The Truth Shall Set You Free, part 6
So, the truth of John 8:32 is Jesus... the Word. As Christians we spend our entire lives right up to the moment we go to be with Him, living out that truth. The truth is designed to glorify God, not ourselves. The truth corrects us when we are wrong and guides us in our daily living. It takes some effort to study and learn it but eventually we carry it with us and in us and others see it through us. The old adage is so true: “We – our actions as seen through our character which is formed and influenced by the Word – are the only Gospel some people will ever see.”
Regrettably, there is another truth out there as well. It is a system of lies that might appear at first to be generated by non-believers who do not know God, but in fact are propagated by the strong influence of Satan and his fallen angelic host. This has caused a conflict between what is true (Jesus) and what appears to be true but is not (the satanically influenced and energized world system of any time of history).
Jesus has Satan pegged perfectly:
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him? Whenever he speaks a life, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44 (NASB).
And, even though this points out whom Satan really is – a deceiver – not only does he fool the world system he sometimes can fool us too. He can get into our heads and start us down a negative path that, if carried to completion, reduces us to useless rubble. All it takes is a circumstantial negative from a life experience and once he latches on to that and down the rabbithole we will go... being totally deceived that we are sinners not saved, or that we are horrible parents, or that we stink at our job, and on and on. All of it is negative and it can suck the life energy right out of us and render us impotent as witnesses for Christ. Dr. Stanley defined a negative “grid system” formed by life experiences that Satan used against us burdening us with feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and worthlessness. Often we are so buried in the negative that we lose any sense of what our relationship with God can be like.
Where to start?
As Christians we need to know that we are at war. It is a war in the spirit world:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NASB)
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17 (NASB)
I have really tried to get a handle on what it was like for Adam and Eve to have lost so much. You and I are on the other side of that story. None of us lived and walked with God the way they did. The true tragedy for them at the personal level was the memory of what they had lost. They were the only two people in all of history that held that memory.
Consider this: they had only one choice to make, and that related to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They made the wrong choice and the consequence is that today you and I are faced with numerous choices on a daily basis. Still, all these choices really come down to the basic: do we follow God’s wisdom or our own? It is going to be His way or our way? That is how I see it in my own sin life. Which truth am I going to believe? Satan…or Jesus?
When Jesus went into the wilderness and was confronted by Satan, He was coming off a fast that lasted forty days. This was a man who was tired and very hungry. Satan used Scripture to hopefully trick Jesus into making bread from the stones that were at His feet. What did Jesus reply?
But He answered and said,”It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” Matthew 4:4 (NASB)
Food is important. You need it to live… to be nourished and keep good health. But that is not the important thing. Life is pointless if you base it on just your physical needs. What are more important are our spiritual needs. Life is to be based on “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” – Scripture.
Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 1 Peter 2:2 (NASB).
We are to feed on the Word. It becomes a part of us just as food will become a part of our physical bodies. But the food we eat, once it is utilized and metabolized, becomes a waste that is cast from the body. This is not true for the spiritual food of the Word of God. We take it in and it becomes a part of us and we grow. All of it is assimilated. There is never any waste.
We can simplify our lives by reducing the many choices we face down to just one: which truth are we going to be influenced by, Jesus or Satan? We all know the answer but often we get sloppy in the spiritual war and are influenced by the lie.
How strong is that lie? Just pick up the newspaper and read it for yourself.
My name is Michael the Penguin and I am a Christian in recovery.
Copyright Penguin and Christians in Recovery. All rights reserved.