Lies: Thoughts Led Astray

As I watch television these days, I see our enemy, Satan, hasn't deviated much from his initial strategy. Even as he tricked Eve and then Adam with his lies, the devil delights in tripping us up with rotten lies.

Satan's lies, according to 2 Corinthians 11:3, lead to to thoughts being "led astray." We start justifying sin. We call it by another name. We wander into wickedness because we aren't anchored to truth.

We see this in our homes, government and even the church. The consequence of these wayward thoughts for Chritians? False, corrupted devotion to Christ.

Read this progression for yourself:

Another version, The Message, puts it this way:  
"... I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ."

Paul was concerned that Satan's lies might corrupt God's people from the simplicity that is found in Jesus. This corruption might come: 
Satan is crafty—so sneaky—and skilled in deceit. We've got to become alert to his "wiles and intentions" (2 Corinthians 2:11, Amp.).
We can't afford to play loosely with the truth of Scripture. We've got to know, embrace and obey the Truth!
God's goal is for His children to obey, serve, worship and enjoy Him. Satan wants to keep us from doing these things. 

Our battleground is the mind. And we must "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5, ESV).

And that brings up another area regarding truth.

Our enemy wants us to major on the minors, always arguing over scripture. We must confront the lies of proud arguments and intellectualism ("speculations ... every lofty thing") and return to the "simplicity" that arises out of love for the Lord. (* Note)

God's Word calls Christians to sober watchfulness and alertness to Satan's lies (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7). The best way to be alert to lies is to learn to recognize the sound teaching of Scripture (1 Timothy 6:3). The Lord loves us, and He will never lead us astray when we abide in His Word (John 8:31-32). By knowing the Truth and living in accordance with it, the Truth will set us free from any lies that threaten to ensnare us.

Sincere and pure devotion to Christ must be our standard and motivation.

What lies are you believing today? Are you dwelling in truth so you can be alert to deceit?

* Note: We must cling to the truth, but not be given to disputing (being argumentative) (Philippians 2:14). Our aim must be "a sincere and pure 
devotion to Christ"--which also means devotion to the Word of God. 
It's all about the heart. We can have good "talking points" to share truth 
without being argumentative (an attitude based in pride.) 
We must proclaim the truth of scripture out of 
sincere love for Christ and the Gospel, not to "prove a point."


God Used Nails

I needed this reminder today.
I can't fix everything.
The truth is, I can't really fix anything by myself.

It is God enabling me -
working in and through me,
in the power of the 
resurrected Christ -
that makes any change possible.

"... for without Me,
you can do nothing."
(John 15:5b)

"For from Him and through Him
and to Him are all things.
To Him be glory forever. Amen."
(Romans 11:36)


The 'Perfect' Presidential Candidate

What are you looking for in a Presidential candidate?

I'm looking for a person with:
Obviously, I choose scriptures as my criteria for solid leadership because I believe the Bible is God's manual for successful living.
If candidates think adhering to and living by biblical truth isn't important, I wonder about their leadership strength. 
George Washington, our first President, said, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." (See what other Presidents said, here.)

(And a point might be made that it's harder - if not impossible - to live out these biblical truths without knowing the Lord.)

But back to politics.

Unfortunately, there is no "perfect" candidate. 

Every candidate has strengths and weaknesses. Every person - no matter his or her aspirations - reaps what is sown (Galatians 6:7-8).

So we need much wisdom as we survey the candidates.

Lord, help us seek You 
to discern the best candidate for our times.


Are You on an Adventure?

I'll write more about this in the coming year as I "flesh out" three goals" God gave me for the rest of my life."

But today, I just had to share the freshness of going on a new adventure with God.

And encourage you to do the same!
Don't let your walk with God grow stale!
What is your new adventure with the Lord? Does it require Faith? Courage? Strength? A new sense of freedom?


Aiming for a Better Target: Heaven

Where we aim in life is crucial; it shapes everything else we do.

I sat in a bus, gazing out at a Middle Eastern hillside. Sheep grazed as their young shepherd sat on the edge of the roadway. His mind was single-focused, far from the busyness of city life. As was mine.

Above the barrenness of the landscapeexcept for tiny patches of green beneath scraggly shrub treesthe expanse of sky drew me in.

The busyness of ministry had captured my thoughts for nearly a week, but now, on a long bus ride to visit the country's tourist sites, my mind drifted to simpler things. Oh how sudden solitude can adjust our perspective.

Suddenly "alone" in my seat, I thought of heaven. I recalled words I'd read in Bible college that stirred my heart as a young girl: "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." ~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity *

For a solid week, while it seemed I focused on earthly things, my ministry was securely rooted in the eternal. I shared God's practical truth and reinforced a teaching on the Christian worldvieweloquently shared by one of our speakers. I testified about the day I'd decided to follow the teachings of Jesus. I listened as women shared from their hungry hearts.

And then, as I witnessed God's work of transformation in many, I thought, "How wonderful! This little patch of Earth is becoming a bit more like heavena place of joy and peace, a place where God fills our thoughts."
Thoughts of heaven make such a huge difference 
in our attitudes and behavior!
Lewis wrote: *
     "If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. 
     "It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

In his book Heaven, Randy Alcorn wrote: **
"Our minds are so much set on Earth that we are unaccustomed to heavenly thinking. So we must work at it. ... We need a generation of heavenly minded people who see human beings and the earth itself not simply as they are, but as God intends them to be." 
Returning home, I thought about some of my favorite scriptures: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:1-3).

As we seek those things that are above, we are actually seeking God and His purposes in the world.

I was more determined that thoughts of heaven would fill my mind.

I even placed a target above my computer to remind me to keep an eternal perspective.

  • I could target effective ministry. A worthy goal.
  • I could target better relationships. Again, well worth my time.
  • I could target many things.

But if I will target heavenif I will live with eternity in mindI will get these and other profitable things "thrown in."

And God will be honored.

Where are you aiming? Do you need a better target?

* C.S. Lewis quotes: Mere Christianity, (Harper San Francisco paperback, 2015), p. 132.
** Randy Alcorn quote: Heaven, (Tyndale House Publ,) p. 21.