HOW TO CATCH A MONKEY------ Native hunters in the jungles of Africa; have a clever way of trapping monkeys. They slice a coconut in two, hollow it out, and in one half of the shell cut a hole just big enough for a monkey’s hand to pass through. Then they place an orange in the other coconut half before fastening together the two halves of the coconut shell. Finally, they secure the coconut to a tree with a rope, retreat into the jungle, and wait. Sooner or later, an unsuspecting monkey swings by, smells the delicious orange, and discovers its location inside the coconut. The monkey then slips his hand through the small hole, grasps the orange, and tries to pull it through the hole. Of course, the orange won’t come out; it’s too big for the hole. To no avail the persistent monkey continues to pull and pull, never realizing the danger he is in. While the monkey struggles with the orange, the hunters simply stroll in and capture the monkey by throwing a net over him. As long as the monkey keeps his fist wrapped around the orange, the monkey is trapped. It’s too bad-the poor monkey could save its own life if it would let go of the orange. It rarely occurs to a monkey, however, that it can’t have both the orange and its freedom. That delicious orange becomes a deadly trap. The world sets traps for you that are not unlike the monkey trap. You hear constantly that if you just have enough money, enough stuff, enough power, and enough prestige-then you’ll be happy. Under that illusion people spend their whole lives thinking you must have it all. The call of Christianity is unlike that of the world.
Some people say they want to believe when they really don’t want to believe. They would have to change their way of living, they would have to change their way of thinking; they would have to change the way they relate to people. There was once an atheist who asked a young believer, “Do you really believe there is a God who knows my name?” “That is what I believe.” “Do you believe the Bible is true? That baby was born from a virgin and dead people came out of a cemetery?” “Yes, that is what I believe.” Then the atheist said with great emotion, I would give anything to believe that. I have traveled all over the world see that most people are most miserable. The only people who really seem to be getting out of life what they want those who say they believe like you do. I just can’t believe what you do because my head keeps getting in the way!”
There is the story about the ex-marine who said, “I’m miserable. I have a wife and family, making lots of money, sleeping with every woman in town and I hate myself. I need your help but do not give me any of that God talk because I can’t believe it.” The minister said, “Your problem is not that you can’t believe but because you do not want to give up those things that help you get through the night.”
The real reason that one becomes a believer is because they choose to. Listen to a few verses from the Bible. John 7:17 “Jesus says, If a man chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching come from God or whether I speak on my own.” John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him.” vs. 39 “For this reason they could not believe.” They made a decision of their will to deny the message of the miracles, the evidence that Jesus is God because they did not want to change.