Ephes. 1:4 says, “Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.”
Have you ever been lied to? You don’t like it. Have you ever lied to someone? More often than you care to admit? Let’s not go down that road. Let’s catch ourselves at every temptation to lie, exaggerate, and distort truth and instead – pause. Let’s pause, catch our self, make the mental correction, and then proceed with the truth. We don’t need to make our story better. We don’t need to try to look better in someone’s eyes. We don’t have to fear. We don’t have to manipulate the truth to get our way. We are accepted and loved by God and truth is always good enough.
Satan is a liar. He is the distorter. He is the manipulator. He is a liar. Jesus described him saying. “The devil 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.” John 8:44 When Jesus was speaking these words, he was speaking them to men that learned to live their lives telling lies. Their life eventually became a lie.
Truth and seeking for it through God’s Word is a valuable thing. The more you seek for it and learn God’s heart and His ways, the more tender you become in being able to hear His voice and distinguish between the voice of Satan and the voice of God. Is that important? It’s more than important – it’s critical!
Satan is an full time accuser. In Rev 12 he is called “the accuser of the brethren.” His accusations are designed to belittle you and to lift you in pride at the same time. He’ll work to point out every little failure. He’ll do that to make you feel disgusted with yourself. He’ll do that to make you feel unacceptable to God. When he can get you to feel that way – he has only succeeded at phase one of his plan.
When you feel disgusted with yourself and unacceptable to God, then he’ll labor to get you to quit God. “You can’t please God so why bother?” He’ll work to undermine your relationship with God luring you to backslide from spending time with God. He’ll lure you away from church, from fellowship with other Christians, from reading your Bible, and from praying. You’ll just be busy with life. Then phase two kicks in. He’ll lift you up in pride in order to help you feel better about yourself. He’ll get you to focus on your personal justifications for why you are a good person. He tries to turn all your focus on yourself. All this effort will be distorted with lies. Then he’ll work to get you to find faults in everyone else to make yourself feel better. This is how the world becomes critical, fault-finding, and learns to hate people.
I have noticed over the years, that no matter how much I do, (and I am one that believes in diligent effort) – no matter how much I do, the devil will work to make it feel like I failed, I don’t do enough, I am unacceptable to God. “Tim, you aren’t praying enough for those that read your Fresh Manna.” “Tim, you are not spending enough time working on what you write.” “Tim, you are wasting your time – no one is reading this.” And the devil’s efforts go on and on. I have to speak back to him. “No devil, I’ve never prayed more for them.” “No devil, I’ve never spent more time writing. I didn’t even take a vacation from writing this past year.” “No devil, people write to me all the time saying how it’s affecting your life.” “I rebuke you in Jesus name. Flee!”
Then I back up and remind myself who I am in Christ, of God’s love for me, and what Jesus did for me to be reminded of just how acceptable I am to Him. I read about God’s love toward me before any of us were born and His wonderful plan to bring us into His love. Ephes. 1:4 says, “Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Think about it, God created this plan out of His love to make us not only blameless and without fault – but holy in His eyes! That is a miraculous plan of love that keeps on going. He then reveals that this was His plan from the beginning – to love us and make us a part of His family. We read more… Eph. 1:5 “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure.” He makes us His children! He then makes great blessing available to us! Eph. 1:3 says, “How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.” Understand that the formation or creation of blessings starts in the spiritual – they are set in motion in Heaven and then our faith in the promise of God’s blessings bring them to us in this earth and into our lives! This is God’s glorious plan of His love for us. We don’t need to lie and manipulate to have a better life. We just have to meditate on God’s love – on what He did and made available – and have great trust and faith in it. We only have to believe. Jesus made us loved and blameless.
So there is no need to lie, manipulate or cheat. We don’t have to feel like a failure. God’s love and grace is so great and desirous to bless and help us, we only have to know of it, believe, and thank Him for it. On that note, love others and lift them up into the same love that God has toward you – despite the obvious faults we all see! We are not to be like Satan – the accuser and liar. We are to be like Jesus – the cleaner and giver of His love!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved