It’s so hard to know what is true these days. Fake news, censored views, silenced leaders, inappropriate influencers. The Deceiver is having a field day, doing his little victory dance as he watches friends pick sides and dig in their heels. Children become confused about emotions and desires, and search the internet instead of a trusted mentor for advice. Reading through scripture, I uncovered that the first century was in a similar predicament. And it boils down to apostasy, or as we say it, abandoning the faith. Friends, we need a revival of the Truth.
“The people exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen” (Romans 1:24-25).
As we navigate the second year of a global pandemic, we are worn out and tired. No judgment here, it has been the strangest period of time I have lived through. Will we look back, saying we came out of this time stronger for it? Are we seeking what is right, or following the path of least resistance? The world teaches us to pursue happiness. But without God, we can only pursue false hope, false security, and false love. We accept counterfeits because we’ve lost our sharp eye-sight to recognize a fake. When did we become so easily deceived?
If you are feeling empty and depleted, or just blah, I implore you to seek the difference between the empty promises, the circumstances, the momentary feelings of happiness, compared to experiencing JOY that comes from knowing and spending time with the Lord.
Know the Truth
Many new-to-faith friends ask how to hear from God. I guide as I was taught, directing them into scripture. The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16), He is perfect and flawless (Psalm 18:30). His lessons from years ago apply today because God is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8) and He is the expert on all because, well, He created it all (Genesis 1). Regardless if you are a new believer or seasoned veteran of scripture, do you desire the Truth?
God is the Truth. God’s words are Truth. The Bible is the Truth.
“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
In the Garden of Eden, Eve was tricked by not following the precise words God had said. The serpent put a little spin on the words, causing her to doubt and ultimately to eat the forbidden fruit. I desire to be equipped to recognize the nuances, be alert to, and be able to avoid any little white lies. Interestingly, a lie I’ve believed for many years, is that I’m terrible at memorizing Bible verses. This is kind of ridiculous because I have a really strange knack for remembering people’s names, events, and even what they were wearing. Plus, I am good with numbers, so the combination of book name, verse number, and Truth seems like something my brain would enjoy adding to its repertoire. Upon recognizing this lie, I squashed it. 2022 will be the year of memorizing a verse per month!
Fight for the Truth
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” Jude 3.
Salvation is the sandbox I play in often. I love talking about Jesus and the blessings He has provided. I get excited when friends share how their life is mirroring something they just read in scripture. I enjoy harvesting others’ faith, one encounter or conversation at a time. Yet, I am also learning to listen for indications of those slipping away from the fundamentals. Jude continues in verse five, by highlighting the rebellious actions and attitudes of sexual immorality, perversion, slander, murder, and more that lead to eternal fire. The Deceiver still uses many of the old tricks, including distraction, confusion, pride, promoting our self-sufficiency, so that we forget that our success is from God. To Him, we should give the Glory, not ourselves.
By fighting for the Truth and listening to what others misunderstand of it, we can better scatter seeds of scripture in our conversations. We can nourish relationships by showing God’s grace and love. We can deepen others’ faith root base with stories of what we’ve learned, and the struggles we’ve had. One of the hard-to-digest lessons God is teaching me, over and over again, is that I cannot want faith and salvation for someone more than they want it for themselves. It’s heartbreaking to me, but I am learning to trust in God’s timing. I follow His prompts of where to keep reaping and sowing, teaching and listening, writing and proclaiming His Word. But the reality is, some may never be called or decide to accept God’s offer of Salvation.
Hold onto the Truth
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32.
Once you experience God’s love, everything else pales in comparison.
Once you taste the goodness of a life with Jesus, everything else tastes artificial.
Once you see the abundant love that flows from a personal relationship with Christ, you want to share it with everyone you know!
And they may not understand.
“I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.” Psalm 69:8-9.
Believers are going to ruffle feathers. Our lives are going to look strange and different. Yes, the enemy might get an occasional victory dance, but we are the true victors (Isaiah 25:8, John 16:33, Revelation 17:14). Hold tightly to that Truth. Embrace it as the secret code for life – true happiness (aka Joy), love, discipline, worth, the list goes on and on, because the Truth gives us freedom on earth, and eternal life forever.
Friends, let’s start a revival. Let’s read the Bible, let’s go back to in-person church, let’s talk about scripture and sermons, fighting for Truth when others disagree. Let’s share the Truth because the Truth will set each and every one of us free!
Please pray with me:
“God of grace, God of salvation, we are desperate on our knees. You can save this generation. Let revival be released. When You move, hearts awaken, broken lives will be redeemed. Here and now, as in Heaven. Let revival be released”. Amen. *lyrics of Phil Wickman’s Revive Us Again.
**One year ago this morning (Jan 27, 2021) I “met” my cousin, evangelist and Harvester Denny Pattyn, over a podcast. You will hear more of what he taught me throughout my upcoming work. If you are sparked to join this Truth revival, I recommend his final legacy, The Family Wins, a daily devotional of the New Testament.