Bible Reading: 1 John 2:15 – 29, Ephesians 6:14
Have you ever been sold a lie that was so good that you actually started to doubt your mental stability? Like you could have sworn you kept that loaf of bread in the fridge but with after this story you just heard, maybe it was actually just a dream. Or you know you watched that Instagram Live video with your own two eyes (or four eyes) but after listening to this person talk about the very same incident, maybe, just maybe, it was actually photoshop.
We know what a lie is. It is simply what is not true. As in if you follow a lie you end up with nothing. What the Yoruba would call ofurufu. Nothingness. Shingbain. Because what the lie told you was real was actually nonexistent. It’s like traveling across a desert towards a mirage only to arrive there and realize there was nothing after all.
Sadly our generation is plagued with lies. All kinds of lies. Lies so bad that I can almost hear an angel shaking his head and yelling at our generation, “You people can lieeeeeeee!” All you have to do is look at recent happenings in the world, especially in 2020, to see how quickly what the world holds dear can fade away.
John puts it this way,
“For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever.” 1 John 2:16-17 (AMP)
We know a lie because it eventually proves itself to be false. At the end of the day, a lie is simply a mirage that eventually disappears in an instant.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) we believers live in this very same world system riddled with lies. This means that we will find ourselves constantly at war, daily facing the pressure to become like those Paul describes in Romans 1:25, “who exchange the truth of God for the lie.” Our biggest battle will be with the one lie that stands as the king of all lies. The lie that gives birth to other lies:
“And what, I ask you, is the crowning lie? Surely the denial that Jesus is God’s anointed one, his Christ.” 1 John 2:22 (Philips)
What a lie.
Thankfully, Ephesians 6:14 gives us the secret to winning the fight against falsehood:
“Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins…” Ephesians 6:14 (AMPC)
How do you win against the lie? Hold tightly to the truth. What is the truth? That Jesus is the Christ, aka Messiah, aka Savior. A quick look at the implications of this truth will help bring it closer to home:
Implication one: I am lost apart from Jesus.
I was born broken, messed up and in need of a saviour: Jesus. He is the one sent to rescue me from the hopeless grip of sin and death. There is no relationship I will ever have, no amount of money I will ever earn, no achievement I will ever attain, no success I will ever record, no position I will ever get to that can fix or fill me. To believe this is to believe that my deepest thirst, greatest hunger and strongest desire is really for Jesus. In Him is my surest hope, my deepest peace, and my truest joy. This also means that if set up my life around anything except a lifelong pursuit of Jesus, I am simply chasing a mirage. I will eventually end end up with nothing.
“What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?” John 8:37 (MSG)
Implication two: God loved me too much to let me stay broken.
The only antidote to my brokenness was death. And God chose that death for Himself. He chose to take my place on the cross so my debt to death could be paid. I cannot understand what kind of love would cause an Almighty God to take the form of a broken element called a human and die the death of a sinner. But this is the love of our God! To believe this truth is to respond in love and devotion to Him. It is to daily show up to spend time in prayer and studying the Bible. It is to dig in my roots deep into a community of Jesus lovers (popularly called church) by participating, planting others, providing and praying for the church. It is to live my life in service to a world He loves.
“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Implication three: Jesus is my road map for living.
If God forgave me, delivered me from the power of sin, fixed a broken me and raised me from deadness into eternal life, it only makes sense that I give up that same life to follow Him. It only make sense that I lay down what I think is best for me in the day-to-day decisions I make, in favor of His way of doing things. It only makes sense that I keep choosing forgiveness over bitterness in my marriage, choose integrity over a bigger paycheck, choose the risk of ridicule over keeping silent about what I believe… and so on. I would be dead and gone without Him. How can I not but pick up my cross daily and live in complete obedience to His word?
“But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:5-6 (NLT)
It’s all good to be well aware of the truth and its implications, but how do I “tighten the belt of truth” and keep from falling for the lies? God already made the provision: The Holy Spirit!
“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” 1 John 2:27 (NLT)
Would you take the deliberateness today to walk more closely with the Holy Spirit by deliberately acknowledging His presence, listening for his voice and constantly asking for His help?
Something to Pray:
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.” Ephesians 1:17-19 (CSB)
Taiwo serves as a volunteer leader at Sycamore