2002-04-04 - Sauce With Those Cards?
Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
You may not know it, but I worked harder on this devotional than any one I have ever written, and I'm not real happy with it. Usually I can whip these things out in under an hour, but I have been working on this one since January. I still don't like it because I don't like to share things about myself, but I am getting better at it, I hope, because it seems many of you relate well to some of the various struggles life brings as it is applied to God's Holy Word, (and I am the test case -- it seems)! So here goes...
The public and legal struggles of Miss. Cleo have, it seems, generated even added interest in tarot card readings and things like that. As Christians we need to be careful about these things. The Bible does speak to these things and we ought to be aware of its teachings. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, Jeremiah 23:25-34, 2 Peter 3:3-5) I almost had a tarot card reading once. I was asked by a University of Arizona Poetry Professor if I would like a reading. I thought he was going to read me some poetry. I don't think I have ever had a guy read me poetry, and I'm not looking forward to the first time, but I said, "Sure." He said, "Great I'll go get my cards." "What?" "My tarot cards, I'll go get them and give you a reading." I tried to decline nicely and we had no reading.
I will give another experience that is humorous regarding this guy. He believed that things only existed because we believed they existed. So if we all agreed that something does not exist, it will no longer exist. I would not call it a debate, but he and I were asked to discuss our views before about 15 invited people. He began and remember, he is a University Professor. I was intimidated. I was a 21-year-old trying to figure out which arm was my right and which was my left. But he and I went at it and after about an hour I had a minor epiphany. I said, "So you are saying that if we all agree that this table here does not really exist, it will disappear?" "Yes." "Ok, now tell me, if I break a leg off this table and beat you over the head with it, will the welts on your head be real or only there because we all think they should be there?" He replied, "I don't know." The conversation was over.
My friends, this is life. We are confronted with foolishness every day. We can cry, walk away, or confront it head on. As Christians we need to be bold and confront things as they are. I don't think we do this on our own or on the spur of the moment, but rather we confront in prayer. There is a word that can be said in season, but there is another that can be said out of season. Let us be careful to make sure we speak the love of Christ at the proper time and not when it will be least effective. Our tendency is to march like ants over all who don't think like we do. This is not effective in sharing the love of Christ. We need to be patient, build relationships, and seek the wisdom of the Lord that we might know when to respond in grace and truth.
It is easy to get angry at things we know are false. But anger rarely yields much. I was recently reminded of the phrase that you catch more flies with honey. It is true. There is another part of the factor also. There is a righteous anger when God is shamed and as Christians we must stand up and take offense. But we have to be so, so, careful in doing this. Every situation is different and I don't have the answer for individual situations, but that is why I emphasize that we must ground ourselves in the Word of God, the love of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
I don't know why it always comes back to God's Holy Word, but it does. I can't get it into words, but I do know one thing, everything in the Christian's life should derive itself from there. Christ came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10), but that abundant life is grounded in His Word and in the most confusing person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. I think the Spirit is so vital to our lives today. I have touched on it before many times, and, Lord willing, will again. I don't think we understand the Holy Spirit today. It is just my thought, but I think He seems mystical to most Christians, and "ghost-like," and if you feel that way I think it makes you normal. But honestly, I believe that The Holy Spirit has more to do with applying the work of Atonement in Christ to our lives than even Christ has Himself. Christ did the work, yes, but the Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ.
Join with me in seeking to be grounded in the Word of God. I try to read six chapters a day, it takes a pathetic half hour, and what Christ has done for me certainly is worth a half hour a day of reading His letter to us.
Soli Deo Gloria,