I can try telling myself I’m thin, with both conviction and assurance, up until the instant I pass by a mirror. Then the lies I tell myself become painfully obvious. Men love to lie to themselves. Not only do men love to lie to themselves, they go out of their way to avoid looking in the mirror, to avoid seeing the truth, because the truth will always shatter the illusion we fashion for ourselves with brutal efficiency.
Whatever lie we tell ourselves, nothing will ruin our day faster than having the truth annihilate it completely and mercilessly. Truth is heavy footed. Truth is not politically correct, tender, or concerned with sparing feelings, but like the old bull in a china shop line, the truth will make a mess of the table of deceit we’ve set for ourselves.
Some of the lies we tell ourselves are intricate, well structured, and hard to identify. Other lies are obvious, and it’s the obvious lies we have the most difficult time letting go of. The obvious lies are the bread and butter of the duplicitous soul, and though everyone else around us is seeing them for what they are and attempting to warn us as to their falsehood, we still cling to them with the death grip of the desperate.
Although I could readily point out the obvious lies we tell ourselves as a nation, I wanted to bring it in and focus on the individual lies we tell ourselves, lies that keep us from pursuing Christ with abandon, or growing in Him as we ought.
The first and most destructive lie we tell ourselves as individuals is that God will have to make due with us just as we are. We kept hearing ‘come as you are’ for so long, that we’ve sort of tuned out the part about not leaving as we came because what Jesus does in the heart and mind of an individual is utterly transform it and renew it.
God doesn’t settle. He never has, and He never will, and any man who claims that God will settle for anything less than sanctification and total denial of the flesh is lying to you. Granted, the lie feels good. It give the flesh a little wiggle room, it allows us to pursue the selfsame things the world pursues, but though men continue to spout the foolishness of acceptable double mindedness, God is very clear on the matter, and has been since the days of old.
James 4:7-10, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
It is because we teach a fraudulent, counterfeit gospel that so many are shackled and imprisoned by sin, and the devil does with them as he wishes. It is because we do not teach submission to God that we cannot resist the devil in any capacity, and we keep stumbling over and over again.
When we submit to God, He gives us the strength to resist the devil, and in resisting the devil, he will flee from us.
One of the ways in which the word ‘submit’ can be defined, is to subject, yield, or surrender oneself to a condition or a process. I don’t get to do what I want to do once I submit to God; I must do what He commands me to do upon the moment I’ve submitted to Him.
Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all day.”
When we submit to God, we become dependent upon Him, we wait upon Him, we obey Him, and we follow Him. I cannot blaze my own trail, find my own path, or do what I believe to be right in my own eyes. My entire life becomes about obedience and surrender.
Everything I do and everything I say must be gauged by whether or not it brings glory to God, and if it doesn’t, then I ought not to be doing it. When we view our life through this prism, when our single minded pursuit is to bring glory to God, then we will have the strength to resist the devil, the energy to draw near to God, the honesty to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts, and the humility to weep and lament.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.