Several years ago, a man pulled up to a gas station in a brand new volvo. It was late at night and he was visibly tired. He filled up his car with gas, and slowly began to pull out. Suddenly, he slammed on the brakes, turned off he car, and jumped out while he began pounding on the metal.
His brand new car had a diesel engine, and in his fatigue, he had forgotten this vital fact and had filled the tank with unleaded gas. As he pulled away from the gas station, and the unleaded gas coursed through the tubes into the engine – destroying the engine of a brand new car.
This very same thing is what is happening within our culture. Our culture has ingested a big fat lie that is destroying people, families, marriages and organizations from within. The shift has been subtle, but it’s been deadly – and extremely effective.
There are many who believe truth is subjective to one’s own experience. Naively, they believe that what is “true” for them doesn’t apply to others. This places the foundation of truth on mere public opinion. One look at your grocery store check out stand will give you starkly contrasting versions of this “truth.”
When the definition of truth is altered to fit ones manner of living or thinking, this becomes extremely dangerous. This makes truth completely subjective. It gives morality no point of reference. There are those who believe they have a “right” to do as they desire, that they know the correct way, or that their way is the only way.
Hitler was extremely sincere in his beliefs – yet he was sincerely wrong. Sincerity can only reside in God’s established truth. And the truth is, God alone, is the source of all truth – and His way is the only way in which ALL should follow.
In the biography of William Cooper, the great songwriter and music director of John Newton, Cooper wrote the famous song “Amazing Grace.” Interestingly enough, William Cooper had a very morbid personality; he was constantly given to depression. Yet it is the same William Cooper who, towards the end of his life wrote:
where’s the joy that once I knew when first I saw the Lord, where’s the souls refreshing view of Jesus and His word, what peaceful hours I once enjoyed how sweet their memory still, but they have left an aching void this world can never fill.
Out of the dark nights of his soul, William Cooper produced some of the most amazing, soul stirring work that has touched the lives of millions worldwide. Yet Mr. Cooper had a definite advantage to many of the young people of today.
You see, the struggles that you experience today are no less difficult – they’re just different. Satan still uses the same old tricks and tries to manipulate, lie, deceive and discourage us. He does everything he can to create division and disharmony, because he knows the power of the gospel.
So how did such profound words and songs of depth, richness and meaning come from a man who suffered from such emotional pain? The answer is simple:
Focus on Jesus +Faith + Perseverance = Deliverance
As believers, our message is one of joy, hope and love to the world. However the research shows our influence is waning. If we are to build bridges, make contact and connect with this generation, then we must empty ourselves of all that is encumbering. This includes any preconceived ideas of how things should be done and trusting in the provision, providence and protection of our Almighty Father. We must remove all mindsets, attitudes and habits of our former self and clothe ourselves with all humility.
“And all of you, serve each other in humility, for God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5b NLT
We must be ruthless in putting on the mind of Christ, be redemptive in our relationships, and be radical expressions of love, mercy and grace.
Oh dear friend, the evidence of Christ’s love is not found in anything that we as mere mortals can build, count, quantify, systemize or measure – it’s in those things which are immeasurable: the tangible evidence of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, compassion, sacrificial service, truthfulness, and our faithfulness to one another. These will only be known by the heart.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
Friends, the measure of your greatness will not be in how much you do, perform, or produce… your greatness will be found in how much you transform into the likeness of Christ, and how you encourage and inspire others to do likewise.
May our gracious heavenly Father soften your heart so you see others as Christ sees them and love as Christ has loved you – unconditionally.
Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.