Thursday, August 6, 2009

What Lie Are You Listening To?

Last night at church was really interesting. There was a lot of input and discussions. And a lot of transparency in the people there. How refreshing that someone can stand before a group of people that consisted of all ages and say, "I just don't get it. How do you do that?"

He was talking about avoiding sin and becoming the man that God has planned for him to be. After thinking (and praying) about the things that were said, I began to realize that when we sin we have tricked ourselves or allowed ourselves to be tricked into believing a lie. And it seems if you stop and identify the lie, call it what it is, then its power is removed.

You see, growing up the church that I did, I was told what not to do ... a lot! Don't have fun on Sunday because that is a sin. Don't play cards because that is a sin. Don't dance because that is a sin. And on and on and on. There were a bunch of "don'ts" but very few "do's". And by the way, Jesus loves you, but you better not sin. And you better be perfect when you come to church, in your dress, in your manner and the way you pray. It seemed wrong and cold to me when I was growing up, but I was just a kid. What did I know? And this was a huge church full of well-to-do people. Surely they knew what was correct. I now know that they really didn't know much of anything about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. They lived their own lie.

You get saved, then what? You are supposed to be developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, you have to spend time with him to get to know him. But you also have to spend time with him to know the truth and who you are. Much of my sins happen when I am not realizing truth and falling for a lie.

One of the tricky things that lies do is make us feel like we HAVE to have something in order to survive. That we cannot go on one more day without whatever or doing whatever. The first one happened right in the Garden of Eden. Eve, with outside influences, decides that she just has to have that forbidden fruit to exist any longer. She needed it. She would become wise. She would be like God. So she ate it. Did she become like God? No. Did she really need to eat that fruit? No. Did it make her life better? I don't think so. In fact it made things worse. Why in the world did she do that?

When we come to temptations or if we have done things that we know we shouldn't, have you ever asked yourself why? Why does an alcoholic, after being sober for months, walk into a bar and take a drink? Knowing full well what the outcome will be. Because he deserves it? Really? Because he is looking for excitement and fun? Fun? Have you seen a drunk alcoholic? They are in no way having fun. Excitement? Maybe. If you like the kind of excitement of not knowing what a fool you made of yourself, how many insults you have hurled and speaking of hurling ... how many times did you do that in the toilet? Or did you even make it to the toilet? Yep, true excitement. Or is it to escape? Or to better handle things? Trouble is that when you run away from things they only get worse, never better. You are not handling them.

All of the above can be applied to just about any sin.

But here is the truth. We are loved by the Living Creator of this world more deeply than we could ever imagine. He already knows what we did or what we were thinking about doing. And he still loves us.

You want excitement? You want an adrenaline rush? Work for the Lord God. I can testify your life will never be boring. My God is not a boring God. You will then be entering into warfare. You will constantly be learning and growing. Constantly challenged. And he is a God that loves music, good times and laughter. He will sing with you and dance with you.

Do you want what you deserve? Through Jesus Christ you have more than you deserve. With that you have a Father that wants to give you his very best. With Jesus you have guidance through the perils of the world. With him you have comfort and healing. With Jesus you have joy, not just happiness that is fleeting. With Jesus you have peace.

Are you afraid to face things? Ah, with the relationship comes the Holy Spirit. The comforter so that you can face anything. The one that will remove fear. No more running. No more hiding.

So instead of heading off where our brain or emotions are telling us to, maybe we should stop a sec and ask "why do I really want to go there? What is broken in my thinking?" If God said there was another way, then try that. Test him out and see what happens. Then you are off on a truly great adventure.

Now you can truly live. Now you are allowing yourself to be loved.

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