My Wife & I recently took the plane to Pennsylvania Dutch country. But, first step nowadays is the TSA lines & search. OK – shoes off, belt off, hat off, wallet & keys in the tray. Nothing in pockets, carry-on bags can have nothing resembling knives, guns, explosives, etc. Ask no dumb questions like, “do you check false teeth & underwear too?” At any rate it’s understood - if you don’t get thru the TSA shakedown, you don’t fly . . .
      Would it be possible to view life in general as a colossal shake down for sin? Is God putting all of us through a time process that illustrates the damaging effects of bad living traits such as pride, hate, blasphemy, promiscuity, devious habits, lies, greed, hypocrisy, false religion, etc.? I believe Time is the agent that is searching all of us. Some poet said this;
      “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly small.  
      Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.” Anonymous
Now the scriptures have some amazing contrasts. One that fascinates me is the difference between some characters who have failed the divine shakedown & some who passed. Such as Korah in Numbers 16:29-33 & Judas in Acts 1:18 who failed. Then such as Enoch & Elijah who were so close to God they didn’t experience physical death. Genesis 5:24 & 2 Kings 2:11. Those are extreme cases, of those who DON’T “fly” and those who DO “fly”.
      Well, we passed the TSA shakedown & made it to Lancaster county Penn. where the Amish have been living for three hundred years. The Amish (& Mennonite) came here from Switzerland-Holland to practice their religion & lifestyle. They are extreme in their determination to pass the Divine Shakedown of time. They avoid sin & worldliness “like the plague.” FEW modern conveniences such as electricity, cars, and television is anathema.   Horse & buggies everywhere with bearded male drivers. Women wearing very plain clothing & bonnets. And mostly farm living as it was hundreds of years ago. In terms of contrast – their work ethic & austerity puts us to shame.   I would say the final percentage of those “country bumpkins” who pass the Divine Shakedown of life & time is MUCH higher than the general population of America. (But I’m not planning to join them – I don’t milk cows & reach way into the tail end to check the progress of the baby cow.)
      So what is the point of this Gospelnote? Just this – this world truly is a Divine Shakedown, but I don’t find the Christian life that difficult. God will shine a light on our sin & expect us to part with it. But even the above extreme conservatives seem to have happiness, contentment & the victory in Christ. What us “English” (outside Amish) need to do is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 There is more of course, but that is the start of it. And it’s worth it, especially considering God’s blessing on Christians in this life & a better eternity . . .  
- Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,     that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 
- Colossians 3:2-3 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you    have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”  
- Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the        door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Choose Jesus, He is alive. And “fly” with Him. See also “The Take Off” Link 22.

Many other Titles: - Link 1 is Index                                 * * Fred J. Stone * *