Why exchange God’s truth for your lie?
The lie is deceit that you are holding onto, perhaps even without being aware.
Many Christians I know focus all their attention on not spiraling down.
Good luck with that strategy from our archenemy!
Such a sin-management approach relegates our lives to settle for a life of yo-yo mediocrity as followers of Jesus. God wired our brains to groove whatever we focus on, whether good or bad. When our problem or our brokenness is the focal point, we unintentionally deepen this negative pathway in our brain.
Become solution-oriented people.
We must learn this because trials and tough times and loss will always be a part of our lives as Jesus-followers (2 Timothy 3:12). And we will spiral down. The question is:
“How do we learn to “bounce well” so our inner resiliency and buoyancy thrusts us upward on our spiritual journey?
True NT Christianity never promises freedom from persecution or loss. Nor does it promise freedom for our own agenda, plans and values. Instead, God promises freedom through His caring, “with you” presence in the midst of trials and pain. The freedom God fashioned us for in Genesis 1 and 2 is freedom to pursue our highest and best. Such freedom is an all-in wholehearted pursuit of Him so as intimate allies we serve the best of others. Have you yet learned to embrace God’s present grace, so you bounce well from tough times?
It’s crucial how we approach the Bible to allow it to change us as God’s sharp sword as we respond in obedience of faith (Hebrews 4:12-13).
How do we exchange God’s truth for our lie?
When life assaults you quickly shift to this simple process to A-I-D renewal.
- First, dial up your awareness that “something is happening.”
- Then investigate with God’s Love-Letter to know what truth we are missing.
- Finally, respond by doing it. Actively put truth into action to encounter life. This enables you to disengage from bondage to the lie in your heart (heart = mind, affections and will).
Such a process is a great A-I-D (Aware, Investigate, Do) to actively put truth into action to encounter life. This enables you to disengage from the bondage of the lie in order to reengage with God’s truth.
Then marinate again in spiritual nutrition.
“Put off’ what disrupts your life and “put on” the truth again like Jesus in the wilderness temptation so you are again able to soak in God-Reality and grow. When I “exchange God’s truth for the enemy’s lies” in a trial or struggle, I return to my deep wells quickly for a long drink of refreshing spiritual water to revive my inner man.
Be “made new” in our minds as we marinate on the spiritual nutrition reflecting how our God relates with His people to provide His presence and resources.
The physical often imitates the spiritual. Look at the universe.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Something will rush in to fill a vacuum. When we “put off” something that disrupts our spiritual life, we must quickly “put on” Christ and what is true and good in order to counter the lie and “renew our minds” (Ephesians 4:22-24). If we don’t fill the house we have cleaned, we unintentionally grant the dark forces of evil permission to come back seven times stronger. Take Jesus’ words to heart (Luke 11:24-26 with the context in Luke 11:14-23).
Here are some simple tips to investigate.
Inquire & advocate as we investigate together. I have no interest in you agreeing with my views unless you recognize its Biblical support. However, a willingness to inquire before we advocate is a must in learning. How can we authentically inquire unless we first temporarily lay aside our preconceptions and fixed beliefs for a time? A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.King Saul lost his kingdom for partial obedience.
If we believe “what I see and know now is certainly right,” we have joined the 1st century NT Pharisees. Read through the Gospel of John simply to note how often the fixed and unchanging beliefs of the Jewish leaders blinded them to God’s truth that Jesus shared. Become lifelong life-learners and doers. With an inquisitive, questioning mind and heart open to learn, inquire with an openness to see the whole truth.
Then again pick up your beliefs and integrate the new into the old. Advocate for what you believe, agreeing to disagree when differences arise, without being disagreeable. I ask no one to agree with me, but simply engage with what I write and evaluate from Scripture what may A-I-D your spiritual life.
Perhaps you may not spiral down with every one of the attacks mentioned in the free PDF articles on this webpage. Even if you don’t, they may be helpful to others in your sphere of influence. Learn these now to sharpen your weapons of service. Until the basic building blocks of our thinking and feeling and doing are transformed (these three comprise our heart, the core of our being), it’s common to begin with our own history of sin, brokenness or pain instead of God’s mind and will. Since “we become what we behold,” we then make this our false focus and suffer spiritually because of it.
After a bout with physical sickness, my immune system is run down. My physical protocol is: extra rest, pound water, eat well, take extra vitamin supplements…and lots of rest. Since the physical often imitates the spiritual, this is also crucial spiritually after a bout with a besetting sin or a particularly intense ministry.
