By contrasting lies with the truth, one is essentially shining the light of God’s truth upon them. This destroys them. People’s confidence in something diminishes when they see its futility.
We do this by testing three particular areas: the source, belief, and obedience with God's truth.
We need to discern whether the advice is from the Spirit of truth or the spirit of error (1 John 4:6). We need to examine where we got our belief. Did we hear a suggestion, read a book, listen to a friend, etc.? One wife told me that she even has to be careful of Christian women magazines!
We need to check what we actually believe. What we say we believe often is very different from what we actually believe.
We need to see whether our attitudes, thoughts, and words are pleasing to God.
If we only were humble enough to accept the rebuke of a brother, we would be protected from so much danger. Exercise: Try to think of two people. The first person you know would welcome a kind rebuke from God's Word. The second would avoid it. Which person are you more like?
In the slide, we see there are two ways to handle the same anxious thought. Perhaps you hear some friend say to you half in jest, "You waited on God for how many years?" You initially laughed. They didn't tell you to doubt God, but they gave you an anxious thought. If you were married, this thought wouldn't bother you at all.
Finding a Partner: The Wrong Way
The top row represents someone who didn't rightly deal with this temptation. He should have checked its source and seen that it was not of the Lord. Even more so, he should have been able to spot his changing belief. It went from God will take care of me to another thought he commonly hears, "God helps those who help themselves." Or "God expects His people to take self-initiative." If careful, he might have seen that he has accepted these thoughts. He is no longer trusting God but himself for this important area of his life.
Lastly (far right column), because of this belief, we see that he started going places that he would not usually go. He or she went there to find a mate. Before, she would not have even thought about that non-Christian that showed her interest during that class, but now, she entertains the possibility. After all, maybe she can bring him to church and win him to the Lord. She should know that even dating a non-Christian is disobedience. That would stop that thought and protect her.
Or perhaps, she or he goes to an exercise club. Plenty of singles around there. She is still trying to take self-initiative. There is nothing inherently wrong with an exercise club, right?! But if you are looking for a mate, is this the place to go?!
What kind of partner are you looking for? If you look in an exercise club, it is like telling God, "I want a real sexy guy who adores his body." Or "I want a woman who attracts me." Somehow, the place brings wrong influences to play on the mind.
Finding a Partner: The Right Way
This person is alert. When he hears his friend say, "You waited on God for how many years?!" You see it as a temptation to distrust God. You actively take out God's sword, and say,
Do you hear the truths of God being stated?! How powerful! That other friend will quiet down because the truth will expose his lack of faith. We see that this person affirmed the right belief in a number of areas.
- The right focus. She would trust God
- The right timing. God doesn't make mistakes even if it is longer than she would choose.
- The right person. Not any old person but the right one with a love for God.
- The right perspective. Sees how faithful God has been in the past.
- The right protection. God has been protecting her over these years.
The right belief will engender faith statements. These are powerful truths which we should speak aloud. If we say them as above, then we make it personal (using I ..) and can more easily exhort those around us to have a stronger faith.
Of course, in the end, we need to see if we are willing to compromise with God's clear instructions. His rules are spelled out clearly to protect us during times of confusion. You might need to check with a godly friend whether what you are doing or thinking is consistent with God's Word. For example, you might need to affirm your standards about dating non-Christians or about what clothes you wear and why you wear them? Are you tempted to buy a new outfit that is a bit seductive? You should pick up on that thought activity right away and humble yourselves by confessing your weak faith. Repent by returning the outfit if you bought it!
Some brothers ask me, "What do you think about such and such a relationship?"That is good. Let me encourage them to open the door even more by saying, "I really want to follow the Lord. Does this thought or action show any compromise with God's Word. Tell me honestly." This makes it easier for the brother or sister to speak honestly.
We actually destroy the lies when we apply God's truths to each thought, belief, action, word and attitude that we have. If you resist this type of self-examination, it shows that you are trying ot cover up something.
Some lies are not easy to find. Let's discuss these. Next page
Destroying the Roots of Anxiety