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?
Socrates, who is considered the first moral philosopher and the founder of Western philosophy, lived when the alphabet was first introduced to Greece. He famously declined to write anything down, so all of the teaching we have from him is lectures or debates recorded by his student Plato. In Phaedrus, a dialogue between Socrates and a character named Phaedrus, he speaks about writing. Writing, in his opinion, is harmful. It causes forgetfulness since a person no longer needs to remember, and it provides only incomplete understanding since it cannot be questioned.
When we think of a Christian’s devotional life, we likely think of the time that a Christian spends reading the Bible, meditating, and praying. This worship time may include journaling, singing, and fasting. New Christians are instructed to make this a daily discipline. In our Decrees, we go so far as to state: “It is further to be desired that personal devotional life with God is to be considered of more importance than Christian service.” Really?
Isaiah 40:31 is a favorite Bible verse for many people because of God’s promise to give weary people strength to continue on. But what exactly does it mean to wait upon the Lord? I like the Amplified definition, in brackets: But they that wait [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.