Monday, April 30, 2012

Screaming Lies & Whispers of Truth

10 Steps for Applying Truth to an Onslaught of Lies (Part 1)

"Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:8,9)

Every day, your soul and mine are bombarded with lies. Lies about how to fulfill our deepest longings, lies about what dictates our worth – and whether it’s stable, or comes and goes like the ocean tide. Lies about the purpose of relationships. Lies about who God is, and who we are.

Sometimes we can spot ‘em a mile away. Like dark clouds looming up the road. And so we do a u-turn and high speed the other way – or at least brace ourselves for the storm to come. And other times, they arrive unexpectedly on the doorstep of our hearts. Explosive devices camouflaged in seemingly-innocent brown paper packages.

So I want to share with you 10 things I have found helpful in processing my response to the influx of lies this world doles out. Is this a formula? Nope. As with anything in life, the only “formula” is to align ourselves with the Truth of God’s Word, depend on Jesus to live out that Truth, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading from moment to moment.

To offer you a little more time to digest these principles, I’m just going to share 1-5 today. So be sure to come back for 6-10!

1. Start with the Cross.
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.” (Rom. 7:18, NLT)

In every circumstance we find ourselves, we must always start with the Cross. In other words, we need to completely surrender our will and our self effort to the full lordship of Jesus. With nothing held back. Because without Him, we are unable to live within a context of Truth, and respond to life appropriately.
Without Him, we are powerless.

God has been reminding me lately that the purpose of the Gospel is not only to save me from eternal destruction, but also to save me from the daily destruction of self. Because when I don’t start with the Cross, my pride strangles out humility, and I end up putting myself on the throne of my life, instead of God. And that causes further damage to my soul, and my relationship with Him.
Not my will, but Thine be done.

"I've been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives within me." (Galations 2:20)

2. Recognize a lie for what it is.
Sometimes lies are obvious, and we know to just schlep ‘em off. But sometimes they’re wrapped in pretty packaging with our favorite color. Full and complete with a bow. And so we’re enticed, and don’t even recognize them as lies. After all, how could something so good, so beautiful be an agent of destruction? . . . (Alas, the questions that began in the Garden still continue today, don’t they?)

Whether you spot a lie right away, or realize it after thinking on it for a while, don’t be afraid to recognize it as sin, a grave offense against the holiness of God. Just remember, my friend: It’s a violation of God’s perfect law – not yours.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)

Again, it’s imperative that we start with the Cross because on our own, we {subconsciously} believe that WE are the offended Judge. And when we do that, the warm glow of gospel grace sadly becomes cold in our hearts, and leaves our souls frozen in bitterness.

On our own, our vision is distorted by the log in our own eye.
On our own, we can easily mistake personal conviction for biblical Truth.
On our own, our pride subtly buys into self-centered thinking under the guise of passionately pursuing righteousness and Truth. And love is derailed. Oftentimes unknowingly.

Been there. Done that.

3. Don’t listen to the lies. Listen to Truth.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

We often think about our obedience to Christ in terms of our actions, but did you catch what this verse says? Our thoughts need to obey Christ! Have you ever thought about it that way?

To do that, we need to bring them to Him. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And allow them to be under His control, not ours. We need His strength to think hard on Truth amidst the battles of our souls.

But oftentimes, we willingly receive lies and put them on like a comfortable old pair of shoes. I know I do. But you don’t have to put them on, friends. Clothe your soul with Truth instead.

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
(Romans 12:2)

4. Bring Him your pain.
Our souls were created for Truth, not lies. For freedom, not bondage. For life, not death. And so our fragile souls grow weary of the oppression of the constant borage of lies. To that, He beckons us to come:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

5. Receive His comfort, His words of life.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15,16)

Jesus is no stranger to the Enemy’s attacks, friends. In fact, He is acquainted with them far MORE than you or I will ever be. He understands the intensity that develops in the human heart when a lie is spoken. For He is the One against whom all lies are ultimately directed. He knows, friends. And He is near.
Whether your feelings agree or not.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)

Recently, as I was trying to hear the whispers of Truth amidst a steady flow of criticism, a friend of mine offered me these life-giving words . . .

In Christ, you are loved. You are accepted.
You are loved and accepted right where you’re at,
right where you eat,
right where you think,
right where you live,
right where you sleep,
right where you laugh,
right where you cry,
right where you are afraid,
right where you trust,
right where you fail,
right where you see His success through you,
right wherever you are
and wherever you aren’t
and whatever you are or aren’t doing.
You are just LOVED.
And accepted!

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

So when you’ve lost the strength to even hang onto Truth, it’s okay, friend. Because in Christ, Truth is hangin’ onto you! Whether we are faithful or not, He IS.

What lies are you buying into today, friend? Lies from the world? Lies from your own mind? Maybe even lies from a friend. Bring them to the Cross, sweet soul. And leave them there.

“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy.”
(Psalm 16:11, ESV)

Continue the journey with me by reading Steps 6-10 of Applying Truth to the Onslaught of Lies (by clicking here).

And I invite you to join the
Truth in Weakness community on Facebook by clicking here. You can also sign up to have each new blog entry by Truth in Weakness delivered directly to your In Box by entering your e-mail address in the column to the right. Looking forward to continuing the journey with you!

~ ~ ~

Honored to be linking up with Joy in this Journey for
Life: Unmasked Wednesdays!

(Image courtesy of
Cameron Burns)

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