Are you able to spot a lie? Are there things you can do or learn to know the difference between the truth and a lie? Have you ever been a victim of a lie? Do you realize how many times you are being lied to in a day? Are you aware of the epidemic of lies taking place? Today’s devotional started with a stat that I then looked up and found the book by the author who was referenced (Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception by Pamela Meyer). The quote I found both on her book page as well as in today’s devotional was:
People–friends, family members, work colleagues, salespeople–lie to us all the time. Daily, hourly, constantly. None of us is immune, and all of us are victims. According to studies by several different researchers, most of us encounter nearly 200 lies a day.
She has a very popular TedTalk …why not go from liars, how to be a lie spotter, and move to truth seeking and then to trust building.
There are things that we can do. There are ways to detect lies including facial recognition training, interrogation training, and research into a specialized body of information developed specifically to help business leaders detect deception and get the information they need to successfully conduct their most important interactions and transactions.
Ever heard someone say “I’m fine” but the tone and body language says they aren’t fine.
Ever had a service person say they would be at your place at a given time and either be late or not show?
Ever felt, if they would just tell me the truth we could just deal with that rather than setting up false expectations?
What are you hungry? What is your driving force? What is your wishes? What is your fantasy? They open you up to being lied to. What gap has been opened you up to being lied to?
Today’s reading will look into how much God hates lies and deception. God’s desire is that we become more and more like Him! He is truth! He is light! There is no darkness in Him! He is love! So let’s consider today’s reading and things God speaks to us about lies and how we can build our relationship with God with Jesus as our intercessor and the Holy Spirit and His still quiet voice being our comforter and our guide! Let’s look to God’s Word for help in knowing what to do!
Devotional, Psalm 12,Matthew 14:22-36, Matthew 15:1-9, Genesis 41:41-57, Genesis 42
1. Ask God for help
2. Keep speaking to God in the storm
3. Speak to God from the depth of your heart
So let’s first take a look into Psalm 12…
1Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
We see the first thing David does as the Psalm starts is to ask God for help because of the state of the world! Some may think that the world has changed but we see that even back in the days of the old testament many of the same issues we face today were taking place. The pendulum of character takes place – move towards God … move away from God – and then the repercussions happen over and over again throughout history. Those who don’t know their history it has been said will be doomed to repeat it. Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat is another quote. Be it Edmund Burke’s quote or George Santayana’s quote… the key is that we need to know about our past and remember it so that we won’t be tripped up or fall into the cycle.
Have you ever felt like David in your world today?
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. –Psalm 12:1-2
That nobody is faithful? That nobody is loyal? That everybody lies? That people are flatterers? That people are deceivers?
So what can you do but turn to God and ask Him for help to understand what your part is and how you are to respond? God is our answer! Jesus has made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! We can trust God!
God is in control and can see beyond the words and the actions and knows the heart and the truth of the matter. He speaks in today’s psalm with…
“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” –Psalm 12:5
We can grab hold of the truth with which David responds…
And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race. –from Psalm 12:6-8
So let’s lean not on our own understanding but put our trust in God! Let’s not try to go thru every situation and every conversation without God but ask for His wisdom and discernment in every conversation we have! Let’s allow Him to point out the warning signs! Let’s allow the still quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit to help us with our decisions and even the words we choose to help keep each other accountable and on the straight and narrow!
Next let’s take a look into Matthew…
Our feelings can deceive us! Our thoughts can deceive us! So we need God to help us take hold of the truth!
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
–from Matthew 14
We see how Jesus takes time away from everyone and everything in order to spend 1:1 time with God the Father. This gave Him time to openly and honestly to God the Father from the depth of His heart. He gives us a pattern to follow so that we can find the same filling of the Spirit to be able to do what is necessary each and every moment of every day! When we walk that close to God, all things are possible! When we are filled to overflowing with God’s anointing, God is able to work in and thru us for the glory of His Kingdom!
Today’s reading is an interesting one to me because a few years back while working through the Bible, I got to this story and while on my way to work I ask God if my workplace was the boat and if I was to get out if He could direct me where I am to go. To my surprise God used a text message from my pastor’s wife which said to me get out of the boat which started the search for what was to be my next step in my career and which company it would be at. Now nearly 4 years later, it is amazing to see what God has been able to do in and through this transition. It is amazing how when we have the faith to step out when He calls that He is faithful and true to accomplish the good work He has prepared in advance for us to do! The signs…wow! The wonders…wow! Everyday I need His presence in my life to make it thru. Everyday I need to be filled before I go out into the world so that I don’t get to empty before it’s time to go to sleep. Do I do it everyday? Unfortunately no and I can tell by how I feel, how my responses are, how my feelings are, … So I try to start each day in God’s Word because that is the source that fills me up and prepares me for what is yet to come!
