Isn't it amazing how quickly time passes? It is already the 9th of January. I was thinking yesterday about some things that happened two years ago. In one sense it seemed like two weeks ago and in another, twenty years ago. When evaluating a situation, it is very beneficial to look at it from many different perspectives, for with each perspective, you many times see things not seen before.
Wisdom many times dictates slowing down and taking the time to evaluate things from all potential angles. By nature, we tend to look at something once and make snap judgments. This might be fine in some matters, but in important things, we need to slow down and thoroughly investigate a matter before passing judgment.
Judging things on their outward appearance only is one of the oldest tricks in the enemy's book. In fact, that is exactly what happened to Eve in the garden. The serpent appeared to be something beautiful and someone she felt it was allowable to listen to. The enemy is incredibly adept at transforming himself into an angel of light. He appears to be one thing when in reality he is something totally different.
If Eve would have been more taken more time to thoroughly investigate who this creature was who was trying to persuade her to disobey God's Word; she could have avoided making a her mistake. Eve made one huge mistake; she never asked God who this creature was and whether she should pay attention to what it was saying. She assumed since it was beautiful, intelligent and charming; it must have been sent by God. People make the same mistake today.
If the Lord has given me one word that has never changed and that He expects me to stand on and abide by in most situations it is this. Things are not as they appear. Some might call it being negative, but I consider it being wise to look at things from the perspective of; things are not as they appear. The Word of God exhorts us over and over again to try or examine things to make sure they are real, pure or genuine. This is for our protection to help us avoid making the mistake Eve made.
A few months ago I received a very official looking envelope from some place in Europe claiming to be a lottery. Inside it said I had won this country's lottery and if I followed the directions given I could claim my prize of close to a million dollars. Everything looked as official as it could possible look. Perhaps thirty years ago I would have gotten excited and did what the letter said to do. Now, since I am older and have been burned by similar frauds over the years, I knew before doing an internet search that it had to be a fraud. It was, and the envelope with my potential fortune went into the trash.
We are daily confronted with things that appear to be too good to be true. 99 times out of 100, they are not true. Recently my mailbox has been full of the yearly sweepstake claims that I just might have the lucky number that will win me $$$$$$. Unlike in the past when I would send all the stuff back and pray to be the winner, now it all goes into the trash. The world's marketing whiz's are so adept at playing upon our needs and greed, they know exactly what to tempt us with to get us to waste money or time on things that always end up in failure.
Those in the world spend most of their time chasing fantasies or looking for the pot of gold at the end of the next rainbow. Get rich quick scams clog our e-mail accounts every day. Offers of making fast fortunes fill the help wanted ads of all major newspapers. Promises of receiving outlandish returns on investments tempt thousands of naïve people every day to turn over their life's savings to people with big smiles and flashy sales pitches.
To avoid being "taken", we must slow down and evaluate what is being said or offered from all perspectives. We cannot afford to be rash when it comes to where and how we invest our money, resources or time. God expects us to be wise stewards of those commodities. The enemy expects us to yield to the temptation of getting something for nothing.
Today, just like every other day of the week, thousands upon thousands of senior citizens in this country will make their daily trek to the local casino to play slot machines. Today, thousands of people who don't have any extra money to begin with will have even less to live on. Never in my life have I watched a more evil phenomenon than how the gambling industry has entrapped the elderly in this country in their snare of "innocent fun". Whether at the old time gambling meccas of Las Vegas or Atlantic City, or at Indian Reservations or River Boats; the enticement to get something for nothing has flooded even conservative areas with the bright lights of temptation.
Please, the next time someone approaches you with the "offer of a lifetime" to become the world's next millionaire; simply say no and move on. Things are not as they appear. If it appears to be too good to be true, IT IS NOT GOING TO BE TRUE. Desperate people do desperate things, and falling for the sales pitch of unscrupulous people who only want to steal your assets is the most desperate thing anyone ever does.
Stop, look and listen has to be the way we approach anyone and anything whose claims sound too good to be true. We must invest the time to investigate before investing money in anything or anyone. We have an enemy who is an expert at deception. He wrote is the founder and president of the "Not as they appear" club. We must always be vigilant and cognizant of his tactics and not yield to the temptation of trusting our "gut" instead of trying, evaluating, examining and investigating before making a decision to spend money or time.
A close friend of mine "appeared" to be fine physically. I asked him if he was feeling o.k. since he looked a little run down. He said, "I'm fine, don't worry about me." I didn't, for he appeared to be fine. This friend died the other day of cancer. He never told any of his close friends, because he didn't want to "bother them". Mixed with the sorrow of losing a friend, is the reminder; THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY APPEAR. Even when coming from someone considered a friend.
Indeed, things are not usually as they superficially appear to be.
I recall the account of King Herod when he spoke to the wise men, "Oh yes! When you find the Lord and Savior of us all, please let me know so I may go to Him and worship too."
The wise men, being very wise, didn't "buy into" what King Herod was selling. Instead, they went back to their homelands, PRAISING GOD the entire way, I'm sure.
What a wonderful blog!
Thank you brother,
amen my brother i thank god for his mercy , grace lovingkindness and peace that passes all understanding. when and only when you let his spirit guide you, reading his word, praying and being around people and not doing it your way will give you the perspective that he wants you to have and his name shall get the glory.i believe his word so i follow jesus . he never lied to me yet and he keeps his word
Thank you for sharing your insights. I also receive many offers both in the snail-mail and in my e-mail account telling me I am a winner.
They are right, I am a winner with Christ!!
Thanks for the wonderful insight and the brick along with that I definately need to work on not making assumptions right off the bat. Thanks brother you are a blessing to all on here.