Spiritual things are something that can be very confusing in our culture today. I think that this is part of Satan’s plan, as it usually is, when he wants to distract from or distort something that is of God. I have no doubt in my mind that there is a spiritual world that exists, that it is nothing like what is depicted in movies and television and that it is not only the primary driving force, but I would argue the only driving force in the universe. We get so caught up in and give time to things that just don’t matter that it is so easy to lose perspective and end up focusing on meaningless endeavors. In moments of clarity I am amazed at what is cast aside when only what God would want want me to think about is put at the forefront.

What I read about in the Bible talks about only a few things. One, God is in control. Despite any confusion that is created from many sources there is nothing that happens that he does not see and allow. This statement can appear to create more questions than give answers to questions, but it really doesn’t. The bottom line is perspective. With a secular world view human existence in this world is at the center of timing and events, and while God loves his most precious creation and humans benefit the most from God’s eternal plan, existence in this world is not the driving force behind that plan. The number one concern of God is an eternal one and only with an eternal view can any of what we see occur in this world make any sense at all.

The other important thing is that God’s number one concern is for the human soul and the eternal destiny of that soul. The world we live in is a very temporary precursor to the much more lengthy eternal existence to come. The important caveat to this temporary life is that a very important decision is made during this life as to our eternal destiny. When you break it down, everything in this life that is important relates only to the decision of heaven or hell. I don’t think that most humans, even Godly ones, have a clear perspective on the battle at hand although I think that we should. I don’t think that Satan is distracted. I think that he is very focused and there is not any wasted effort on his part.

I believe that evil exists and that the only thing that it wants is to have human souls accompany it in hell. Everything that Satan does is very goal oriented. I think that he guides the secular culture and that more people than we want to admit are possessed by that culture. I work in the mental health field and more and more I look at the people that I see and try to help and I realize that I am fighting a very deep spiritual battle even within Christians in the church. Satan has created a world where we are concerned about economics, ecology and politics and while we are distracted he is vying for the control of our souls. I think that we need to understand the battle at hand and attend to it.

I think that with many of the ills in our society it is Satan’s plan to push an agenda contrary to what God wants for His people. In the case of entitlement the ideal that is being pushed is in direct correlation to God’s ideal of service and hard work. Even in the garden Adam had to work and when Eve and he were kicked out of the garden the natural consequence of the fall was that work became harder. That Adam would now have to struggle to make the land produce because there would be obstacles. I think that weeds and soil drained of its nutrients were not an issue in the garden. They were after the fall, and when obstacles were introduced another byproduct of the fall occurred. That byproduct was laziness.

I don’t think that Adam and Eve had to struggle with being lazy in the garden. I think that they were supernaturally energized by God’s presence and Spirit and they were motivated to do what needed to be done. I think that they might have struggled with laziness after the fall, but they couldn’t succumb to it because survival was at stake. Fast forward to today when society pushes the agenda of entitlement and it feeds right into human laziness. It is natural for someone to want things for free and want to not have to work. It’s part of our sin nature. It takes a teaching that hard work and service are important parts of life and the supernatural interjection of God’s Spirit to fuel the desire to want to work and serve.

Entitlement teaches that I deserve to have what everybody else has even if I haven’t worked for it. It states that I am here to be served, not to serve. Envy and covetousness also play into this desire. When entitlement kicks in it destroys motivation. It feels right to people because it supports our laziness which also feels right. But, it isn’t right. It is very wrong and destroys productivity and it keeps us from being used by the living God to accomplish great things in this world. It keeps us from accomplishing basic acts of survival. Entitlement is present and in the moment thinking and it totally excludes any forward thinking. If i can get through today without putting forth much effort then it is a good day. Service and hard work are future oriented endeavors. They see the benefit of building into the future with delay of gratification for an ultimate higher achievement.

Entitlement teaches that I am here to be served and that the more that I can get other people to do for me the better off that I am. It destroys pride in being alive and sustaining that life to its full potential. God not only wants us to serve our own needs, but to serve those that are unable to serve themselves. Entitlement teaches that I will not only get mine, but if at all possible I will get somebody else’s also. Entitlement is the exact opposite of what God thinks. What if Jesus had felt entitled, and of all people ever he had the right to be, and decided to not leave the confines of heaven and come to serve and ultimately die in that service. Service and hard work supernaturally sustained and maintained are God’s ideals for life.

When babies are born they are very needy and it takes a lot of work to keep them maintained. We feed them and we change them and we worry about their sleep. They need us. Without the care that we provide for them they would not survive and there is this awesome sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from giving to the point of literally providing life and a hard to describe appreciation that is felt that the baby emits. There is this unconditional exchange of love that occurs. As babies grow a little bit, they know that we are their source when they need something. In the beginning, there is not anything that we won’t do for them and then there is that moment when for the first time we have to express a sentiment that they have never sensed before and that sentiment is “NO”.