We see how even our eyes can deceive us when the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost. We see how when we take our eyes off of Jesus and start looking at the storm, we can be fooled! We see how when we see our storms in life as larger than God our faith gets shaken but when we remember that nothing is greater than our God we can find peace that goes beyond all understanding! For there to be a shadow means there is light and so we don’t have to fear the darkness because God is the light! So let’s keep our eyes on Jesus! Let’s not be shaken because of the great liar, the devil, who wants to kill, steal, and destroy, but rather let’s put all our hope and trust in Jesus and lean on Him! We’ve seen how in our lack of fear, Jesus can intervene — when Peter started to sink he cried to Jesus for help and Jesus saved him. We also see in the Bible when the father was asking Jesus to save his dying daughter that Jesus said if he believed she would be healed and the man said he believed and prayed for help with his unbelief. We can’t do it alone! We need God and God is faithful and just! So don’t try to go it alone! Walk out each day with Jesus! Talk with Him about everything! Ask Him for wisdom for every situation! And allow Him to receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! There is no need to fear when you keep Jesus near! No matter the storms of the life, knowing that Jesus is in control and with you, never leaving you and never abandoning you, you can find peace in the midst of the storm!
The reading in Matthew continues into the next chapter…
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’5But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ ”
–from Matthew 15
As we look here we find a crossroads. It’s the crossroad of what you say vs what are your intentions. It’s the crossroad of what you are doing vs what is in your heart. Are they aligned? Are you words aligned with your intentions which are aligned with your actions which is the overflow of your heart? Are they all aligned with God’s will because you have been filled to overflowing thanks to God?
Don’t put on a mask of deception! Don’t put on a mask of lies! Don’t be a hypocrite!
Today’s reading concludes in Genesis…
Let’s finish strong! Let’s finish well! Let’s not grow weary in doing good! We have been in training and now let’s live out our lives to glorify God! Let’s trust God thru it all! He knows what He is doing and what is yet to come! We need to be humble! We need to have a servant’s heart! We need to be the least to be able to lead! So let’s keep our hearts right with God! Don’t worry about the times in the battle or the times in the valley, keep your eyes and your focus and your trust in God! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because it builds our faith and our endurance so that in the end we will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing! Let’s not worry about the troubles that come our way because Jesus has warned us about them and told us we can take heart because He has already overcome the world!
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt. 46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure. 50Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” 53The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” 56When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
–from Genesis 41
Don’t allow yourself to grow bitter! Forgiveness is the key! Even when being mistreated or lied to, don’t become bitter, but forgive them! We see how Joseph responded! We see even in the naming of his children:
- his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
- The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
So let’s not worry – because worry doesn’t change anything. So, let’s pray instead – prayer changes everything! Remember God is in control!
Let’s remain humble through it all – be it through the storms of life or the mountain tops, let’s be humble so that we won’t need to be humbled! Let’s not become bitter! Let’s not become boastful! Let’s walk in a way that when the end comes and we are face to face with Jesus, we will hear “well done, my good and faithful servant”!
We see the difference in lives lived between Joseph and his brothers. Imagine having to live your life out starting with deception and then guilt. Imagine how you would feel selling your brother, having lied that he is dead to your father, and the burden that would put on your shoulders for the rest of your life. Instead we should pick up the yoke of Jesus for He tells us that the yoke is easy and the burden is light!
Today’s reading from Genesis speaks to this…
Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
1When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” 2He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
3Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. 5So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also.
6Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”
8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
10“No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food. 11We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”
12“No!” he said to them. “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
13But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”
14Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17And he put them all in custody for three days.
18On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.
21They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”
22Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.
24He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.
25Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28“My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”
Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30“The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’
33“Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.’ ”
35As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”
37Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.”
38But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”
–from Genesis 42
Today’s devotional concludes with this very important truth from the story of Joseph…
In all this Joseph’s original dreams were being fulfilled. In spite of all he had been through, he kept trusting God and being faithful to him. It started out badly but it finished well.
Never let go of your God-given dreams. Even if you start off in a ‘pit’ or a ‘prison’, like Joseph, you may end up in a ‘palace’. As Joyce Meyer writes, ‘No matter where you started, you can have a great finish… Even if you are in a pit today, God can still raise you up and do great things in you and through you!’