It’s the one possession of mine that I value the most, yet it’s the one I think about the least. I take it for granted, I forget it exists, but I absolutely require it every day. I cannot function without it.
I only have one pair. I cannot see without them.
So it is with the Word of God. Without the truth, all I can see is a distorted picture of what the world insists is reality. The Scriptures reveal what is and what isn’t.
The world tells me beauty is defined by the skinniness of my legs, the hourglass symmetry of my waist, and the clarity of my skin. However, we are all still “beautiful” on the inside, even though we all know that’s not really true (but nobody says so), and we do have a defined picture of beauty (which is ingrained into us by the world to begin with and without God is impossible to overhaul). Without social media, streams of pretty “selfies,” and funny videos, how am I ever going to gain friends, though? Besides, love is simply a physical attraction culminating in a sexual encounter, and when I get tired of those things or the “chemistry fades,” I am fully entitled to walk away. Love is also based on my feelings. People are good at the core and don’t need God; after all, he doesn’t exist anyway, for if he did, why is there so much pain? I can live, laugh, and love and be fully fulfilled and happy.
At the core of these statements dwell falsehoods. Lies. Untruths.
Author and speaker Ravi Zacharias once put it this way: “Truth is the perfect perception of reality.” Without the truth, without our eyes being opened by the Bible, all we can see are lies. Why else do broken young women seek love in broken young men and wonder, when the door slams, what went wrong? Why do the hardiest party-ers feel endless emptiness and loneliness despite being surrounded by “happy” people? How come popularity truly fulfills no one? Why don’t alcohol and stylish clothing and drugs solve my problems? How come everything my culture tells me to do doesn’t work?
Answer? Because the world has fed us lies. And they only lead to dead ends.
I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on what Paul told the church at Colossae about such things. He writes in 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than Christ.” I confess that I’ve heard and read this verse many times. In fact, I’ve read and heard many verses many times, but I can’t say that I’ve digested them and took them in as reality and truth. I’ve looked at the glasses sitting on the table and talked about how much I need them without actually putting them on! I’ve caught myself, by God’s grace, buying into the empty lies of this world.
I’m recalling a piercing conversation with a friend several months ago about “head” vs. “heart” knowledge. Most have heard the terms tossed about in Christian circles. They refer to God’s truths from the Word that you know or have studied versus truths that you feel compelled by or are living out “from your heart” (baloney, I know now). He told me there was no such thing in the Bible as I vehemently insisted that my personal experience proved otherwise. He looked me in the face and said, “Maybe you just aren’t applying what you’ve learned. Maybe you don’t really know these truths from the Word, because if you did, you would be living them out.” That is the ticket! We can hold a pair of glasses, admire them, tell everyone on planet earth that we see by them, but if we do not put them on, we are living the same distorted reality as everyone else who is still a slave to sin and the world!
Without understanding that everything the world gives us is a lie, we still attempt to justify walking in sinful paths. Unless we pray earnestly for the Spirit to examine our hearts (Psalm 26:2, 139:23), we could still be believing the falsehoods of the world without even realizing it. If we do not truly live by the Word of God, the only perfect reality and the only truth that tells us what’s really going on, we will be seduced.
Look at the Word. Put the glasses on and see. Things are not as they seem, and God says so.