Empty Lies

 

The Truth Hidden Among Lies Pyramid of Stacked BallsThere are people who could be called “professional liars”. They will tell you whatever you want to hear or they will tell some tall tale that distracts and distorts the truth. I have often said that I can work with the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear. I get extremely frustrated when I’m lied too. I would rather be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich. I am not a perfect person and it would be a “bold-faced” lie to say I’ve never lied. I will say that I see all of life not with eternity in view and any lies that I could tell would be pure foolishness considering my future hope.

I wonder what would happen if everyone told the truth – no matter how hard.

I wonder what it would be like if politicians always told the truth.

I wonder what it would be like if attorneys always told truth.

I wonder what it would be like if people in sales always told the truth.

I wonder what it would be like if husbands & wives always told the truth.

I wonder what it would be like if parents & children always told the truth.

Truth is not relative to the situation – it is absolute. I’ve heard it said: there is his version and her version and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. People who are lost in sin, often seek to convince others to join them by telling elaborate lies. They appear to be having a blast, but their soul’s are empty and corrupt. Peter speaks to this. Check this out…

19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. 20 For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:19-21 CSB)

I confess that I’ve had my feet under the table of the Lord only to turn away to the lies of the enemy. The enemy makes sin make sense just long enough for me to go for it.  I would rather repent than live a life of regret and remorse. I would be wise to quickly repent than to justify my sin with more lies. If I tell one lie, it takes a lot more just to try to keep the lie somewhat believable. God’s Word is truth and He makes it clear that He wants no part of lies. I couldn’t trick or deceive Him with a lie if I tried. He’s always listening and watching if I lie to another person. I want to live my life in truth no matter how painful and hard. I believe the fallout from a lie is way more painful than dealing with the truth. The truth always seems to find its way out anyway.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Wisdom Brings Peace

 

Man Sitting On Bench During A Beautiful SunsetI have been known to talk when I should be listening. I have also been known to be quiet when I should have spoken. This can be tricky – knowing when to speak or not to speak. I also try to edit carefully what comes out of my mouth. When I relax a bit among friends, or around my family, I might say too much. There is much to be said about thinking before speaking. It is way too often that my mouth starts speaking before my brain catches up with what I’m saying – this can be disastrous and hurtful. I’m so thankful that the Lord sees my heart. I think the people who know be best also know my heart. I’m not generally a hateful or insensitive person, but I confess that I have been before. When I surrendered my heart to the Lord, I began dismantling some of these harmful habits. Guarding my speech takes wisdom and tremendous restraint. I think as I get older, I’m learning the value of restraint and timing.

The book of James devotes the bulk of chapter 3 to control of the tongue and then he finishes up speaking of wisdom. I believe control of my tongue is directly connected to seeking and cultivating wisdom deep inside my soul. Check this out…

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. (James 3:17-18 CSB)

The wisdom that is described here is profoundly simple, deep, thorough, and heaven-sent. I can’t find this wisdom apart from the Lord Himself. He is the Source of Godly Wisdom. There is a wisdom of this world that is self-centered, self-promoting, arrogant and prideful. It is destructive instead of constructive. I want the Lord’s wisdom so that my “radar” can detect worldly wisdom. James says in chapter 1 that the Lord gives wisdom freely. Check this out…

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 CSB)

This peace-loving, gentle, compliant (reasonable), full of mercies – it is real not fake. I love that the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who are wise enough to cultivate peace. Wisdom speaks with purity and peace. Wisdom is open to inspection and a thorough “vetting process”. The more you drill down into wisdom, the more insightful it becomes.  The Lord has given me incredible insight and wisdom in my marriage relationship, my parenting role, my friendship, my colleagues, my customers, clients and even strangers. God’s wisdom is timeless and beyond description, but He gives it in parcels that I can manage and handle. I believe He disperses it in my journey in His Word, in worship and in prayer – among other ways. I would love to be known as wise and understanding and a cultivator of peace – If I’m known for that, then I’ll know that He broke through this earthly vessel known as Dwayne.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Real

IMG_0090There are so many things in our culture that are simply not real. There are imitations and fakes everywhere. I have “real fake” Christmas tree in my house. I used to have the “real” (aka dead tree) at my house, but it made quite a mess cleaning up. There are many things that happen on television or movies that are totally fake and made to look real. It is sometimes a challenge to really discern between the real and the imposter. In following the Lord there are ways to discern this. For me, what I believe about the Lord lines up with His Word. I don’t take a preacher or teacher’s word for it. I like to learn for myself about the Lord. Jeremiah makes some bold statements about how real God is. Check this out…

10 But the Lord is the true God;

    he is the living God, the eternal King.

When he is angry, the earth trembles;

    the nations cannot endure his wrath.

12 But God made the earth by his power;

    he founded the world by his wisdom

    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;

    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.

He sends lightning with the rain

    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;

    every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.

The images he makes are a fraud;

    they have no breath in them.

15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;

    when their judgment comes, they will perish.

16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,

    for he is the Maker of all things,

including Israel, the people of his inheritance—

    the Lord Almighty is his name. (Jeremiah 10:10;12-16 NIV)

 

It blows my mind that people could simply carve a wooden idol and believe that it had any power of life in it at all. I have seen the hand of the Lord at work in my life. I have felt His Powerful Presence as real as the chair I’m sitting in. I believe that He made the heavens and the earth and everything I see and touch and know comes from Him. He is full of mercy, grace and love even though He is powerful and mighty beyond any words I could use to describe Him. He is real. He came to earth to reveal real love like we’d never known before.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Vulnerable

Man praying with the BibleThere are mornings when I’m writing this journal entry regarding my journey with the Lord and I feel very vulnerable. I feel like I’m sharing my life openly to others. I have found it to be a struggle at times because I don’t want to show my struggles or my weaknesses. I also know that the Lord wants me to be honest and open. He has walked with me through my own struggles and I know He will always be there with me. I can’t stop talking about His Presence in me even if others see this as some sort of fantasy. I can’t stop walking out my faith, even if others think I’m fake. I can’t quit serving the Lord even if others think it makes me look weak and helpless.  I sometimes find myself being completely honest and open while others are not being honest and open with me. Paul was having this same issue with the church at Corinth whom he thought were close friends. Check this out…

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 NIV)

 

I know what it feels like to have love withheld –it’s painful. I also know what it’s like to withhold love – it feels powerful, but it’s so judgmental and wrong. I would rather be honest and perceived weak than be perceived to be powerful and be shallow and fake. The only authority I have comes from my Creator. My journey with Him keeps me vulnerable and humble before Him. I am strong because He lives in me and walks with me daily. I want to keep walking out my faith by being real, honest and open. I know that the Lord knows my heart and my intentions. With His Presence, I’m safe, protected and oh so blessed.

Pressing On!
Dwayne