11-11-2018 Oblivious to the Obvious

FROM THE PASTOR

November 11, 2018

 

The first snow of the year is always interesting. It seems that over the brief 6-month sabbatical from ‘snow’ everyone forgets how to drive in inclement weather. Some drivers go too fast (forgetting that snow creates the need to add a few minutes to the drive) … some go too slow (causing a hazard to drivers around them) … for those of us who grew up in the era of pumping the brakes as we slow momentum (before anti-brake systems) we pump the brakes (and the cars slips even more) … and everyone seems to forget that the slickest part of the road develops at the stop signs and intersections (as we slide on through). Did I hit all the marks? Probably not!

 

Fortunately, this will all pass. It always does. There will be a few fender benders… some more than scary moments… and a few instances of gestures (not from anyone reading this I’m sure). But it will pass. In a few weeks we will be old hands once again. And like previous winters, we will laugh at those who visit from the south while secretly hoping and praying, we don’t end up in the ditch ourselves.

 

For me, fifty-two past winters of driving is proof of how amazingly quick we get used to the environment around us. Happens to us spiritually too. Those things that bothered us at first encounter have a tendency to become common as we are more frequently exposed to them… soon we hardly pay them any attention to them at all.

 

During a 2-year period in the 1980’s I managed a transmission line design project for New York Power Authority. For those two years every Monday morning I would catch a limo from Jackson to Detroit Metro, fly to New York City, catch a taxi into Manhattan, attend a 2-hour meeting, reverse the procedure and be home that same evening. I recall the first time I walked the streets of Manhattan and had to walk around homeless folks as they lay on the sidewalk. Sometimes they lay in such a fashion that you had to step over them to get by them. It was a shock to this county boy’s senses.

 

I am here to tell you though, after a few months of doing that, I hardly noticed them any more (right or wrong that was the reality). I became exactly like the throngs of others who walked past, over and round them and never skipped a step or a beat of my conversation. It’s amazing how easy it was to become acclimated to things that initially shock our senses.

 

Satan knows this… he’s become a master at moving us slowly into a sense of dullness. His goal is that even the Christian’s eyes become dim through exposure to sin. His hope is that even though we know that God has instructed us concerning what is right and wrong… we FLINCH… we MOVE… LOOK THE OTHER WAY. To do this Satan, brazenly, yet patiently, and with methodical precision lulls us into spiritual slumber while attempting to convince us that to STAND FIRM is insensitive… hard-hearted… out of touch… not practical… even desperate.

 

Satan uses numerous methods such as producing television shows that normalize and sympathize with fornication, adultery, all brands of sexual immorality, abortion, cheating, lying, stealing, twisting creation and even questioning its Creator. And all that time, as Christians, we are being desensitized. We become numb to the truth that STANDING FIRM is a GOD GIVEN joy… privilege… and responsibility. The consequences of this numbness then mimic my actions as I walked the streets of Manhattan. We step over sin… we walk around sin… and we look past sin. We soon become oblivious to it while never missing a step or a beat.

 

Is it any wonder the world steps over so many Christian’s testimonies with no obvious acknowledgment, walks around so many Christian’s lifestyles without an afterthought and looks past the only salvation available to them? STANDING FIRM is not easy. But STAND FIRM we must. We are representatives of the ONLY HOPE to a lost world… our prayer must be that this world surrenders to Christ before it is too late.

 

Hebrews 3:13 (NASB)
13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

 

Please Lord, may we never be guilty of walking past, around or over sin without seeing it and responding to it for what it is… desperate lies from the god of this world.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry

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