The Two Lies

 
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There are two lies we must be wary of, two that we must fight. These two lies are saboteurs. They want to bring us down. The first lie is that we deserve pity. We've done so much, doing the best we could, but nobody really appreciates how much we do for the church. The second lie is that we're too serious about being a Christian. It's okay to settle down. It's okay to back off. If we don't, we'll miss out on all the fun.

The first lie comes at us sideways. It attacks all of us who do much for the church. We do so much for the church. We work hard. We get tired. We're worn out, but no one seems to notice, and nobody seems to care. Then someone says, "You poor thing, you do so much, it's no wonder you're worn out!" And we sigh and enjoy their pity. We go through the motions of being a child of God so that we can enjoy the immediate gratification of peoples' pity.

We go through the motions of being a child of God so that we can enjoy the immediate gratification of peoples’ pity.
— Donavon Riley

We go through the motions because we prefer peoples' pity to God's baptismal promises. We've lost sight of why God's children do anything for the Church. We've settled into business. We've settled into, "Oh well," and "This is the way it has always been." The lie comes at us sideways, attacks and defeats us because we would prefer to be pitied to being a baptized child of God.

Being baptized children of God means we'll be tired and worn out because sin is selfish, death is real, and the devil never sleeps. It means we're not going to settle for immediate gratification. Immediate gratification is worthless. It does nothing for us. Being baptized children of God is hard and it hurts because it means we don't settle for the easy road. We don't settle for, "Oh well," and "This is the way it has always been." Instead, we let our example be a witness to the privilege and joy of serving Christ.

The second lie is a shape-shifter. It attacks all of us who want to prop up our life with stuff. God gives us everything we need in Christ, but we bend our life to the hideous fantasy that getting more stuff will make us happy. This lie drags us into the clutches of what ungodly people value. We fall into recognition and social status. We fall apart over authority and power. We hold our head high because we don't realize that our focus on stuff betrays our discontent with God. We don't trust God and we're afraid that He won't give us all the stuff that we really need.

We must be wary of these two lies. They're two lies that we must fight or else we will be defeated by them. These two lies are saboteurs. They want to bring us down. The lies want us to distrust God. They don't want us to put up with Jesus unless we can keep one foot in the kingdom of heaven and one foot in the world. Jesus calls us out of the world, but the lies insist that He let us stay put.

We are baptized children of God. Our heavenly Father allows us to go on in this world for a while. But, we're IN the world, not OF the world. We're children of God, brothers and sisters of the King. And one day we'll join our King at the wedding feast of the Lamb, but not now, not yet. We're still immature. We're still children. We need training the way children do, a lot of it.

We don't have to like it but it's our life. It's an everyday baptized child of God life. It's stressful and it hurts, but our heavenly Father knows what we need and He knows when we need it. And, yes, we'll struggle, and we'll ache, and we'll get beat up, knocked down, drained, and have bad days. The storms will come. There will be times when we're going to want to quit and surrender to the lies. But, we must never listen to the lies. God puts us through hard training and throws a lot at us. It's not easy, because life isn't easy. But God knows we'll be stronger for it. We'll be stronger for having learned it. We'll be stronger for having lived it. We'll be strong enough to fight and shut down the lies because we're with Jesus and He is our strength.

In Christ, we are baptized children of God. Jesus' coming and death and resurrection guarantee us the victory over the lies, the desire to be pitied, and the appeal of stuff. In Christ, we're generous in service to other people. In Christ, every ache, hurt, and struggle is counted as a joy and privilege because we know it's preparing us for what's coming when He comes again to call us home.

Jesus’ coming and death and resurrection guarantee us the victory over the lies, the desire to be pitied, and the appeal of stuff.
— Donavon Riley

“[So] Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks” (GW, Phil. 4:6).

Donavon Riley is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author, Online Content Manager for Higher Things, a contributing writer for 1517, Christ Hold Fast, and LOGIA. He is also the co-host of The Banned Books podcast and the As Lutheran As It Gets podcast.



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