Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Friday, November 5, 2010

“God Can’t” - Part 4

A pastor was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age. The boys surrounded a dog. Concerned the boys may be hurting the dog, he went over and asked "What are you doing with that dog?" One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog." Of course, the reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don't you boys know it's a sin to lie," and ending with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie." There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."

Call it “a little white lie”. Call it “stretching the truth”. Call it “half-truth” or “harmless exaggeration“, but it is what it is. A lie is a lie. It’s “untruth”. It’s deception. It’s misrepresenting reality. The heart is deceitful, above all else. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) And lies spring straight from our deceptive hearts. We all are guilty!

In looking at the things God can’t do, we have learned that God cannot abandon us. We have discovered that God cannot fail us, and we have been reassured that God can’t want our worst. Learning about God’s true nature is the key. When we KNOW God’s character, we can trust Him even when we don’t FEEL like He is for us. But even more, we must understand that none of the above even matters if God is a liar. We KNOW God cannot abandon us, fail us, or want our worst because we believe God IS truthful and that He keeps His promises; therefore:

GOD CAN’T LIE! - “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)

Hebrews 6:18 also assures us that God cannot lie. The Lord cannot break His promises of what He says He will fulfill. He is the truth and there is no darkness in Him. God is incapable of going back on His Word and His standard of right and wrong cannot change. God’s nature is truth. If our Father God could lie, what would separate Him from any other sinful being?


Paul tells us in Titus 1 verse 2 that the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness is a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.

We see that God cannot lie, so how must He feel when His own creation, His children, speak lies? Proverbs 12:22 says the Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in those who tell the truth. He longs for His children, whom He has created in His own image, to love the truth as much as He does. So why then do we find ourselves speaking falsely?

I would suggest that many of our falsehoods stem from insecurity. We often wish to make ourselves look better than we really are, or we attempt to tear another down and tarnish their reputation in order to lift ourselves up. We may speak dishonest words out of a guilty conscience - to cover up something we have done that we are ashamed of. How many of us lie due to denial? We simply cannot accept the truth. Fear is yet another reason to speak falsely, so we lie to avoid any ill consequences we may suffer due to our actions.

Other reasons we are dishonest may include selfishness, peer-pressure and in some cases, unknowingly, we pass on inaccurate information. Have you ever seen a group of children playing the game, “Telephone”? They sit in a circle and the first person leans over and whispers a statement in the next person’s ear. Each one in the circle takes their turn passing on the information. When the statement has gotten to the final person, he or she says what they have heard out loud. Most times, the information has been added to, taken away from, and exaggerated. It’s quite comical to hear the end result. Isn’t this so true in real life? Something gets said and another repeats it, mixing up words and relaying completely different meanings. Then that person repeats it to another, and that person repeats it to someone else. Each adding and subtracting, until the original truth has become a lie.

All of the above is true, but there is one to blame for our hearts being filled with such deception. John 8:44 describes Satan as a murderer not holding to the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language. For he is a liar and the father of lies. He speaks falsely in an attempt to make us believe that God is our enemy - that He abandons us in our pain - that he has failed us in our sufferings - that He does not want our best. It’s time we name the devil for who he is. He is against God - the God of truth; therefore he must be a deceiver. So who will we believe?


Unlike humans, God cannot even be tempted to lie, for He is perfect. “He (God) is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4) Because of His perfection, God is incapable of lying due to insecurity, for there is no need for Him to attain personal gain. It is not necessary for Him to leave a false impression in order to be lifted higher than another. He cannot lie because of guilt or shame, for Jesus is the spotless Lamb, free from sin. He is incapable of denial for He IS truth and is all-knowing. To deny the truth would contradict His very nature. He will not lie due to fear, for He is perfect love and perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). God is not selfish. If He was, He would have found another way to save us. Instead, the Lord sacrificed His only Son for you and me. There is no need for God to cave to peer-pressure, for He is already in control of all things. He is not one to be manipulated by men. And lastly, God could never pass on inaccurate information. He does not exaggerate, for He is complete truth.


And His Word (the Bible) is the truth. “For the Word of the Lord is right and true. He is faithful in all He does.” (Psalm 33:4) We should be grateful that we serve a God that will never go back on His Word - a God who will fulfill all His promises - a God we can trust to be truthful. He is not like a small child who makes up his own game and then, as he shares it with His friends, He changes the rules to make it more difficult to win. He is unchanging. God is all-powerful and could change if He so desired, but to change would go against His very character.

As we strive to be like God, let us mimic His honesty by being honest with ourselves and truthful with others, even in the realm of our hurts and our sufferings. For when we practice deception, we shame ourselves and the God we serve. We go against His very character by practicing deceit and we make it difficult for others to believe we are true followers of Christ. Praise the Lord for His forgiveness, as we all miss the mark. Forgiveness is assured to us because God promises it to those who believe on Him - for they shall be saved. We can whole-heartedly believe His promises are true because…


If God cannot lie, then He cannot abandon us, He cannot fail us, He cannot want our worst! For this we KNOW to be true even when we don’t FEEL it to be true.

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