Are you one of those people who say you don’t really believe in fortune cookie luck… but secretly you order some Asian or Oriental cuisine when you are faced with a tough decision, hoping for some inspiration from that end-of-meal snack? Okay okay, maybe you don’t go that far. Hopefully you don’t go that far!
When you don’t feel like your prayers are going past the ceiling, do you get so desperate for ‘direction’ or ‘answers’ or ‘wisdom’ that you would believe anything to be a sign from God? Like the billboard you pass everyday on your way to work, or a TV commercial, or that song on the radio when you got in your car this morning? I am not saying He doesn’t speak through those things, but if you are not careful and discerning, you might fall for anything…
Maybe you have become a victim to the familiar poison of the Half-Truth.
I was enjoying a take-out dinner with my family from a local restaurant and opened my fortune cookie at the end of my meal. It read: “Best way to overcome temptation is to avoid the tempting situation” My initial reaction was… Wow… what a lie! Every half-truth is pregnant with temptation to allow the truth-part to trump the lie-part. This paper represents a very familiar poison that grips so many freedom-seekers and refuses to let them go. I have lived through the cycles the result from believing half-truths, or more aptly put: half-lies. They refuse to let you go as long as you keep digesting them. In the same way you would refuse a half-arsenic and half-tea beverage, don’t allow yourself to indulge in half-lies.
Every half-truth is pregnant with temptation to allow the truth-part to trump the lie-part.
Consider what the Bible has to say about temptation. First of all, let me be clear that avoiding a tempting situation is a great wall to build to defend against the attacks of the enemy! However, it is not the best way to overcome temptation. Sure, many voices in our world propose solutions for the addict (whether porn, alcohol, drugs or stealing is your vice) along the lines of “avoiding the situation” as the be-all and end-all to walking in freedom. “If I just stay away from bar, I will overcome my alcohol addiction…If I never go online again, I will have victory over pornography” Really? None of the recovering alcoholics I know tell me that avoiding the bar was the magic bullet. If victory means ‘not falling victim to your addiction today’, then avoiding the situation may allow you to claim victory. But victory and freedom are quite different.
(Actually, most recovering alcoholics will still say they are always ‘an addict in recovery’… but that’s a disagreement and discussion for another time because I just so happen to believe in all things becoming new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and true freedom. My point? I am certainly a sinner saved, redeemed, restored and set free by grace and empowered only by Holy Spirit… but I am certainly not an addict-for-life, sexually confused, or in-perpetual-recovery!)
My beef is with the subtle lie around the word best and overcome. Am I being hyper-analytical? Yes! Should I be wary of the false propaganda from the world’s system? Yes! And you should too. Nope, I am not pointing at fortune cookies… I am pointing at the half-truths that exist everywhere around us.
Romans 12:2 gives us the truth. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 even clarifies what God’ will is for you! For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.
Conforming to the pattern of this world would be to believe that your only hope is to ‘avoid the temptation’, when we know that the Bible says in the book of James that we are each drawn away and tempted from desires within ourselves and our own lust (James 1:14). Brothers – and sisters – we must stand on the truth of God’s Word that exposes this lie and urges us to understand the best way to overcome temptation is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind!
A renewed mind desires the things of The Spirit and not the flesh! Check out Romans 8 or Galatians 5. A renewed mind says no to ungodliness. The best way to overcome temptation, to be free from the battle and struggle to say NO in the face of temptation, is to rewire your perceptions, perspectives, paradigms and emotions and submit them to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! In this world we will have temptation, but you will know you have been broken free when it is no longer a struggle to say NO to temptation. Temptation and struggle are not synonymous.
Don’t drink the poison – it could kill you. You were not meant to live a hamster-wheel existence as a child of God. You were called to freedom! The ‘walls’ are only for the purpose of creating a safe place to train, building strength, scouting out the enemy’s tactics and being honest about where you are in the journey… but it is not the final solution.
What other half-truths have you been mindlessly consuming?
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