the brain can be tricked into seeing something that isn’t there. How you perceive proportion can also be altered depending on the known objects that are nearby. It’s not magic — it’s an optical illusion.

There’s also the Ebbinghaus illusion, or Titchener circles, which messes with how we judge the size an object.

It’s all relative. When two circles that are exactly the same size are put next to each other, but one circle is surrounded by larger circles and the other one by smaller ones, the circle surrounded by the larger spots tends to seem smaller than its counterpart.   Michelle Castillo

Contrast Effects:  The unsettling effect seen in this image (called a Hermann Grid) is one of many optical illusions that take advantage of the way our visual system processes contrast information. The important lesson to take away from this exercise is the following: What you see is not what you get. In other words, the “image” of the world received by light receptors in your eye is not exactly the same as the “image” that reaches your brain.  Professor William Warren

Our adversary knows how to over-stimulate with color, or create a context like the above picture that causes some type of distortion, for example causing something to look bigger or smaller than it really is.  John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:14  We can base our judgments and beliefs on the appearance instead of looking beyond to the truth.

We may have the belief that there are not enough resources to finish the work God has begun in us.  Luke 14:27; 28-30

That is illusion!

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day…”   2 Timothy 1:12

We may have the belief that there are too many obstacles and too strong an opposing ‘army’ to be victorious.  Luke 14:31-33  That is illusion!  “If God is for us, who can be against us  He who did not grudge his own Son but gave him up for us all—can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need?”  Romans 8:31 Phillips

O LORD, we need Your eyes and Your wisdom to be able to truly see.

“For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light we see light.”  Psalm 36:9

Teach us to see beyond distortion, exaggeration and misperception to see the truth of Who You are in our daily lives (Ephesians 3:16-21) and the truth of the blessing You stand for on behalf all our human family.  Romans 8:19-21

Teach us to walk by trust and reliance on Your Truth, and not by appearance:

Teach us to walk by faith and not by sight.

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The Blessing of Overwhelm 2 Kings 19:20

#352  The Blessing of Overwhelm  2 Kings 19:20

Ever feel bombarded by experiences?

I was feeling overwhelmed by a number of experiences, one on top of another.  On Saturday I was emotionally exhausted, with no motivation.  I prayed and took some naps.  And then as I began to study for our Sunday Bible Study, my Loving Heavenly Father brought 2 Kings 19 to my attention, yet another time.

Rabshakeh, an officer and messenger of King Sennacherib, King of Assyria cried with a loud voice in Judean so that the Israeli watchers on the wall would hear and understand.  His words were meant to undermine the courage of the people.  He made some counterfeit promises:

Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king do Assyria, “Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live and not die.”  But do not listen to Hezekiah, when he misleads you, saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” 2 Kings 18:26-35

A second strong message was sent to Hezekiah by Rabshakeh through messengers by their hateful words and by letter.  2 Kings 19:9-13

Because of the strength of overwhelming threats Hezekiah spread the matter before the Lord.

“Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.”  2 Kings 19:14

With every disillusionment and challenge the intention of our Loving Father is that we would take it to Him, in all its specifics, in prayer.

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”  Psalm 62:8

Because the threats drove Hezekiah to prayer, the Mighty One of Israel answered him.

“Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib, King of Assyria, I have heard you.”  2 Kings 19:20

Overwhelming circumstance is meant to drive us to Him, the Source of Overwhelming Blessing.

What blessing overwhelming circumstance holds when we let it drive us to the Source of Overwhelming Blessing.

We are ready to receive when we truly ask, convinced that the Overwhelming power of God is greater than the overwhelming threat of any circumstance. Romans 8:31-39!

 

Jesus is the Door – John 10:9

#351  Jesus is the Door  John 10:9

I was afraid to “open the door,” afraid to enter an unpredictable experience.

But Jesus is the door!

“I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”  John 10:9

He is our access to Life.

“Since then it is by faith that we are justified, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.”  Romans 5:1-2, also 3-11  Phillips

One type of a sheep fold is here described:

Jesus said that He is the “door of the sheep”. What did He mean? Well, a sheepfold during Jesus’ time had no door which could be opened and closed. The door of the sheepfold was just an opening. In this kind of sheepfold, after the sheep had entered it, the shepherd would sleep at the entrance. The shepherd became, effectively, the “door” of the sheepfold.

He is our access to protection, to rest, to nurturing experience.

Every experience goes through Jesus first, before it reaches us.

As I dreaded some disciplinary discussions with two employees I reminded myself, “Jesus is the door.”

I experienced a conflict that challenged my peace and I reminded myself, “Jesus is the door.”

There was an unexpected “disappointment” and I reminded myself, “Jesus is the door.”

We are afraid to “open the door,” afraid to enter an unpredictable experience.

But Jesus is the door.

And he is predictably trustworthy.

There is no fear in encountering Jesus, for his love is proven, and his intentions beyond question.

“I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”  John 10:11