Deceit

Survey or QuestionnaireThis word is defined as the act of concealing or misrepresenting the truth. I’ve known people who say what I want to hear, without regard to the truth. I’ve also known people who are pretty slick at making a lie sound just like the truth. Knowing the truth can sometimes be hard, but at least you have the facts to work with. When you are dealing with deceit and half-truths, the target just keep moving and shifting and it’s hard to deal with. The Psalmist offers up a prayer for help dealing with deceit. Check this out…

1 I call on the Lord in my distress,

    and he answers me.
Save me, Lord,
 
   from lying lips
 
   and from deceitful tongues. (Psalm 120:1-2 NIV)

 

I love being around honest people. I’ve known some people to be brutally honest. I’ve had my feelings hurt with the truth. I’ve had someone hit me with the truth which was opposite of what I believed to be true.

The truth finds it way out through the forest of lies. It may take some time but the truth usually makes an appearance much like a ball filled with air trying to be held below the surface of the water.

I often asked the Lord to help me be a truth detector. If someone is not telling the truth, then they are lying. There’s not a lot of “gray” here. I don’t want to come off sounding like I’ve never lied or deceived – I have. I’m sure not proud of lying and I don’t make a practice of it. I would rather be honest and take the consequences now than lie and have more consequences come out later.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Truth Can Be Hard

Grace AND TruthMy family and I were putting up a “hammock park” late yesterday. Before you begin to think it was a big construction job, it consisted of two 4X4 posts about 15’ from two trees in order to tie one end of the hammock to a tree and the other to the posts. We can host about 7 hammocks in our hammock park. As I put concrete around the posts, I realized these posts would be solidly in the ground in a relative short period of time. Concrete “sets up” fairly quickly and is really hard and permanent.

The “truth of the matter” can be hard to hear. I’ve heard truth before that about knocked me to the ground, but with the Lord’s help, I will work through it. Some times truth is hard to process. I know that it’s truth, but it’s very difficult to implement. Truth is still truth, whether I choose to accept it or believe it. Truth is strong, powerful – set in concrete. I want the Truth of God’s Word to become concrete in my heart. Check this out…

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?

    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
 
   do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart

    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;

    teach me your decrees.
169 May my cry come before you, Lord;

    give me understanding according to your word.
170 May my supplication come before you;

    deliver me according to your promise.
171 May my lips overflow with praise,

    for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word,

    for all your commands are righteous.
173 May your hand be ready to help me,

    for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, Lord,

    and your law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you,

    and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
 
   Seek your servant,

    for I have not forgotten your commands. (Psalm 119:9-12; 169-176 NIV)

 

I want to walk in the Truth of God’s Word today.

I want to turn from my self-centered ways and walk in His Ways.

I want to delight in the boundaries that are here for my own protection.

I want to praise the Lord for His Salvation and the Hope He has put deep in my heart.

I’m thankful for the Grace of God that makes the Truth of God easier to comprehend and understand.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

A Prophetic Word

Man praying with the BibleI have studied prophesy before and it really isn’t rocket science. I hear the weather forecast and it is a prediction based on computer models and various other related weather activity. A prophesy to me is something of divine inspiration. It is also biblical and doesn’t contradict the Word of God. The true test of prophecy is if it comes true. I am generally suspicious of self-proclaim prophets. I like to see the fruit of God’s Spirit in their life as well. I don’t want to sound skeptical or judgmental, but I do want to be spiritually discerning and follow after the Lord with all that I am.  I think King David was speaking a prophetic word about Jesus. Check this out…

The Lord says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand

    until I make your enemies

    a footstool for your feet.”
2The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,

    “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (Psalm 110:1-2 NIV)

 

David was speaking of Jesus, the Son of God.  The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament – Hebrews 7, references this same passage. He was connecting Jesus to the new covenant relationship that God was entering into with all people. Jesus was making a way for all people to know the Lord God and David was speaking of this many years ahead of time and probably didn’t understand all that He was speaking.

