Act NOW! This is Not a Drill.

hurricane-92968_640All the best illusionists know it’s vital to divert the crowd’s attention – to distract, disconcert, obfuscate, lead astray. When attempting to determine a magician’s trick, the real trick is not to look where he is directing your attention. All grifters, cons, scammers, and frauds work on a similar platform. Flash engaging smile at the mark, gain attention, keep talking, win trust, rob ‘em blind.

This week on the news, an old widow wept for her treasured engagement ring purloined by two young men who offered to pave her drive. While one escorted her to the basement for a jug of water, the other stole her memories and her trust. And this was barely news, a footnote, a warning, a cautionary tale. Most viewers quietly blamed the weeping lady for not seeing through the crafty smiles, the kindness con.

But deceivers practice deception like Olympians practice salchows, shaving seconds off their turns, and sticking their landings. They devote themselves to their craft like crazed composers, starving artists, driven poets. The tail end of the most insidious scam is to leave victims blaming themselves. That’s the money shot, right? The audience shaking their heads at the target of the crime while a silent fan club forms for the scammer marveling at how he pulled it off and got away. The master magician quietly whispers, “Who do you want to be like the most? The foolish victim or the wise thief?”

We live in a deluge of deception, the age of the lovely lie, the savvy spin, the enticing evasion, the fair falsehood, the tale. Magicians are no longer confined to the stage at the Bellagio. What happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas but crops up in D.C. and the Heartland, and Rome. As if every world citizen was issued a beginner’s magic kit at birth, so only the strongest willed reject the urge to dabble in deceit.

So lost in a labyrinth of lies, are we, we cannot answer basic questions without polling our friends. Is it ever okay to molest the unconscious? Are unborn babies fully human? Is marriage a God-created mystery? Is gender a fraud or God’s design? Are there many roads that lead to God? Are all religions equal? Is Jesus the only way to salvation? Does the Christian God know how to love? We spend our days on social media or the lunchroom at work or before the barking screen and believe the lie that these are hard questions to answer. The moment we open His Word, we find they are not. To deter us from that, the talking heads squawk that there are experts in theology, Biblical scholars, and serious, serious Christians who’ll testify that no one can understand the Bible, that there are no clear answers, that it’s all a mystery.ace-961988_640

They lie.

They believe a lie and they perpetuate the lie. But you don’t have to trust me on this. You have a Bible. You can read the truth yourself. You’re no fool. You made it through elementary school, you navigated the channel menu on your television, and you figured out how to file your taxes. You can read a story, a parable, a book of history, or a letter to a church and understand the words. Besides, it isn’t just any book. God guides those who ask. And there are helpers. Sound teachers. Reasoned apologists. Intelligent, scientific followers of Jesus. I’m not saying every answer is simple but there is more we can know for sure than the deceivers will concede in their soundbites.

Now is the time. This idea that someday you’re going to get to know God or that eventually you’ll spend time reading the Bible or that at some point you’ll go deeper in understanding your own faith is part of the delusion being pumped into the oxygen with the slight calming scent of lavender. Now. We need to know Him now. We need to read the Bible now. We need to understand what we believe now.

While the greatest show on earth is playing out on center stage in our living rooms every night and the circus master directs our attention to the distraction, events that will actually determine our futures are occurring in obscure places – quietly, subtly, like a noxious undetectable gas piped in through well-disguised vents. Like the second thief who stole the lady blind while she chatted merrily with the young man who was so helpful to retrieve water from her basement.

Social engineers introducing legislation making our thoughts and words a crime, censoring the expression of our beliefs on Facebook, outlawing them in our children’s schools. Dictators quietly imprisoning our brothers and sisters in far off lands. Terrorists enslaving our beautiful daughters in countries with names we can’t pronounce. A public celebration of a resurrected false god, Baphomet, tolerated like Olympic entertainment in Switzerland at the opening of a tunnel – met with barely an outcry. Our faith a standard punchline on our own airwaves.

Now is the time, loved ones. It isn’t wise to join the deceivers. It is better to be that trusting old woman robbed of her jewels than the thieves who think they’ve gotten away. They haven’t. No one gets away in the end. You know how I know this? I read the Bible. I immerse myself in God’s Word. I put it into practice and dig in deep to understand the greater truths.

Now is the time to know what we know. To hunker down with what we believe. To prepare to withstand the tsunami of lies, the gathering storm, the coming day.

bible-879087_640What is your plan? We worship a living God and He’s waiting to partner with you in this. To guide. To encourage. To reward. In June, read the gospel of Matthew, in July, read Mark and Luke. In August, tarry awhile in John and don’t stop. When you finish one gospel, read it again. Listen to it on CD. Talk about it with friends. If it raises questions, GOOD! Seek answers.

We know how to prepare for hurricanes. We don’t delay. We procure things. We secure things. We insure things. How much more should be attend now to our souls and minds before the whirlwind taking form on the horizon?

Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. YOU have access to the words of the Living God. He invites you to experience His truth firsthand. Now, loved ones. Do it now.

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4 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Tina says:

    Here’s my frustration: Reading the Bible and learning what it says, only to be told by someone, “No, this isn’t what the Bible says, what it REALLY says is . . .” and having that someone “prove” by Scripture what they say the Bible REALLY says.

    I’ve experienced that with at least two churches who used Scripture to “prove” their own agenda.

    • Theresa Hayes says:

      Stay with God’s Word, Tina. You can see what it says. Satan is very crafty. He gleefully uses intelligent people to twist and warp God’s Word in order to draw them and us away. Stay strong. Don’t concern yourself with what others say, and don’t allow yourself to be led away. You don’t even need to get upset–just say, “That is not what God’s Word says.” Stay strong.

  2. I remember the guilt my 89-year-old mother felt after being scammed out of every last dime of her meager savings. We had to work to convince her that the thieves exist because they’re so good at what they do. It was more difficult for her to forgive herself than to forgive the evil coniving of others. Your warning for eternal matters weighs far heavier than her experience; yet the analogy is so powerfully true.

  3. It is way too easy for Christians to be deceived, Lori, including me. Satan is able to quote Scripture and confuse those who don’t know God’s Word. If he had the gall to try it on Jesus, none of us are safe from his lies. I spent several weeks in Matthew and Mark and now I’m in Luke. I’ve noticed that the more I learn, the more subtle Satan is. Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit who will lead us into truth. I find I rely on Him more and more to discern lies from truth.