New Hope Notes
Walking in God's Truth
Pastor Dominic Kaaihue
It is written, “I am the way and the truth and the life” Jn. 14:6. A lie is the opposite of the truth yet we struggle from time-to-time between these two. Why? Because we believed a lie we thought was true. A lie that made us question God’s love for us. If we take a look and see, we’ll find it has been the reason for all our self doubts and insecurities.
Nonetheless, God is still in control and has spoken His truth. Let’s fix our eyes on Christ instead of conforming to lies that were said about us yesterday.
Whether we realize it or not, many lies of yesterday or the past still haunt us today. I can relate to this. For instance, I had a coach who once told me that I couldn’t play, so I didn’t try. While growing up, I had friends that told me I was a mean person so I terrorized them. In the third grade, I also had a teacher who said that I was stupid so I flunked. Although these were all lies, I believed them as the truth.
Even now as a Pastor, I still struggle between the truth and a lie. Just last year, I received a letter that almost derailed me from ever preaching again. The letter was from a person who was offended by some things I had said. Although I knew my heart was in the right place, what I had said was received differently.
It was Pastor Larry that helped me discern what was going on with this letter. At first, while he was reading the letter he made sounds like, “Oh my,” “Yikes!” and “Man!” After that, he asked me how the letter made me feel. Of course I was discouraged and disheartened. I told him I didn’t want to preach anymore. Interestingly enough, with conviction he said, “Oh no Dominic, that’s a lie! You cannot believe that lie and don’t let the enemy sideline you because of some critic!”
He then prayed for me. Thereafter, we both cried. He then encouraged me by saying, “Dominic, God has called you. People love you because you are you. You don’t try to be anybody else but you. Yes sure, you could have said some things differently. But people who know you know that you have a pure heart. So keep preaching and leave it at the cross.” Wow! What amazing counsel!
How about you? Do you believe in lies that were said to you? Here is what the Bible tells us about the devil and lies, “…for he is a liar and the father of lies” Jn. 8:44. The truth is the devil is a con-artist and he’s doing a con-job on all mankind. Furthermore, he’d like nothing than for us to continue believing in all the lies he’s told us in the past -- those that have brought fears, hurts and insecurities. Which in turn, made us live in shame, guilt and fear.
More importantly, if we believe in the devil’s lies we wouldn’t be effective today. And we would not believe anything God says of tomorrow. I think we’d all agree that a lie has affected us one way or another. If we’re not careful, a lie from the past may become an issue or a stumbling block in our marriages today. Or, in the way we handle our relationships with others. An example of this is not being able to trust people. Or, in work ethics by working hard or being lazy. And then there are over-achievers who once heard someone say to them, “You are a failure,” so they overcompensate by working really hard because they don’t want to fail. Above all, they do it at the risk of their own health. Please be careful. Because a lie told yesterday can still be lived out today.
If you’re like most people, you’ll smile and tell everyone around you that you’re alright but on the inside, your heart is hurting. You’re frustrated and you don’t know why you do the things you do. Amazingly, at this moment you will realize why you are the way you are. Alas, it’s because of a lie that was spoken to you a while back; a lie you thought was true but now you are being set free. You are now able to see that it has affected your belief in yourself, and your view of the world and society. As a Christian, how has it affected your Biblical world and how you view God.
So how can we walk in God’s truth then? Well, first we must see the problem for what it is.
v “WE LIVE LIES AS IF THEY WERE TRUE.”
The problem is when we live lies, we are living below the life God intended for us. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of listening to lies such as not being good enough, smart, rich, fast, good-looking or tough enough. Lies of yesterday still mess with our thoughts today. They’ve hardened our hearts, stole our joy and robbed us of our future.
In order for us to truly live the kind of life God intended for us, we’ll need to face each lie from yesterday, today. If not, we’ll continue living a lie and conform to them.
Amazingly, the Good News tells us it doesn’t have to be this way. Listen, God did not create us to live a lie. He created us to believe truth. Yet, somewhere along the way, we got lost. Hence, if you find yourself living a lie, ask yourself how do I not live the lie? Or, how then can I live differently? Now if you ask me how, all I can say honestly is… I don’t know. But hopefully, when Pastor Wayne comes back in a couple of weeks he can tell us. Just kidding!
The Bible is full of characters that believed lies and it affected them as if they were true. For instance, Adam and Eve believed a lie – the lie that they could be like God. And so they ate a fruit and sinned against God. And because of that decision a long time ago it affects us today. From then on, everyone that is born is born in sin, separated from God.
