Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Discipline of Delusion (part 2 of 3)

   For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work…the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7and 9-10, NASB). 

         To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
         To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
         You rescue the humble,
    but you humiliate the proud.  (Psalm 18:25-27, NLT).

It should not surprise us that we often struggle long and hard to understand God and Scripture; what should surprise us, and even disturb us, however, is finding an evil and unbelieving heart in our bosom long after our conversion.  A reprobate is one that is “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Unfortunately, many of us must yet drink the cup of suffering down to the dregs before obtuseness is removed from our disposition; our stubborn refusal to obey truth opens our hearts to entrenched delusion and an illusory walk with God. God is gracious and patient, however, and bears long with us, carrying and comforting us well beyond the measure of deserved or actual justice.
Apostasy and reprobation are both forms of a callused conscience that will dull the mind and desensitize the heart; those that become thus are without excuse; enough light has been given to have changed them.  The fact that Christ does not change them is bound up in their own misconceptions of who He is; their projection of some preconceived and unalterably held belief cements their intractableness.  But entrenched impurity that stubbornly refuses to be extracted by the agency of truth will eventually permeate the entire disposition and will become that one’s signature characterization.

Men and truth were designed to synchronize and consubstantiate down to a molecular level, but men must be impelled to bend toward truth and not expect that truth should bend toward them.  Scripture is inerrant, not us, or even our view of it; we must ever humbly submit to God’s Word and expect it to reprove and correct us often.  Those He loves, He disciplines.  Because many will not admit that they are inherently incorrect, however, both factually and dispositionally, they never let God or His people use Scripture to reprove, teach, correct, or train them in righteousness.

It is supposed that one would tire of eating the fruit of their own way; this is a method of  God, and is the discipline of delusion.  The never flinching “backside” or “hinder parts” of God absorbs every blow administered to it by our ignorant and feeble strikes which are asserted from our persons, our unbending mindsets.  He never yields, however, and never will; it is obligatory upon us alone to change our minds and attitudes (the very definition of repentance).  It is also further hoped that we would rather seek His face than assert our own person anyways.  Remember, the Lord turns away from sin, not towards it; if His “hinder parts” are what we constantly run up against, we would do well to question ourselves rather than God.  “To the wicked you show yourself hostile” and to the stubbornly unrelenting You turn Your back (Psalm 18:26).

If our experience is one of never seeing His face, of poor growth in this Way, then we ought to judge ourselves rather than God, other people or other constructs of Truth and theology.  It is obvious that we are mistaken, misshapen and misaligned when His face is never seen; we, indeed, “miss” the mark and every point of instruction when we fail to know Him via the expression of His visage.  He desires to lead us with His eye upon us, but He will lead us with railing rebukes and harsh circumstances if we remain stubborn and unrepentant.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7, KJV).