I've Been Living an Illusion
Updated: May 23, 2018
I thought I was right. I thought I was in the clear. I was so sure I had done everything I needed to do, but reality slapped me upside the head and I realized that I was living an illusion all along.
Spring finally broke the grip that winter had on Berrien Springs and lately, it was a joy to sit on the steps and let warm gold tumble over me. I opened the windows of my home and knew that the spring air would come in and eradicate all traces of winter. However, even with the windows open, my apartment still felt unusually warm. Outside, the breeze danced in the trees, but it seemed not to be coming in through my windows. I was perplexed. I closed the windows at night to keep the night draft out but in the morning, I opened them again. Still, no breeze.
Then, the other night, something happened as I sat on the couch reading. The day was long and hard, and it felt good to curl up with a good book ( commercial break: The Attributes of God by A.W. Tozer). Then I spotted a bug in the window. I could tell it was on the outer part of the screen, so I knew it was safe to knock it off without coming in direct contact with it’s insect-like 'monstrousness'. I tapped the screen to flick it on only to hit a solid pane. I was stunned. I hit the window screen again. There was a solid, transparent pane!
My heart began to race. I went to the other windows in the living room and tapped. There it was again – a transparent pane. I looked at the window in the kitchen. It was opened wide. I began to convince myself that there was no pane. To my dismay, again, there was a solid pane behind the screen. I rushed to the other room. I could see outside and looked carefully to see if there was some reflection. None. I tapped the screen. There was a pane.
All this time, I was living the illusion that my windows were opened, and breeze was coming through when in reality, it only looked as if the windows were opened. I felt betrayed. I felt dumb. How could I not notice that? How could I not realize to check the windows?
“Lord, Lord open for us,” and He will say to you, ‘I do not know you,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know you…depart from me’” (Luke 13:25-27).
While my window pane experience seems silly and laughable, spiritual and religious illusion is deadly. When Jesus Christ returns, there will be many people who believe that the windows and doors of their hearts were opened to Him, when in reality, there was a thick invisible pane that only gave the illusion that they were opened to Him.
Could it be that I am living an illusion? Is it possible that I believe my salvation is sure and my heart is open to Jesus when in fact I am closed off to Him? Could I be one of those who “[have] the form of godliness but [deny] the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5)?
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
How can we be sure that we don’t have a transparent pane over our hearts? We must allow the Holy Spirit to examine our lives. We have to be honest with ourselves and see whether we are following the Lord according to His Word or according to our own will. Test the things you believe and practice against the Word of God. If it doesn’t match up, toss it and follow God’s will. If it does, continues the walk of faith.
I don’t want to live an “invisible window pane Christian life”: thinking that I am walking with Christ when it’s only an illusion. Everyday, God gives us signs and sends counsel to us to help us break the invisible pane covering our eye sight. By grace, we will be able to see the illusion and break free.
Now that I’ve discovered that I’ve been betrayed by my apartment, I could do one of two things: continue living as if my windows are open and try to fool myself, or remove the panes and let the breeze in. What will you do?
A community of faith is one way to help ensure that we’re not living an illusion. Join us at Highland Avenue to experience life more abundantly.