When I lived in Evergreen, Colorado I was introduced to an amazing American artist, Bev Doolittle. Her unique gifting is paintings that tell a bigger story than what you immediately see. I have so many favorites of hers, but I’ll share just a few…
At first glance it looks like the snow covered red rocks of Colorado in the Spring or early Fall. Yes, that is what it is, yet there is more. Can you spot five horses in Bev Doolittle’s painting? Look very closely and I am sure you will see them.
Can you find the Indian and the Eagles? They might be a bit harder to find, but I’ll give you a hint… don’t look too closely, don’t focus too hard and you will find their profiles hidden in the snowy Aspen trees chasing the cowboy off the Sacred Ground.
There can also be great danger in illusions. The enemy is cunning, baffling, relentless and incredibly persistent in the battle to manipulate our thinking in every effort to win over our minds. He desires to turn our heads from God and from the promises He guarantees when we believe in and follow Him. The enemy has made it crystal clear what he will do to us if allowed.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; …. John 10:10 (NASB)
However, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has a promise for us in the second part of the very same verse, “. . I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (NASB)
Satan is a master of illusion. He makes us believe sin is okay. He creates an illusion that, in our flesh, we might believe is completely real.
Illusion – If I tithe first before I pay my bills I won’t have enough money.
Truth – Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. Malachi 3:10 (HCSB)
Test God and see He will provide all you need and more. He does it for the birds and wild animals, what more will He provide to you?
Illusion in Quantity
In a simpler example, Coach Leslie teaches an OrangeTheory class in Leander where I go. I’ve heard her say this before and it has stuck with me.
“Doing one ‘perfect form’ exercise can yield more results than twelve sloppy ones.” Coach Leslie
While a high quantity of reps, heavier weights, more workouts in a week may look impressive, it can all be an illusion and not yield desired results because you haven’t executed perfect form or given it your all.
I believe this wisdom can hold true to our faith as well, don’t you? It does not matter to God how many hours we spend a day reading our bible, how many events we spend serving at the church or in the community, or even how many Sunday’s we go to church. What does matter is our heart and how intentional our time is with the Lord. Our works can create an illusion for those around us or those who follow us on social media, and give us a false sense of pride…the wrong kind of pride. Our works are not an illusion to our God. He knows our heart and wants us to come to Him intentionally, authentically and with the heart of a child.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4 (NIV)
Quantity is an illusion.
Quality is reality.
So, I hope you enjoy the illusions found in Bev Doolittle’s art, but please keep your eyes wide open in a diligent watch for the schemes of the enemy.
Keep seeking Jesus. His arms are outstretched and wide open. Get on your mark and run as fast as you can into His arms. He is waiting.
In His love,
Mrs. Mark Spencer Williams
In response to The Daily Prompt – Illusion
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