It’s called sacrifice. The early morning ritual of ridding your body of human scent, traveling to your favorite destination, and hiking in the dark to your handpicked spot has left your body feeling tired. Your morning coffee has long worn off, and you may even be fighting the urge to catch a nap. After all, the only movement you've seen all day was a few squirrels tearing up the leaves. And, of course, the constant bird chatter. That's all enjoyable, of course. But you didn't go to this much effort to watch squirrels and birds. Instead, you feel a higher calling.
A certain doctor did a study on how many words a person speaks in a day. Men and women alike average around 16,000 words per day. One person who spoke the least, spoke 795 words in one day, while another spoke 47,000 words in one day.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 2, 14).
The story has been told of an aging emperor who needed to find someone to replace him. Since he had no near kin, he decided to find a young person from within his kingdom. Many children gathered in. The test was simple. To each, he gave a seed and asked them to return at a certain time to show what they had grown. When the time came, many gathered with beautiful specimens in hand. One by one his subjects passed before him to show him their prize. Finally, a young boy came thru with nothing but a pot of soil. His seed had not sprouted. “Where is your plant?” he asked.
Becoming a member of a group with a common focus or goal has the ability to radically change, not only man’s outlook and views, but his concept of right and wrong, good and evil, etc. It can indeed rid the soul of its normal sense of guilt, as right and wrong are modified. Some parents have discovered this fact when their young people joined a youth group. Some who previously respected parent's, the church, and God’s authority no longer have the same convictions.
The book of Judges speaks of a time in the story of the Old Testament nation of Israel that every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Jud 17:6). This verse comes in the middle of a story that reflects the sorry state of spiritual confusion that existed at that time. The main character in the story is a man named Micah. Ironically, his name meant “who is like God.” Yet, despite his name, either through ignorance or because of deception, Micah mixed idolatry into his worship.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head... For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man...
(And our calling to do the same)
Enchantment: Webster's #4. something that charms or delights greatly.
Our natural inclination is self-promotion, self-justification, and being drawn toward those things we perceive will enhance self-admiration. The apostle Paul addresses this age-old human problem in Romans 12:3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. He addresses this concern “to every man,” which confirms the fact that we all have this tendency.
I stood in line at the grocery store and surveyed the man ahead of me. He was unmistakably a member of the US Armed Forces. Everything from the hat covering his crew cut to the boots he was walking in, exhibited his identity. As the cashier turned to him and kindly thanked him for his service, my mind rehearsed a quote I had heard recently: “A veteran is someone who wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including their life.” And I pondered whether I had ever handed my Lord a blank check?