A person earnestly prays “please, Jesus, come into my heart.” Who can refuse such innocence, the desire to reach out to one who is promised to understand, to save, to fulfil a deep need?
But after a number of years, a person can look back on that devotion and wonder why, wonder how he or she could have made such a mistake? How could such faith have been put in a man, a broken cistern, a lie? Having placed all their energy in a black hole that was believed to be a star, the victim is left hollow, angry and even casts a suspicious glare at God as the author of such confusion and delusion.
Although we can make decisions with the best intentions, when they are based on a need, rather than information, that is when pure irrefutable sincerity becomes the way that seems right to a person but the end is the ways of death.
Jesus seemed right to me. He was the answer I knew. I had given the lion’s share of my talent to his cause. But then information came. Study came. A deeper knowledge of and appreciation for God’s Law and the Jewish Bible came. The knowledge of God replaced faith in Jesus.
Israel was told not to believe in, but to know God. It was such knowledge that would protect them from idolatry and lies.
Just read the whole chapter of Deuteronomy 4 and see such statements as the following:
You have been shown, in order to know that the Lord He is God; there is none else besides Him. (v.35)
And you shall know this day and consider it in your heart, that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is none else. (v.39)
By obeying God and knowing him that Israel would be kept safe and avoid lies, and also be an example to the peoples of the nations.
Lord, Who is my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods?” (Jeremiah 16:19,20)
Although the initial sincerity led to a deception, that of accepting Jesus as messiah and/or God, the devotion that can grow from it can also lead to the sort of attitude that causes one to delve into the Jewish Bible, thereby unlocking the potential for escape.
So although the initial sincerity can lead to the ways of death, accepting the fiction of Jesus as truth and idolatry, it can also be the gateway to finding out about God’s truth which leads one to abandon that fiction.
That’s the oddity in life: The same thing that imprisons you can end up being the key to setting you free.
So don’t be so hard on yourself if you come to realise that you went wrong and spent so long believing a lie. Sometimes humiliation must come before honour. Sometimes the humiliation is needed to make the honour more honourable. And sometimes, if you look closely, you may even see precious jewels when you look back on the “wrong” path, things you needed to go through in order to learn and to help someone else or even yourself.