Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Serving the Lord brings the blessings of God. Satan is looking for another "Sucker", do don’t be one of them.

Singing Mountains and Clapping Trees

By Pastor Jim May

What a world we live in! If there was ever a time that could be compared to the days of Noah, today is that time. People are running back and forth across the land, covering the entire face of the earth like ants on an anthill. We are consumed with gathering of things, providing for the needs of the body and storing up treasures to enjoy the “good life” but that good life somehow always seems to be just a little farther ahead than we can reach.

The way that people live today reminds me of the old mule who is tricked into plowing the field by hanging a carrot in front of his eyes. That mule never realizes that he can never really eat the carrot until his job is done. It is put there, always just out of reach, to keep his eyes focused straight ahead, and to mesmerize him to the point that he never even notices what he is really accomplishing by plowing the field.

That’s the way that most of mankind is living right now. Satan has a lot of carrots that he dangles in front of our noses. He knows what the flesh desires and he has perfected his means of drawing our attention to something that we really want, but in the meantime he has blinded us to the real purpose behind it all.

Just as surely as the blinders and the carrot keep that mule from seeing the truth, so does the devil use spiritual blinders and fleshly carrots to blind men from understanding what is really going on in their lives. When that mule finishes his plowing, he is given the carrot as a reward for doing his job, but what happened to the juicy carrot that he started out chasing after? All during the long, hot day, the sun has slowly dried up that carrot. It’s not so juicy or tasty now, but the change has come so gradually that the mule doesn’t even give it a thought. He takes that carrot eagerly and then goes about his business as usual thinking that he has finally won.

My friend, that’s the way it is in this life if we are constantly chasing after the things of the world that the devil is dangling before our eyes. That new home looks so wonderful. That new car is just mesmerizing. We can just imagine what it will be like to move into a house where the windows aren’t cracked, the driveway isn’t filled with holes, the floors aren’t all scratched and nicked and the smell of fresh paint and new carpet fills the air. I’ve been in a lot of new homes lately and that feeling of newness always seems to fire a little bit of a desire to have it for my own. Like someone said, “I have to go home and take an aspirin. I’m getting a fever for a new house or a new car, and I know I can’t afford it.”

Let’s think about that new car, boat or whatever else we might want for a moment. Some years ago I was involved in a business venture where part of our plan was to entice people into something called “Dream-building”. It was all designed to create within them a mental picture of something that would push their buttons and cause them to want to work hard, and do whatever it took, so that they could have their dream. We would sit and talk with them, asking them what they really wanted out of life. Whatever they would say that they wanted, I would key in on that and really do my best to make it real to them. The more detailed I could make that dream, the more they would believe that they could have it and then the harder they would be willing to work. The bigger the dream, and the more they believed it, the bigger the price they would be willing to pay to get it.

I would take them, every Sunday afternoon, through a parade of new homes so that their dreams could come alive. I would take them down to the Hummer dealerships, the Cadillac dealerships, or to the boats, the motorcycles or whatever they wanted. We would sit in the seats of the Mercedes Benz, or the BMW’s and take them for a drive. We would let them smell the new leather, feel the car’s smoothness on the road and see how it handled. We would even arrange for a group to ride on a rally nice motor home. And sometimes arrangements were made to take those who really worked hard, chasing their dreams, on a dream vacation in the hopes of creating an ever bigger dream. We would get pictures of their dreams so that they could put them on the refrigerator, or on the bathroom mirror or wherever they would go on a frequent basis.

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