Deceitful Appearances

25 Oct

A friend of mine shared a story with me that really made me laugh! A while back she was assigned a new office at her workplace, which meant she had also inherited the plant that came with it. Nervous that somehow she would cause the death of this plant, she was very careful to take good care of it by watering it regularly. This went on for a few days. That is until she made a great discovery…the plant wasn’t real!!

Shocked and surprised she immediately shared the story with the office secretary….who then broke into tears of laughter. Why? Because she too had been fooled by the appearance of the plant, and had been watering it for months!

Appearances can truly be deceiving. I know that on numerous occassions  my eyes have tricked me into thinking one thing…when the reality was quite the opposite. Food that looked delicious but actually made me sick. Individuals who appeared intimidating and uncaring, who later showed themselves to be kind and compassionate. Purchases that looked appealing and promised satisfaction, but delivered only regret.

Sin that promises life…and delivers only death.

THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION

The media often portrays the devil as an ugly man, draped in a red cape, carrying a pitchfork. But let’s be honest, if that’s the package in which sin was delivered, would we truly be so easily enticed? The devil, and similarly sin, parade as though they were appealing, beautiful, desirable, life giving. Sin promises to give us all we desire…true happiness and true life. But this is nothing more than deceptive appearances.   Sin will never deliver on its promises. The only thing that it will provide is regret, shame, separation from God, and ultimately, for those who reject Christ, spiritual death.

Throughout the Bible God describes sin as both deceiving and leading to death.

“But encourage one another day after day…so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrew 3:13

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:14-15

THE DECEITFULNESS OF THE FLESH

Not only is the Bible filled with verses warning us about the deceitfulness of sin, we are also reminded about the true nature of man. On the outside, we really are very attractive beings … Living in very attractive homes…living very attractive lives. Things look beautiful from the outside! The truth however is that apart from Christ our hearts are depraved…dead in our sinful state. Those are harsh words, and they are not easy to swallow…but this is exactly the diagnosis that God has made of mankind. We are told that in our sinful state, we are in actual fact spiritually dead and separated from God. All believers, before conversion, were dead in their sinful nature. It is not until God’s Spirit inhabits our hearts and turns us to Christ that we are given a new nature…one that is reborn to the things of God.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great live with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4-5

BACK TO THE PLANT

So what about the plant? As bizarre as it seems to water a dead plant, in many ways we do this on a daily basis. Though Christ has put to death our sinful nature, we repeatedly invest in behaviour, thoughts, words that nurture our sinful nature, rather than the new man that was created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Think about it. Every time I give in to sins deception, I nurture my flesh and starve my spirit. I am seeking to revive the very nature Christ has crucified on my behalf. I water that which ought to be starved, and neglect that which ought to be nurtured.

In John Owens book…The Mmortification of Sin…we are reminded about the constant battle in which a Christian must be involved. This battle is with sin…and if we are not daily conscious of our struggle with sin, seeking to mortify it and cut it out of our lives…it will take over…steal, kill and destroy. John Owen reminds us that we ought to be killing sin or else sin will be killing US.

For believers, God has truly put to death the sinful nature. Though we continue to struggle with its daily temptations and numerous times fall into its deceptive appearance…God promises to keep us faithful. He will complete what he has began in us, and it is by His Spirit that we can nurture life, and not death, through obedience to Him.

So Christian…stop watering the dead plant would you?

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2 Responses to “Deceitful Appearances”

  1. Ee October 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM #

    Good analogy Dina, very well put. Warnings are so valid and needed. God bless you

    • digdeepwithdina October 30, 2012 at 6:23 PM #

      Thank you! I always enjoy reading your comments!

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