A Voice in the Shadowlands

Telling Porkies to Myself

A few days ago, I my quiet time led me to a verse that I’d never paid attention to before. I’ve read through the Bible before but, honestly, with so many verses in the Bible, it really comes as no surprise that you always see something that you’ve glossed over before. So, what’s the verse?

Isaiah 28:15 – You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”

Intrigued, I read the verses around it. Here’s the general gist: Isaiah is telling Israel that they have gotten too big for their britches. They have gotten so lackadaisical and cocky they feel like they don’t need God. God, being the great father that he is, plans on disciplining his renegade hellion children. Their response? Verse 15. They’re not worried. They’ve built up a web of lies so thick that they believe it and think they’re impervious to whatever can happen.

I do that a lot, too. I build up my own little mirages that I often prefer to deal with than face reality, build my relationship with God (even if that means experiencing discipline). In Cockney slang, I’m telling porky pies (lies). Not to my parents, not to friends, or God. I’m lying to myself. Perhaps I shouldn’t, but it comforts me that I know I’m not alone. People all over feel like they’ve made themselves ironclad. Successful business, check. Hot and cold running women, check. Sycophants following you like puppies (sycophants, by the way, is just a fancy word for kiss-ups, or whatever other word you want to follow kiss), check. For some it’s not those things that build their false confidence. Some of the biggest delusions are the “I’m a contributing member of the church” or “I don’t really do the church thing but I’m a spiritual person.” Whatever the lie…enjoy it while it lasts.

See, the rest of the chapter is one of those fantastic times in the Bible when God lets the sarcasm fly. The remaining verses can be summed up roughly as: “Hmmm, that contract you’ve worked out to cheat death? Yeeeeeah, uhm, I voided that. See, scariness is coming and your blanket isn’t going to be big enough for you to hide under. See, you’ve been doing everything backwards. I want to teach you how to do it right, if you’d just LISTEN TO ME.”

I wonder how tired God gets of saying that over and over and over again. I know when I’m being spiritually smart I’m amazed at how steep my learning curve is. I feel like the kid who says that 6th grade was the best 4 years of his life. The crazy thing is, life could be so much easier if I popped the bubble I’ve surrounded myself in, crawl out from under the blankets and face life, scariness and awesomeness combined, for what it is.

Anyone willing to pop the bubble with me?

Pax.

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3 responses

  1. Kim

    I wish I had learned this many years ago. Now that I am sort of, kind of getting My Father’s hint, I find myself lacking. I have been the great builder of fabrications about how righteous I am. Thank you.

    29 August 2010 at 9:14 pm

  2. susan

    Hmm…this is one I also struggle with all the time. I know I worry too much about what others think of me, or my choice of friends, and a million other petty worldly things. Currently I am trying to refocus my Life. Others are resistant to the change in THEIR definition of who they think I should be. It makes for frustration on all sides.

    I have made mistakes, and will make more as I continue to grow. (I’d love to be able to say I won’t, but I do know myself well…and am after all human.)

    I would like to know if you have any thoughts on this subject.

    Thanks.

    4 September 2010 at 1:23 pm

  3. Kim

    Random thoughts.

    Only those who are no longer living make no mistakes.

    In the end, He is the one we must please, by pleasing Him we will find we are content with who we have become.

    In church this morning I was reminded of the first teachings of Jesus that I can remember from my childhood. It is just as true today. We would do well to remember it as I believe it applies to this subject as well as most others we struggle with. The teaching goes like this (I am leaving out the refrain): “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so; little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong…Jesus loves me, He who died, Heaven’s gate to open wide, He will wash away my sin, let His little child come in.”

    5 September 2010 at 11:05 am

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