I can only speak for myself. But I believe that my experiences – the choices I had made, the lies and half-truths I had embraced – would resonate well with most people.
I began well in life, a “good girl” one might say. Sensible, responsible, hardworking model student. No boyfriend until 5th year of college. I had generally high ideals. After board review and exams, I worked and worked. When and how did the “good girl” in me begin to unravel? We must understand that all along I had been leaning heavily upon my own strength and the values I grew up with. I learned much, much later, and painfully at that, that if one’s foundation is other than Christ, one’s “building” is bound to collapse.
John wrote that the whole world lies in wickedness (1 John 5:19) and Paul mentioned that there’s a “god of this world who blinds the minds” (2 Cor. 4:4) and that we need to be delivered “from this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). And the Lord Jesus Himself spoke of the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive (John 14:17).
Without the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s firm foundation and His Spirit as a constant Guide and Teacher, one becomes an unsuspecting, hapless victim of the world. And such was my fate.
Having stayed in a ladies dorm inside the university campus run by Belgian Catholic priests for five long years and was trained to respect the stern rules, I arrived in the big city innocent, ignorant, and vulnerable. One could easily make friends with co-workers. It wouldn’t be long before the conscience is “re-educated” and “re-trained”, and adapts to the culture in which it now finds itself. The world’s modern and liberated ideas channeled through books, magazines, friends, colleagues, TV, and the movies (no Internet yet) now “nurture” the mind and heart, and one’s being begins to embrace new and exciting things. The conscience hardens and would refuse to discern between the enemy’s lies and the truth.
Without one being steeped and deeply rooted in the Word of God, the mind easily relinquishes what frail values it holds. How gladly it would barter the laws and rules that had guided it through the years for the world’s allures, temptations and empty promises! For the law was powerless because it was weakened by the flesh… (Rom. 8:3).
I believe that success – in one’s work and the wealth it brings – is not bad at all, as long as it is aligned with God’s will and purposes. Obtained this way, it is actually an outpouring of God’s blessings, a testimony of His faithfulness. For it is He who gives you power to get wealth (Deut. 8:18). But separate from God, success is a very dangerous thing to handle.
Being of the world with its lies and temptations, success becomes the “passport” to all the pleasures and options this world could offer. One begins to believe one can buy happiness; one can buy freedom (divorce, annulment); one can buy one’s future; one can fulfil one’s fantastic dreams; one can buy the perfect relationship, flawless skin, beautiful body, burgeoning wardrobe, and comfort, comfort, comfort! What else is there that money can’t buy?
Success becomes a god. Savor success. Wear success. Flaunt success.Take joy and pride in success! Covet more success.
Where is God now in the midst of ALL the success? The mind may still hold Him, but it has now created a new image of Him: a God who tolerates one’s sins; a God who listens to prayers even though they are prayers for Him to bless one’s wicked plans and acts (a tryst not going awry perhaps?); a God who can be easily persuaded. The mind has created and put up for itself a puppet that it can control at its whim. How has the enemy sown his lies! They are deep and ingrained, believed and lived.
But there is a time for everything. A time for planting and a time for harvesting. The grain is ripe for the harvest. I was very ripe for the harvest (see John 4:35). For only God’s Truth, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can dislodge the enemy’s lies, however deeply ingrained they are.
3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[a] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[b] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:3-4 NIV, emphasis added)
Now, therefore, behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation! (2 Cor. 6:2, emphasis added)
Oh, I thank God for His mercy, for making a way!
Know the keys of salvation here.
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