“A few years ago, a Nicholas Sparks book entitled “A Walk to Remember” was made into a movie. The film tells the story of a Christian girl who befriends a young man in need of grace. The movie appealed to evangelicals because it showed Christians in a positive light by lifting up the young girl as a role model whose faith influenced her life.
Unfortunately, the therapeutic gospel tainted this film. In one particular scene, the young girl is on the front porch of her home, debating with her father (a pastor) about the wisdom of dating an unbeliever. Her father says, ‘you might not care what I say or think. But you should care about God’s opinion.’ She replies ‘I think God wants me to be happy’
End of discussion. ‘God wants me to be happy’ trumps all the debate over whether it’s biblically right or wrong for a Christian to date an unbeliever.
When ‘God wants me to be happy’ becomes the measuring stick for making decisions, we have fallen for a counterfeit.” (page 46)
This is an excerpt from Trevin Wax’s book entitled “Counterfeit Gospels”, and a good example of how we often distort, or misinterpret God’s word and twist it to suit our desires at the time. Often, we take things that sound “good and spiritual” and convince ourselves that it must be true, though it may, in fact, contradict what the Bible says. It seems right to think that God wants us to be happy; a loving God must want to see us happy, right? But, if the thing that is making us happy is contrary to His word, we shouldn’t be convincing ourselves it’s ok. God want us to be holy – not happy. I think we can agree that sometimes the things that make us happy are not the best for us. In fact, sometimes the things we crave, make us momentarily happy but that feeling is short-lived and often leads to our destruction.
Sometimes we convince ourselves of a “truth” because we want it to be true, because it feels good. On the other hand, we also convince ourselves of things that are untrue, because we feel bad. We’re in bondage to shame, hurt, insecurity, an addiction or a belief that is tainting our perception – again, we “feel” it, so it must be true, right? We allow ourselves to let our “feelings” overrule the truth of God’s word. We limit ourselves by believing lies that say we can't - when God says, with Me - anything is possible.
In her study “the Quest” by Beth Moore she identifies 5 questions that are asked BY God in scripture, even though He knows the answer. She suggests this:
“Every time you need to get back on track and find out where you are, you can go to these 5 questions and answer them and you will find your way – every single time. Test it and see.”
This week we are looking at the second recalibrating question: “Who told you that?”
In Genesis 3:11 God asks Adam “Who told you that ?”
Of course He knows the answer, but the point is; who is giving you ideas that didn’t come from God?
Beth Moore notes, we need to train ourselves to let God ask US that same question, and she says this; “If we can’t answer that question with ‘You did, Lord’ then we know it’s suspect, at the very least, and deception in high likelihood. Every single season of defeat is always driven by a lie, or of lies. Every. Single. Time.”
Of course, in order for us to really know if He told us - we need to be in His Word daily seeking answers and Truth
The questions for you and I today are:
What is it that we are believing in?
What are you believing about yourself and your current circumstance?
Who told you to believe that?
Do we really give weight to the words God has left us as instruction, or do we twist them to suit how we feel or what we want?
Are we listening the world view of others, allowing ourselves to be shaped by a counterfeit spirituality, or are we influenced by the enemy who fuels us with deception and patiently stalks our weaknesses?
Are we allowing our feelings, our hurts, disappointments, failures, shame, addictions, desires; all that our flesh is begging for - win, rather than seeking Jesus.
Do we ask Him daily – Jesus – what do you say about this? How are we responding to the answer?
What are the lies we are living in right now?
Is there something that you’ve told yourself makes you “happy”, but you know God would have something different to say about it? Are you minimizing the damage you are doing to your walk with Jesus?
What is God calling you to, but you've convinced yourself that you aren't worthy, able, qualified or can't do?
Last week our blog was about winter wheat and the question “Where are you”.Hopefully you identified where you are in your walk with Jesus. This week perhaps we can ask ourselves where we want to be and what we are believing that is stopping us? Who told you that?
In last week's blog - It was the geese that drew my attention to the winter wheat field, but it was what was growing in the field that was interesting.
A week after seeing this field of wheat, full of geese I was driving the same stretch of road and as I looked into the same field, there were no geese but instead I saw three coyotes in the mid morning sun actively roaming this field. I stopped to watched them and found it so interesting that the week before the field was full of geese, now the geese were gone, but there’s a new character on the scene and I am reminded – when something is growing in us, often it’s not long before there’s something close to the edge that threatens to defeat us. Coyotes are scavengers – they take whatever they can and will devour anything. And here they are… in daylight – in the same place that last week I saw as a symbol of growing.
There is an enemy that wants us to believe things that are not true. There is an enemy wanting to sell us a counterfeit.
I wonder as we are growing in Christ, what are the obstacles in our path that impede that growth? Is it the opinions of others – maybe like the geese, landing in our space and picking away at our growth, or is it the enemy like the coyotes, quietly stalking around waiting for something to feed on? Or is it us, simply remaining in our dormant state, believing the lies we've told ourself? Or, maybe it’s all three. Maybe today, recalibrating and asking ‘Who Told Us That?’ Is exactly what we need to clear our vision and start over.
Prayer: Lord, help us to identify the areas in our lives that are false and the things we are believing about ourselves that are not true. Let us remind ourselves daily to allow YOU to ask us “Who told you that?” and help us discern when the answer is not “you did” and root out the deceptions that will lead us into a season of defeat. You have given us the power to overcome – give us strength and wisdom as we identify and see your truth. In Jesus’ name - Amen