Walking in Truth
This comes from a lesson I taught the girls on our last Young Ladies Retreat. Sorry it is so choppy, hopefully it runs together fairly smoothly. Hang in there, if you are reading this as a result of being abused, take note of the scriptures below. Study them, memorize them. Replace lies with truth! Also, study Psalm 116! :)
…He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Satan is called the Father of Lies and we see his handiwork everywhere!!!
After talking to you, knowing you and having been a teen girl myself not that long ago, I have boiled some of our biggest problems down to two lies:
1. That in order to be happy, we need to be in control. We should do whatever we want to do, whatever feels right, regardless of what others tell us.
Some of us are in that boat. We just don’t understand why the Bible has such strict rules. Why are these things so important anyway??? Why do your parents make such a big deal out of little things? This is one of Satan’s favorites, He wants you to think that God is holding out on you. He doesn’t really want you to have fun.
Some of us are caught in a different one (or another one):
2. Because we did some things our own way, or others had their way with us, God can’t forgive us, use us or really love us. We are a permanent disgrace to God.
This is another one of Satan’s favorites. If you are a Christian, Jesus has wiped your sin clean! But Satan wants us to believe and feel like we are still dirty.
This weekend, our theme is Walk, so we are going to take a walk with God here for a bit, and explore what He says about walking.
First, turn to
Teach me your way, O Lord,that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
I didn’t plan it this way, but it is interesting that if you did your morning devotions this morning, you learned that to fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If you don’t want to fear the Lord, you will get nowhere in your walk with Him, and you will destroy your life.
We will tackle the first lie first. Turn to 2 Corinthians 5:7
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
When it comes to walking with Christ, you have to walk by faith. You have to believe that Christ knows what is best for you. But let us continue in this passage.
8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
So not only, do we just have faith that God will do what is best for us, but we also obey because if you are a Christian, your works will be judged, but not to see if you made it into heaven. Understand this- If you accepted Christ into your heart, than you are going to heaven regardless of if you ever talked to Him again, but rather everything in your life will be boiled down to what really mattered for eternity.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
Get real with God-remember that He knows everything you do and say and think. Even the things that not another person on the planet knows!
Psalm 139: 4 Even before a word is on my tongue,behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
Also, get real with your own sin-recognize that you have sin in your life!!! We are ALL SLIME!!!
12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart.
Is your Christianity just something you wear? Is it like brushing your hair in the morning, you just put it on and look and act “Christian” or is it something you are in your very core??? You WALK with God?
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
I love this because he is basically saying, if you think we act crazy, it is for God. Sometimes, people think you are crazy for doing or not doing the things God says. But he goes on to say that anything good that comes out of their life is for the ones he is teaching. If you see anything good come out of me this weekend or any of the lessons, or anything in my life period-it is because of Christ. I can’t take credit for any of it!! If I am in my right mind-it is for you!
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Jesus died to give us new life! Not another old life to live for ourselves, but a new life!!
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The old has passed away!! The new has come! God has placed Himself inside of you! If you are still living the old life, you are not allowing God to change your life!
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
God is giving us a second chance at life! We couldn’t give ourselves a life worth living, but He can give us true life!!
In our human minds, God’s way does not look like fun. Satan has distorted our view of fulfillment and happiness.
I remember Leslie Ludy’s description of what she thought giving her love life to God would look like: She would be an old woman, staring out a window while sitting in her rocking chair…just waiting for the husband from God to come along. If you have read any of her books, you know that is not the case, but we picture boring dull lives with no joy or happiness when we give every part of our life to God. But that is what Satan wants you to believe! He doesn’t want you to know that waiting for marriage to have sex is one of the things that will keep your marriage together and give you joy without guilt or worries. He doesn’t want you to know that if you give the pen of your life story to God, you will have adventures, make discoveries and live life to the fullest-with the best friend anyone could ask for-God Himself. I am not being dramatic-that is truly the way it is!
Isaiah 55:1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,come to the waters;and he who has no money,come, buy and eat!Come, buy wine and milkwithout money and without price.2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,and your labor for that which does not satisfy?Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,and delight yourselves in rich food.3 Incline your ear, and come to me;hear, that your soul may live;and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,my steadfast, sure love for David.4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,a leader and commander for the peoples.5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,for he has glorified you.
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;call upon him while he is near;7 let the wicked forsake his way,and the unrighteous man his thoughts;let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your waysand my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heavenand do not return there but water the earth,making it bring forth and sprout,giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;it shall not return to me empty,but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joyand be led forth in peace;the mountains and the hills before youshall break forth into singing,and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;and it shall make a name for the Lord,an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
If you are thinking that all Christianity is is a long set of rules, you do not know the God who wrote them.
Hebrews 11 says that the pleasures of sin are fleeting. Sure, sin can give you pleasure, it can be fun and even rewarding. But for how long? God wants to give you joy that will be permanent. Believe the truth.
Alright now go back to I Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
And then over to Eph. 4:1
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Some of us have been reconciled to God for salvation, and are told to walk worthy of our calling, but here is where we get around to lie number two: we don’t believe we are worthy at all! And the truth is- we AREN’T!! Only God makes us worthy. Satan wants us to live in the past and believe that we are still what we used to be! But we are a NEW CREATION!! God has washed away the old! Live like you are new!
Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
I am going to read a section from Your Scars are Beautiful to God by Sharon Jaynes. She puts so wonderfully what I am trying to say, so I will just read her words!
(From Page 69)
Do You Want to Get Well?
Sometimes the chains we wear shackled to our hearts become so comfortable, we get used to the pain and forget what it is like to be well. Perhaps some of us have never known freedom. But the big question is-do you want to get well? Do you want to be free? Of course I do, I hear you say. But do you really?
There was a certain man Jesus encountered who faced the same crossroads in his life. In Jerusalem, men and women with various infirmities congregated at the Sheep Gate Pool. Surrounding the pool were five porticoes where sick people clustered, waiting for the “moving of the waters.” They believed an angel of the Lord came down from heaven at certain seasons and stirred the pool. When the people saw the waters ripple, they all made a mad dash to jump in. They believed that the first one to make it to the pool would be healed.
One man, an invalid, had been waiting by the pool for 38 years. When Jesus saw the man lying there and learned that he had been doing so for such a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6).
That seems like such an unusual question-or does it? Sometimes we become accustomed to being “sick.” We become attached to our wounds. They become a part of who we are, and we can’t imagine life without them. For this man, healing meant a drastic life change. He would have to get a job, become a responsible adult, and stop lounging by the pool all day.
Pain can be an idol. Not that we worship it in a good sense, but we worship it as an awesome force and allow it to control our lives. When we allow our past to dictate our future, we are giving it the power of a god and making it an idol. “We can hug our hurts and make a shrine out of our sorrows or we can offer them to God as a sacrifice of praise. The choice is ours.”
Did the invalid want to get well? He had not asked for Jesus’ help. It seems he clung to his illness and blamed it on those around him-a victim of circumstance. “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred” (John 5:7). We don’t know if he had lost the will to be healed, was afraid to lose his income as a beggar, or simply had accepted lameness as his lot in life. In any case, unexpectedly he came face-to-face with the One Who could set him free.
The man never did answer Jesus’ question. Jesus simply said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). And he did.
Thirty-eight years is a long time to be immobile, and yet, in my own life, there were some things that had held me back for the same amount of time. I was paralyzed by feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy because of messages from my past. Then Jesus asked me, “Do you want to get well?”
Satan wants to use our past to paralyze us. God wants to use our past to propel us. The choice is ours.
A Helping Hand
Can I take you to another man who was lame? Oh how this story in Mark2:1-12 stirs my heart!
2:1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
…After quite some time, the crowd stared wide-eyed as a man was lowered through the opening on a mat and placed at Jesus’ feet. Jesus simply looked down at the paralyzed man lying on the pallet before him and simply said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).
But wait. Is that what the man really longed for? Is that what his friends had in mind? Oh my friend, sometimes it is our sin that paralyzes us. One of Satan’s most damaging tactics is to paralyze us with our own emotions. He wants to cover us with shame, weigh us down with guilt and cripple our progress toward the cross. But Jesus came to set us free! He tells us to get up and walk!…James tells us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). He won’t necessarily lift you up to a place of worldy honor, but He will lift you up out of the dirt, off the mat, and set your feet on the path He has chosen for you all along. Sometimes He might call a friend to be your stretcher bearer. Other times He might call you to be that friend for someone else.
Healing Is A Process
…The good news is that Jesus never encountered someone whose infirmity was greater than His power to heal it. You might think that you are too far-gone. Rest assured, Jesus specializes in bringing life from death, no matter how long death has prevailed…
Likewise, no matter how long we have felt the pain from a seemingly fatal wound of the soul, God can restore and resurrect our broken dream. He can even create a vast army from a pile of dried up bone. He told the prophet Ezekiel to speak to a hovel of bones.
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”… 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. (Ezekiel. 37:4-6,10).
If God can take a pile of old dry bones and change them into a vast army, then He can certainly take the broken pieces of our lives and transform us into mighty warriors for Him. Eric Liddell once said, “Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins.”
Isn’t that amazing?!?!
2 Cor. 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
What is holding you back?
If it is your past and your sin-give it to God and leave it there!
If it is something that someone else told you that you were or made you feel like you were worthless, dirty or damaged-give it to God and leave it there!
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death…31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In John 8, the church leaders of the day brought a woman before Jesus. She was caught in adultery. First, just picture that! Can you imagine being caught in adultery and then having a group of men bring you before Jesus Who was currently teaching a crowd of people??? How awful!!! But Jesus did not condemn her, he asked the church leaders who among them was without sin.
9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Walk with Jesus and have the Light of Life!!!
Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant,and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Jesus does not condemn us but He does want to change us into His image.
These passages apply to both lies. If we are to combat the lies, we MUST replace them with truth! Jesus prayed in John 7: 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
I John 2:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Romans 12:2 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.
I Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
John 8: 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Be free indeed!!!
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light
Do not sell yourself short of God’s will for you! You are soooo much better than what the world has to offer!
9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Let God help you take an inventory of your life-be wise! Books, music, friends, movies, etc.
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Psalm 56:13 For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Remember that the Christian walk is life-long. You will not “arrive” someday! We will have sin in our lives as long as we live on the earth.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love steadfast love, and to walk humbly with your God?
Let us truly live life to the fullest! The only true full life is living the life God has planned for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Walking in Truth