2 Peter 2:19 ~ "They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved."
I enjoy movies. I appreciate epic stories, with a powerful emphasis on some form of redemptive experience, that is expressed with well developed characters and a plot that carries through to the end. And to enjoy such a movie, you must have what storytellers call the "suspension of disbelief." In essence, you must be willing to separate your actual understanding from what is portrayed on the screen.
In short, you have to--for the duration of the program--accept the illusion.
Now, in truth, I don't believe that Mordor exists or that Scrooge encountered three ghosts of Christmas. However, I appreciate those stories and can, for the time it takes to watch them, suspend my disbelief for the enjoyment.
What happens, though, when the illusion is more desirable than reality? Welcome to the trap. It is then that you become a slave to corruption.
Let me explain through a couple of examples. The first one is a sin, the second is an activity that might become a sin. Hebrews 12:1 describes them as either a sin or a weight that has the potential to ensnare us.
First: pornography. Do you know what is the illusion of that ensnaring medium? It is the illusion of being desired. Many people who turn to porn are driven there by their need to be desired. And on the screen are these sensual individuals telling the audience that they are desired. It is all a lie, but the audience buys it.
Second: video games. What is the illusion there? Video games ensnare their captives through a sense of virtual accomplishment without ever any actual accomplishment. Those drawn to the need for a sense of victory or achievement get the strong sense of both as they go from level to level in the game. They don't actually do anything, but they feel like they did.
Both of the scenarios above, and many more beside, make promises that are nothing more than lies. If you believe that the person on the other side of the screen actually desires you, you must regain your disbelief and remember that they don't even know you. If you think that you have achieved a great victory and advanced your life through a game, come back to reality for a moment and see that you've only lost hours and hours of life.
With those two examples, I don't mean to merely attack those who are ensnared. I use them to illustrate the fact that in our lives there are so many illusions that captivate our minds and attentions that are, as Peter said above, promises which enslave. Other traps could be things like social media, binge-watching, alcohol, and many more--anything that gives the illusion of a thing without the actuality of it.
But God is reality Himself. And knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior is the ultimate grandeur of life. There is no "suspension of disbelief" needed, for everything Jesus has said or done is absolutely true. The Holy Scriptures reveal to us something far greater than the illusions of this world. And living by faithful obedience to the Word of God is the greatest occupation of our lives.
Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18, "...as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
What are you looking toward to give you the sense of purpose, value, joy, freedom or accomplishment? In the illusions of this world you may think you've found promises of freedom, but in the end they will be nothing more than a trap and snare to keep you from living your life in true freedom--the liberty of living for Christ.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.