Hide & Seek
by Jeff Pohlman
© 17 September, 2005
P.S. - - Scripture Compared To Our Reality
When I had completed transposing my notes and thoughts from the outline I had prepared for the entire Hide & Seek teaching into the full teaching you now have, I went back and reviewed the supporting scriptures I had been meditating on, which had led me to develop the teaching in the first place. I discovered that from the many lengthy references I had pondered, I had left out one very interesting passage which definitively accents the result of disobedience. As you know, when you deeply look into what the Lord says on any one subject, His Holy Spirit can take you in many paths and richly expound on His truths, enough to fill you up for a long long time.
I have not included the full breadth of what He set His light to, in order for Him to give me this teaching, because the teaching as-it-is, is very long, and if I were to expound even further, it would become a full-length book. So, I have left out much revelation given to me personally, but kept in enough to give fullness.
Like all of the teachings He gives me, they are rooted and grounded in my personal experiences and studies. Those who hear or read what I have to say are simply gathering from my personal experiences, and then they get to take them and make them their own, if they so choose.
As I said, in review I discovered where I had omitted a passage, indeed an entire book of the Bible, trying to keep things short. Now that I look at this book/ passage in meditation and review, I discover that it is so harrowing, yet instructive, that I should pass it along to you. If you truly slogged through all that I wrote on this subject, this will be a good capstone to help you, as it's helped me in keeping my thoughts and deeds in check with His Will and desire.
The Book of Judges
There is little that I need to write, because the passage preaches by itself (I don't presume to be able to add anything to the Bible J ). Let me encourage you to read the book of Judges, carefully, from beginning to end. What a wonderful accent on the heels of reading what I've just written; you will be struck with awe about how Israel cycled through obedience and disobedience. If you are as human as I am, you will ponder the harrowing thought - how on Earth can I keep from succumbing to the wiles that Israel repeatedly let themselves to be led into?
As you read this passage of the book of Judges, you start out with the wonderful heroes, Joshua and Caleb. Godly men, who did not worship idols (by now you've read my full length teaching and I am sure you don't need me to expound once again about what these REALLY are, in every context that they are mentioned here in scripture, and the sex acts they are used for performing "worship" in), who are key in striking down and removing the idols we researched about with Achan and his family at Ai - more strikingly, keeping Israel from idolatry.
It won't take you long in reading Judges, to discover the pattern of obedience and disobedience. The base of our lives is this deep seated need and drive to have The Creator of the Universe living in us and though us as us. He most definitively created us with this need. Some people have cutely and metaphorically referred to this as a God-Shaped vacuum. Others have called it a Spirit-Sponge capacity. Whatever it really is, it is definitely there.
We have a choice to make, do we fill this relational need with the real thing (God Himself - thank you Jesus) or do we settle for substitutes (satan's counterfeit vicarious ploys). As we have seen, the second and lesser choice is cunning in his disguise, and a master of trickery. Further, he knows that for those of the strongest possibility of not succumbing to his wiles, he pulls out all of the stops and unleashes his most deadly substitute, as close as he can offer to the real thing - without it being the real thing. Whatever he can do to distract you, he is going to do it to distract you - count on it. But, know that Jesus' relationship is most definitely stronger, and far more worth it.
In the case of Israel, they continually fell into the wiles of utilizing the masturbatory idols from their surrounding heathen pagans - sorry, that is filthy-disgusting, but it is the truth. What is most harrowing in reading Judges is the fact that Israel had already been repeatedly told to utterly destroy, annihilate, remove (whatever word you can find) the enemy that lived in the land AND their idols. They wouldn't. They'd save some, just a little bit, a seemingly harmless tiny remnant. The scripture actually says that the Lord Himself allowed these things to happen to TEST the resolve of Israel, over and over. This is a relentless theme. It applies to today. To your life and mine. These items of temptation are there, leftovers from before. From some time past. We stumble upon them and voilą, we are confronted with a decision of whether to pursue the deep relationship with Jesus flowing in and through us as us, or to accept an ever-so-slight substitute, a tiny bit of devastating fakery.
When I see this pattern, and how much it has robbed Jesus' true Spirit-life from my life, I just have a spirit of tears and crying for all of the idiotic choices I've made, to see the barren wasteland of spiritual scars due to poor choices. As I said in the previous writings, it's not all over the simplicity of the definition of a true idol, but it also deals with the metaphor, where I have chosen all sorts of substitutes, and I am certainly not proud of the choosing I have done. All I can say is that I am glad for Jesus' healing and refreshing He brings when the stupid idols (real or metaphor) are put out once and for all.
A very good friend of mine, and a man who is a ghost writer for a wonderful modern-day Christian apologist, has told me that he made a decision. He thought about how there were blocking devices for computers that would filter the incoming Internet information, and how those blocking devices would keep his children from being exposed to pornography, in specific. As he reviewed the possibility, He said he decided to enact the devices so he himself wouldn't even be drawn. I applaud him for taking the stand in his life. It is a wonderful move and one which definitely needs to be taken. I have friends who belong to alcoholic and drug rehabilitation groups. They even meet once a day if you need it. There are all sorts of 12-Step recovery programs out there, and other forms of rescue, all with great effectiveness and value. Some people think they don't need rescue of these varieties, yet they are usually the ones in the worst denial, and truly in need.
I am very thankful that when I needed the rescue, He had the rescuers in place. For a while, I needed the daily encouragement. In time, I didn't need the frequency of daily recovery meetings, while some people do for the rest of their lives. That's okay, because we each have different make-ups in personality, and we all encourage each other, none of us haughty toward the other, because we know the strength of temptations and we pray for each other to not succumb to the temptations again.
I am thankful for Jesus coming in and completely healing me, to the point that I have no binge-and-purge reactions, even in the direct face of the temptations that used to haunt me in my earlier life. I have no idea why, but some people don't receive as complete of a healing as I have been blessed with, while they have to stay far away from the temptations (like idols burned, pulverized and thrown far away from their midst) in order to stay free.
Some people need to have Internet filters like my friend, while others can stand against the pornography without the filters. Some people can quit being alcoholics and still go back to drinking establishments (usually when they are part of a restaurant, golf course or bowling alley) without being drawn in to drink alcohol ever again, while others have to remove all evidence, and never get near a whiff of alcohol ever again in their lives.
Like I said, we're all different. I don't rush headlong to find my past temptations in order to prove the healing that I have, but when confronted with them occasionally, they don't have a hold, nor even a curiosity to me any more - oh do I humbly thank Jesus for setting me free!!!
Whatever your level of need for rescue, remember this, the Lord IS standing by. He hasn't removed the idols of temptation because He is watching to see what it is that you truly choose from your spirit-heart (see Judges 2:1-3, & even more grievously v. 21-23), NO DIFFERENT THAN WHEN HE WAS WATCHING ADAM & EVE (back at the opening of this teaching) TO SEE WHAT CHOICES THEY MADE.
He wants those who will choose Him. Choose being the operative word. He wants us to choose, of our own free will, not out of coercion. There are none who have been coerced into eternity. That means that the most strong temptation will present itself, and you are going to have to choose in the face of it. Go back again and reread Judges and see the proof for yourself. The idols appeared again and again and again, ad infinitum, because certain Israelites chose them.
In our society (in the USA) the USA Marines stand out as a most striking example of choosing the right way, amidst the most difficult of distractions and desires to give up, to quit, and go back to a life of ease. However, as tough and wonderful as they are, Marines only go through a basic training that lasts for a few weeks - - - whereas the choices you are going to have to make will take your entire life on this side of eternity, and will impact your life for all eternity.
Marines are a wonderful example, and are not to be belittled, because they do a great and noble work of service for our country and its people. You'd better come to the realization that you are being called to have more stamina and endurance in spirit than any Marine, when it comes to choosing God's ways over satan's substitute idols in matters pertaining to your eternal relationship with Him flowing in you and through you as you. There is no choosing Jesus first, and then idols second, and food third, and alcohol fourth, and gambling fifth, and so on. To be a metaphorical Marine in God's service, you CHOOSE Jesus as ALL, and then He brings all of the other previous substitute problems into alignment with His will.
When you go back and reread Judges, please notice these characters: [Joshua, Caleb, Kenaz (Caleb's brother), Othniel (Kenaz' son), Simeon, the family of Joseph, left-handed Ehud (here's a particularly disgusting story), Shamgar, Deborah and Barak, Gideon (in this story you get the good, the bad and the ugly, in that order - idols once again), Jotham (and the unnamed woman of Judges 9:53), Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Manoah & wife, Samson], and you will see the repeated theme over and over, of Israel succumbing to substitute idol-worship-play while others become called of God because of their choices, and they defeat the idol-worshippers yet again. They stand as the figurative Marines (though some ended up not-so perfect), examples you must observe for their choice of NOT taking substitute-idols against God, in order to have and to emulate that deep relationship we are talking about possessing.
I pray a blessing upon you that you more than find, yes, that you possess the relational-life that Jesus has most definitely designed for you, in abundance, ALL the while totally free from substitute-counterfeit-idols.
© 2005 Permission to copy or reprint granted only if full version is quoted and proper notation of authorship recognition is given.
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