An optical illusion:  is something that deceives the eye by appearing to be other than it is.  An experience of seeming to see something that does not exist or that is other than it appears.

A False Image

Optical illusions are images or pictures that we perceive differently than they really are.  They occur when our eyes send information to our brains that tricks us into perceiving something that does not match reality.  There are two types of optical illusions physiological and cognitive.  Physiological illusions are caused by physical means in the eyes but cognitive illusions occur when the brain automatically make assumptions based on the information sent from the eyes.  There are three types of cognitive illusions, ambiguous, distorting and paradox, by the way these are all called mind games.

Spiritual Illusions are Sent By God To Test Us

I would like to add one other type of cognitive illusion that I call the spiritual illusion or the faith illusion.  This illusion occurs when God puts us in a challenging situation that seems to look like its going to take us one way when in reality He is doing something completely different.  In the book of Exodus, He does this over and over again with Moses and Israel.  When Moses showed up to demand Pharaoh let them go, Pharaoh got so mad that he made things much worse for Israel.  These people looked at Moses like what are you doing to us man!  We were better off before you came.  But, God had told Moses Pharaoh wouldn’t listen, it was just the people that didn’t get it.  But, even Moses had to go to God and say what are you doing?  This is not going according to our plan.

The Wilderness Illusion

Finally, Pharaoh let them go and they watched as Pharaoh’s army drowned in the Red Sea.  A great celebration kicks off and they are finally free.  Once the party ends and they start moving towards their destination they realize they have nothing to drink out in this very hot desert.  Now remember, they can actually see God, He is a fire ball leading them at night and a cloud leading them in the day.  He has done ten amazing miracles, sent them out with gold and silver and they’ve seen their enemies destroyed, but they forgot to get water.  The entire camp gets in an uproar over this, they can’t believe God would do this to them.  From their perspective God was killing them.  So, God has Moses throw a tree into the bitter waters of Marah and they are able to drink.

The Sinai Illusion

About a month into their journey they run out of meat and now they are furious.  Surely, we will die they say.  God has brought us out here to die, at least we had an abundance of food in Egypt they say.  God then sends them quail.  This goes on and on with each challenge they perceive God hates them and is trying to kill them and then they come to the biggest one of all.  They stand at Mount Sinai, God’s mountain and God tells them He will visit them in three days, but on that day when they wake up, the mountain is on fire, there is smoke everywhere with lighting and thunder.  The people are horrified.  Moses explains to them this is an illusion.  God has changed his form to test you.  He wants you to know He means business and He wants you to trust Him.  Moses then goes up and spends time with God and this is when the people decide to make a gold calf to serve instead.  Now, I have left out a lot of details, but this is it in a nutshell.  God used illusions to both move them into their destiny and to find out if they were ready for the promotion.

How Do You Perceive Your Trials?

So. let me ask the question again, what do you see?  Or maybe I should ask how do you see?  Each challenge they faced was very real.  God was not expecting them to ignore the problems, but complaining, screaming and yelling, fighting with others, blaming and pouting are examples of a lack of faith and trust.  What God wanted them to do was come to Him with the problem and ask what He needed them to do.  Their reaction exposed how they truly perceived God.  That He was distant and uncaring and desired to punish them.  How does your reactions in crisis expose your true perception of God?

Fire Reveals the Perception and Promotes Your Progression

The only way to find out what you truly believe is to put you in a fire.  But, every time you are put in a fire God is attempting to promote you.  So, the next time you are in one of those seasons, rejoice!  Really, I’m not being sarcastic.  Trials are seasons that God wants to pull us close to Him.  He wants to walk with you and talk with you and tell you things that you can’t see in other seasons.  Fire = growth! And Growth = Fire!!!  Don’t let the illusion fool you, God wants to send His fire upon you in unprecedented ways!!