Do Not Listen

Do you ever feel surrounded by lies?

Do you automatically question news you read on Facebook or hear on TV?

When you see graphs and numbers and statistics, do you wonder if any of it is accurate?

I do. I question any news I hear – all of it. I don’t believe a lot of things that people tell me. If it’s important, I research it myself looking for corroborating information from several credible sources. I no longer automatically trust leaders – any kind of leader.

Being lied to by people we should be able to trust is not a new thing. God spoke very clearly about some of the liars in Jeremiah’s day. “Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles from the LORD’s house will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying lies to you. Do not listen. ” Jeremiah 27: 16 – 17. God goes on to say that the articles of the temple would stay in Babylon until he brought them back. Ultimately he was saying that it wasn’t happening until he made it happen and it wasn’t happening now.

I also question things that I hear come out of pastor’s mouths during sermons. I’m in my 10th consecutive year of reading the entire Bible and, if I don’t remember reading something that is said in a sermon, I go home and research it. Most of the time it’s a phrase or a situation that I’ve never fully understood before and it’s great – I learned something. I’ve had a few times when I didn’t agree with how the pastor used a scripture especially when a single verse is not used in context with the verses around it.

The one source I never question is the Bible. It is the Living Word of God. I question people’s interpretations of scripture but not what God has actually said. God is perfect and he doesn’t make mistakes. The Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

And God is saying, “Do not listen.” There has never been a time in my life where this direction is more important than right now. There has never been a time where asking God to help me discern the truth has been as high of a priority for me.

Because I feel like I’m surrounded by lies. Surrounded by information that is being manipulated by leaders who are putting personal goals of power and wealth ahead of the greater good.

And God is saying, ‘Do not listen.”

Thank you, Abba Father.

A Discerning Heart

Do you have any decisions you need to make? Are you surrounded by options that all look good? Which one do you choose?

Are you struggling with a relationship in your life? You don’t know what to do? Where to turn?

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I do. Everything is moving and changing so quickly…and its all just going to get faster. If you’ve been on this planet as many revolutions as I have, it’s extremely tough to keep up. I’ll admit it – I can use all the help I can get.

I’m sure King Solomon felt this way as he was talking to God in 1 Kings 3: 9, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” 

God honored that request by making Solomon the wisest man who has ever lived.

Whenever I think about all the wisdom I need to navigate this world, I am reminded that God tells me at the beginning of the book of James that he wants to give me a generous amount of wisdom. I just need to ask for it.

So one of my regular prayers is asking for wisdom. Whenever I feel the twists of concern in my stomach or find myself in the middle of conflict or a difficult situation, I know where I can get wisdom for this situation. God has promised he will give me plenty.

And he has. God is always faithful. But it’s not a magic button and ‘poof’ I have the answer or my issue is resolved. God speaks to me through his Word and gives me direction. I have to listen to him and do what he says. Then I see how he is guiding me in the right direction and giving me wisdom – step by step.

Do you have choices you need to make? Plans? Relationship issues that need to be addressed?

God has generous amounts of wisdom he is waiting to give you. Ask for it as you open your eyes and heart to him and his Word. You’ll find it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

On the Side of Truth

I don’t remember a time in my life when it was as hard to tell what is true as it is right now.  COVID is real but I don’t believe the numbers.  I don’t believe the election numbers- I think they have been and are being manipulated.  I don’t believe what I see on the news.  There are too many hidden agendas, too much sensationalism.

It’s just not the truth.

It’s very important to me to base my life and decisions on the truth – not on false numbers and fake news.  So I love hearing Jesus say, “Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me.” (John 18:37)

Amen.

Jesus is the Truth.  God’s Word is the Truth.  The Holy Spirit is living inside of me, explaining the truth and my soul resonates when it hears the truth.  My spirit connects with Jesus as he speaks the truth to me through his Word.

God calls this discernment.  Discernment is being able to judge well – is this true or false?  Is this right or wrong?  Discernment is much easier when I know God’s Word.   Does what I’m hearing or reading line up with God’s Word?

Discernment is a skill we all desperately need today as the amount of lies in our culture grows.  Our first question when hearing news or stories should be, “Is it true?”