Another example is when God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. Needless to say, Egypt was still in their hearts. And although God had a promised land for them, they allowed oppression to dictate their perspective. They grumbled and thought oppression was better than the promise.
Often times, we too can be this way. We believe in a lie that says oppression is better than God’s promise. But it’s not. So be careful. Here is what Apostle Paul said,
“DO NOT CONFORM ANY LONGER TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TEST AND APPROVE WHAT GOD’S WILL IS, HIS GOOD, PLEASING AND PERFECT WILL.” (Rom. 12:2)
This tells us not to conform to the world. In other words, stop living our lives in lies. Did you know that we simply don’t have to live like this any longer? Oh but this is easier said than done isn’t it? Therefore, we’ll need to discern what we watch on television, what we listen to on the radio and friends we hang out with. Listen, what we give attention to will start to show in us.
Catch this. Although Jesus was born in the flesh, He didn’t conform. For example, in His holiness He could heal the lame. Yet, because he of his human-ness, he’d feel pain if He stubbed His toe on a rock.
So how can we apply this to our lives? Well, there is a season for everything under the sun. For some, it may be the season to stop hanging around some friends or co-workers who take you on a path that is quite the opposite of where God wants to lead you. And start hanging around people who love Jesus with all of their hearts. This will take discipline and self-control.
For instance, when I was a young Christian I thought I could handle hanging out with my old friends. But I soon learned that when they started to smoke weed I’d smoke weed. When they swore and used fowl language, I did the same. That being said, nothing changed in my life except that I was going to church.
I then decided I could not hang out with them anymore…just until that kind of lifestyle would not conform me. You see, my desire was to live for Jesus. I wanted to whole-heartedly devote my life to Christ.
Moving further, Paul continues by writing about being transformed. The Greek word for transform is metamorpho. This is where the word metamorphosis comes from. And it means to transform the inner being of a man. Therefore, the Bible says a believer must go through a radical change on the inside in order to escape living the lie. And, walking in God’s truth. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold new things have come” 2Cor. 5:17
Interestingly, Paul has a solution to the transformation that takes places. It is “by the renewing of your mind”. What Paul is saying here is the believer’s mind needs to be renewed. Not their actions, behavior, word or surroundings. But by believing and thinking differently.
So how do we do this? By reading the Bible, which is the Word of God. The Word will replace lies with the truth. This is why Pastor Wayne keeps reminding us to get into the Word daily. Hence, the Word helps us to renew our old belief system and replaces it with His truth so that we may see things the way God sees them.
Then and only then will we be able to test and approve what the will of God is. In other words, to establish truth. Here is a thought provoking question: In what ways have we been conforming to the pattern of this world? Here are three ways to encourage and help.
v “DON’T LIVE YESTERDAY, TODAY…START LIVING FOR TOMORROW, TODAY.”
In other words, stop living today according to the lie that was told about (or to) you yesterday, in order that you may receive God’s promises today. And, make decisions today that will bring about a different result tomorrow. Here are practical ways we can do that today.
· ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD
There will times when no one will be around to encourage you. You will feel alone and discouraged. Those will be the times when you’ll need to hear the voice of God. So don’t rely on your spouse, friends or food to make you feel good about yourself. Instead, encourage yourself in the Lord. David understood this. “Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” (1Sam. 30:6). Therefore, encourage yourself in the Lord by focusing on God’s promises for you. In addition to reading the Bible, listen to music that will build you up in the Lord.
And finally, while we are encouraging ourselves in the Lord, we should….
· ENCOURAGE OTHERS IN THE LORD
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1Thess. 5:11). I believe we are all worthy people no matter what our checkered past is. If you say you feel disqualified, I say to you that’s a lie. And if you say you can’t trust anyone. That’s a lie as well. If you’re single and have given up hope of ever being married, that is a lie too. If your friends or teachers have told you you’ll never amount to anything. That too is a lie. If you’re matured in age and think the best of your life is over, that is a lie.
You can make a difference for the Kingdom of God. First, stop believing the lies of yesterday as if they were true. And start building a life for tomorrow by encouraging ourselves and others. By doing so, we’ll be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will. “For we are children of God” (Jn. 1:12),” the salt of the earth” (Mat. 5:13), “chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit” (Jn. 15:16). “I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved” (Col. 3:12; 1Thes. 1:4). And this is the voice of truth that guides us!
2. List ways to encourage yourself daily.
3. List ways to encourage others.
4. What impacted you most? And how will you be a better person because of it?