Have you ever wondered if God lies? Some would say that the very idea is sacrilegious, but it is a very valid question. How many times have you wanted God to do something only to have him disappoint you? I remember a time when needed a car. I saw the perfect one at a dealership. I had been taught at our church that Jesus himself said that whatever you ask the father in his name, he would give it to you. I promptly marched down to that dealership, stood in front of that car and asked the father in Jesus name for that car! I didn’t get the car—God lied! Another time I was planning to take a very expensive trip. I had been taught in church that when you give—i.e. money—it is given back to you in good measure—more than you had given—pressed down—multiplied more than you had given—shaken together—even more than you have originally given—and running over, will men give—this money—unto you. So, instead of saving my money—which wasn’t going to be enough to take this trip, I gave it away to people who needed money. After all, God was going to have people give back to me so I could take my trip. I didn’t take the trip—God lied! While in college I was facing a challenge in one of my classes. I needed to do well on the final exam in order to pass the class. I had been taught in church that the Holy Spirit would bring all things to your remembrance. I went over my notes reviewing everything I needed to review in order to get a good grade. I passed the test; with a D grade—God lied!
Or did he?
In each of these instances I could build a case supporting the fact that God indeed lies. However there are three key elements that have to be considered before slamming the gavel and pronouncing a “guilty” verdict.
These three elements are intertwined so that each needs the other in order to see the complete picture.
The first element is that I was focused on “things;” the car, the money, the test. Although each of them was important to me, they were temporary things, which meant they have a temporary value.
It was the patriarch Moses who wrote in the Old Testament book of Numbers that God does not lie. He classifies this by saying that God is not human that he should lie. This speaks to two specific matters.
After the great sin that drove Adam and his wife Eve from the garden, man learned how to not only lie, but to use the trait for personal gain. God has no need of personal gain, therefore has no need to lie.
The fact that God is not human also speaks to the eternal existence of God. This is important because an eternal being lives, thinks and moves in eternity, which means temporary things are not as important to him unless they carry an eternal value.
This means that in the case of my car, my trip and my test, that they carried no eternal value.
To be sure, they were important to me; but to the God who does not lie, they did nothing for my eternal value.
This is not to say that God cares nothing about temporary things. It is the Psalmist David who says that when mankind delights himself in the Lord that he—the Lord—will give them the desires of their heart. Temporal things have their place in our lives, but it is important to understand that an eternal God operates in eternal ways.
The godhead is far more concerned about your eternity rather than your temporary.
The Apostle Paul admonishes young Timothy—thereby admonishing us—to endure—put up with—hardship, hardness and suffering—as a good solider. Why would he make a statement like that?
He makes the statement because these things are temporary. Once you begin to allow your mind to accept the fact that the temporary of this world will one day give way to the permanent of eternity, you will begin to understand the apostle’s statement.
The second element is what I was taught in church. Teaching is not always truth. Later in his teaching to Timothy, the Apostle Paul states that a time will come when people—those who call themselves followers of Christ—will have nothing to do with sound teaching, but rather follow after those who will tell them what they want to hear.
He states that these people will be learning all the time, but will not come into the knowledge of the truth. In other words they are caught up in the temporariness of “things” that will never allow you to embrace the importance of the eternal.
This leads to the third element that enables you to see the complete picture. If you do not have a relationship with the godhead, you will be easily caught up in the quest of things—in the name of being blessed.
This will compel you to listen to those who propagate such teaching as truth.
They will provide compelling stories of those who have paid the price, endured the suffering and now enjoy the blessing of things. As tempting as it sounds, having a personal intimate relationship with Abba will cause an alarm to go off deep within your being.
Do not think for a second that I am purporting a vale of poverty; absolutely not. What I am saying is that a relationship with the godhead will enable you to know the difference between what sounds good and what is righteous.
The person of the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the teachings of Jesus that will cause you to question the teaching you are hearing. When this happens, know that you are to search the scriptures to find out the truth of the things you are hearing. Conversely the Holy Spirit will resonate within your spirit when the things you are hearing are correct and truth-filled.
To understand this is to understand that when things do not turn out the way you thought they should, or were taught they would, that the Father is working on an eternal purpose that outweighs your temporary desire. Look to him. Trust in him.