Identifying With Truth Over Lies

           Jesus refers to the devil as the “father of lies”. (John 8:44) Lies are the Devil’s greatest weapon and we see this even in the very beginning with Adam and Eve. Satan doesn’t bring eternal death into this world using murder, mayhem, and other terrors of evil. He does it with a lie. He got Eve to believe that she can be just like God. Sometimes, this is one of the lies we can believe as well. When we do, we will be tempted to manipulate or control other people and situations so that we can obtain a desired outcome. Yet, Jesus shows us that our relationship with Giod is more important than anything else.

In Matthew 4, Jesus is tempted by the devil after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus’ body was past the point of having just a simple food craving. Thus, the devil first tempted Jesus with the thought of food saying, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” The devil was using Jesus’ momentary bodily desire to prove that He could be just like His father. But Jesus replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Overall, an exhausted Jesus confidently resisted the devil’s temptations three times in the wilderness. He accomplished this by leaning on God’s truth instead of the devil’s lies.

Just like Jesus, we can resist listening to the devil’s lies by leaning on God and internalizing His truth. The devil relies on persistence when tempting us because he holds no true authority. However, God has authority over all things. Therefore, internalizing His truth and drawing nearer to God is the way to conquer temptation. (Hebrews 2:18) Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ flesh was battling His spirit. His spirit wanted to accomplish God’s will but His body desired to live. Thus, He turned to God and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” After a short time He prayed a second time saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Jesus lived His life dedicated to internalizing and living God’s word. By doing so, He was able to pray for God’s will to be done, even if His will meant He was to die.

Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If we continue reading to the next chapter we also see Jesus say, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5) Through Jesus we have the ability to let God reshape our actions by transforming our hearts and minds. By leaning on God and His Word, we can begin to identify the devil’s lies in our lives and begin to replace them with truth.

There is an old quote that says, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” The question is: Are our thoughts leading us toward a destiny based on lies or the truth?