It is hard to figure out what to believe. When you’re growing up did your parents just flat out lie to you? When you lost a tooth and you put it under your pillow. Did your parents tell you that the tooth fairy came into your room to take it and left you some money or gum in its’ place? That’s spooky when you think about it! What about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny? Some of you were even told about the Great Pumpkin?
There are tons of false beliefs. Some false beliefs are pretty harmless, but there are some that have robbed you of your joy, and security and really from the life that God has for you.
One of the most popular spiritual myths out there is, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere.” That one sounds so good. It’s very politically correct and so open-minded. But there’s a problem with it. Two contradicting beliefs can’t both be right. It’s important that we deal with this because it has an unbelievable impact on your life.
Why does it matter what I believe?
I get to choose what I believe.
Nobody is going to force you to believe something. They can’t, because your beliefs are an internal heart and soul thing. You can’t blame anybody else for your beliefs. You can’t blame your parents or your teachers. I want to help you replace some false beliefs with some true ones. The amazing thing about God is that even God gives you free will and a choice to believe what you want. God doesn’t force you to believe Him. This happened in Romans 1:25:
“Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies…”
What I believe directs my life.
First, you believe something, then you live it out.
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23
There is a belief behind everything you do. The problem is, my beliefs determine my actions even when my beliefs are off base and wrong. For example, if you believe you’re dumb, how will you act? Dumb. If you believe no one loves you or no one can love you, you’re going to act unlovable. If you believe other people can’t be trusted, you’ll be suspicious of people, and put up a wall and hide. As a result, people probably won’t be very trustworthy because you have treated them that way. If you believe God doesn’t care about you, you won’t pray. If you believe God is out to mess up your life, you’ll run away from him. So, you need to examine your beliefs because they affect everything you do.
You can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.
Have you been sure you were going the right direction and ended up in the wrong place? I confess, that has happened to me. I’ve done that with Casa Garcia’s and Garcia’s, where I’ve been at the wrong restaurant, just because I thought I was going to the right place. And I was sincere. But I ended up in the wrong place. You can be sincere, but sincerely wrong. It takes more than just being sincere, it takes the truth. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” I could pick up a glass of water and take a drink of it, sincerely thinking it’s water, but if it’s poison, I’d be sincerely dead. Sincerity doesn’t necessarily lead to truth.
Culture Has Taught Me Many False Beliefs
We used to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But we live in a day where we can’t believe our eyes many times. Today through virtual reality, we have technology that can blend fact and fiction. So, even if you see it, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Through CGI, we see things that are so close to reality that it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. We watch “reality” tv that is mostly unreal. A lot of it is staged or edited to present a certain view of reality.
Here are some of our culture’s biggest lies:
- All of your problems are somebody else’s fault.
- This world owes you happiness.
- You’ll be happy if you get whatever you want.
- There is never any reason to feel guilty.
- People are basically good and unselfish.
- All beliefs are equally valid.
- Pornography and perversion are innocent.
- You can have it all.
- You shouldn’t have to wait for anything.
- The answer is within you.
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 1 John 4:1
False beliefs are the root cause of many of my problems.
A belief doesn’t even have to be true for it to affect you. Let’s say next week, you’re going camping and you get in your tent at night, you close it all up, you can’t see outside, you’re in your sleeping bag, and you hear something outside of your tent and you think it’s a bear. What will happen to you if you believe there’s a bear outside your tent? Your heart will start pumping, your pulse will go up, adrenaline will shoot into your system, your muscles will tense up, and you will get worked up over something that isn’t true.
You probably worry about things that aren’t true a lot of the time.
In John 8:32, Jesus said: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” God wants you to live in freedom. The truth sets us free.
God’s Word is the source of absolute truth.
Romans 3:4, Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. All of us have to decide what is going to be the ultimate authority of my life? What will I base my beliefs and my decisions and my actions on? You have two options: You either have the world or the Word of God. You either have what people say, and they say a lot and they all contradict each other, or what God says. You will either build your life on what culture says, or on what Christ says. Which of these do you think you can totally trust? The problem with what culture says is that it just keeps changing. It’s shifting every day. What’s popular one day, isn’t popular the next day.
When my daughters were born, back in the late 90s, the doctors told us to only let our babies sleep on their sides. We even bought these little baby propers to prop them up on their side because they couldn’t sleep on their backs. They did it a different way when I was a baby, and now the advice is for babies to sleep on their backs. Now, I’m not a doctor, so by all means, do what your doctor says. But over time, the advice changes.
