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  • Writer's pictureTrace Pirtle

Get Caught Up in the Word, Not the World

"After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

Isn't it interesting that some of the wealthiest people on the planet are building their own spacecraft to get off the earth? These are some of the same people who expect us to get "caught up" in their "New World Order," the Utopia of the elite. So why do they want to leave if their Utopia is so good? Perhaps we are better served by getting caught up in the Word rather than the world.

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)

When I was a lukewarm Christian, I spent the majority of my life caught up in people, places, and things of the world. Then, perhaps on a weekend or religious holiday, I would get caught up in God and His Word. Still, that experience was quickly set aside for the responsibilities (and anxiety) of the "real world."

Getting Caught Up in the World

As humans, we are instinctually driven to avoid pain and seek pleasure. If you've taken an introductory psychology course, you likely discussed Sigmund Freud and his "Pleasure Principle." The pleasure principle makes logical sense at the basement level of our existence because it is in tune with the world.

In the late 1960s, two common sayings captured the essence of the pleasure principle, "If it feels good, do it" and "Love the one you are with." Eros, the love instinct/drive, and associated libido (the sexual aspect of Eros) freed people to follow their desires and animal instincts.

But just as there was pleasure, remember sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll? there was also pain that had to be endured for too much of a "good thing." Along with the pleasure of Eros comes the pain of Thanatos (the death instinct/drive).

It's interesting how the world hasn't changed much, and neither have people. Without a free-will decision to transcend our biological and instinctual desires of the world, we are forced to constantly trade temporary pleasure for a lifetime of pain...perhaps an eternity of misery.

Fortunately, we have a body and a mind, but what we "are" is a spirit living in a body/mind. Unfortunately, the spirit is frequently left behind when we listen to the world. There is a better way to live in this world and for eternity.

Getting Caught Up in God's Word

Making the free-will decision to get caught up in God's Word is like saying, "I think I'll go to graduate school." It sounds great until students realize they must read books and articles, conduct research, and study!

For many, this is pain and suffering that can't be endured. For them, it is back to the party, while others recognize the long-term benefit they will receive if they persist.

The further I move away from the lukewarm comfort of the world, the more I discover that getting caught up in God's Word takes effort but quickly becomes enjoyable. As with textbooks, we have to see value in what has been written. We have to find the subject meaningful and valuable in our lives.

For many lukewarm Christians, the question of studying scripture isn't so much about the value of God's Word or that it has meaning; it's about its useful purpose. With so many seemingly inherent contradictions, how can one put it into practice in today's world? It takes effort to get to the core meaning despite the surface-level contradictions.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." - James 1:12 (NASB)

This is where the personal relationship with God comes in. If we simply read the words on the page, our mind wants to take the easy path. We say, "This is too hard to decipher." We can easily give up, close the book, and put off studying the Word until next week. Next week never comes.

Instead, I've found that taking a walk to converse with God is helpful. First, the walk helps clear my mind, gets the blood flowing, and puts me in a state of receptivity for what God might say. The "conversation" builds the relationship. It also allows me to ask God more questions than graduate students ask their professors.

Because of the relationship, I ask for Divine Intervention and guidance when I read something in scripture that makes no sense to my rational mind. Like a miracle, I usually see through the fog and get a clear image of what God is telling me. I took God up on His offer when He said

"Call to me, and I will answer you, and tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." - Jeremiah 33:3

Concluding Thoughts

We live in a world that is rapidly changing. We see examples daily that present good as evil and evil as good. This is just one sign among many that we are living in the end times.

Global elites created a "new world order" and now define what Utopia should look like for everyone. They want us caught up in a snare that separates us from Jesus. But God knows this is all an illusion brought about by delusional thinking.

As the Apostle Paul wrote,

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! And, the only thing I want to get "caught up" in is the clouds when Jesus raptures His church! But, until then, let's get caught up in the Word, not the world!

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About Me

Image of Dr. Trace Pirtle sitting on park bench identified as Jesus.

Greetings, I'm Trace!
I'm a retired counselor education professor who spent 35 years in the "helping professions." I'm an "all-in" believer working full-time for our Lord Jesus Christ. I've included my personal testimony if you are interested. 
May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

In His Service,

Trace Pirtle

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