To Tell the Truth or Not: Part 5 – A Series by Jennifer Miller
Have you ever been so caught up with something that you start to believe it is true? Do you have a difficult time deciding what is true and what is a lie? Welcome to our world! Nowadays more than ever it is getting harder and harder to discern what the truth is. I am beginning to think people genuinely like it this way. We want to believe the lies being told. Who doesn’t want to believe that they will prosper if they do this, or be happy if they win that? When we center on the materialism and false promises of this world, we deserve to get everything that comes our way.
Right now politicians lie (Yes, sorry to burst your bubble, but they do!), news reporters do not seek to report the facts, but love to flash the bait to reel you in, people give false testimony, and statistics are manipulated to sway the public towards one end of the spectrum over the other (It is all done to serve the means of whomever is pulling the string). Let’s face it negative stories get more airtime than positive ones. We are a negative world and negativity has a way of spreading much more quickly than positivity. I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but we all need to have our eyes open – especially all Christians.
Deception entered in the Garden of Eden by a sneaky culprit called Satan. The world turned the wrong way that very moment Eve and Adam tasted the apple. As the axis turned the world lost all sense of balance and common decency. Mankind became selfish and thought only of himself and how he would satisfy his desires.
As Christians we need to be alert, proactive and positive and not become adaptive to the worldview. We are warned many times throughout the Bible about the deception of this world and that we are to walk in the light as Christians and avoid iniquity. The road of iniquity leads to an eternal damnation in which man will perish forever. In Romans 12:2 we are told not to conform to the world but be transformed by Jesus. Psalm 52:2 warns us against being deceitful, and Psalm 12:2 outlines man’s true nature is to deceive, while Mark 7:20-22 warns us of man’s desires, James 4:1 and Ephesians 5:6 warns us the consequences of our desires and deceit, Philippians 3:18-19 warns us that this pits us against God, and 1 John 2:16 tells us that this deception does not come from God, but from the world.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
“You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor.”
“Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.”
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.”
“What causes quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”
“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
“For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.”
The world is heavily laced with problems and we, as Christians, need to learn to navigate the storms of life and avoid deception at all costs. We are reminded in 1 Chronicles 29:15 that we are sojourners in this land and this is not our home. In Philippians 3:20-21 we learn that our citizenship is in heaven – our true home.
“We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.”
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
So how do we become susceptible of adapting to this world? Here are some problems and solutions to these problems that will help us stand out instead of blend in with the world.
Problem: The world lives in constant worry and fear regarding their circumstances. When we succumb to the fears and worries of the world, we demonstrate a lack of trust in God and His mighty hand. This will sabotage any chance of spiritual growth. Matthew 6:34, and Luke 12:25 reveal what happens when we give in to fear and how futile it is.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
“And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?”
Solution: The Christian needs to live by faith. When we place our faith in His hands, we have peace and understanding as John 14:27 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16 state.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.”
Problem: The world runs to, or depends on, man for the answers regarding their needs or circumstances. They seek out other realms such as psychics, willingly accepts stranger’s advice, and trust in man’s wisdom completely. They do not believe nor accept Jesus; thus, they fail to run to him.
Solution: The Christian surrenders his selfishness and learns to depend on God by acknowledging/seeking Him as we see in Jeremiah 29:13 and 1 Chronicles 16:11. We humble ourselves and commit to an active prayer life when we make our petitions known to Him as 2 Chronicles 7:14 instructs us. He does hear us and answers our prayers. He is our provider and meets all our needs.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We must put our focus on God and not the world as Isaiah 43:1-3 advises us.
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, though shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.”
Problem: In our world, man is selfish, seeks to fulfill his own desires, covets what his neighbor has and is quick to start quarrels/fights or risk division to get what he wants. He would rather stand-alone then stand with others in pursuit of this. Man blindly lives in hate, anger, resentment and seeks revenge for every perceived wrong. Man holds onto all of this and refuses to forgive or be merciful.
Solution: As a Christian we need to put God first, then others and learn to love our neighbor, as well as, show mercy to them whenever we have been mistreated or used. Ephesians 4:31-32 brings the point home by stressing that we are to first let go of all bitterness, hate and thoughts of revenge and be merciful to those who hurt us. When we learn to forgive others as 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 and Colossians 3:13 warn us, we can see how God in turn will forgive us of our sins as pointed out in Matthew 6:14-15 and Mark 11:25.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
“But if any has caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part; that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech that you would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive anything I forgive also; for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
“For if we forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye ought against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Yes, problems do arise, but our God is in control and He can overcome any problem. The solution is to trust the Bible and what it teaches us. Trust His word and trust what we as Christians know about the awesome powers of our God.
- The world changes and is getting darker every day, but our God is constant and unchanging as pointed out in Hebrews 13:8. He is always with us and will never leave us!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”
- Our world is bound by time, but God lives outside of space and time, and is therefore, not bound by it as we see in Isaiah 57:15. He is capable of anything. He does not live by deadlines or man-made laws. We are not his equal, so be humble before Him!
“For this is what the high and exalted One says, he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”
- Man is made of flesh and will die one day, but God is a spirit that lives on forever as told in John 4:24. He is the Alpha and the Omega, He is our Creator – our Sovereign Lord!
“God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
- Man faces temptation and most likely gives into it, but Jesus was tempted just like us, yet He never succumbed as we see in Hebrews 4:15-16. He knew the outcome of every trial yet, He paid the ultimate price for us. We need to sacrifice whatever the cost to ourselves may be as He sacrificed it all for us!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
In fact, Jesus knew before He came to earth, the suffering he would endure to free us from our sins and reconcile us to the Father. He was rejected, persecuted, beaten, and crucified by the world. He taught us how to respond to temptation in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Let’s face it the world can weigh us down. It first shifted once sin entered and as a result, man has adapted and accepted the consequences of that sinful nature. Man is capable of judging others without all the facts, of holding on to bitterness, past hurt, and memories, and of refusing to let bygones be bygones. Man will ridicule or persecute those that do not meet his expectations or those who are different. Man will boast about his own worth and at the same time devalue the worth of someone else. Man will seek to avenge any wrong (whether perceived or assumed) done to him by getting even or inciting action to be taken, and man will stubbornly refuse to forgive the person or persons who harmed him. Instead of living by God’s precepts and commands, man lives under the world’s climate and is easily influenced by it; thus, adapting to the worldview.
The Christian relies on a much different foundation – Jesus. He is our compass, not the world. We live for Him and for His glory and not for what the world claims to offer. Do not center on the lies, whether they be lies we tell ourselves, lies that Satan tells us, or lies that the world believes in, but keep your eyes fixed squarely on Him. When we do then we can see how He leads us and where He will lead us to. He is the only path to life and He will lead us home. Trust that and never forget all He has promised us. God bless everyone.