Monday, March 2, 2009

The Truth About Lies, Part One

Immediately following the ice storm at the end of January, most people in Western Kentucky were plunged into darkness as tree limbs and telephone poles snapped causing power lines to be downed and strewn upon the ground. Most have never known life without electricity. Our modern houses are certainly not built with an extended power outage in mind, and as temperatures plummeted to around fourteen degrees a couple of days later, people were scrambling to stay warm. Generators and kerosene heaters were premium items as stores sold out as soon as new shipments came in. Sadly, generators and kerosene heaters were the causes of ten deaths in just the few days immediately following the storm. The worst part about carbon monoxide poisoning is that one is unknowingly lulled into sleep and then into death. Those who placed generators in their homes or had faulty kerosene heaters were probably very comfortable. Their goal had been accomplished. They were nice and warm and only felt a bit tired as they drifted off for a nap. But in the midst of their ease, an unseen and undetected force slowly choked the life out of them.

While this is a real, physical threat, there is a similar principle in the spiritual realm that is just as deadly. Instead of carbon monoxide, the danger is in the lies we believe about ourselves, others, God, and the way our lives are to be lived. Unfortunately, these aren’t little lies circulating here and there. Our whole world system is built upon lies. Satan, the father of all lies, exercises great influence over our world. 1 John 5:19 says that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” He was a deceiver from the beginning, and continues to do so today. His aim is nothing less than your total destruction. And the deceptions are so subtle and convincing that we buy into them fully. That is the nature of deception! For those who are not saved in Christ, Satan deceives them as to what life is truly about and who God really is. The goal is to lead them into a life-long distraction from Christ, and, ultimately, lead them to hell. That can even mean leading a person to believe that they are saved or religious and on their way to heaven when, in fact, they are not. The myriad of deceptions are endless.

But the gentle, lulling-to-sleep nature of lies from the enemy does not end when one is born again. For the Christian, Satan’s goal is still destruction, even though one is sealed for eternity. Lies can work to destroy your testimony, your joy, and your love. They are incredibly effective. I am now coming to the Truth in several areas of my life. I have believed lies in how I am to raise my children, treat my fellow brothers and sisters, relate to my wife, among others. The problem with many of the lies is that they don’t sound bad on the surface. In fact, most of them sound good and right. Oh, but is that not the nature of the deceiver? As he lied to Eve in the garden, he twisted God’s words to create half-truths. I don’t believe that Eve thought she was plunging into all-out rebellion against God even though that was exactly what she was doing. She thought she was doing the right thing. Oh, how the same is so true for us. Even in the “good” things we deny God’s authority and power and unknowingly reap the consequences of buying into lies.

One example is the very lie I bought into that would eventually lead me to involvement with Real Truth Matters. As a new believer, my natural desire was to be plugged in to a local body of believers. After all, that is how God designed it! There are so many churches who conduct themselves in ways that seem right, but they too have bought into lies. In the end, they do many things are simply unbiblical, or they ignore the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Spirit in exchange for doing things “the right way.” On the surface, it seems right, but in those kinds of churches, I was much like those sitting in a living room with a faulty kerosene heater. I was nice and toasty warm. I was comfortable and being lulled to sleep. Although spiritually speaking I could not be completely destroyed, I could be fixed into a daze and spiritual stupor that kept me in constant bondage, believing that all along I was following God’s will, when, in fact, I was not submitting to His lordship. So it is with any lie.

So how do we wake up from the spiritual stupor that lies put us in? We come to life with the Truth! If the people who died from carbon monoxide poisoning had a carbon monoxide detector, it would have emitted a piercing alarm to let them know danger was imminent. Our detector of destructive lies is the Truth in God’s own word. With a carbon monoxide detector, however, one is looking for the abnormal, a high amount of poisonous gas in a room or house. We are completely immersed in the lies of this world. Truth is abnormal. But Truth is reality. We must be diligent to bathe ourselves in the Truth. We all face the consequences of actions taken under the sway of lies, and change will not come overnight. Sanctification is a process of lives transformed continually by the Truth. I pray that maybe we can share Truths that will overcome lies that keep us in bondage. It is counter-cultural, even against the culture of religion, but it will be well worth the trip.


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