Why does it keep changing? Because our knowledge is increasing and they find new things that work. But God’s knowledge is ultimate and it’s always true. If you ever read the little articles in magazines that say, “What’s Hot or Not,” you know something can be hot one day and not the next. In fact, that’s how our culture is wired.
Do you know the average lifespan of a science textbook? They last eighteen months, and then they’re out of date because our knowledge increases so fast. So, in a situation where something is changing every day, you don’t want to put your faith in something you can’t depend on tomorrow because you might go down the wrong path. Look at Luke 21:33: Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will never disappear. God’s Word has stood the test of time. You can trust it as your unchanging authority for your life. Because it’s from God Himself.
So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:18
God can’t lie, because it flies in the face of His character. In fact, God can’t spin the truth. He doesn’t tell a half-truth, because a half-truth is a whole lie.
I need to build my life on the solid foundation of God’s truth.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth,” 80 times in the Gospels. 20 times in the Bible, Jesus said, “Now you have heard it said, but I say to you.” Jesus is saying, he is the final authority on what is true. He said, “this is what everybody thinks, but I will tell you the real truth.”
In Matthew 7, Jesus says building your life is like building a house; you have to have the right foundation. He says you can have one of two foundations: You can build your house on the solid rock, which is God’s unchanging truth, or you can build your house on shifting sand, which is the constantly changing opinions of the world. He says if you build your life on shifting sand, you’re a fool. He says it’s stupid to build your life on things that are changing every day. But, He says to build your house on the rock of God’s Word, unchanging truth.
When you have storms in your life and you’re getting knocked around, if you’re not built on the foundation of truth, you’re going to fall. There are people all around us whose lives are crumbling because they haven’t built their lives on the foundation of truth that keeps them strong when problems hit us.
Anyone who listens to My teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Matthew 7:24
If you want emotional stability, you need to listen to and follow the truth.
MY TRUTH COMMITMENTS
It’s not enough just to hear the truth or even know the truth on an intellectual mental level. You’ve got to make a personal commitment to truth.
“Do not conform to the standards or beliefs of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.” Romans 12:2
What will you commit to?
Commit to Seeking The Truth.
Jeremiah 29:13 says: If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me. God isn’t hiding from you, playing some cosmic spiritual game of hide and seek. He’s reaching out to you. He’s revealing Himself to you. His Spirit is drawing you to Him.
Where do we see the truth? When we spend time in God’s Word. When we seek God’s face through prayer. We find truth by staying connected to a local body of believers who aren’t perfect, but they are diligently seeking after God.
Just because it’s out there on the bestsellers list, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because it’s on a billboard on the side of the highway over by Target, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If I have an experience and it contradicts what God says in His Word, I’m going to choose God’s Word. Because experiences can be manipulated. The Bible is our standard.
I used to have a sign in my office that said: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” But I took it and I cut out the middle part that said, “I believe it.” Not because I don’t believe it, but because whether I believe it or not, if God said it, it’s true.
Jesus said, “If you want to know what God is really like, look at Me.” Jesus is the best place to see the truth.
Commit To Living The Truth.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:14-15
Truth isn’t just head knowledge. Truth is how you live and how you treat other people and love them. There are a lot of Christians who say, “I know all of this Bible doctrine and tons of Bible verses. I can say the books of the bible backwards and forwards.” But, is what you know making a difference in your life and in the lives of the people you’re around?
If you make a commitment to seek after the truth for the rest of your life and go the distance, it won’t be easy. The truth isn’t always popular. Many times, it’s unpopular. While our culture is saying: “It’s okay because everybody’s doing it.” The truth is, it’s not okay. Sometimes, the truth is painful. Sometimes, the truth is scary. Sometimes, the truth is dangerous. But I promise you, living your life according to the truth is worth it. It will never disappoint you. There is nothing better!
Commit To Believing In The Truth.
Not only has God given us the truth of His Word, the Bible, He personally came to earth 2,000 years ago and took the form of a man named Jesus Christ. He is the Truth. Truth has a name: Jesus Christ. He said: “You don’t have to just read it, you can look at me; this is what life is all about.” In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I AM THE TRUTH.” First, He said: “I,” not religion, not a denomination, but “I.” Truth is a person and His name is Jesus.
Jesus said, “I AM the truth,” not, “I might be the truth,” not, “I hope to be the truth,” not, “I could be the truth.” He didn’t say, “I point to the truth.” He didn’t say, “I teach the truth.” He said, “I AM the truth.” Then He said, “I am THE truth.” He didn’t say, “I’m part of the truth.” He didn’t say, “I’m some of the truth.” He said: “I am the truth.” That covers the truth pretty well. And, you will bet your life on what you believe about Jesus and the truth.