Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5)
Picture yourself in the middle of an argument. (This shouldn’t be too difficult in today’s culture.) One group is laying out their side as true and right. The other side is in total disagreement taking a completely opposing position. And then, there are those in the middle, agreeing in part with both sides. The argument gets heated, and you must sort it out. How can you do that amid such contentious chaos? And where do you stand? Authority has been given to you; you can’t avoid making a judgement. You can abdicate, or you can make the call. What do you do? Both choices have serious consequences.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been given authority on this earth. Remember, God gave mankind dominion of the earth.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:27-28 NIV Emphasis mine)
God gave us dominion over the earth and animals – not over each other. That belongs to Him alone. But our authority doesn’t end there. Jesus also gave His disciples – and that includes us – authority over unclean spirits.
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, (Luke 9:1 NIV)
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16: 15-18 NIV)
Some may argue that only the original disciples were given this authority, but this “Great Commission” in Mark’s gospel is for all believers. (I’m not going to advocate picking up snakes, but remember, the devil did first show himself as a snake in the garden.)
We’ve been given authority over demonic spirits. Paul told us in Ephesians 6 that we don’t war with people, but with demonic principalities and powers – evil spirits. Those would include lying spirits. Remember, in John 8:44 Jesus explained that lying is the devil’s native language. In simple terms, lying is an untruth.
Dictionary.com defines lying as falsifying, misleading, inventing, two-timing, deceptive, fibbing and more. Fibbing … just “a little white lie” … is still a lie. The most dangerous lies are the ones mixed with just enough truth to make them palatable. If you must make a call in the above argument, the ability to sort out truth from un-truth is crucial.
You’ve heard what has been said by parties on all sides, but how do you sort it out – determine what is truth? Just having facts that are true, doesn’t mean you have truth. Maybe partial truth? I remember a time when I was chewing on some scriptural principle, and then I had an “Aha” moment. All the pieces seemed to fall into place and make sense. And almost immediately, I heard the Lord whisper, “You only have a small piece of the truth. You aren’t big enough to hold the whole truth.” Wow!
You need to consider the following. What has been said that aligns with what God says – and what doesn’t line up? Remember, Jesus said He is Truth. Do the arguments line up with Truth? Not just “your truth” or “my truth,” but Absolute Truth – the Son of God, the Word of God. How do we know that? From the words of God, spoken by the Word of God, inspired by Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture.
And once you have determined what is true, what do you do with it? That is a great question, and we’ll cover that next time.
I know I’m leaving you in the middle of the argument. That’s always uncomfortable. But this is an argument we can’t and mustn’t run from. We can help bring truth and peace to this.
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