Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


One of the many challenges Christians have is to keep sane when it seems that insanity has taken hold of the world and is shaking it from side to side to see who will remain SANE. In order to speak on this subject, I must define sanity. The best way to summarize the concept is that sanity has to do with accepting reality and walking realistically through it. I am not talking about personal reality, fake reality, worldly reality, or reality based on bigotry, whether religious, cultural, or racial based. I am not talking about so-called “reality” that is based on indoctrination, conditioning, or accepted philosophies of the age.

At the core of reality is what is real. No matter how you turn it, shake it and try to control it, it remains what it is: real and true. In other words, it is not like personal reality that can be self-serving, ridiculous, and perverted. It is not fake reality where the narrative must be fed to you on a continual basis because once it is tested it will prove to be nothing more than a fable. Reality is not based on mere images that some have erected, manipulated, or promoted according to the world, because such images are as phony as a “three-dollar bill.” It does not matter what title, label, cause, or religions connotation you put on one’s “preferred reality,” it will not make it so. People can try to change the stripes on reality, put different hues on it in an effort to dull any sharpness, dress it up with worldly notions, religious platitudes, and pious deeds, but reality in its true form can seem raw, unbearable, and very unpleasant. Ultimately, reality will rip at resolves, break hearts, cause the soul to know the depths of despair, and the spirit great leanness and sorrow.

How I know that reality often proves to be a tough dose of bitterness that must be swallowed in order to face and endure it, is because of what the Bible says. We are told in Genesis 3:17-19 we are under a curse that will cause us to know the bitterness of our pathetic spiritual plight. Jesus stated He did not come to bring peace but a sword (truth) that will even divide families in Matthew 10:34-37. He told us in John 16:33 that there is much tribulation in the world, but be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. We are told in Acts 14:22, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” There is also Paul’s summary of the challenges a Christian will possibly encounter in his or her walk in 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”

For the Christian there is only one sure reality and that is truth. There is only one Rock in which truth stands immovable and that is God. There is only one standard to ensure the absolute authority of truth and that is God’s Word. There is only one source of power behind it to ensure the spirit and integrity of it, and that is the Holy Spirit. There is only one way to summarize truth and that is Jesus Christ. There is only one way in which to be established in truth: Through a complete identification as a disciple in Jesus’ death to the old, the burial of sin, and the resurrection of the life of Christ in the barren wilderness of our soul (1 Samuel 2:2; John 4:14:6; 2 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Peter 1:24-25).

The revelation of God, the absoluteness of truth and the work of redemption has been revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ. And since, there is only one Lord Jesus Christ, it becomes obvious that He is the only One who can help us wade through the darkness of the times we live in. To some darkness is their light, but they grope in blindness that makes them think they are walking in some light, when in reality they are walking in a delusion (Matthew 6:22-23; 1 Corinthians 8:6).

Delusion creates what I call an “anti” light. It may replace reality, it may seem sound and logical, and it may run parallel to truth, but it is not the real light that enables us to have the clarity of spirit to discern, a sound mind to understand, and the emotional stability to not be moved from what is true regardless of how seductive. As believers we know that it is the life of Christ in us that serves as the light that will keep us on the narrow path of truth and sanity (John 1:1-4; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:3-4).

For example, when it comes to religion there are many “anti” lights that appear to be true and Biblical. Behind every anti-light in religion is an anti-Christ spirit who ultimately will deny the true God of the Bible and erect a substitute Jesus to adjust to or confirm their false gospel. Whether it is promoting a different Jesus, demoting the true God of heaven by humanizing Him, or deifying man through spiritual enlightenment, pious works, or affiliation, man becomes God in his mind. This false light blinds man to the true Gospel and will cause him to operate in a foul, perverted spirit. His rejection of the true Gospel will seal his doom and any promotion of it will ensure greater damnation on him (2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 11:1-15; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 2:21-23; 4:1-3).

