January 23, 2017

Overcome lies with truth

“What’s true for you is not true for me” has now become, “If a lie is told often enough, people will believe it and then it becomes true.”

With fewer standards of measurement, who can be sure what is true? Uncertainty is bad enough, but twisting the definition of truth makes me feel a bit sick. For one thing, it is dangerous. Many are telling themselves lies like taking certain drugs will not hurt them, then dying because their lie was not based on facts.

I could fill the page with examples, but am more concerned with how truth is measured. These days, it is too often about personal feelings, desires, and other subjective elements rather than factual, outside, black and white, objective sources. For centuries, the Word of God was the truth and even if people didn’t follow it, most knew it was, and that their own sense of right and wrong agreed. Not anymore.

I’m in a Bible study called The Armor of God. The first week is about identifying the source of lies and how our enemy works to throw us off by telling us lies so we will not agree with or believe what God says.  While many of the lies that we hear are out of human mouths, those people are not the actual enemy, the one who Jesus called “the father of lies.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10–12)

Prior to this declaration of war against the liar and his cohorts, Ephesians has several chapters of truth from God that I am to believe, live by, and defend. However, I need the power that God gives to do that. Without Him, I cannot stand against the evil schemes that are determined to mess with my thinking and my life.

Some of those truths spill out in passages like the first chapter of Ephesians. Since it is so rich, I’ve tried to put some of what it says them in list form. It begins with praise: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ  who has . . .  

·         blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
·         chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
·         predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ
·         (according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us)
·         redeemed us through His blood and forgiven our trespasses
·         lavished on us the riches of His grace
·         made known to us the mystery of His will according to His purpose set forth in Christ
·         planned in the fullness of time to unite all things in Him
·         given us an inheritance (which is eternal)
·         predestined all according His purpose so we might be to the praise of His glory.
·         sealed us with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:3–14)

The liar is busy convincing people that Christ is only a swear word, God does not exist, the Bible is just a book, sin is a non-issue, eternity with God is a human idea, religion is a farce, and a host of other innuendos and suggestions that are not only contrary to what God says, but destructive to human life. Worse yet, without having and using God’s Word as a weapon against them, these lies win. They totally defeat people and keep them from knowing about or enjoying this list of blessings.

The world is in a confusing mess. The Liar excels at directing attention away from his lies as the cause of that mess. He points to everything from politicians to climate change, technology to terrorism, from declining this to over-dependence on that. The bottom line of evil is and always has been the tendency of humanity to turn from objective truth to the so-called comfort of subjective lies. The devil loves and exploits this tendency and throws in more of his lies and stirs the mix.

No one person can win the war, but everyone who believes in Jesus Christ and knows how to wear His armor and will pray can extinguish those lies. The trouble is, that liar works with a greater fervency on God’s people so we can think of a million excuses for not believing in the power of God, and not standing against the enemy’s evil schemes in prayer.

Ask me how I know.

Jesus, You are "the truth" — bless You for being my anchor in a world that has wandered far from truth and into confusion and uncertainty.

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