I want to walk with the Lord so closely that He speaks into my heart and directs my path. I want Him to give me insight into the future. I want His wisdom in all decisions. I don’t necessarily desire prophetic status, but I want to hear from Him every day.  I want the Lord to say whatever He wants to say through me whether it’s a prophetic word or really basic truth.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Guide

flashlightI’ve had a guided tour through Mammoth Cave in Kentucky on more than one occasion. The thing I really enjoy about a guided tour, I can simply follow the guide. They have lots of great information as we go along. They also know where not to go. I actually trust the guide to lead me correctly through the cave. I can’t imagine trying to make it through there without a guide. I really would be shook up to not have light in that dark place. If I had a light without a map, I’d still be lost. I need a guide for my life too. Check this out…

Send out your light and your truth.

    Let them guide me.

Let them bring me back to your holy mountain,

    to the place where you live.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God.

    I will go to God.
He is my joy and my delight.

God, you are my God.

    I will praise you by playing the harp. (Psalm 43:3-4 NIV)

 

The Lord can guide each step I make with the light of His Truth. He defines truth. He illuminates truth. I want to be in the place where He dwells. It is way too easy to step off the path He has set before me and explore the side trails that lead to a dead end. He is still patiently on the path calling me to follow.

I think it is also cool to be in this place of worship. As I follow the Lord to the place where He dwells, I can play my guitar and/or sing songs from my heart to His. Worship is special when I’m lead to this place by the One I seek to worship. I need to be in the Presence of God and the Truth of His Presence will always guide me there!

 Pressing On!
Dwayne

Seasonal

Four seasons - spring, summer, autumn, winter. Art tree beautiful for your designI have clothes for winter that are warm because the weather is generally colder.  I have clothes that are light for the summer because it’s considerably warmer. I’m not one of these guys who wear shorts year round.  My closet is big enough for “in season” clothes and “out of season” clothes.

I can go to a retail store like Target or Walmart and they have seasonal items. At Christmas they have a big section for Christmas lights, trees, etc… (It seems like they start Christmas in July!) There are a lot of activities that are pretty much seasonal. Sports are seasonal for the most part unless it’s the NBA and it seems to go on all year long.

One thing that isn’t seasonal is the Truth of God’s Word. Paul lays out a strong charge to the young pastor, Timothy. Check this out….

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:2-5 NIV)

 

Paul seems to be feeling like he’s at the end of his life as he gives this charge to Timothy. There is great council within this charge for me. Truth is not relative to the situation, the situation is relative to the truth.  I want to build my life and my walk with the Lord on the Truth of His Word and NOTHING ELSE! I want to keep my head and my heart protected so that the Word may live in me and through me.

I want to be found walking out my faith in God no matter what the season of weather, holidays, sports, or life.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Opinion

Man holding microphoneI most definitely have an opinion about lots and lots of things. My wife may ask my opinion about a certain pair of pants and she wants my opinion. I have an opinion on most world events. I have an opinion about our governor, congress, the president and everything in between. I probably have an opinion on just about everything. It sounds pretty crazy, but most everyone I know also has an opinion about everything. I used to jokingly let them know that they were entitled to their own stupid opinion even though mine was mostly right! J

Spiritual opinion can really get me in trouble. If I feel convicted about certain things, I can preach that as “truth from scripture” to others.  Paul was teaching about this to the Colossae church. It can be very dangerous and deceptively destructive while appearing helpful. Check this out….

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Colossians 2:6-8; 20-21 NIV)

 

Most of the time, my opinion is worth just what you paid for it – nothing. That can be true with the opinion of others as well. The older I’ve gotten, the wiser I realize my parents and older people are. Their opinions can sometimes be based on experience and knowledge rather than simply how they “feel” about a particular subject.

This passage of scripture reminded me that my instruction book on living is the Word of God. I should “TEST” all opinions by the Word. I should be careful about what I say and do based opinion. There is great liberty in walking with the Lord. My spiritual opinion may “sound” wise, but indeed it may be hollow and based on tradition and worldly principles rather than on Christ. My opinion can actually be a stumbling block to knowing the Lord more fully. I need to lean into and onto the truth of God’s Word and rely a lot less on my opinion and other’s opinions about what to do and when to do it. Now there are some people whose opinion I really value – but it should be based on their journey with the Lord more than anything.  I’m really seeking the truth more than opinion. My convictions should be based on the truth of the Word of God over opinion every time. Most everyone has a nose on their face and they have an opinion – it doesn’t mean I need to hear from it!

Pressing On!
Dwayne