When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong - Part One

Hello HHLL Readers!

Sometimes life is too real.  In fact, it is so real that it’s wrong.  Our life gets too real because for a lot of reasons (or excuses), the lifestyle we have been living is all we have come to know.  For other reasons, it is so real that we get stuck and forget what is really happening.  

Usually we like to function just for the moment- with or without a substantial goal.  We generally focus on worldly things that are insignificant in the long-run while we avoid the spiritual things we need to do in the short-run that will prepare us for the long-run.  Again, we focus on our desires that will satisfy us immediately but run away from the tough choices that will give us complete satisfaction in the future. 

As a society, we do this because we don’t want to wait for any satisfaction.  Our culture is like this because we have been conditioned to seek instant gratification.  When it seems everyone is doing the same things you aren’t too sure about committing yourself too but would like to join, eventually your mind can persuade you to find the thing acceptable prior to your submission, not knowing the future consequences. 

Due to this, we hurt ourselves by taking in everything that appears to us- that which looks good- hoping it will in turn save us by filling the hole of incompleteness some of us feel in our hearts.  Mysteriously, that hole does not get filled and the pattern of needing to fill it up starts again.  Unfortunately, this is our world’s addiction.  This is partly because a lot of people still have no knowledge of God, who He is, or what He decrees.  And others, who call themselves Christians, say they believe in God but they do not do as he says.  The atheists as well deny God’s existence but at the same time they exercise their free will.

Perhaps, though, if you are reading this blog you may have read what was written in James 4:14- “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (NIV)  What then is the meaning behind the verse?  And what, exactly, is a mist? 

A mist is something suspended in the air; particles of water floating in the atmosphere.  It is a phantasm… an illusion.  It is unsubstantial and transitory.  A mist, or vapor, is temporary as it is short-lived.  In effect, our lives are like this mist or vapor.  It exists, but only for a short while.  Also, during its brief existence it can be hard to tell what is in fact happening- as sometimes, one cannot see through the cloudy mist.  So, the mist is there for a moment and then in the next one, it has vanished.  Well, what happened to the vapor?  Did it evaporate without a trace?

The point of this verse, though, is to remember what we have forgotten.  We must remember where we came from; namely, our roots.  Our origin came from God, and we must remember him.  God gave us his word and covenant of eternal life.  Although our lives are vapors that can evaporate in any moment- the time of which we cannot predict- God still gave us his word and we should abide by his commandments.  Overall, God’s word is a help for us.  Even if we are here briefly, for a moment, shouldn’t we keep God in our lives?

However, following God’s commandments are difficult for people to adhere to because they want to follow their own directions and make their own paths.  These types of people are “keeping it real” because Earth is real to them.  These people do not see life apart from Earth.  They see life as a process from birth to death, and nothing afterwards.  They do not understand that God’s commandments are simply instructions that will give your life order.  But they are also God’s decree, and His word is final, and as such, they should be taken seriously.  Since our lives are in fact a mist, we must be diligent and have a sense of urgency.  This is because we do not control the time we are born or the time we are to die.  Hence, God gave us the commandments- although our lives are a mist- so we can remember God.  The commandments are also a heavenly requirement, as Heaven is orderly.

If we do not see the sense of urgency in God’s commandments, then they are of no use.  Not obeying them will not be of any benefit.  As well, we will not receive a personal invitation from God that will allow us to enter Heaven.  But just as the vapor appears for a short time, so do our lives.  Our lives are the appearance of what others make of what they see.  The key word though is “see.”  We are talking about perception.  God, however, does not look at your appearance as people do.  God can see past the outward appearance and therefore looks inside of you.  He wants to see your heart.  He is looking there in your heart to see if you have kept his commandments and not strayed from them.  Likewise, our job is to share the Gospel, but we cannot make someone believe if they are always perceiving what is on the outside.  God is dealing with an internal matter and He alone can change perception by opening the hearts of people to see Him for Himself.  So even when people are “keeping it real”, are they keeping it real with God?

What I am writing should not be a scary thing to understand, but it is something that one should be reading in a serious manner because I hope it will bless you.  The purpose of the bible verse I selected of James 4:14 is to highlight the overall theme of the chapter, which is to obey God by humbling yourselves.  Specifically, submit yourselves to God and his orderly plan for your life- which is God’s will.  Please don’t let the appearance of the world justify your decision to turn away from God’s commandments.

What are the 10 commandments of God?  (Find them in Exodus 20)

Remember them and do them.  Keep trying until doing them becomes a daily habit like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, or drinking water.  When you remember the commandments, you are remembering God, and God will remember you.  The devil will flee from the one who is putting their spiritual life back in order because that person will be dedicating everything about themselves to the Lord.  As before, we were in bondage- in spiritual slavery in Egypt.  Our God delivered us out of Egypt.  Let’s work on our spiritual connection to Him by remembering him.  By doing so, please share your story so others will start to remember what really matters in this vapor of a life- which is God, who gave us the life, but who also gave us free will to come back to His will.  So, I’m asking you to not “keep it real" with your life.  I am suggesting that you “Keep it Right.”

The Ten Commandments (Source: Wikipedia)

1.    I am the Lord thy God, thou shall not have any gods before me.

2.    You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.

3.    You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

4.    Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

5.    Honor your father and your mother.

6.    You shall not murder.

7.    You shall not commit adultery.

8.    You shall not steal.

9.    You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

10.  You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or property.