A few days ago my husband and I were running errands and I played a podcast to help pass the time. Normally it’s a light-hearted and fun show to listen to, but occasionally they get into some deeper topics, and this was one of those times. During the course of the conversation about struggling with your relationship with God, one of the hosts made an interesting comment. The gist of it was this: “It’s crazy how things can be going just fine and all of a sudden you wake up and realize you’re far from God.”
“All of a sudden… far from God.”
Is that really possible? Is it really that simple? Is it really that… sudden? I’d dare say it’s not.
In fact, I’d say quite the opposite.
It’s crazy how one little step turns into another, which turns into another, and yet another, until suddenly you realize you are a hundred steps away from God.
The only thing sudden about finding ourselves far from God is the actual moment of revelation that we’re not as good as we think we are. The process itself is not so sudden; in fact, it’s a slow, gradual process that contains not giant leaps or huge falls, but little compromises here and there.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
None of us intends to be enslaved to our sin and none of us sets out to live defeated lives. And yet, it happens. How?
Let’s consider, for a moment, a well-known story from the life of David. In 2 Samuel we read the tragic story of David’s fall from grace when he became an adulterer and murderer. As we read this story, it can be difficult to process. How did David, a man of God’s own heart, sink so low?
“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war,
1: DECEPTION IS ALL AROUND US
We are more vulnerable than we realize because we assume too much of our culture, our environment, and our desires. We are far too trusting, and as a result, we fall quite easily for the deception around us. The sad truth is that deception is the rule, not the exception. It’s in our music (even what’s played on Christian radio!), in our books, on our TVs, in our stores, in our friends, and even in our churches. The solution is not found in studying the deception, but rather, in studying the Truth. When we know what is true, we will be able to recognize what is false. Therefore we must make a priority of knowing the Truth by studying God’s word.
2: ALL DECEPTION IS FROM THE DEVIL
Through the Word of God we come to understand that, while it is not our job to rebuke Satan, and it is not our goal to study him, there are certain things we need to know about how he operates so that we can properly guard ourselves. In John 8:44 (right after talking about Himself being the truth!) Jesus says the devil is a liar and the father of all lies. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan blinds us; in chapter 11, verse 14, we learn that Satan presents a false view of God and pretends to be of God. In Ephesians 6, he is a schemer, and in 1 Peter 5:8, he prowls like a lion on the hunt – looking for someone to kill and to consume. All of these things help us to understand the subtlety of deception; it is unlikely that we will recognize it on our own. However, when we are submitted to God, we are resisting the devil - and when we are immersed in the truth, we are quickly able to recognize lies.
3: LIES ARE POWERLESS ON THEIR OWN
Believe it or not, a lie itself has no power. The only power a lie has over us is the power we give it. The problem with the deception we’ve fallen for our in our lives is that we wanted to believe it was true. Why else would we fall for the lies thrown at us that we can lose weight by taking a pill? That’s why some of us fall for one lie, and others are seemingly immune. Ultimately, we believe the lies because we are seeking instant gratification and pleasure without consequences; and that’s exactly what Satan offers us.
4: EVERY LIE HAS 4 ELEMENTS:
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
A CALL TO ACTION
It’s far too easy to live by the idea of “what’s wrong with this?” instead of asking “what’s right with this?” We like to focus on what we can get away with, instead of focusing on how to draw nearer to Christ. We like to live by what feels good rather than what actually is good.
Living passively, letting life wash over us, and making reactionary decisions based on what feels good or makes sense in the moment will be the death of us.
If we really want to experience the abundant life that Jesus offers us, it’s time to take ownership over our lives and become determined to live proactively.
It begins by making a commitment to spend time in God’s word so that we can know and recognize the Truth.
It involves being on our guard against the deception that is all around us, and carefully considering our influences, holding them up to Scripture, and asking God to help us know what to keep and what to leave.
And ultimately, it requires a shift in perspective by focusing on what we have in Christ instead of what we wish we had on earth.
In believing the Truth, we can resist the temptation to believe a lie and begin to experience freedom in our lives.
Lies Women Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
You can purchase the book and accompanying study guide here.
In a word: passionate.
About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even
iced skinny soy mochas.