The Definition of Insanity
What was the craziest thing you ever did? Well, it sure would be fascinating to hear your responses! If you were like me, I am sure you were involved in many ridiculous, mind bending, thoughtless, and ignorant situations. Although I can’t think of any specific examples at the moment, there were plenty of them growing up. Most of them likely had to do with my impulsive and emotional driving in my Mustang GT. Actually, I still haven’t “grown up” as I continue to do “stupid “things while driving. There is something about horsepower and speed that make me crazy, and I just can’t help myself. Ok maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but I still do things that make me shake my head or that result in my wife saying why did you do that? I have no answers. I am sure that my parents often wondered if I would be “okay “in the same way that we wonder if our children will ever “get it”.
As you reflect back on life, most likely there were and are many moments when you can’t explain why you did something, or why you keep doing the same ‘not so smart” things over and over again. You know better but you seemingly can’t help yourself, so you just say that’s just who I am, it’s my DNA, personality, genes, or makeup. That is one of the obstacles of personality tests, gift assessments, and trying to figure ourselves out. Obviously, there is a benefit from these tests, but it becomes problematic when we feel “locked” and that we are stuck with who we are or can’t change. Fortunately, we have an all-knowing, all powerful, and all loving Heavenly Father who has no intention of leaving us as we are, broken and confused. His specialty is in transforming our lives. It is impossible to Know Him and remain as we are. We are stubborn, however and need lots of persuasion, work, and patience. Left alone we will make a mess of our lives and others.
So, what is insanity? Some would say doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. Wow does that ever seem familiar! To me, Insanity is simply not listening to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Insanity is also not having Faith in Him, but in some unexplainable way, believing we are smarter and know better than God. It means we hear and read what He says yet don’t listen. Insanity believes and thinks that God doesn’t love us, is withholding good and favors, wants us to be miserable, and is untrustworthy only looking out for Himself. Insanity believes that God’s laws were created to make us miserable, keep us from enjoying life, and are burdensome. Insanity says that the Bible doesn’t apply to us anymore, is outdated, and obsolete. I could go on and on…….. You are likely thinking I am insane and I am. Often we deny our insanity, but our lives show a different story. We moan and groan, complain, have pity parties, and love saying how hard life is. Look, I do it all the time or so it can seem.
I love the quote by Paul David Tripp ; “ The grand delusion of every act of sin is that we can be disloyal to God and everything will work out in the end.” There is a war going on inside us with voices declaring thoughts like;
God just wants me to be happy (duh, of course He does! Just listen and obey!
Everyone else is doing it, other people do it all the time
God loves me and wouldn’t send me to hell, or make me unhappy
God is a God of Grace, He will forgive me
I don’t believe that way
The Bible isn’t clear
I will just try it one time, just take a peek
Others are doing it and their lives are way better than mine
Unfortunately, these are ignorant thoughts and completely false. We are basically saying that we are smarter and more powerful than God, and we don’t have to look far in history to see how foolish this mentality really is. There are countless examples in scripture of humans responding this way and every time it brings tremendous pain, suffering, and even death. When we look at the children of Israel in scripture, we plainly see this story played out like a broken record. God would provide incredible, blessing, abundance, victory, and protection until they decided they couldn’t trust Him anymore and suffered dearly. Kingdoms came and went as God willed, not from human resources and power.
As we see in Deuteronomy 1, God had miraculously brought the Israelites out of slavery and put them at the brink of the promised land, their homeland, full of incredible riches, beauty, and abundance. He had gone before them preparing the way, removing every obstacle, and winning every battle. Now they were guaranteed victory and the land of their dreams, yet they responded as we often respond, not trusting and obeying God but thinking they knew better, and that God brought them all this way to have them killed by giants. Now that truly is insanity! They wanted to do it their way and without God. Yep, a truly brilliant move… not! When God told them of the consequences they seemed to repent and change their minds, but God knew better as He always does. They only wanted to repent to avoid the consequences. Sound familiar? You bet! Like us they attempted to use God. Sure, we can receive some perks from doing “good” things but if we want to receive God we obey out of gratitude.
So, what does all this mean? Well first of all our ways and plans stink and fall far short of God’s desires for us. His desires and blessings are guaranteed and far beyond what our tiny minds could come up with. Trusting ourselves only brings trouble but when we trust and follow Him, we become like Hinds feet and scale cliffs and mountains with ease. In the dessert we find Him and beauty, joy, and peace that leaves us speechless and stammering for breath. Yes, it can be wild, crazy, an exhilarating roller coaster, adrenaline rush and adventure without end. We too are at the brink of the promised land, a life and place too lofty and high for our pea brain minds to imagine. God has gone before us, prepared the way, removed the obstacles, and will fight for us. Nothing or no one can stand in our way. Will we choose Him, or will we follow our own ideas and insanity?
God wants us to embrace the lives, He has given us. Ever situation no matter how difficult, is a blessing. No giants or mountains are too big and it’s His battle He has already won. Instead of looking at the waves, difficulty, pain and suffering seek to find Him and for the limitless and priceless abundance of blessings. His intent is to make us beautiful and life beautiful. As I reflect back on my life thankfully very few if any of my dreams have been achieved. God had much bigger and better plans and I must be the luckiest man alive. Aren’t we all? All my life He has been Faithful and so so good. I want to sing of the goodness of God!!