“Is that true? Or are you telling me a lie?”
“You may wonder, “How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?” Deuteronomy 18:21
Several years ago, the library hosted a lecture by a retired FBI agent entitled “The Art of Lying.” I attended as I was curious about what was common among humans that led investigators to spot a liar. The lecturer spoke primarily of patterns in facial expressions that were used to give liars away almost immediately. However, the lecturer admitted that the use of Botox has made lie detection more of a challenge as the paralyzing effects of the drug interferes with normal facial muscle responses when lying occurs… fascinating.
So, after reading Deuteronomy 18:21, I had flashbacks of attending the lecture on lying… I wondered, how can we, as Christians, know if what we’re hearing is truth, or just a lie, being perpetrated by someone claiming to know the truth? Is it possible, that words spoken, can be carried with a type of ‘spiritual Botox’ to hide the real truth?
One of the best ways to prevent deception is to know the Word of God beforehand… being proactive in doing the preparation work, so that when, not if, lies come, we’re better prepared, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to identify them as works of the enemy. But we’re not the only alone in this “testing process.” Our Savior Himself was no stranger to lies and deceit, as seen in Matthew 4:1-11:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
In much the same way, God warns us to be on guard for people who preach lies. He is the only God, and that He has the authority to determine all truth. He provides the wisdom to discern right from wrong. And, in order to determine whether a “truth” lines up with God’s teachings, we must reference His Word.
The world is full of deceptions and twisted truths from people who either don’t like how God does things, or haven’t searched His Word for the real truth. Society says people should be free to create their own right and wrong. However, God did not create different truths for different people. For those who think His standards are stifling, it might come as a surprise that God’s truths are always freeing because they point the way to Him, the One with all authority.
Sticking with His truths enriches our lives instead of crippling us. His truths are sources of strength, endurance, purity, and holiness for those who embrace them.
Get into His Word, and discover the freedom He, and He alone, offers.
Heavenly Father… thank You for offering us truth in the midst of such uncertainly in the world, and thank You for offering us Your Holy Spirit to help us with discernment to know truth from lies. Help us to set aside time to know Your Word better, so we are prepared when we face lies and deceit, and we hear the voice of truth that only You can offer! Amen.