“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.” Psalm 19:7-9 NIV
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” Psalm 19:7-9 NKJV
Same scripture. Two different versions. But here’s the take away. If God said it . . . if He decreed it . . . if He set up something as a way of being done within certain confines, with certain limitations and guidelines and rules . . . there was and is a reason for that. If He said “no” to something, there was and is a reason for that as well. We don’t live under the rule of the old testament law. I’ve said that before, but it’s not because Jesus abolished the law. It’s because He fulfilled it. (Matthew 5:17) There are certain precepts (general rules) set in place, by God, from the beginning of time, that aren’t there just to stop of from doing all the “fun” things, but are there to protect us. The only path to true joy and peace and freedom comes from living under these precepts.
“The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” Psalm 19:9b
The world does not love that verse. The world in which we live likes to take the judgments of the Lord only when it suits them. “Thou shalt not murder ” . . . “Absolutely . . . well most of the time . . . as long as it’s convenient . . .” (see The Ten Commandments . . . Exodus 20) . . . “Thou shall not commit adultery ” . . . “Yeah, but what if I don’t really like my spouse anymore??? I mean we don’t get along very well. We have nothing in common.” And those are just a couple examples. We don’t get to decide which parts of God’s Word we will accept or not accept. All of it is “true and righteous altogether”. And all of it is written and given to protect us from harm.
Tragically, we, as a society, and many times even in the church, have accepted and bought into the lies of the enemy. We’ve taken ownership of the devil’s lies as if they’re our own and accepted them as if they’re truth.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ . . .” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
I didn’t always understand that I didn’t have to accept or own every thought that came into my head. Satan will happily feed us lies all the live long day, hoping that we will bite on just one or two of them, and we have to learn to identify those lies for what they are and not take ownership of them. But the issue is, oftentimes, the lies are cleverly disguised as something far from false, and sometimes they even seem like they feel so good they couldn’t possibly be bad. But thoughts believed will eventually morph into actions taken.
“Your husband/wife doesn’t really care about you anymore. They don’t put any effort into your marriage. It’s okay to ______.” Maybe there is an ounce of truth in that. Maybe your relationship is struggling. But that doesn’t excuse any and every behavior. Running from your marriage and commitment won’t fix your problems. It may seem to for a time, but if you accept the lies, the cycle will repeat time and again.
“Yeah the bible says ______, but that was a different time. God didn’t really mean that. Things have changed. We’ve evolved.” (Also, check in with Eve in Genesis. Satan has been using this line pretty much for all time.) Lies are still lies, and God’s Word is still true, cover to cover, whether we choose to believe it or not.
And then there’s the self deprecating lies that look kind of good because they’re wrapped in a very false humility . . . “You aren’t really good enough unless . . .” “You have no value unless you (lose weight, eat less or healthier, look prettier or more plain, wear more or less make up, less clothes or more clothes . . . )”. Newsflash, your value lies in nothing you do, but in whose you are. You cannot work your way into or out of God’s favor.
The lies of the enemy don’t just come straight at God. They will sometimes challenge our belief in God and our faith directly, but more often they come at us sideways with the “Did God really say?” line. Satan loves to use a fraction of an ounce of truth to justify a whole lot of lies. And it’s manipulation and trickery at it’s finest. That is why we have to learn to first, identify and second, cast down these arguments that go against God’s word and the very essence of who He is.
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. ” Ephesians 1:17-19 NKJV
Ask the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to enlighten your heart. To open your spiritual eyes to the truth. To identify the lies and to give you the strength to cast them down. Pray daily for Him to open the eyes of your heart to the truth.
I’ll say it again for the people in the back, the guidelines and rules we are given aren’t for us to earn anything but are the there to protect us and bring us joy and true freedom. There is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit” (Romans 8:1), but there is transformation through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). And maybe you’ve been walking according to the flesh (i.e. doing your own thing). Good news. You can start right now, right here, this very second seeking to live differently through the power of the Holy Spirit. Even if you’ve messed it all up, I encourage you to both own and understand, that if Jesus is your Savior, your past is washed in the blood.
Sidenote #1, because I always feel the need to qualify this: there are biblical grounds for divorce and separation, and if you’re in an abusive situation, physically or emotionally (manipulation and controlling behaviors, continual drug and alcohol abuse, etc. have no place in a Godly marriage), you need to get help and quite possibly (probably, with very few exceptions), get out (at least for a time, but maybe forever). If your spouse is not faithful, you need to figure out if this is something from which your marriage can be saved (and only you can know that, but if your spouse isn’t repentant, that’s a big problem). If you’ve been abandoned, know that is not your burden to carry. If any of these things are happening or have happened to you, I encourage you to find Godly counsel and support, but all of them are breaking covenant, and either something needs to change, or you will have to walk away.
Sidenote #2: I address marriage a lot because it’s important to me. The devil absolutely hates the convenant of marriage. I’ve seen so many marriages (I’ve lost count at this point) fall apart over the years. Some of them were at a point where one spouse had no choice but to walk away. I’ve stood with people I cared about through this. I’ve seen and felt the heartache that comes when this happens. Others fell apart because of lies believed and lack of care on both sides. Regardless of why, I am most definitely not pointing any fingers. Please hear that. But it has made me, in my own life and marriage, seek God and His wisdom on how to protect both my marriage on a personal level and to share what I’m being taught and learning with others. God is continually working on me and teaching me truths regarding my role as a wife (and a mother), and at times, it can be hard, but I also know it’s so worth it. The statutes regarding marriage aren’t given to us to trap and smother but to give us the ability to live free and healthy within the confines of a Godly, biblical marriage. But this goes far beyond just marriage. In every situation and relationship in which we find ourselves, we have to learn to identify the lies that are fed to us. And so wherever it is you are now, married (for the first or second or third time or even beyond), divorced, single for now, single forever, a parent, not a parent, a sibling, a friend, a son or a daughter . . . . I believe that God wants to meet you right where you are and speak truth and healing and freedom into your situation, but you, first, have to let Him.
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