A few years ago, my wife, Tammi, and I were with a small group of friends. Brock Gill, an amazing Christian illusionist, was a part of the group.
Someone asked him to do a couple of "tricks" for us. He had been traveling all day with his wife and was obviously very tired, but graciously agreed to entertain us (for free ... which was really cool).
He had us gather in a half-circle and Tammi sat on the floor in front of me and directly in front of Brock. Of course, Tammi's first question was if he could make me disappear (there is a comedian in every group). He laughed and took out a deck of cards.
All the cards had blue backs. At his request, someone picked a card and showed it to all of us (four of clubs), without Brock seeing it. The card was placed back in the deck. As he fanned out the deck of blue cards, one of them had a red back. The card was revealed and it was the four of clubs. Pretty neat.
Then he knelt down in front of Tammi and said it was her turn. He laid the red four of clubs face down on the floor beside him. He fanned out the remaining cards (all still blue) and had Tammi pick one. She chose the queen of hearts, again showing all of us, but not Brock. The card was placed back in the deck. Just as he did before, Brock fanned out the cards. But this time they all remained blue. There was no red card. He shuffled them together again, fanned them out, and still no red card. Shuffled again, fanned them out and still no red card.
Looking rather perplexed, Brock reached beside him and turned over the red card on the floor, which had been the four of clubs when he laid it down a few seconds before. Amazingly, as he turned it over, it was the queen of hearts! Tammi was (and still is) flabbergasted. She exclaimed: "That is impossible. I watched that card the whole time. It never moved!"
The next day, I told Brock that Tammi just could not get over the fact that she somehow missed the illusion. Brock smiled and told me something profound. He said, "There is a dual reality. What your eyes and mind focus on is not what is really happening." Wow!
We all live in a dual reality, and because of that, Paul commanded, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). This world we live in and the things in it, are in many ways, an illusion. While we live life here on Earth, there is another reality. There's a spiritual battle going on all around us, a struggle that is against rulers, against authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
But what do we do? We get so consumed with the temporal things on Earth—jobs, houses, cars, salaries, sports, clothes—the illusions of what is important, that we miss what is really going on—the spiritual warfare and the intense battle. Forces of evil are desperately and diligently seeking to destroy our homes, our children, our marriages even our lives, and sadly, too often, with great success. Because we are focused on a fleeting illusion, we are missing the reality. Our affections in this dual reality have been fixed on all the things that simply do not matter.
Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:34). Where is your treasure? What do you read? What do you watch? Where do you spend your time? That is a very good gauge as to which of the dual realities you focus upon.
This week in your Christ walk journey and as you continue through the year, take inventory of where you have fixed your affections. Which reality do you live in? Are you focused on stuff that makes no difference to eternity? Set your mind, your affections and your heart on the things above. Set them on God things. Your life will change as you realize what is real and worth your focus and what is but a fleeting illusion.
Prayer Power for the Week of April 10, 2016
This week, ask God to help you take inventory of where you have fixed your emotions. Take what He shows you and pray for His help to set your mind and affections on what matters for eternity. Ask Him to show you what's important to Him and pray what's on His heart. Pray for a new vision and determination to do your part in winning the lost and expanding His kingdom. Pray that He show you what He wants you to accomplish each day so that your days would be full but not overwhelming. Pray that revival would spread across our nation and around the world. Continue to remember Israel, our military and our leaders (Luke 12:34; Col 3:2; Eph. 6:12).
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