Friday, January 13, 2012

Vain Imaginations: Hope Deferred

So I stand and watch you walk by,
the thoughts in my mind I try to hide,
I know the past can never be redone,
so I'll have to let go of what I've made
in my mind,
 I'll bury it all in a grave, marked to say
"The things that I once thought". #goodbyetovainimaginations

Vain Imaginations...We are warned to fend them off, we are warned to keep ourselves from getting caught up in vain imaginations. But how often we do?! I think the 'World' encourages 'Vain imaginations'; It encourages thinking things that aren't based on reality, but instead, the way we 'feel'.
Feelings can't always be trusted, but it all depends on what they are based upon. If feelings are based on obedience and surrender to God, then God can use them to guard us, but if they are based on our own 'vain imaginations' or 'flesh' then they can get us into trouble.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the the pulling down of strongholds) 5 Casting down imaginations, reasoning, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 7. Do you look on things after the outward appearance? 2 Cor 10: 3-7

Do you ever imagine something so well that you think it is real? We human beings have a tendency to get ourselves in a lot of trouble because we believe that aren't true. Sometimes we hope for things that will never be, or should never be, but there's something inside that makes us desire what 'we can't have' or the impossible. Sometimes this is just stirred by rebellion, other times I wonder what it is caused by...The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 that 'Hope' deferred make the heart sick...It's true. You see I don't know what goes on in every person's head, but I know for a fact that some of us have a tendency,  to imagine things, believe in their significance (believe things, people, offers are as we imagine them) ... we hope and hope, that things will turn out, or we will happen as we imagine, but it's nothing more than getting caught up in vain imaginations...and having our hope deferred.

We are warned in the bible to guard our minds and hearts...When we imagine things,  get caught up in our dreaming, and base the future on 'things we imagined' but not 'the will of God' we set ourselves up for a emotional let down. We weren't designed to believe or hope for things that won't come to pass. It's because we let our fleshes lead the way, it's because we let ourselves become attached to our own ideas for our lives, relationships, etc...that we come to ruin.

A lot of times we let our own desire/ 'vanity' lead the way. Not that everything that we hope for that doesn't turn out, is based on unnatural desires, or 'bad' things, but the fact is... anything that isn't surrendered to God, is vanity. Your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams, your goals, your relationships...if they aren't surrendered to God, they are vanity...And so, as Solomon realized in His book of Ecclesiastes:

I said in mine heart, Go to now, "I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure; and behold this also is vanity....

In Ecclesiaties2: 4-9 Solomon expresses how he was successful, and did many 'great' things for himself. Kind of like some of us; we go to college, buy a house, land a good job, find a mate...But Solomon realized that in the end, that it all was 'vain' to base his life on.
And in chapter 10 verse 14 he says "A fool...also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?"

If we cannot tell what shall be, why is it we put our hope so much in things that are uncertain? And usually, we put our hope in things that is our vanity. Not that we cannot have desires, not that we shouldn't want good things...but they are vain if we 'live' for them, before putting Christ first. I think anyone who isn't willing to place his life in the hands of Christ, not only clings to vanity, but puts his hope in vanity. This is where man puts his trust in 'Vain' Imaginations, before putting it in God himself.

Even those of us who say 'we give our lives to the Lord to do with them as he sees fit', even those of us who say 'we surrender our past, present, and future to Him'...we tend to get do exactly the opposite and put our faith in vain imaginations, or our own reasoning, or our own desire for vanity. Nothing, my friends is a holy desire, if it comes before God Himself, or 'His' will.

A lot of times we put our hope in things that aren't even feasible, or beneficial. Thank goodness, we have a God who watches over us, and is 'gracious' towards us. He is merciful, and faithful, even at times when we get distracted by the world and it's offers. What is important that we come to realize 'what it is we are putting our hope in'. If we are putting our hope in things that for our own glory...or putting our hope in things, or 'going hard' after things, people, jobs etc...and then ask God to 'bless' it, after we have 'already' set our heart on's kind of like an oxymoron.

People have the wrong view on God's Commands... God's will... and 'Surrender'.
They would rather not hear about finding their purpose in Christ, because frankly it just seems too 'ariy'. It's not what they want to hear...and they don't understand it.

I mentioned that some folks have the wrong view on God's commands. For example; a lot of teens have the wrong view on 'their own parents' commands. Now, not everyone has 'perfect' parents, but we must realize that 'God' 'is' the 'perfect', 'most awesome' 'parent'. He's not fallible, not ever changing in His love and desire for You, and He wants to you be full of 'Joy', 'Peace', and the overwhelming sense of 'belonging' to Him. He doesn't want you to feel like an orphan, and he doesn't want you to act like He isn't the 'inventor' of 'cool', because He is! The Lord has 'plans' for You. His plans aren't always what we imagine, because His plans are based on 'His' 'will'. It's God's 'will' and 'purpose' for You, to be a light in the darkness. It's God will and purpose for you, to not only draw closer to Him, but to become completely dependant, and fall in love with Him.

Many of us would rather live for our own vanity. What we don't realize is that vanity means (vapor)....Our vanities are passing away, here one day, and gone the other. Everything in life fades away, except the love of God.  We are living for things, and pushing God away from consuming us, because we want to live for our 'vain imaginations', before all else. We have made gods, idols, out of our own plans for our lives, and our own hopes.

