Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Security - A "Snipe" Hunt

Ever been "snipe" hunting? It's a practical joke played on unsuspecting, gullible victims where they are taken into the woods under the cover of nighttime to hunt for mysteriously illusive birds called snipes, armed only with a flashlight and sack. Unknowingly, they follow conspirators on a "wild goose chase" of sorts. As they're repeatedly asked, "Did you see that one?" the flashlights sporadically illuminate the ground. They stare, expecting to see a tiny bird run through the underbrush. The unsuspecting victims have been told if they're quick enough they may just catch one of these rare birds in a sack. Actually, they haven't been led on a hunting expedition at all! Instead, they're only the newest suckers to be laughed at by smug conspirators who were probably once victims themselves.

Ever been "security" hunting? It's very similar to snipe hunting. We will hunt aimlessly in the darkest times of our lives, looking to capture that illusive unattainable thing called security. We've been told by others that it can be found... if we'd just know where to look. We even trust that if we act quickly enough, we'll be able to snag it!  Unfortunately, security here on earth is as much a tall tale as the snipe hunt. No security will ever be found here. It can not be found in stockpiling money or food or even gold, as some would have us believe. You can not find it in relationships since people, too, are imperfect and broken. It isn't found in a free nation nor a strong military. No fall-out shelter or nuclear weapon can guarantee safety. No gun. No job. No miracle cure.* Nothing can give us the ultimate security we longingly hope for. Governments will crumble; jobs will fail; money is fleeting; food doesn't sustain long; shelters are vulnerable. And lastly, but most importantly, our bodies will die no matter what we do to attain safety in the end. (Whew...aren't you glad you're reading this blog today?!?)

I know you didn't come to this page to be depressed out of your mind. So, why all this doom and gloom? Because there is GOOD NEWS!!! And after a week filled with stories of government shutdowns, stage four cancer discovered, adoptions put on hold yet again, death of loved ones, missing children, marriages broken, corrupt leaders, wars and talk of more wars and even just the daily onslaught of ugly world news, I've had to be reminded that there is no security in anything! But, instead, in someONE!

God, and God alone.

For His Word tells us these things:
(Psalm 46:1,2) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea.

(Hebrews 13:5b,6) For He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper,” and I will not fear what man shall do to me.

(Psalm 18:2) The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

In Hebrews, I love how it talks of men and women who had faith to believe God in the midst of their crumbling lives.  Hebrews 11 starts out saying, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." SURE of what we hope for! Not wish-upon-a-star faith but faith on the truth God tells us about himself and heaven. Now that's a hope worth counting on!  I especially love how it says about Abraham that he was "looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." And later Hebrews 11 summarizes the faith of these people by saying in verse 13, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.  And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one."

Do you see it?  They still died!  But it didn't rob them of their hope in God and what he'd promised and that promise wasn't heaven on earth.  It was Heaven!  Eternity with Him. There is nothing certain on earth but death. But the AMAZING answer to that devastating news is that there is a God in Heaven who offers nothing but Life to those who repent of following the gods of this world and follow him exclusively.  Like I wrote earlier, no "god" in the form of  money, nor person, nor government, nor disease cure, nor form of false safety and security can give you hope. They are false gods. False security. Only God is the everlasting Rock, the same yesterday, today and forever.  I, too, want to be counted among those in Hebrews 11 who "were longing for a better country--a heavenly one," while still living in this one with purpose and impact.

Let's not be lured into a "wild goose chase" offered by the Deceiver to go "security" hunting where there is none. To be fooled into snipe hunting is one thing, but to be fooled into thinking we can find safety in anything or anyone but God alone is no game, but dangerous to our souls.

*  I'd just like to add that we own and live in a home, fill our pantry, own guns, save money, take medicine and have lots of meaningful relationships. These things aren't wrong...they're just not where real security is found. I felt like I needed to add my "Christian Disclaimer".  Old habits die hard!

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