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Seeing the Progression (LWB)

Chapter 1: Laying the Foundation

Day 4: Seeing the Progression

 

Here is where the rubber meets the road! Here’s where it call comes together! Jesus saved us so we could live an abundant life. Yes. Truth is only found in Jesus. Got it!  Deception is all around me, and I need to protect myself. Absolutely. 

You want to live an abundant life. A free life. You want your relationship with Jesus to be at the forefront. You watch for deception and protect yourself… or so you think. And then one day you wake up and it happened again. You’re stuck. How did it happen? 

  • Let’s start with recognizing that we don’t crash and burn overnight. There’s a progression that takes place. It’s subtle, it’d deceptive, and therefore dangerous.That’s why it’s so crucial that we are alert. But knowing we need to be alert isn’t enough – we need to know what we’re watching for, too.
  • In looking at the progression that took place with the first temptation, we get a pretty good idea of how that progression continues to this day in each of us. The first thing that Eve did was Listen to the Lie.

    • Do you know what the difference is between hearing and listening? Listening is intentional. It’s when you’re engaged, paying attention to what’s being said. It’s the difference between two students in a class room who, at the end of the day, leave with two completely different takeaways. One is confused, one is inspired. Because one was paying attention, and one was only physically present. Because deception is all around us, because it’s the rule and not the exception, it’s crucial that we learn to pay attention to what we’re thinking about. What we’re thinking about indicates what we’ve been listening to. Ironically, though, listening to lies in this sense can even happen passively, because the real effort required is in choosing to listen to the truth instead. 
         .
    • CASE STUDY: Let’s look at the story of David and Bathsheba. Let’s be real: David didn’t become an adulterer and murder in a day. He didn’t even plan to become those things at all. How did it happen? Many people think David’s first mistake was in lingering in looking at Bathsheba. I don’t believe that’s the case, though. Verse 1 in 2 Samuel 11 says, “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.” I believe the first mistake David made was in not fulfilling his responsibility to lead his army in war. David wasn’t where he was supposed to be, so he saw what he wasn’t supposed to see, and did what he wasn’t supposed to do. What’s the big deal with staying home once in a while? Clearly, a lot. This is why we are supposed to look at what’s right with our decisions, rather than what’s wrong with them. By believing it was his right to enjoy himself, or by believing he deserved a break, or maybe by believing he’d just join them later and it wasn’t a big deal, David made one small compromise, and that compromise led to some pretty huge repercussions later, including multiple deaths. Each step you make, each decision you make, is crucial. And it all starts with what you choose to listen to: you or God.
    • In Psalm 1:1 we see another type of progression. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”
      • Walk = the way you live your life
        In-step (counsel) = way of thinking
        Wicked = godless.
        When you live your life according to common sense, following advice of people who don’t know God (not even people who hate God or are in active rebellion against him, just those who don’t have him), it will take you somewhere: 
      • Stand = more intentional
        Way = where they are found
        Sinners = people actively choosing to sin.
        Walking is somewhat passive. You’re moving along with everyone else. Going with the flow. Standing means taking notice. Stopping, looking around. It’s more intentional. And the place where you stop, the people who are there, are worse than just “godless” – they are people who are actively choosing a sinful lifestyle. And you’ve just stopped to notice. 
      • Sits = identifying with
        Seat = going to where they are
        Mockers = hate God.
        Go ahead, make yourself comfortable. Sure beats standing, right? But look at where you are now. Not just sitting anywhere, but going to where these people are. And what kind of people? Mockers. Scoffers. People who hate God. It’s in the way they act, the way they think, the way they talk. You didn’t mean to end up here. How did it happen? Slowly, subtly. Deceptively. And it started with not paying attention to the way you live your life and the counsel that directs your choices.
  • Once you listen the lie, the next phase is Dwelling on the Lie. Mulling it over in your mind… weighing pros and cons… and ultimately, engaging the Enemy in conversation. Once you reach this point, it’s extremely hard to back-peddle your way out. Remember how the lies get their power? From us. And if we’re dwelling on the lies, it’s because we’re trying to find a way to believe them. And we will. We’re really good at that. 
  • You can only think about something for so long before you Believe the Lie.
  • And belief always results in action. There is no exception. We act on what we believe. We wouldn’t eat that extra-large piece of chocolate cake if we didn’t tell ourselves we wouldn’t regret later, right? And we wouldn’t put off exercise if we really believed it would help us, would we? Unfortunately, we can’t believe both the truth and the lie, and so in believing a lie, we reject the truth. Why? Because we lead with our hearts instead of our brains. We choose what we feel should be true over what we know to be true.
  • Belief always produces behavior. When we believe a lie, it results in sinful behavior which leads to bondage. When we believe the truth, it results in obedience which brings freedom. Therefore, every area of bondage in our lives can be traced back to a lie. Tomorrow we will look at how to identify the lie, root it out, and believe the truth instead.

 

Points to remember: 

  • Listening to things that aren’t true is the first step toward bondage and death. 
  • There are no harmless lies. 
  • To accept a lie is to reject the truth. 
  • Belief in a lie results in sin and bondage. 
  • Belief in the Truth results in obedience and freedom. 

For more on the TEA principle, click here.

drgnfly1010 View All

In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.

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