I hate them, hate them, hate them! Again I say, I HATE THEM! You do, too; if you are honest enough to admit it. What do we hate? Those “inside the box” Easy To Assemble Instructions! It says right there on the box: Easy To Assemble! “They lie, I tell you–Liars, all of them!” I’d love to see that designer engineer who came up with those “easy” instructions to put it together with her or his own instructions! Maybe their eternal punishment would be having to attempt assembling stuff with those Easy To Assemble Instructions!
Easy! That’s what our world longs for; and it seeks it without restraint. Many years ago the office supply business Staples had their ad campaign built around that Easy Button. You push a button and you have all your office supplies. Somewhere there’s an ad team congratulating themselves for such an original idea. And I am about to burst their celebratory balloons. It’s not an original idea. Truth is, it’s as old as time.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Adam and Eve with Easy! That forbidden fruit was Easy to reach, Easy on the eyes, it provided (so Satan said) Easy way of life. The result of Easy was weeds in the garden, hard sweaty work, and painful childbirth.
Tenured Pew Sitters have long been proponents of Easy Church. They’ve managed to control church boards and councils and have set policies and agendas based on Easy. Here’s the thing: Jesus never promised Easy. He talked a lot about Crosses and being hated and being challenged and being stretched (remember that thing about new wine skins?)–but Easy? Never!
Satan always wants us to look for the easy way and the easy way out. He even offers his Easy To Assemble Instructions to help us. But when we’re finished follow his Easy To Assemble Instructions, our life doesn’t look anything like the picture on the box, and there’s all those leftover parts that were supposed to go somewhere, but they are scattered all over the floor.
Who said it was supposed to be Easy to fix the mess our sin created? Satan always tempts us with Easy. He tells us it’s Easier if we compromise, if we pursue what makes us happy, if we live by how we feel. If it’s an Easy fix, rest assured the results will be disappointing. On the other hand, God never said it would be Easy. But He did promise it would be Possible!
In this process of being fully restored as God’s Image Bearers, there will be Crosses, Challenges, and Moments Of Stretching. These things are never Easy. But they are Possible! When choosing a course of action, if it seems Easy, then just remember these three words printed on those confounded boxes: Easy To Assemble. Satan doesn’t want you challenged because if you are, you will be able to see straight through his lies.
Satan only knows Easy. He will never challenge you. Why? Because he can’t help you. But God? He takes great delight in you and even more delight in helping you face the difficulties (the difficulties created by Satan) and giving you both Direction and Power that will transform your life. Short cuts lead to dead ends. Compromises end in disasters.
Are you doubting me? Would you take the advice of who has been called the World’s Wisest Man? A man who lived both wisely. . .and foolishly? Hear what Solomon says about easy, and he found out the hard way (read Ecclesiastes to find the results of the hard way) in Proverbs 14:12–“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
God isn’t trying to make your life difficult–He is working to help you become the True You. And He does it through His Word and with His Power in The Holy Spirit. It’s really not all that complicated to be transformed because it’s HIS Work–we’ve just made it complicated. And so The Enemy steps in with Easy, tell him to go to hell–after all, that’s where he’s from.
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way HE loves you. And make sure ALL the glory goes to HIM!