Have you ever been to New York City? If you have, you mostly likely know of a little suburb called Chinatown. Chinatown is a densely populated neighborhood that attracts many tourists with its Southeast Asian restaurants and shops. I remember my visit to Chinatown as a senior in high school, and I can assure you it was an interesting experience.

I had heard word from others who had visited Chinatown that the venders were, shall I say, a bit on the “aggressive side.” So, I thought I’d have a little fun and maybe come out with a bargain.  I walked into a shop with a group of friends when I heard a man say, “Psssst, Come here!”

I saw no potential danger in a strange, dirty looking man ushering me into a small closet area behind the counter, so I hurried right over! Looking around in somewhat of a frantic pattern, he opened a drawer that was filled with all sorts of tiny items. He proceeded to tell me how very special I was being the only one in the store to see inside His “special” drawer.

He then told me something that I wasn’t expecting.

He held up a “name-brand” wrist watch and with a cheesy grin proceeded to tell me that it was worth around $4,000! “But, my man, I will sell this watch to you, and only you, for the insanely low price of $20!”

My reaction shocked us both. I burst into laughter and said, “If what you’re saying is true, then you are the worst salesman I have ever met!” I walked out of the store kind of feeling bad for being so harsh, but still chuckling on the inside.

You know the world and the devil are much like that salesman. They try and try to sell us a cheap imitation of God’s peace, and we often buy right into it! I heard a preacher say, “Whatever God ordains, Satan opposes.” Here is one more poor substitute for peace:

Play

The further into adulthood a man goes the more obscure this word becomes. But let’s be honest. There is an inner child in every man that wishes to play, free of responsibility, and have his own toys. Every man wants to be clear of obligations from time to time, but remember that “relief and rest are not the same.”  Your vacation house or fishing trip can’t give you the rest that Jesus offers. You can’t spend enough time away to silence the restlessness in your heart and mind.

I know too many believers who live their lives making sure everything is fun and easy. But just because life is easy doesn’t mean things are what they should to be. If you are not careful, ease will become the ruling god that sits on the throne of your heart, and Jesus will be the last thing on your mind. All the devil has to do is get you to fall in love with your comfort and pleasures, and you will become a fan on the sidelines of Christianity. But Jesus has not called us to be fans, but to be followers! And when we follow Him, there we will find rest for our souls. Remember that it is His burden that is easy, but “the way of the transgressor is hard.”

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