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Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uivervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny imrmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat lteter be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitil raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

My dad used to say, “Isn’t the mind a wonderful thing?!” Yes indeed, it certainly is, and I have to credit our Creator with its invention. So smart to think of putting something like this into His brainchild! There’s a pastor I’ve followed who for many years taught at a Bible college – very prophetic guy; we’ll call him Larry. I’ve always admired his total pursuit of God as he never wanted to miss a thing when it came to hearing direction from the Lord.

One day some of Larry’s students approached him about another pastor in town who told these students that they needed to pray about every detail of their lives: what time to get up in the morning, what socks to put on, what to eat for breakfast, etc. So what did Larry think about this, they asked?

Larry, of course, sought the Lord on this matter. “Am I supposed to pray about what shirt to wear in the morning?” he asked the Lord. God’s genius answer: “Larry – I gave you a brain – use it!” I just love that. What a remarkable device that ol’ brain of ours is and how incredible that God wants us to actually work it.

So, the question now, of course, is what to do with it? Use our God-given brains to think individually or join the herd? And by the way, sheep happen to be herd animals, and the fact that Jesus compared us to sheep speaks volumes! They are certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer! Herds lose their ability to think individually; herds don’t make good decisions or come to their own conclusions, nor do they make up their own minds about the best paths to follow.

Suzy Kassem, an advertising figure, put it this way: “Let’s face it. We live in a command-based system, where we have been programmed since our earliest school years to become followers, not individuals. We have been conditioned to embrace teams, the herd, the masses, popular opinion — and to reject what is different, eccentric, or stands alone. We are so programmed that all it takes for any business or authority to condition our minds to follow…is to repeat a statement more than three or four times until we repeat it ourselves and follow it as truth…” That pretty much explains why Jesus called us sheep, don’t you think?!

On the other hand, if you study the Bible, you will find that we are encouraged to become as eagles! Eagles have long been a symbol of freedom; they are cunning, bold, and extremely intelligent animals. Eagles are unique creatures who have learned to rise above the storms of life and soar in spite of angry weather. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that “Those who trust in the Lord get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles…”

It’s challenging to be an independent thinker these days and soar like eagles, isn’t it?! Our external speech is an expression of our internal thoughts, so any free-thinker worth their salt must also have freedom of speech, and that precious freedom is slowly but surely being crushed! So many in authority now believe the solution to our problems is to silence everything anyone else finds offensive – we are to have no contrary opinions.

As Harry S. Truman so aptly put it: “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

Around 478 B.C. Queen Esther was told this by her uncle Mordecai when the Jewish nation was faced with annihilation: “If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Could this be us? Could this be you? Think about it.

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you can visit them at DPCityChurch.org

Susan Beckett • Dwelling Place City Church

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