“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?……… “You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:1,4-5
How prone are you to believe a lie? Adam and Eve were the only man and woman other than Jesus to begin life on this earth as innocents, untouched at their beginning by sin or a fallen nature. Yet when faced with the very first lie she ever heard, Eve believed it, and Adam followed suit. What does their experience say about our own susceptibility to lies? We have a natural instinct to place great trust in our own experience; what we see with our eyes, what we hear with our ears, what we think with our minds. We strongly believe we have the good sense to discern truth from lies. No one can easily fool us, we think. And this is not some weakly held view of our self. From a very early age we fiercely defend the idea that I AM RIGHT. After all, I saw it with my own eyes, or I heard it with my own ears, or my mind grasped it.
But is the confidence we place in our own discernment truly justified? Adam and Eve would warn us to be careful we not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. When we meet them in eternity, I believe, we will be impressed with our first parents. They were no dunces. But they were the first to face the Great Enemy, the most superb of all liars, the one who the Lord Himself labeled “the father of lies. And he attacked them in the central core of what it means to be a man or a woman. Their purpose as a man and woman was simple: to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to love each other as themselves. This is what it means to be a man. This is what it means to be a woman. Every lie of the crafty Enemy is intended to destroy this purpose for being. And every truth, the antithesis of the lie, is intended to restore, mature and protect that purpose.
We face lies in every category of our lives. There is no such thing as lies in the religious category and lies in the secular category. Whatever you do in life, and wherever you go, and at any given moment lies are lurking because your Enemy is lurking. The lies politicians tell, the lies a friend tells, the lies a journalist tells, the lies a scientist tells; you name it, we are faced every day with many decision points: is this I am hearing, seeing, thinking a lie, or is it truth. Sounds wearisome, doesn’t it? Sounds unconquerable and unmanageable. Nevertheless, it is the fact of our existence in a fallen world and we will not escape it this side of eternity. It is the very reason Jesus persistently pointed out the antidote to lies to His disciples. In one key instance for theirs and your own ears He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me. If you are to discern lies from truth, and good from evil, you must EVER be pursuing your relationship with Jesus; loving, obeying; obeying, loving; they are interchangeable! Jesus believed the Word of God to be His and our rock of defense against lies. If you would know Him and know His Father, you will know and love His Word. But how can you say you love Him if you seldom crack the pages of the Word?
Once again I say to you, we all each believe we are right! We believe we know the truth and have not succumbed to any lie or lies. Don’t be so sure. Imitate the Bereans in the 1st century who would not believe even the Apostle Paul until they searched the Scriptures for themselves to see if he told the truth. Do not live complacently with lies. They will always do their painful damage to you and yours if you let them!
“O send thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me, that he may touch mine eyes and make me see: show me the truth concealed within thy Word, and in thy book revealed I see the Lord.
(4th verse of Mary Lathbury’s hymn, “Break Thou the Bread of Life, 1877)
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