Tuesday, September 6, 2011

..."From Whence There Is Not Deliverance"




{Image from inmagine.com}


About a week ago, I heard this scripture. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind ever since. The phrasing is so unsettling AND extremely revealing. It is from 2 Nephi 28:20-22.

"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance."

"Lull" is a word that really stood out to me. As a verb it means:

"To deceive into trustfulness, To cause to relax vigilance."

Another word that caught my attention was "Pacify". Which would mean to soothe or ease into a state of tranquility. Tranquility would be a state of being free from stress or emotion.

As I read it I could see those words and words like "Patiently", "Security", "Carefully", "Whispereth", "Flattereth". THEN you get the last bit. Up until this point it is all about the way the adversary goes about deceiving and trapping us. We can see that he is cunning and sly. And, obviously, he is very good at it! Look at how many in this world he is able to "lull" into a state of tranquility. A state where they are free from emotion. To that place where, when it is too late,  he will throw off his disguise and reveal the deception and the true nature underneath the sham!

The word "sham" means: "Something false or empty that is purported to be genuine; One who assumes a false character, an impostor."

Isn't that the truth?!

The words used to define his actions are not in line with his intention, which is to, "grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance".

Last Sunday I was reminded of a concept that Ryan learned and then taught me a long time ago.

The example he read used a piece of furniture as an example. The moment that a piece of furniture is complete and the building process is over, is the very moment that the piece of furniture begins to "die" or degenerate. If nothing is done to that piece of furniture, it will continue in this process until it is destroyed. Along the way there may be times that the piece is refinished or cleaned up a bit, however, this furniture needs vigilance to maintain a "like new" status. Dusting, polishing, cleaning, tightening screws, etc. All of this will keep this piece from losing its value. Nothing in this world, that has ever been created, is capable of neutral position. A state where there is no moving forward and no moving back. We are either going one way or the other at all times.

This concept taught him that it is the same with our lives. There are things that we must do & must not do, daily to keep our souls free from degenerating. This life is NOT a casual event! If the adversary does not rest, how can we think that we can "take a day off"? Doesn't the very theory of "taking a day off" comes from the whispering in our ears that starts the ball rolling in his direction. Isn't that what he wants? He wants us to relax a little.  

As a noun, the word "Lull" means: "A temporary pause or decline in activity"

Oh, yes, see now that seems to fit a bit more! He wants to coax us into not thinking that the daily necessities....and they are necessities, or reading our scriptures, praying, and then attending church weekly, serving in the temple....he wants us to believe that these are optional, not REALLY needed. Sure, they would be good for us, but we are alright without them. Besides, we are so very busy, and after all, doesn't "the church" just expect too much from us anyway?!

Oh, I have totally fallen into that trap! Many many times! I'm busy, I think "I'm sure the Lord understands" and I move on with my day. Not moving forward....so slipping back.

While thinking about this, it has made me think about what praying & reading our scriptures are really all about. WHY are they so vital. I mean, I totally know they are, but what is it that I know about them that can save me from these chains the adversary is saving for me?

It makes me think about Christ in Gethsemane. He asked the apostles to watch and pray. When he came back they were asleep. He woke them and said, "Watch and Pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

He DOES understand that we are busy, but he also understands the worth of our souls! He understands even more than we do, because he paid the price for us in Gethsemane & on Golgotha! This makes me wonder, for all the busy I am, are any one of the items on my task list worth removing my protection from the adversary?

That is why, I believe, because I have learned it through my own experience, that if we are faithful to the Lord & we make these things the highest priority in our lives, He give us the ability to accomplish everything else as well, and with a lot more peace.

Reading this scripture reminds me of the importance of Eternal Perspective. The adversary has our Eternal lives on his mind as well. He is determined to succeed. That has never changed. If anything he is only getting better at it. Look at how many are willing to throw everything away for an empty promise, or a moments thrill! It is not because he reveals truth. It is because he uses trickery and lies to deceive us. And what does he have to offer? Misery! Eternal misery!

When someone we know passes away, we get the closest glimpse we can get to Eternity. As we bury their bodies does it matter one bit how much money they had or didn't have? What about the stresses that may have consumed their lives? What happens to them?

With Eternal Perspective stresses become less overbearing. They are trials we face in this life, but they are NOT our lives! These things will pass. How we choose to deal with them is what we will keep with us!

I love the black and white of this scripture! As I read it I could feel the deceit that the adversary is guilty of, that he relishes in. And then in the end, the eternal consequences of allowing the "whisperings" or "flattery" to become a theory we adopts and begin to act upon.

What are your thoughts about this scripture? What struck you about it? I would really love to hear!

1 comment:

Ellsworth Family said...

That was a very profound post you made. Thank you for putting that so plainly to see. This was definitely something I needed to read today.

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