The Real Thing
In a field of horses, be a unicorn.
This popular saying is meant to encourage kids to be unique, to not be afraid to stand out. But my nine-year-old daughter sees it differently. She sees it as an invitation to be fake instead of real. Why choose an imaginary animal over a real one?
Knowing what is real matters...a lot! Confusion about what is real is behind every sin. Think about that familiar episode in the Garden of Eden. The serpent tried to convince Eve that God's words to her were not real...that he had lied. Eve should have known that God would never lie. I mean, God is perfect! But, she let the serpent convince her because it was what she wanted to hear. So, she ate the fruit, and gave some to Adam, and then they both realized how wrong they had been to trust the serpent - who was a fake - instead of God.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we have continued trading the truth of God for the lies we want to hear, and we have done it over and over again.
"They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!" Romans 1:25
As Paul says, when we trade truth for lies, we end up worshiping the things God created instead of God. We end up worshipping ourselves. We end up thinking we know better than God. But of course, that is a lie.
Is there a way out of this cycle? Yes! Jesus is the way out. If you read my previous devotion Knowing the Way, you might remember how Jesus told Thomas and his other disciples this...
"I am the way, the truth, and the life." John 14:6
Thomas wanted to know the way, but Jesus added that he was the truth and the life, too. All three things go together. Jesus is the way out of the cycle of lies that Satan tells us, the way out of our own willingness to believe them. He is the way out because he is the truth, the truth that conquers every lie. And he loves you so much that he died to get you out of that cycle and give you life again.
In a world full of fakes, Jesus is the real thing.
In a world full of lies, Jesus is the truth.
In a field full of unicorns, Jesus is the horse.
Read Job 39
God is speaking to Job, who has doubted whether God is good and true.
What does God say to remind Job of his goodness?
How could this help you when you feel tempted to believe lies?
Make a horse...you can paint it, draw it, sculpt it...whatever you like.
When you are finished, add Job 39:19 to it, which says, "Have you given the horse its strength or clothed its neck with a flowing name?" Put your artwork somewhere you will see it and remember that God is greater than his creation.
Listen to The Real Thing by the band Unspoken.
Think about the words, and keep listening as you think about the realness of Jesus this week.