What we don't understand is that the only way to truly 'live' and 'be inwardly satisfied' is to be consumed by God's love. This is a great purpose of our lives. We do not live until we experience Love. God is love, and love comes from God. And until we realize that we only truly 'live' by surrendering to His love, will continue to live vane lives that revolve around ourselves...Vapor lives, that will not survive us after we are dead and gone. 

It is all too common for us to plan things, imagine things, hope for things, that aren't reality, or God's perfect will..and then blame Him for not making our plans succeed. We set our selves up to fall down. How? We do not let Him lead us each step of the way. We place our hope in our dreams, before we place our hope in the Lord. We believe in our own ability, more than we believe/Trust God. We don't trust Him with our lives, because we think we are being faithful to our goals or dreams, when in reality we are failing to live our Creator's will for our lives. A lot of times our own imagined fantasies, are more real and legit to us that the truth. Which is why we fight for them, at times against God. When in reality, God is trying to hand us something better, but we want what we have put our hope in, that which we don't realize will only defer our hope, and scar us with disappointment.

There is so much Joy, inner peace, and contentment to be found in a live totally dependant on God...if we put our hope in God, and place our faith in Him first; we will not let our hope be abused.
Also I know I mentioned that some folks don't have the proper view on God's commands, and Surrender. These are big enough topics to make separate blog posts about, but I will just start up on what I meant...

I know people, and meet people that wasted their lives away on 'vain imaginations'. They believed the world or the world's way could offer them the fulfillment that they desired, and trust me, none of them, who knew the truth didn't land up scared in some way. I feel bad for so many of the people out there, especially youth, who grew up without knowing or believing the truth, and so they set their hearts up to be broken, they bodies to be soiled, their hopes to be rotted. God tells us the right way to go in all things in His word, but there are some things that it does not say 'right out' this does not mean, that God has not showed us the good way to go about doing things, and living, so that we will not set our hearts on vain imaginations, or things that will only make our hope defer.

A lot of times we place our hope in vain imaginations, when we do not trust, or live according to the will of God, or by the wisdom He has given those around you to council you. God tells us the right way to go, and gave us commands in scripture....SO that we will be blessed, healthy, fruitful,  prosperous!! In life it's always a choice between...the 'bad' and the 'good', the 'good' and the 'best'. Sometimes we think that that we are wise because we aren't living a life of sin, but this doesn't mean that we are always choosing to live in the fullness of what God would have for us...because lot of times we let our own impatience, and desire lead us in settling for mediocre, when we could have 'the best'. But we can only have 'the best' through Christ.

If we put our hope in our own ability, we will realize that we let ourselves down. If we put our hope, faith in other people, we will come to realize that people can also let us down. If we put our hope in dreams, or earthly desires, we will realize that some things are less certain than we imagine, and that nothing can fill the place of Christ. We may think we know what we want, and that that will fulfill us, but the truth is we resort to vain imaginations many a times, we go back to searching for things we shouldn't, because we have an emptiness inside that only God can fill up. We tell ourselves that's not it, it's because we were made to have what we desire, but truly it's because our hearts want something to pursue, to pursue something that will fill us, something that is worth placing our hope in, something that can take us to places greater than we see around us, something or someone that will make us feel more than a merit less soul. We want purpose, we want to fight for something, we want to imagine something that is greater than what we already have, we want a fulfilling relationship...and none of this is wrong, because honestly, what we want is something we overlook, something that we've been offered, but yet many of us look to replace...


He is.
What you want.
What you need.

Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick...but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Let's stop setting ourselves up for deferred hope. Let's instead put our faith, hope in God himself. Because He is what we really need most.

See how Solomon sums his book up: 
in chapter 12: verse 8, he says "Vanity of Vanities...all is Vanity"....

But He concludes thus:

12:13 'The End of the matter; all has been heard, Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of Man'....

We must be willing to 'surrender' our thoughts to God...We must not only, 'say' that we give our lives to Him, but we must not let ourselves get caught up in a worship (continual pondering) for what we want, when God tells us not to. The fact is we do this with things that is not God's will. We try to run our own lives, and we place our faith in things that have not be established or approved by God for our lives. We not only place our faith in things that are not reality, or beneficial possibility, but we let our own impatience, or flesh lead the way, and our imaginations soar without holy restraint. We must be willing to give our imaginations, our dreams, and  our desires up to God.

God wants us to place our faith and hope in Him. He won't let us down. 'Seek Him'. Also, seek He will give you the desires of your heart; because the heart that seeks after God, puts Him first, and God will give Him the other things, because He knows they aren't what He 'serves'. Consider, that some of the things you may desire, that you feel God hasn't helped you attain, or given you, may be because the only reason you are seeking God, is to receive them. God wants to be 'God', in your life. Above your hopes, above your dreams, above your relationships, above yourself.

Don't let your hope be deferred!

The Lord knows those who put their Trust In 'Him'.
If He's first, you aren't ever missing out. Trust Your life to Him,
He knows what will be the very 'best' for you!
He loves you.
And that my friend,
is not a 'vain imagination'.

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