Even in church, this needs to be our first question.  I have heard things in church supposedly quoted from the Bible that are not in Bible.  It’s usually just a mistake, not manipulation, but it’s still not true.  Have you ever heard the phrase – “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”?  Not in the Bible.  The Truth is that he does give us more than we can handle by ourselves.  He uses these situations to motivate us to turn back to him so he can teach us the truth about our dependence on him.

To have discernment, I need to know God’s Word.  I need to know the truth so that I can recognize it and not believe the lies.

That’s what my Journey Towards the Truth is all about.  Thank you for joining me.

Please give me discernment, Abba Father. I really need it in the world of lies I live in.

 

 

Check it Out

The amount of lies we are told increased exponentially when the web became a major information source.  People quote things they read or heard from the web or TV like it is fact.November 27 2015 check it out

Without checking anything out, they believe this junk which causes incorrect, uninformed thinking which causes bad decisions.  Very bad decisions.  A lot of bad decisions.

Discernment is more important today than it ever has been.  We have to evaluate information before we believe it.  We need to consider the source and not emotionally connect to the sensationalism that initially catches our attention.

Let’s face it, it’s easier just to accept the stuff we hear when we agree with it and reject the things we don’t agree with.

We get lazy.

As a result, we end up believing a bunch of lies.

In Acts 10, we read that the Bereans were regarded as noble because they eagerly received Paul’s Good News and then examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  As a result of this examination, many of them believed.

Their belief was based on understanding and evaluation.  They were wise in their discernment of the truth.

They checked it out before they believed.

What a great example for us to follow!

Please open our eyes, Abba Father.

False Words

Wrong interpretations.

Using scripture out of context.August 17 2015 false words

Changing one word in the verse which changes the whole meaning.

Using an interpretation of a Hebrew or ‘original word’ which is not accurate.

We’ve all heard or read these words that are false.  They are not true.

But do we know scripture well enough to know they are false when we hear them?

Or do we believe everything we hear from pastors, prophets and teachers?

Ezekiel had a hard time getting people to listen to him because there were so many false teachers at that time who were sharing messages they said came from God.

God told Ezekiel that these people were prophesying out of their own imaginations.

Their own imaginations.

Scary.

The reality is that people are still prophesying and teaching out of their own imaginations today.  If we don’t personally know God’s truth, we are open to believing these phonies.  We could believe their lies.  Their false words.

Please give us wisdom and discernment, Abba Father.

Follow with Care

King Josiah brought about wide-spread religious reforms in Judah which included cleaning out the temples of anything related to idols or pagan worship.  While doing this, they found the Book of the Law of the Lord which had been given to Moses.  The king ordered that it be read to all of the people and then they all renewed their covenant with the one True God.August 2 2014 Follow with care

King Josiah brought all of the priests together and slaughtered them.  The priests had been given a holy position of authority and responsibility and they had led the people astray with it.  They not only told the people that idol worship was good, they led the worship and participated in all of the pagan rituals.

They led.

And the people followed.

The lesson for us is that we need to be very careful about who we are following.  And where they are taking us.Aug 2 2014 2 same one

I regularly hear of church families which have wandered down paths that have taken them far away from God’s truth.  With their pastor and church leaders leading the way.

We each need to know God’s Word well enough to be able to discern if our leaders start to veer off.  When we know the truth well, it’s much easier to tell what is false.

There are numerous issues in the Bible which are not totally clear so these are not the issues that should cause us alarm.  There are various  ‘theories’ and ‘positions’ regarding these unclear items.  Many of us choose a certain type of church because their view on an issue matches our view.

The denomination of churches which I was brought up in and joined when I moved to Phoenix doesn’t believe in the Rapture.  So I never heard of it before I became an adult and the Left Behind series came out.  The Bible isn’t clear so, selfishly, I’d like the Rapture to happen before the Tribulation so that I’m out of here. (If I went to seminary, I would say that I’m ”Pre-Trib”)   If none of that happens, I’m still on the original plan of dying before I get to heaven.

We can choose to believe what we want to believe about many of these issues – they don’t change our salvation.  If it was super-important, God would have made it super-clear.  Like John 3:16.  Salvation.  Clear.  John 14:6. One Way.  Clear.

Our pastors and church leaders have been given holy positions of authority and responsibility to lead and care for Jesus’ flock.

We have also been given a holy position with responsibility – to follow with care.

Help us know the truth, dear Father.