Remember the great temptation of Eve was that if she ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she would become as a god because she would know the difference between good and evil. There is a big difference between being as one of the “so-called” gods who knows the difference between what is morally right and wrong, and being God who will end up judging you when you use the knowledge of good and evil to twist it to such a state you justify wicked actions and end up defining evil as being good and good as being evil. It is important to point out that leaders and judges in the Old Testament times were often referred to as gods. There is only One God by nature and all the enlightenment will not change that reality. Eve was deceived into believing the lie, and man continues to deceive himself about his sinful plight, wicked ways and his inability to work himself into a state of deity where he controls his reality around him and changes his destiny from mere man who needs a Savior to a god who has authority over creation, heaven, and hell. It does not matter what kind of claims a person may declare in arrogance, believe in ignorance, conjure up with wishful thinking, and spiritualize to great degrees of ridiculousness, man is appointed to die once, then judgment. If he does not figure out in this life that he is miserably inept in changing any reality, that he is indeed spiritually lost, and incapable of making himself acceptable to God outside of His provision of Christ, or usurping his Creator’s power and authority when it comes to eternal destiny, he will on the day of judgment. It is for this reason that we as believers walk by faith towards God through the present age of darkness to keep our focus sharp, our understanding clear, and our feet on the right path (Genesis 3:5; Isaiah 5:20-21; Acts 17:27-31; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Timothy 2:14; Hebrews 9:27; James 2:9).

People may have a concept of God and notions about who He is, but the more they humanize Him and deify themselves, the more they lose any real knowledge of Him. As Paul clearly pointed out in Romans 1:20-28 that those who no longer retain any real knowledge of the true God will be turned over to a reprobate mind that will prove void of real wisdom, foolish in conclusions, and insane when it comes to the reality around them. Whether they are insanely angry towards God, completely unreasonable with others, absurd in their thinking, and bazaar in their actions, they have no moral boundaries in which to rightfully judge any matter.

What about some of the other realities? For instance, people insist on their own reality. Take those who insist that their fantasy must become reality. Fantasy is make-believe. We want to believe that our reality is anything but what is real. The real world is too big and overwhelming, the world often seems like an ongoing soap opera that constantly reruns the same insane cycles and crises, and the small world we sometimes find ourselves enslaved in is insipid and worrisome. As a child, much of what I operated in was fantasy. Oh, the dreams of grandeur I had were so wonderful, and as a child I could have them because I lived in a controlled reality where my parents had to deal in reality. They had to work to provide a lifestyle in which I could have my dreams. They are the ones who fought the giants, endured the rat race, wrestled with the demands of life, and survived the endless drudgery of days and years.

As a teenager, I began to have responsibilities. I still had dreams, but I was beginning to realize that dreams cost. I could easily enough live them out in my imagination, but when out in the big world, you realize they are not real, just images giving some semblances due to emotional foolishness. When I became an adult who had to bear the full responsibility for my life, I started to realize that my past fantasies were unrealistic, the silly dreams of an emotionally immature girl who was far from understanding reality because it entails experiencing the good, bad, and indifferent aspects of life. As a child, you can swing on the branches of grandeur, but as a teenager, such immature dreams often become shadows, and as an adult, you must avoid becoming a total skeptic when it comes to dreams because they are illusive or unrealistic. For a person whose fantasy has been deferred by reality, he or she can become like a spoiled child who is not getting their way: sulky, angry, touchy, and inconsolable. At such times, if they fail to emotionally grow up by letting go of their fantasies and take responsibility for their lack of inner character, their undisciplined emotions and imaginations, as well as let go of what is not real in order to realistically face what is real in order to walk through this world as an overcomer, they will remain emotionally inept to face life and will find themselves a victim of insane foolishness.

There are those whose imagination has taken captive their affections through lusts. Whether it is such things as power, greed, pornography, and etc., these individuals become complacent towards reality. If challenged to see the wickedness of their ways they become scoffers of righteousness, cruel towards innocence, indifferent towards God, and self-serving in their wicked ways. It is for this reason we are told to bring every thought captive to Christ Jesus, for the strongholds are found in our thought process where our imagination has exalted itself against the knowledge of the true God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

How about those who try to determine reality. Today, whether it is the wicked, lying media and complicit, flattering leaders, or evil systems such as the educational system, there is a great move to condition, seduce and indoctrinate the masses into a false reality. If one has to change what is real, then whatever is devised will not be reality but a BIG LIE. Again, you can’t do anything against the truth, only for it (2 Corinthians 13:8). Satan is the father of all lies, and all lies will eventually be exposed and brought down to the pit in utter judgment (John 8:44). We have to remember lies hide the harsh reality of the wickedness and evil intent of bad actors. It is darkness that is made to appear as light, but lies can only create an insane reality that can’t be trusted and when tested will not stand.

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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