I can only imagine that the child is thinking to themselves “What just happened. There must be some kind of mistake here. Hello, we have a deal. I want and you give. That’s the way it works.” I think by definition that this is our sin nature. Now, some people, especially mothers, may not want to think of it that way because taking care of babies is this pure and innocent endeavor, but taking care of babies is the only the first stage of a lengthy process called parenting. There are all kinds of documented issues that occur when a baby does not get the unconditional love and care that we are talking about so I in no way want to diminish the importance of just giving and “spoiling” that baby with love and attention. It needs to be done, but It’s only the first and critical stage in the long process of developing a well rounded adult.

Sometimes, I think that parents are caught off guard by the revelation that they now have to incorporate a new strategy in to their parenting regimen and it can take a little while to get past having to be the bad guy and make your child unhappy, but it has to get done eventually. The problem is when it doesn’t get done at all or not sufficiently enough. Modern parenting techniques and new age thinking have led to a decay in parenting and therefore a decay in society. To placate our feelings of not wanting to do the hard work of parenting we have modified the rules and taken the easy way out and guess what, we are now reaping what we have sown. Entitlement is not the odd occurrence anymore, it is the normal standard of behavior. Along with it are the companion behaviors to keep entitlement alive. Lying, cheating, stealing and abuse are all considered to be necessary because people feel the need to protect and keep an unearned and ungiven alleged right.

We now live in a world where people want what they want and they want somebody else to provide it. And, if someone manages to do well for themselves the expectation is that they will give it to somebody else whether they want to or not. The thought process is not that they should give, but that they have to. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we shouldn’t be givers, but the mindset that our society is pushing looks strangely like a mindset that we fought to defeat many years ago in a big red country east of us. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Entitlement destroys incentive, it destroys moral fiber, it’s bucks against the improvement and growth of individual people and societies. It is the social cancer of our day and it spreading uncontrollably.

I am constantly amazed about the double standard that exists within our culture today as it pertains to the relative viewpoint. The most shocking part is that the most astounding contradictions come from alleged Christians. Maybe, i shouldn’t use the word alleged because it is not my job to question the salvation of others that profess to be Christians, but I am not questioning redemption I am questioning sanctification. I am questioning the way our Christian lives are lived out. I find myself falling into certain cultural traps even though I truly attempt to be as Spirit filled as possible and I want to live as much as possible as God would have me live. It’s not easy. I think that we all get jaded and we are all effected by personal biases and personal agendas, but I know that this is an area that I constantly have to allow the Holy Spirit to adjust my thinking and I think that adjustment only occurs when we seek it. I have to seek God’s standard and remove bias from myself as much as possible.

The Bible states that as people we do not lack for knowledge, but we lack for doing. I think that it has become more popular these days to alter and reinterpret knowledge and then, of course, the accepted doing is consequently altered. A culture that is dominated by relativism has managed to make the church and Christianity somewhat relative. The problem is that God is not relative. He is absolute and therefore his teachings and his commandments are absolute also. This rubs against the grain of a culture that wants to state that absolutes are oppressive and restrictive unless of course it is the absolute that everything is relative and that our worldview and consequently lifestyle can and should be determined by personal preference.

I expect this from the unsaved world because they are driven by the worldly culture that is controlled by the prince of this world. I am surprised, though, by the amount of professing Christians that either turn their back on the teachings of the Bible or reinterpret them to appease a personal agenda. I have a dear friend who is African American and he was appalled by many of his supposed Christian brothers who voted for Obama because he was African American even though they totally disagreed with his clearly socialistic policies. I have a family member who has voted strictly from a certain bias for many years because of his connection to organized labor despite the fact that he knows the agenda that he supports is against a Godly worldview. i have another friend who is a Christian, but he refuses to support a Godly social agenda because of a history of abuse from Christian legalism.

These are the types of things that occur because of relativism. The truth is skewed for the sake of personal preference and comfort. God and His grace do not have an opportunity to do the work that He has promised He will do in the lives of His people because His promises and His message are diluted. There are absolute truths and without them we flounder. We may not see them as compromise, but they are. Without absolutes there is not a firm foundation to hold onto and then to build on. Relativism is the proverbial shifting sand. Relativism is convenient and it is satisfies a desire inside of us to be in control, but the truth is we are not in control. Any security we think we gain is false and fleeting unless it comes from the absolute truths of God. Relativism actually destroys the thing that it vehemently defends, freedom, and instead trades it for oppression and reliance on a ever changing standard that requires a constant altering of who we are to maintain a facade of peace. A peace that can only be achieved by a never changing standard from a never changing God.