A child sits with downcast eyes as the parent quietly waits with a yearning in their heart for the child to confess. The parent already knows the truth but wants the child to acknowledge their lie and sin. Not so that they can pour out guilt, shame, and punishment, but because the parent’s heart is one of love and forgiveness. The parent knows the child will feel so much lighter and freer once the lie has been confessed.
The story goes as far back as the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve sinned by listening to the lie of the enemy. Then instead of coming to God and confessing what they did, they hid. God, fully knowing where they were and what they had done, went “looking” for them and called out.
“So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
And he said, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I had commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:9-11
Why would God ask Adam where He was what he had done when He already knew?
Just like the parent waiting for the child’s confession so that grace and love can be poured out upon them and the burden lifted, so too God knows our admission will set us free from the lies that so easily entangle us.
A Lie Breaches Our Relationship With God
It is easy to believe that once we become a Christian, we do not have to worry about lies and the sin that once held us in bondage (Romans 6:6-7). The truth is that while we have been set free from the bondage of sin and death, we still must battle against our flesh (Romans 6:12-13) while we eagerly await the full redemption of our bodies in glorification (Romans 8:23-25).
Jesus frequently rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for walking in the lies of the enemy. In John 8, Jesus rebuked them for not being able to indeed hear God because they were obeying and listening to the father of lies instead of the Father of Truth.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on My own, but He sent Me. Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to My word. You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars (John 8:42-44).
The Pharisees and scribes had stacked up so many lies in their hearts that they missed God in their midst. This warning is also for us. R.C. Sproul, in the devotional book Before The Face of God: A Daily Guide For Living From The Book of Romans, shares excellent insight into this passage regarding the danger of playing with even a small lie.
“The lie enslaves; the truth liberates. Satan enslaved the people of Jesus’ day so that they were unable to hear his message. Jesus said, “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say” (John 8:43). He explained that this was because Satan had blinded them (v. 44).
Friends, be careful when you play with truth. Playing loosely with truth is the beginning of involvement in Satan’s trap and can lead to destruction.”
When we begin to believe we can manage our sin and twist the truth, we deceive ourselves, and the path to destruction comes quickly. It shuts off our communication with God as well as breaches our relationships with others.
A Lie Breaches Our Relationship With Others
Multiple places in scripture we see continued appeal to be in right relationship with others in truth and not in deceit.
Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Ephesians 4:25
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. Colossians 3:9-10
When we speak the truth and not lies to one another, then we walk in the light, and our relationships are stronger. The enemy is unable to turn us against one another, and his plans become fruitless.
Conclusion—How To Safeguard Ourselves Against Lies
We are moving into Spring and Winter is quickly fading into a distant memory. Where I live we hardly ever see snow and if any it is a small amount. But picture with me standing at the bottom a snow-covered hill. You roll up a snowball in your hands and then put it on the ground and begin rolling it uphill. With each roll, the snowball becomes bigger and before you know it, the snowball has gotten so big you can no longer push it and instead turn and run from it.
So it is when we play with a small lie; eventually, it gets so big it overtakes us.
How can we safeguard ourselves from lies and the hindrances they put between us and God and others?
Many times we think of memorizing God’s Word to fight off temptation as Jesus did in the desert when Satan came and tempted Him. Another vital reason to memorize God’s Word is that it keeps us from sinning and listening to the lies of the enemy.
I have hidden (treasured) Your Word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11
To keep us living in the truth, Jesus Himself prayed for us to be sanctified while on this earth. And not only did He pray for our sanctification, but He shared how it would occur.
Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17
The most significant way to fight against the lies of the enemy is to know the truth. The truth is only found in God’s Word. The more we read and meditate and allow God to give us His understanding, the more we will be able to distinguish between the lies of the enemy and the Father of Truth.
Finally, if we hide God’s Word in our heart and read His Word daily, but do not ask God to reveal the hidden lies in our own heart, our relationship between God and others will still be hindered. We must be bold enough to pray as David prayed:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24
In all humility, take some time to go before God and allow Him the freedom to search your heart. Confess anything He brings to mind that is not His truth. Ask for forgiveness and