What is a Lie and Why?

How then do we distinguish between truth and lies? The only clear distinction is to consider the source. God is truth and Satan is a liar. Either God controls your life by your choosing to let Him, or Satan controls your life by your choosing to let him. A distinction needs to be made between psychological and spiritual. The differentiation of spiritual function and psychological function within the Christian is seen in Hebrews 4:12, “The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Jesus Christ, as the “Word of God” is divinely functioning in the Christian. We must choose to allow Him to differentiate between psychological motivations and spiritual motivation. Lying begins when we humanistically think we can figure it out, “self-potential.” Our focus becomes our behavior rather than the mind of Christ. We falsely believe we have what it takes to “be all we can be” for God. The Spirit of Christ wants us to be aware of and recognize His spiritual intent within our spirit to operate with “the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16) in accord with our willingness to be receptive to the dynamic of God’s grace.

Lying is always focused on our self-potential and our attempts at self-preservation. All lying has psychological motivations as to why we did what we did, rather than on spiritual motivation of what God’s intent is in our spirit, what is He promoting us to say or do in any given moment of temptation.

Inevitably when the subject of lying comes up, the question is asked, how was Rahab commended in scripture when she lied to protect the spies that were hiding in her house. Does God have a double standard? The answer is no, this is not a double standard with God. He is a straight shooter, we might say. Truth is always transparent.

The question is often asked, how can “lying lips” be “an abomination to the Lord” as stated in Proverbs 12:22, while at the same time God spared Rahab from the destruction of Jericho (Joshua 2:9-21; 6:22-25). Inquiring minds will ask, how is it that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8), and yet Rahab be commended twice by New Testament writers?

The first reference being found in Hebrews 11:31. “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” The second reference is found in James 2:25. “Was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?” Is the Bible inconsistent on this subject? No!

It is vitally important to read that Rahab took God’s lead and listened to God’s voice. Scripture tells us so, because it says, “By faith” the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe. A clear reference to the fact that both faith and (did not believe) unbelief are words which are used in relationship to trust something or someone. Faith connects us to God and unbelief to the evil one. Christian behavior should “re-present” and manifest the character of God’s Truth. Rahab by Faith was receptive to God’s character. Faith is the receptivity of God’s activity. Had she not acted the way she did, she would have perished due to unbelief. God’s ways are not our ways. God’s ways don’t always make sense to us or are not logical to us.

It is not by human reasoning that man knows, it is not self-potential or by human ability. You do not know Truth or a deceptive lie by rational ability alone. Both The Truth and the Liar are personified, God or Satan. It is not by religious reasoning that man discerns a lie or how-to walk-in truth. Truth is a person and all lying proceeds from the father of lies, Satan himself. Ever since Adam and Eve eat from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in the garden (Gen. 2:9,17) they reasoned from the lie of self-potential, “I can do it, I can do it,” claiming they could be their own center of reference and determine what is “good and evil” for themselves. It was the big lie of self-potential.

This is not the conventional way that Christians have understood the topic of lying. We only know the true character of right and wrong, good, and evil, when we know Jesus. Everything consistent with Christ is good, everything not consistent with Christ is the lie of the Evil-one.

The Big lie was to deceive man into believing that he could “know good and evil” and “right from wrong” apart from dependence and derivation from God. The religious treadmill of focusing on behavior began and has never ceased. Rahab listened to God. Now someone will say, this is a proof text for lying, that lying is okay. I would say, you have missed the point. Her behavior did not determine whether she lied our not. Her spiritual motivation was the source of her choice not psychological motivations.

God is the Author of Truth, and the devil is the author of deception, he is the liar and the father of lies. The opposite of self-potential and self-sufficiency is dependency and derivativeness. Unless we depend on and derive from God exclusively, we are living a lie and our lives are a lie and we don’t even know it. Because our focus is on ourselves, on our performance, on good or evil behavior, rather than on Christ and what He is initiating in our lives, we have inadvertently relied on the lie of our own self-potential.

The objective of Christianity is not seeking to be better by not telling a lie. The objective of Christianity is to allow the Truth, the indwelling life of the living Lord Jesus to manifest His life and character in our behavior to the glory of God. God has freed us from the lie of self-potential and the treadmill of religious human performance to appease and please God. We have been set free by the “finished work” of Jesus on the cross (Jn.19:30) and we have been raised in newness of life.

When you are tempted to lie today, remember who you are in Christ and derive from Him, enthusiastically expressing His grace in beautiful dependence.

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

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