Sunday January 17, 2016 | Greg Boyd
Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
John 8:31-31, 36
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
In this second installment of the Cage Free series, Greg explores the connections between truth and lies, behavior, and our trust in God to meet our innermost needs of security, worth, and significance. Getting free of the bondages that cage us requires examining everything in our life through the lens of Jesus. Deception is the main tool of Satan, so ultimately it is the truth that sets us free.
Satan has a remarkable and often times underestimated amount of authority in this world, but the reality is for those who have put their faith in Jesus we have nothing to fear. Satan operates using weapons of deception and fear. He operates by bait and switch, promising things that are enticing but replacing with destruction. Speaking lies is his native tongue. The key to getting free from the bondage is exposing the lie and holding on to the truth in its place.
The battle is primarily between truth and lie. The cages of bondage we find ourselves in are held together by these lies. We see the symptoms of the lies we believe as undesirable behaviors, but if these behaviors are changed without exposing the lies beneath the cages will eventually just take a different form. Internalizing the truth is what sets us free. “You will know the truth and truth shall set you free. Who the son sets free is free indeed.”
The Genesis story of Adam and Eve in the garden best illustrates Satan in action. He did not present himself in an obvious evil role, but rather as a crafty deceiver he assassinated God’s character and influenced Eve to believe a lie about herself, about God, and about the way to get life in the world God designed. It’s the same set of lies we still get caught believing today. God is love, but there is a deceptive lie that He has a cruel side. God is unbelievably generous, but we buy in to the lie of Him being stingy and operating out of scarcity. God is merciful, but somehow along the way the serpent has convinced us God is waiting for us to mess up so He can strike us with a bolt of lightning. If we’re not trusting God as the ultimate source of life, worth, and significance based on what He’s spoken over us, then just like Adam and Eve we go elsewhere to try get our innermost needs met, ultimately winding up in cages built upon deception.
It’s hard for a fish to notice the water they’re swimming in, but the way to expose a lie is to hold it up against the truth of Jesus Christ. We can’t run from the deception, it’ll only pop up in a different form. Our battle is done by waking up and exposing it for what it is by viewing the world around us through the lens of Jesus. We fight back by noticing, and then by refusing to join the rat race of the world around us chasing after worth, acceptance, and significance in areas never meant for or able to satisfy those needs. We choose to accept the value and worth Christ has spoken over us by what He did on Calvary thereby rejecting the world the principalities and powers offer.