Discipleship is a delicate dance, as we help people follow Jesus in real-time. Often, the real-time work is to be done between the ears. Not just theology, but often it’s a Spirit-led exploration of our inner world. Jesus clearly and bluntly lays out His premise as recorded in the latter part of John 8, that He is a truth-teller and the enemy is a liar.
Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! John 8:43-45
I want to speak to those parts of us that are uber-creeped out by Ouija boards, but not all that concerned about our inner world. I’m convinced that the enemy’s greatest weapons are lies, lies we believe about ourselves. The lies that are on repeat in our minds. These shape us. (For more: Live No Lies, by John Mark Comer)
These lies impact every corner of our lives.
On a boat dock at 13, due to my father’s rage, I started believing a lie: “You’ll never feel this way again, if you’re just perfect.” Over the years, this lie has caused me to reap great disappointment, and has strained my closest relationships many times over.
To combat the lie I had to ask myself, What’s the truth?
I will make mistakes, and I’m loved still. I am not responsible for everyone else’s behavior.
Humility is being known for who you really are, nothing more, nothing less. So I continue to live in the tension of being known for both my strengths and weaknesses, my triumphs and my failures.
I once knew a guy who had set up an entire entertainment center in his car to watch porn. So as not to alarm his wife’s tracking, and not to have it traced on his phone, he bought a DVD player, a TV, and some power converters. As he and I processed this in the painful fall out, he did the hard work of mining for the lie.
His lie: I’m an animal, and sex is my primal need.
The truth: I’m not an animal, I’m the righteousness of Christ. I have a deeper need for connection, loyalty, and deep intimacy with my wife. I’m going to go home and build something truly great.
The great Jon Tyson tells a story that has he and his now wife’s parents’ basement, and things were heating up. His 17 year old chemistry was waring against his renewed nature and he was letting his hands explore his girlfriend’s frame, when suddenly she stands up and says, “Jon (I can’t remember his middle name) Tyson……Is this the kind of man you want to become?”
Cristy knew the danger of the behavior, but she also knew the danger of the lie.
Lie: I can’t control myself.
Other lie: My sexual ethic is to be governed by strong emotions, and opportunity.
Think about where that will get you? Most often, without the intervention of righteousness, whatever governs our sexuality outside of marriage, is the same thing that will govern it within marriage.
A family friend of ours battled rage, bullying, and a basic anger management weakness, all while raising his kids. By God’s grace, he is growing to become more like Christ, and is living as a changed man.
His Lie: I was godless and wild at their age, so if I don’t control them, they’ll do the same.
His other lie: If my kids sin and word gets out, that will embarrass me, and embarrassment makes me feel small.
His other other lie: My place in the community of faith will be jeopardized if my kids rebel. I’m only as worthy as my kids are behaved…
Whew, that was deep.
Now’s your turn.
Can I encourage you to let this question bounce around in your head?
Either in times of solitude, as you’re cruising through Walmart, or as you pause to ask the questions, “Why do I do that? Is that attached to some sort of lie?”
And may the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth as you help others identify the lies, and discover the truth!