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Playing with Holy Fire
The Great Deception
Games People Play
Do you like playing games? Now, do you like playing games with God? I thought I did, I used to play hide and seek. I would hide from him when I was bad and then seek him when I needed something, just doesn't seem right to me. How about a new game? We'll call it "God says"
And God says “Why are you trying to hide from me Robert, do you think I wont see you and what you are doing?” That is it; right, it is what I think, although absent mindedly, that he somehow won’t see what I have been up to and when I hear his voice, like a child I get scared and hide.
Is this who we are, as Christians? When all he wants for us is to praise him and out of love, as he is our Father, do we see a figure who desires to hurt us? Do we see this world as a cruel joke he has staged just to watch us suffer, like he would enjoy watching that? Do you really think that? Then you don’t know the God I know, but I want you to come with me on a journey through the Bible, to see what has been written about this.
This first book/chapter and verse must be said, because with it, I believe the Bible, OT and New show just how loving he is and so;
John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is love, giving over of your most precious possession, your child and knowing what will happen to your child, this is no hurtful God, this is not a God who wants to watch us suffer, this is not a God that enjoys playing sick or twisted games, this is a god, the only true God that wants us to love him and honor him, even when he knows we will rebel against him and yet, he still waits for us.
This people, the people of the world and not the people of God’s knowing, they would have us believe we have a God who plays with us, some sort of cruel puppet master that controls fate and never lets us truly be happy, but think back, for most of us, even those who now desire the world more than God, did we feel that way as children? Now, if you say “yes” I felt that way as a child, this happened to me or that happened to me…” Let me ask, did God do that or was that a person?
This person who harmed you, do you think they know God? I’m asking this because some might say “Well God allowed that to happen”, I will say, no, God did not allow that to happen, man allowed that to happen. You have to go all the way back to the garden, where time began for man and man allowed the serpent to take away his inheritance and that inheritance was “dominion”.
Man had dominion over all things happening on this earth and then he gave it away, to the deceiver, who is Satan.
Bottom of the ninth, two out and a full count
Now, let us put this more accurately, Satan is he who will play games with us. He will give us just enough of this world to help us not focus on God. He will have us believe that having pleasure in this world is all we need and that there is nothing beyond this world.
Now that my friends is a sick game, because if we believe it, we are at that moment become dead, we become caught in the world of who has and how much, we become the pawns of Satan, allowing him to continue this game through our words and deeds,
A thought comes to mind about this world that Satan is in and we may believe in him or we may believe in our Father. The world speaks " I would rather beg for forgiveness, than to ask for permission" and now the Spirit says; " To live for a moment, is to die for an eternity."
This is not what God wants, God wants us to prosper; remember Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Those are the games that Satan plays with us and they are quite clever. I believe we have all played into his hands at one time or another, but I also believe that we have played games with God or Father, now not as in the first example I spoke of that was just to set the tone. I am speaking of games as you would play with family, Monopoly is an example, the game as you know has elements from this world that if you allow greed, pride or envy to factor into the equation; it could quite literally wipe you out, you can go bankrupt or even worse, you go to jail and not collect your $200 dollars. But even this game, a game that requires some luck mixed with good decision making skills, is still a game if played from the perspective of our Father, allows us to become good stewards when we focus our thoughts on how we might be able to use that wealth to help others. Look at having a tea party - and no I have not been to very many or at least I would not admit to this, except with my daughter- I can see how we would develop social skills, learn to serve others, cheerfully and learn how to express gratitude.
Perhaps you might think of other games you played with your parents or maybe with siblings or friends? Do you remember the good feeling you had when you played, do you remember not wanting those days to end, those days of our youth? We developed so much more than we previously thought through those interactions, most of the development was healthy and that is what God intended for us. No sore losers, no boasting, only a time of fellowship and in a word communion, with each other and with God. This is the world that God had planned for us, a world free of the misery that continues to plague us today.
A saying from my early adulthood seems still to echo today “He who dies with the most toys wins! Sadly, this is exactly the opposite teaching our Lord, Jesus Christ came teaching.
Reflecting back for a moment to the Old Testament, to where it was prophesied about his coming. In Isaiah 11, it says ‘a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse and that the Spirit of the LORD will rest upon him’. It speaks further in this chapter, in verse 8 about how peaceful the world shall be. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
I don’t believe this has been fully filled yet and I believe it is because of man’s desire to align himself to the pleasures of this world, but mark my words as it is written in Isaiah 45:23 and repeated in the New Testament in Romans 14:11 “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.
Man can have all the toys he wants in this world, he can collect them, he can trade them or sell them, just like baseball cards. But just like those cards, two things come to my mind; one, when you stack them so high, they all come crashing down and two, you can’t take them with you no matter whether you have a one hundred or one hundred thousand. Friends the only thing we can take with us is our choice, the choice of who we decided to follow.
I know the LORD will prevail in all things and he desires us to be with him at that end time as well and so I will leave you with this. The Bible is our open invitation to learn who God is and what he wants us to do. It is a book that is sometimes mysterious and controversial, but that is not unlike life itself, we don’t always understand things even when things are explained to us.
This life is a journey and like all journeys we are better suited if we prepare for them and this closing passage from 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 tells it best.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
One last thing I might add, if we are listening to God’s voice, be sure to practice that part about not judging others and do love others even more than ourselves.