You’re Delusional

Isaiah 63 and beyond are so beautiful. A conversation between God and Isaiah- but also perhaps The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – a memory walk of good and bad times with the Israelites. It shifts from good old days to current bad days and then turns again to seek the hope of future days- foreshadowing a ministry beyond those times, saying that the Lord will “call his servants by another name.”(65:15)

It goes through the blessings to be received by those who call upon him, and the curses that befall those who reject him.

As I sat marveling at the grace and mercy of God, continuing to read, I found Isaiah 66:4 and it’s one of the most beautiful verses to me…

I will also choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called none did answer; when I spake they did not hear: but they did evil before my eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

When we choose to do wrong, or to turn from those things God has given us to do for our benefit- it doesn’t mean we excuse ourselves from his order. We aren’t excused from his design just because we choose to deny it exists.

He chooses our delusions. Do you see that? Right there in black and white- “I will also choose their delusions…”.

I don’t believe that means he randomly selects people to inflict or punish- or that he’s being mean. It means, that even in our rebellion, God understands the workings of the mind- the natural things we will certainly encounter when we choose to deny the truth.

Choices have logical (to God if not to our poor thinking) consequences. When we are turned over to a reprobate mind- it doesn’t mean we are outside of God’s order- just the opposite- we are still right where his order says we must be.

God loves us so much that he allows us to disagree. He allows us to live how we choose. He even allows us to deny him.

But denying the truth doesn’t make it untrue. Truth still exists right we’re it was. A delusion is defined as

A belief or altered reality that is persistently held despite evidence or agreement to the contrary, generally in reference to a mental disorder.

By definition a delusion is a disagreement with Truth. The part of the whole that we choose to disagree with determines the consequences we experience.

Now – that definition also includes reference to mental disorders– which typically brings to mind a serious medical problem. But- think a moment- isn’t our mind somewhat dis-ordered any time we don’t understand something fully? Don’t you enjoy those aha! moments? Those moments where an unclear situation suddenly becomes clear? Don’t you feel more at ease and relaxed when your mind is put in order in that aha! moment?

I’m not trying to diminish true mental illnesses by any means- but simply to point out that order is preferable to disorder. (Even those of us who love to make creative messes enjoy having things back where we can get to them again once we are finished.)

The point really is that He knows the order. He understands where our mind goes when we deny the truth. He knows the path to where we are, because he created the path. He created the mind. He can find us wherever we are– even if that place is a hidden place inside our own thinking.

You don’t have to be deluded. Turn to him and ask him to help you find the path through your tangled mind. Ask him to keep you from drowning in your troubled thoughts. He’s walked on water before. He knows the way. He is the way, the Truth, and the Life.

I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

John 10:10

Bray, Jenny, Bray!

More times than I would like to admit, I find myself reinacting one of the roles in the story of Balaam from Numbers 22. 

Before I explain why, I have to give credit where it is due. I wouldn’t have been thinking about this story today without having read this devotional from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It talks about not being able to see our own blind spots – not wanting to see or hear those that God has placed in an instructive position in our lives.

As usual I cast myself in the role of the good guy while I read, so this morning I was cheering for the poor donkey in this story – You go, Jenny! Tell that stubborn man what he is missing! Make him see how wrong he is about this situation and how he treated you! (Because the Bible does refer to the donkey as “her”, I don’t think it inappropriate to call her Jenny – as opposed to Jack.)

Further, I was all about some self-righteous projections as well.

That’s just like _______! Every time I tried and tried to tell ______ , but oh, no! They wouldn’t listen to me and now look where they are. 

Then I started to look at the reflection questions in the devotional – what are your blind spots?

Well, phooey! I started to wonder if I wasn’t more like Balaam- beating the donkey and trying to make it go where I thought it should go – not recognizing that its obstinance stemmed from a desire to protect me rather than to stand against me.

The difference is- that God did finally open both the donkey’s mouth and Balaam’s eyes. The donkey clearly stated her intent to protect, and Balaam clearly saw the angel of the Lord blocking his path, telling him he was headed for destruction. 

It would be so wonderful if people would always speak their intentions as clearly as Jenny did that day. Or if we could all open our eyes to the spiritual dangers that surround us so that we can better appreciate those who are trying to help, but (like Jenny) have limited resources or abilities to do so. 

God took up Jenny’s case that day, because she was clearly operating out of a spiritual awareness of His desires for her life and the life of one she cared about. 

Sometimes I wonder why God isn’t taking up either my case OR the case of that person standing against me. Why doesn’t one of us miraculously start speaking in a way that the other can better understand – or why doesn’t one of us suddenly see in the spirit realm and understand what a help the other is truly being? 

I think maybe because neither one is completely focused on God. We may think we are- but how often does our focus on God get out of focus – stigmatized (like an astigmatism) by something that is misshapen in our heart? 

God, I pray today, that you would open my eyes to the places in my heart that have become an astigmatism to my soul. That you would guide my heart to see clearly what the actions of others may be conveying – even when all I hear is braying. 
You are in control today,Lord. I thank you for your patience with me and your concern for me. Thank you for putting Jennies and Jacks in my way to protect me when I just can’t see. You are amazing, God! I praise you today – thank you so much for your great, great love.