Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

   by Rayola Kelley

Last month I dealt with the subject of delusion and reality. Delusion is one of Satan’s most powerful weapons to trip up and destroy a person’s life in God. If Satan can entice or seduce a person into delusion, he can prevent that person from coming to a point of liberty in Christ (John 8:32).
Spiritual liberty is vital for a person to come to salvation, worship God, follow Jesus, and reach his or her potential in the kingdom of God.

Although the great concern among Christians surrounds delusion and truth, the real challenge in America and the church is coming to terms with reality. Without confronting reality, one can’t come to truth.

Reality consists of the things people can’t change. This is why many choose to create their own reality, causing them to operate in different forms of delusion such as fantasy and self-delusion. When this happens, sins are justified, destructive cycles reinforced, and problems ignored or pushed aside. The attempt to ignore, avoid, or change reality keeps people from walking in the truth.
This brings us to the importance of reality. Oswald Chambers points out that life is tragic. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he not only passed down the death sentence on mankind, but he opened the world up to toils, struggles, sorrows, and death (Genesis 3:17-19). Man’s environment reveals his hopeless plight. This is why many strive to change reality, but to no avail. Eventually, reality catches up to a person with a vengeance.

This brings us to the purpose for reality. Reality proves two consistent truths: That 1) man is not God, and 2) man needs God. The real tragedy of life is not the struggles, losses and sorrows that plague people, but rather the decisions that people make about reality.

Reality brings people to a crossroad of choice. They will either choose to become bitter and skeptical because of the harshness of life or choose to embrace the many lessons of life. When people choose the cup of bitterness and skepticism they choose the ways of death as they become complacent towards righteousness, self-serving in their pursuits, arrogant in their attitudes, and come into blatant agreement with the world.

The lessons of life bring man back to God as they reveal his vulnerability to the works of darkness and his need to come to Jehovah God to overcome defeat and discover hope, life and purpose.
The strength in reality is that it can serve as the ground in which truth can be sought and discovered. As long as the person is properly dealing with reality, it will lead him or her to the reality of truth.
Truth brings much needed stability to a person who feels like he or she is becoming overwhelmed by reality. It rarely changes circumstances up front, but it does change a person’s perspective. A perspective based on truth has a touch of eternity. It also has the power to not only change disposition and actions, but ultimately circumstances as the person responds according to godly wisdom.

Since reality constitutes the things we can’t change, what comprises truth? Jesus answers this question in John 14:6: “I am…the truth.” Truth does not come down to a doctrine, denomination, beliefs, or philosophy, but to one Person: Jesus Christ, God Incarnate. This brings us to an important conclusion: There is no way a person can know all of the truth, but we can know the truth, the Person of Jesus Christ.

In a world of tolerance and political correctness, the idea of one absolute truth is mocked and rejected. But, there is only one truth. It is absolute in character, unchanging in nature, and eternal. This truth comes down to agreeing with God’s definition of it and lining up with it.
For the Christian, this means everything he or she does must begin with, line up to, and end with Jesus, the Son of the Living God. It is important to point out that there are many Jesus’ being presented, erected and pursued after, but there is only one true Jesus and He is found in the Word of God.

Many Christians live in the shadows of others’ presentations of Jesus. They do not know Jesus for who He is and must be to ensure the salvation and establishment of their souls. It is only as believers seek to know Jesus for themselves that they learn to love, worship and serve Him.
The Apostle Paul tells us why we as followers of Jesus must love the real Jesus in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12: “And with all deceivableness of righteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasures in unrighteousness.” (Emphasis added.)

As I see people escape from reality, I watch them fall into greater delusion. Delusion blinds and desensitizes people to their real spiritual condition as they give in to it. This destructive pattern has opened people up to different dimensions that rob a soul of truth, kill spiritual well-being, and destroy faith and hope.

I want to challenge people to choose to know the real Jesus. Do not base your understanding of Him on assumptions, religious teachings, influences, and denominational preferences. This is an eternal issue that must never be taken lightly or left up to others.

Keep in mind we live in precarious times where doctrines of demons are seducing many. Religion is becoming a substitute for a relationship with God. Truth is compromised for the sake of unity. And, the authority of the Word is being undermined by personal beliefs and preferences.
The real challenge for every Christian is to stand in the midst of this perversion. Each of us needs to establish ourselves upon the immovable Rock of Ages. This requires each of us to know the real Jesus for ourselves. Today, choose to face your present reality in light of the personal knowledge of the One who became a sacrifice for you on the cross. Allow reality, regardless of how overwhelming or unpleasant it may be, to prove your vulnerability and constant need for God’s abiding presence, miraculous intervention, and unwavering faithfulness in your life.

Let each of us be able to declare with confidence what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”