We live in an age of great deception. So much of what we hear from the pulpit (podium) in churches, from the news media, and from our government leaders cannot be trusted. We can’t trust much of what we read on the internet, either, or on social media sites, or even on Christian-based discussion sites. Lies and deception abound all over the place. And, much of this is premeditated, i.e. it is intentional for the purpose to deceive people.
For, this is also an age of disinformation. And, a lot of that is for the purpose to confuse, to incite, and to get people groups fighting against one another so as to divide and to conquer, I believe. So, they stir up conflicts wherever they can so that they get even Christians fighting against each other over what is probably mostly not even real. And, this happens a lot on places like Facebook, and often via the use of memes, which trigger the discussions.
So, we have Republicans fighting against Democrats, and vice versa, and whites against blacks, and vice versa, and straights against gays, and vice versa, and Christians against Muslims, and vice versa, and Jews against non-Jews, and vice versa, and the list goes on and on and on.
But, think about this for a moment: What if what you are fighting about doesn’t actually exist? What if it is all made up? What if so much of what you find yourself fighting over was created in the minds of master liars and manipulators whose sole purpose it is to deceive naïve minds and to get people fighting against each other so that they can conquer them? This is how nations and people groups are taken over, you know.
For, Satan is a liar and a deceiver, but his lies and his deceptions are not all as obvious as one might think they should be. For, if he wants people to believe his lies, he is going to disguise them as truth so that even those who profess faith in Jesus Christ will get caught up in them. And, he is going to put all kinds of conflicting information out there in the media world, and in the institutional churches, and in order to confuse people’s minds, too, and to try to get them to doubt God and his Word.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:1-4 ESV
So, we need to be seekers of truth. And, we need to seek after the Lord and his righteousness above all else. And, we need to not have our heads in the sand. For not everything we have been told from birth to adulthood was the truth, you know, not even in the church. So, we need to be willing to throw out our preconceived notions about some things and what we have always been taught, if what we were taught was wrong, in some cases.
Now some things are going to be difficult to discern, I admit. Not everything is all that black and white to where we can clearly say, “This is right,” or “This is wrong.” We do, though, have clearly defined rights and wrongs in scripture which we, as followers of Christ, must adhere to. But, how do we know if a politician, or a newscaster, for example, is telling us the truth, if what he is saying is not something related to the Bible or to our faith?
First of all, we should not automatically believe everything we hear and see, for most things can be faked these days, so that even what appears real may not be real at all. And, this is what scripture warned us about that would take place in these last days. So, we should not be doubtful that these things are actually taking place in our day and time. But, we should seek the Lord and his wisdom and understanding about these matters, being willing to be told that some things we are believing are not the truth.
We who believe in Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit of God living within us, and if we are willing to listen to him, he will speak to our hearts, and he will give us a sense of when something is right or if it is wrong. But, what we believe we hear from him must never conflict the gospel of our salvation, nor the teachings of Jesus and his NT apostles. It should also not go against God’s character or his revealed will for us, his people. Let me make that clear! The Holy Spirit is not going to contradict God’s written word to us.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:5-8 ESV
We can’t have a casual half-hearted relationship with our God and expect to hear clearly the Holy Spirit’s promptings to our hearts and minds. We can’t give God a “passing hi” when it is convenient for us, to fit into our time schedule, and then expect to be able to discern right from wrong, and truth from lies. Our God who created us will never be satisfied with us giving him only a portion of our day. He wants it all! He wants ALL OF ME AND YOU!
Jesus should be everything to us, if we are his followers. He should be uppermost on our minds and hearts throughout the day and the night. Our will should be to do his will. We should never compartmentalize our spiritual lives from our secular lives. They should never be separate, but unified. This does not mean we blend our faith in with the ways of the world, though. It just means that God is the one directing our lives all day every day.
We can’t have this kind of relationship with our Lord, though, if our minds are consumed with the filth of this world. We can’t be taking in garbage after garbage and then expect to be able to discern right from wrong, or truth from lies, because we will be desensitized to error and to deception and to immorality, too. We need to have pure hearts and minds which are set on things above and not on the evils of our society in this world of ours.
Thus, our praise for God will not be merely with our lips and only during “worship services” at a gathering of the church. His praise should be on our tongues and in our hearts 24/7, and it should be reflected by how we live our lives, too, which then should be for His glory and not to satisfy the sinful cravings of our flesh. Then, we will be able to discern truth from error.
But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
Psalm 63:9-11 ESV
As followers of Jesus Christ, we must take seriously that we have an enemy, Satan, who is literally out to destroy us in any which way that he can. And, he will “pull out all the stops” in order to bring us down, if he can. And, one of his biggest weapons he uses against us is his lies and his deceptions. So, if we are not going to be taken in by his lies, then we need to be bathing our minds and hearts with the truth of God’s Word, and we need to be submitting our lives to the Lordship of Christ, and we need to be walking in obedience to our Lord, in his power and strength at work within us.
He is not only going to lie to us, though, and try to convince us to believe his lies, but he is also going to use other humans to lie about us, as well, in order to bring us down, if he is able. So, we are going to have people make up things about us or who will misinterpret what we say, but who will not talk with us about it, but will then gossip about us to others, so that others then believe the lies about us, and so they won’t listen to us, too. For, that is Satan’s goal, to get people to not listen to what we say.
So, if we want to stop the lies, then we need to make sure that we are not participating in them by spreading things we hear but that we don’t know if they are really the truth. For, I hear so many people just repeat verbatim what they hear on the news or from the mouths of preachers or politicians (sometimes not much of a distinction between them), but they don’t bother to inquire of God if what they are hearing is really the truth or not. And, we should not be those who entertain or who spread gossip, either.
Most importantly, we need to be those who study the scriptures in context, so that we know what they are teaching rather than just believing what someone else tells us the scriptures teach. For, many false doctrines stem from people taking scriptures out of context to say what fits with their own philosophies, or which fits with their desired lifestyles. So, know the truth, believe the truth, obey the truth, and stop the lies from spreading.
All Through the Night
An Original Work / December 7, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
Blessed are you when you’re persecuted
Because of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you when people insult you,
And falsely say what leads folks to doubt.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is
Great in the heavens. You’re not alone.
When you are persecuted in one place,
Flee to another. God will be there.
You will be hated by all the nations
Because you testify of God’s grace.
Many will seize you and persecute you,
And put to death the foll’wers of Christ.
Yet, do not fear what humans may do to you,
For I’m with you all through the night.
I tell you, love your enemies with my love,
And forgive as I forgave you.
Pray for those who do evil against you.
Rest in my love and grace from above.