#578: Believing Lies
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Reflections by the Pond
November 19, 2012
Why is it so hard at times to be a follower of Christ Jesus? Why is it such a struggle? There are times in our faith when we feel we are swimming upstream through a river of molasses. It can feel like for every inch we progress forward into righteousness, holiness, we are pushed back two feet, back into doubt, worry, and sin.
° ° °
Here in the United States we have just concluded a painful, interminable, uncivilized national campaign season. And for conservatives it did not have a happy outcome. Many of us were left utterly dumbfounded that the country would re-elect someone so diametrically opposed to the founding principles of this nation.
One reason—only one reason among many—for this debacle is that an overwhelming number of ignorant citizens believed the deluge of malicious, malevolent lies told by the Democrat about the Republican. Given the opportunity to believe the truth, they chose instead to believe a lie.
° ° °
Why is it so hard at times to be a Christian? Why are we so often frustrated and angry with ourselves for failing to stay on track?
Because we believe the lies.
"[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me."
The believer swims in a bilious swamp of deceit, cynicism, corruption, and anger. Because our regenerated spirit dwells still in flesh, and because our flesh cannot forget the mud from which it was drawn, we remain susceptible to the siren song of the Vanities. It is still in our nature to listen to the lies that issue forth from the ruler of this world. He has blinded the unbelieving, but believers in Christ are also not free from his influence.
We can understand why the unregenerate would choose not to believe Christ's truth, because, in reality, they have no choice: they belong to the father of lies.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
The unbeliever is bound to the father of lies; short of turning away from him to follow Christ, he has no other option. But the believer does. The believer does not have to listen to the lies; he is free to listen to a different voice.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."
So why is it so hard? Why is it that the Christian life can be such a struggle? Because we are not listening to the right voice. And we are believing the lies issued from the voice to which we are listening.
To admire Satan [in Paradise Lost] is to give one's vote not only for a world of misery, but also for a world of lies and propaganda, of wishful thinking, of incessant biography. Yet the choice is possible. Hardly a day passes without some slight movement towards it in each one of us.
C. S. Lewis
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me..."
To whose voice are you listening? Whose words are you reading? Who is your shepherd? Have you accepted as your life-guide that which Jesus Christ, the Son of God says is the truth? Is your faith, your trust in Him, or are you still sampling the voices of this fallen world?