Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Be a God-Pleaser

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I know I have given the gospel of Christ for almost a year now, but I want to do something a little different. No, I'm not deviating from what I consider to be the standard. But I want to share what I honestly and fully believe. Stay with me in this article. It's not only long, but it will encourage you in your faith and in your walk

          What is it you believe or not understand about God's word, which is the Bible? Another thing I want to add, when you ask the question, "What if the Bible is Satan's lies?" aren't you equating God with the possibility He's lying? God isn't a man, like us. We have fallen natures. If you take an honest amount of time to truly read, you'll find scores of people in the Bible who realize their sinfulness in the light of God's truth. John records, "And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:5). By asking that simple question about the Word being Satan's lies what are you saying about yourself? I just want you to think about what it is you're truly saying here.

          This is what I realize about myself: without God in my life, since I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, I am a sinner. I am the one who lies. I have stolen things in my life, my early life. On top of that I have hated others, which Christ says is akin to murder. Do we support murderers in our customary laws? You also point out a father can be seen as a "god" when he sleeps with his daughter. Did you know the Bible forbids children to sleep with their parents? What does it say about society, our laws, when pedophiles go to jail for doing that simple thing?

          We have all broken the law. Every one of us. Paul says in Romans, "All have sinned." That means every one of us. Not some of us. Not even I have, or my neighbor has. Everyone alive has sinned against God and His commands. If you choose to believe that His word is nothing but Satan's lies, you're saying you can't and won't be held liable for the things you've done wrong. It comes down to one of a few things:

1) You feel superior to God. You are your own god. You have exalted yourself to His throne. Satan did that himself and God cast him out and down.

2) You believe, in some way, God can't use someone like yourself. By choosing to believe you aren't worth God's mercy and grace, you're destining yourself to punishment. We all deserve punishment for our own individual sins.

          I'm going to go a little off book here a moment. I realize I haven't earned God's gift of grace. If you carefully read Matthew's gospel account, Christ wrestled with his humanity and divinity. "Father, if it's possible, take this cup from me. But not my will, but your will be done." He allowed himself to go to the cross. Yes, in a way God put Jesus on the cross. But Jesus desired nothing more than to do His Father's will in His life. He knew who He was and where He was going.

          Don't take me the wrong way. I'm not judging you. I just want you to see what your presupposition about God, your presumption could be wrong. Can you admit that you might be wrong? If you can, that's what scores and dozens of men and women fought with. Isaiah, when God encountered him, he said, "Woe is me, for I am a man undone. I have sinned against you. My own people sinned against you" (paraphrased from Isaiah 6).

          Going back to those points, however. 

3) Satan is the liar. Can you concede that evil exists? God didn't create evil to come into existence. Follow me here on this. God made the rules and laws that govern all life. If He breaks His own commands wouldn't that mean He isn't God, the Creator of the universe? We're told in the word, "Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8, Berean Study Bible). So, yes, that holds up with what I previously said about Satan being a blinding agent. If he can mask himself as an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:!4), then he's going to distort God's word.

4) When you say what you have towards all of us, who do fear God and work out our salvation before and with Him, you forget a huge point in His word: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:13, New American Standard). There are people who have churches and don't teach on sin, death, hell and separation from God. These people are described as "workers of lawlessness" (Matthew 7:23) and "Teachers who teach what people want to hear" (slight paraphrase of 2 Timothy 4:3).

          Yes, I sin daily. I get things wrong. God, in His grace and mercy, forgave me of my sins through His Son, Jesus Christ. John the Baptist asked Jesus, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" (Luke 7:19). Jesus sends word back to him, saying, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me" (Luke 7:22-23). I have sinned in my life, as I have repeated. It means I have been blind; I have been deaf. Also, if a man is blind and deaf, can he walk well? If someone can't walk because he's lame from birth and Christ heals him, can't that man walk because Christ healed him? If that's the case then I once was also lame. In other words, Jesus is saying He's fulfilling God's word to the letter.

          We're also told not only how Jesus fulfilled the Law, but that those from the Old Testament put their faith in God looking forward to when God would keep His word. Jesus Christ, God's Son, accomplished all of God's word. And if that's the case, then the Bible, as you claim is Satan's lie, is the most absurd argument ever made.

          I'm telling you all of this to show how Satan wants us all blind to him and his activity. Paul writes, "For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens" (Ephesians 6:12, Holman Christian Standard).

          One last thing I want to point out here: I will never use a Bible translation that changes the message of God's word. Not once will I do that. I will either use the ones I used. Any Bible that distorts, changes, or omits the gospel in its entirety is false. "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be under a divine curse! As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you embraced, let him be under a divine curse!" (Galatians 1:8-9, Berean Study Bible).

          Jesus Christ is in my heart now. Before I believed in Him and walked with Him I thought they same as you. Yes, I admit to it. I used to believe and think the same thing as you. I'm not perfect. No one is. However, I want my walk before God to be blameless. Will I ever be perfect on this side of Heaven. No! "Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 3:12, New American Standard Bible).

          I want my life, my actions, my faith, to not only prove God exists, but to exercise the truth in love. Say what you want. I cannot and will not profane God. I will maintain my faith in Him because He was first faithful to me. I do my best to not only uphold Him and His works, but i want Him and His power made manifest in my life. I want nothing more than Him to be known. I don't care for money, fame or riches, nor even power. Those things corrupt a man. I am not persuaded by any thing that can separate me from God's everlasting love. I hope this answers your question. Even if you honestly don't agree with my assessment or first hand walk, at least you'll know I don't follow a false way. I follow hard after God, His righteousness (not my own), and His ways. I may not always understand fully, but I obey as best as I can.

          Father, You alone are holy and reside in Heaven. When I sin I feel like You are not on the throne of my mind and heart. I want to be filled with and by You. I want to live under Your saving shadow. You lift me up to heights I've never seen or known. Your word is the absolute truth. I want to always dwell and walk with You. For You are my light and life. You lead me on straight paths. Help me to forgive those who hurt and ridicule me for my faith in You. You uphold me with Your strong hand. I want You to always be my portion, my provider each and every day. Life without You would be like living without air to breathe. I ask that You hear and answer those sincere and honest prayers and needs of those who are just as faithful to You as I am. Bless those who bless me as well as those who do evil to me. I want You and Your truth to always be told. I want to fulfill Your law, Your word, Your love outward to those as You have done with me. I yield my life to You, to use for Your glory, Your name. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.