Have you ever wanted to believe someone, but couldn’t get past the sense that something wasn’t quite right or that they weren’t being completely honest? Have you observed a situation and, although you saw many positive things, you struggled in believing the authenticity of it? How do you handle the disappointment when you realize that someone you believed in betrayed your trust? How are you supposed to detect any truth from all the lies?
Last week, my husband and I were in town, and as we were leaving a store, we were approached by a couple asking for help. The young man showed us the empty gauge of their gas tank as he pleaded for us to give them financial assistance. Since we have the policy of never just handing money to someone like this, we agreed to follow them to the gas station to put a couple gallons of gas in their vehicle. I had a big “check” within my spirit about the situation, however, I sensed a genuine longing and openness in the woman’s life as we shared about the “real need” they had within their spiritual lives. After putting some gas in their tank and praying with them, we left the station. Although the man had told a very convincing story and reassured us that we can trust him, I still couldn’t quite deny the wariness I felt. Before we were very far down the road, we decided to go back to see if they had left. After circling around, we found them still sitting at the pumps, so we pulled into the parking lot behind them where we could observe unawares. Sure enough! We saw him walk up to a woman, and after a few minutes of talking, she handed him some cash. We quickly pulled up beside their car at the pump, and we saw the flash of shock cross the couple’s faces, followed by guilt as they were caught in their ugly game of deception. Duane stayed there as I jumped out of the van and approached the woman who had given them the money. She was horrified as she realized that we had just put gas in their car, but they were using the same story of needing money for buying enough gas to get home. They had more than sufficient gas! The generous woman explained, “I am a Christian, and just wanted to share the love of Christ…but they need more than money! They need JESUS.”
I walked back to where Duane and the couple were. After the their initial shock wore off, the man began trying to defend himself, but the woman began crying. As I went to her side of the car, and began talking with her, she tearfully said that she was so tired of the shame of their lifestyle. She was very open and took to heart what I was able to share with her. I put my arm around her shoulder and, for the second time, we had a prayer meeting around the gas pumps. I am not sure what will become of their situation, but I continue to pray that God will keep bringing them to a place of complete surrender to Himself. In the midst of all their lies, the truth was evident that they DID need help. However, they needed spiritual help more than any financial assistance.
There are many times that we are confronted with requests for help, and it can be extremely confusing to sort through all the stories to determine where there is truth or where there is a lie. Satan always imitates truth. His purpose is to copy and then distort any amount of truth that he can get his hands upon. He knows that many won’t fall for an obvious lie, but half-truths or imitations of God’s ways can mislead many. This is the case of many situations.
I am amazed when I see the deception of our cunning deceiver. For instance, the beautiful, godly husband and wife relationship is now compared with the sinful and abominable homosexual lifestyle. The verse in 1 John 4:18 (“Perfect love casteth out fear…”) is used to condone this distorted view of love. God help us!
Recently, I was sharing with someone about the importance of teaching our children to respect and submit to authority. Do you realize how far our world has come from this biblical principle? There are MANY young people who hardly have any idea of what this should look like. The obvious signs of this are evident in how they react when they are given a command or held responsible for simple things like tardiness, honesty, and dependability.
What about Jesus’ teaching of being a servant to all? How many of us are teaching our children to have a servant’s heart by first demonstrating it ourselves? If each of us would focus on obeying this command, wouldn’t the world be less ME-centered? The biblical view of disciplining our children is also turned around and distorted as being abusive. Remember, Satan’s goal is to take a teaching or command of God and twist it enough to turn people away from how God designed it. God’s truth can be distorted until it appears to be a lie.
Should we change our stance on authority, respect, submission, having a servant’s heart, godly relationships, etc. just because of Satan ensnaring others with a twisted perspective? I believe this is exactly what Satan would want us to do, but let’s not compromise on the commands and teachings of Christ because of it.
I am so grateful for the sweet blessing of family that God has given to me. As I sat down in front of the blank computer screen this evening, my mind felt numbly blank and I told my family, “Please pray for me, because I don’t know what I’m going to write about, and my brain feels very tired and empty!” I have been trying all day to get to my blog and there were always a number of things that prevented me. Finally at 8:00, I made it to the computer! After making this statement, I was “pulled away” for a few minutes and when I came back, this is what was typed on the top of my blank page-“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me….” =) My sweet daughter left this message, and it was a great reminder for me! It meant a lot, and stirred up this message that I believe God wanted me to share.
This young lady doesn’t always find it easy to respond joyfully to our authority or in having a servant’s heart, but God continues to mold and shape her more and more into His image. As we continue to instruct and teach our girls, we see the beautiful aroma of Jesus being demonstrated from them. Although we fail many times, as parents, we truly have the hearts of our children and can freely talk through every struggle and situation we face. As we attempt to clearly communicate God’s ways, we are reminded of the
responsibility that God has given to us in teaching our children His principles. Whenever this happens, there is a joy and freedom they experience that can be attained in no other way.
God bless you with much grace and wisdom as you sort through the misconceptions that the enemy of your soul brings to you. May you clearly detect between what is truth and what are lies…May the truth of God’s word bring abundant joy, unexplainable peace, and complete freedom to you and your family!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)