But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
It was supposed to be a fairly simple thing.
Putting up the audio from the class I'm teaching.
The Glass Slipper, Session 1.
The week has been busy, the to-do lists long. So posting the audio from that first class for this week's Selah seemed the easiest thing to do.
Finding audio hosting sites is a bit of a challenge. And then there are the new challenges of different embed codes and audio players and all the rest.
I spent more time than I intended doing the research, working with uploads, compressing files.
And I finally got it all ready.
I posted the audio link to the Selah and moved on.
Until I decided to check the link and make sure it was working correctly.
And that's when I discovered that when I clicked on the link that you would be clicking on, it took me to a web page, that yes, did have my audio hosted there.
But it also had some, ah, interesting advertisements.
It wasn't every time I clicked on the link, you understand. Sometimes the advertisement that would pop up would be for something harmless, Home Depot or a brand of dog food.
But the more I clicked on the link, the more times some very inappropriate ads would dance across the top of the web page.
At first I thought that it was something people could simply scroll quickly to the bottom of the page to avoid. But the more times I clicked in, the more seamy the ads became.
I suppose it was the 'free' price of popularity.
So my plans for the evening were upended. My plans for the Selah had to change.
And it got me to thinking.
Thinking about how the enemy can often work.
It seemed harmless enough and quite convenient to have come upon this audio hosting site. Kind of like some of the situations we step into.
Part of the agreement of the 'free' aspect of this audio hosting site was that I would be willing to allow ads to run on the web page with the audio player of my material. Kind of like some of the conditions we accept in various situations in life, not always understanding exactly what kind of compromise we may be agreeing to.
And if I had simply linked up the audio, clicked in a few times to check it and then walked away, I wouldn't have known what I would have accidentally been bringing up on your computer screen. Kind of like the consequences we don't mean to bring on others by our actions, but a playground for the enemy all the same.
When I realized the darker nature of this hosting site, I confess that I wrestled for a bit, thinking that if the pictures were no worse than this one or that one, you'd probably understand. Kind of like the deals we try to make with ourselves when we know that taking a better path may cost us in time, convenience, pride, and effort.
And when I felt that gentle tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart, reminding me that it would be far better to safeguard the hearts of my readers, I knew I would need to humble myself and ask for some grace from you, in case you had tried to go to the link before I disabled it. Thankfully, I think I had it 'up and down' so quickly that no one had the chance. But my apologies if I wasn't fast enough.
So my plans were thwarted for this post. And the Lord has made His plans manifest. Because I know I can always use (and I'm assuming you can, too) a little dose of purifying medicine, a little quickening to be sensitive to the things that please Him. A little more wisdom in seeing the deceit of the enemy. A little more experience in fighting the spiritual battle.
Even when it's just computer audio-sharing file sites.
Because that enemy is always on the prowl, seeking to devour.
Even in just a few simple clicks.