Over the years, I have gathered key passages that release such life in me, both resilience and buoyancy. I call them my “deep wells” of spiritual refreshment. I soak in these passages and other ideas from God’s Love-Letter. They sow deeply into me the culture of freedom Jesus brought with Him. Because God designed us to worship, “we become what we behold.” The NT calls us to intentionally set our minds on this rich body of spiritual nutrition.
Although all three of these essential questions are very multifaceted, let’s begin to look through these three as a fundamental skeleton on which to hang our Biblical understanding.
- What’s our relational God like?
- How does this God (Father, Son and Spirit) see and know me?
- In this season, what God-Assignments have I been commissioned for?
These three avenues into rich, spiritual nutrients establish a solid, broad baseline without allergies to release thriving spiritual health.
I’ve written a number of short articles available as free PDF’s on Learning to Live-Loved and its sub-webpage, Flood our Life with Spiritual Nutrition. Add these to your arsenal of how our faithful God provides “a way out so that you can endure.” Learn to saturate our minds with of these elements as our life-focus. When I struggle (not “if”!), I now (a) become aware more quickly and (b) respond more swiftly.
Lasting change begins with honesty, so we become aware of where we are today on our journey. Then investigate to identify how to build a stronger inner spiritual foundation and do what’s necessary to grow. God calls us to be active responders. This simple, yet flexible, process will A-I-D our spiritual development (Awareness, Investigate, Do).
“Perception is reality” is certainly a lie.
However, we often respond based on our false perceptions, not on Reality. The three short articles that follow on Psalm 27, Galatians 5 and John 15 provide perspective of how to develop resilience and buoyancy, so we bounce well from trials. They are not the one-and-only way, yet very helpful and have impacted me. Growth comes by adjusting our reality to God-Reality. Align our mind-set with God and restore spiritual health to everyday life.
Above all as you grow on this lifelong journey, enjoy relationship with God’s “with you” presence. This is my primary reason to study and practice God’s Word since all else flows from this relationship.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4, emphasis).
Grow by faith, apart from what we can do on our own, even before we know all that faith is. True faith is not merely a series of intellectually satisfying beliefs. True faith actively responds in the sweet surrender of all-in allegiance to the object of our faith. To believe or have faith is one of the simplest things. God designed us to connect with Him through faith.
FAITH is like…
- knocking on a door (Revelation 3:20),
- receiving a gift from a close friend (John 1:12),
- drinking a refreshing glass of water (John 4:14),
- calling for help when drowning (Romans 10:13), or
- coming to a dear friend when weary (Matthew 11:28).
- resting all our weight in our chair when we are weary (from a missionary).
True faith, therefore, rests our lives entirely on God and His secure promises, like resting our exhausted body fully in a chair when we are weary have a hard day’s work. The object of our faith is more crucial than the amount of faith (a mustard seed size is enough, Matthew 17:20). Faith will get us anything for our eternal best, take us anywhere in God’s economy. Yet without faith we have no new life, no approach to God, no forgiveness, no intimacy with God, no partnering in this grand adventure…no spiritual life at all.
Here are five arenas in which I have greatly struggled at some time in my life…and still do at times. These passages released freedom in me as I exchanged God’s truth for my lies. If you now struggle in any of these arenas, pull up the free PDF. Read, reread and soak in it. Add your own thoughts and Scripture. And pass these on to others in your circle of influence.
- …attacked by dark forces of evil (James 4:7-10).
- …assaulted by anxiety and/or worry (Matthew 6:19-37; Philippians 4:6-9).
- …disappointed with God’s timing (Psalm 13).
- …in despair to the point of depression (1 Kings 19).
- …throwing myself a pity-party (Psalm 73).
- Your suggestions to exchange God’s truth for an arena of our enemy’s lie. Post a comment at the bottom of this webpage. A few others I’ve experienced: overcome with guilt or shame, condemnation or judgment…need to ask forgiveness…unforgiving to one who hurt me…critical or complaining…captured by a mental stronghold…offended by others.
- Print out the free PDF of this webpage to add your own thoughts.
- Print out the free PDF of one arena above you struggle most with (click on the applicable hyperlink above). Personally, I’ve discovered I do best to focus on one at a time, then to move on to the next most crucial.
- Then when you have time and desire, go to Learning to Live Loves and its sub-webpage Flood you Life with Spiritual Nutrition to cultivate your spiritual soil over the next weeks and months. Also, please don’t settle for these topical studies, although they can be helpful for a specific problem. Begin to leisurely soak in one book after another over your lifetime as your primary method of study…as you put it into practice. I’ve developed eight of my key books in 5-6 week bites, called DiscipleMaking Companions. To bring stability to your spiritual journey, put out steady effort when the wind is in your sails to prepare for the storms of life.