Sonja Harper

I’ve been thinking lately about illusions. I spoke last week at a youth retreat and had the idea to speak on illusions. The more I think about what an illusion is, the more I realize how our society is filled with them. 

Definition of illusion—something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.  

In our world we are constantly bombarded with illusions. We have all been there. We think that when we grow up, we will have the perfect life, perfect career, perfect husband, perfect family. . .. In truth, the word perfect is itself an illusion, for there is nothing perfect in this life. The sooner we realize this, the better. 

When I spoke to the youth last week, I wanted to separate the truth from lies. The truth is this world can be seen as an illusion if you think about it. The world tells us we all will die, but God shows us there is a Heaven and a Hell. The truth is that we will have eternity. But we often have it backwards. We all live our lives as if this world is reality, while death and Heaven and Hell are only illusions. 

Our perceptions deceive us into thinking this, because we are living in the world here and now. But scripture tells us we are not of this world; we are just passing through. We are temporary residents. —1 Peter 2:11-12. Our bodies are tents. —Corinthians 5:1-9. 

So we often let the illusions lure us away, and the illusionist is the enemy. He deceives us through allurements in this world. Success, materialism, money, sex, drugs, alcohol, the list goes on. Jealousy, pride, unforgiveness, resentment, etc. 

I was at the theater watching Spider-Man with my granddaughters. (I finally realize why they put these huge loungers in cinemas! It is a marketing tool, and highly effective one. I wonder how many people fall asleep and have to go back the next week to re-watch the parts of the movie they missed? LOL.)

Yes, I will admit I fell asleep and woke up to my 9-year-old granddaughter poking me. “Nonnie. You sleeping?” with a giggle.  

I did wake up, though, just in time to hear a very profound statement. The movie was all about illusions. The villain deceived Spider-Man into fighting all these illusions of monsters. And in the end Spider-Man saw through his tricks, “You deceived me. These are only illusions!” Spider-Man said. “Why do you use illusions?"

The villain answered, "Because it’s easy! People will believe anything these days!"

I was like, "Bingo! Yes, that’s it! That is exactly what I am trying to show the younger generation, our youth of today." 

The world will believe anything! They cannot distinguish truth from lies. The world tells us, "It’s all good. If it feels good do it! You only live once." When in fact God tells us just the opposite. He is our compass and he guides us through his written word, the Bible. 

The Bible is not outdated. You can find anything about life and its problems written in the Bible—and how to get through it. 

One night in 1999, John Kennedy, Jr. got into his plane with his wife and sister-in-law. The darkness and heavy fog disoriented him. He could not see. He was not instrument rated, so he had only his own senses to guide him, and they deceived him. When he tried to turn, the plane began to spiral. Soon he was flying upside down without knowing it. When he tried to pull up, he made the plane descend faster. Just a few miles from home, he and his family flew to their deaths at top speed straight into the sea. 

How many of us are walking upside down while thinking and feeling we are right-side up? We have a compass—God. And he will lead us out of darkness and show us the truth. 

He is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. —John 1:4-6.  

Stop believing the Illusionist. The illusionist comes to only to “kill, steal and destroy. But I have come to give you life and give it abundantly!” —John 10:10.


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