A faithful and trustworthy witness will not lie, but a false witness speaks lies. – Proverbs 14:5
If you ask children what they want to be when they grow up, they’ll probably tell you a firefighter, dancer, police officer, teacher, or a professional athlete. All the boys growing up in Boston right now would shout, “I’m going to grow up and play baseball for the Red Sox!” (I was just visiting Boston and boy is that town proud of their World Series Championship!…)
No child dreams of becoming homeless, landing in jail, waking up one day flat broke, or living totally alone. No parent holds their newborn in their arms and imagines visiting them one day in a homeless shelter or a county jail. But sadly, men and women across our country sleep on the streets, wake up in jail cells, or find themselves alone on Thanksgiving Day. At some point they’ll ask themselves, “How in the world did I get here?”
At some point in life, usually at our lowest point, we all ask ourselves this question.
How did I get here?
Just ask the married couple who’s signing divorce papers, the parents holding drugs in their teenager’s bedroom, the student being expelled for cheating, or the fifty year old woman checking into rehab. At some point each one of them will press rewind to see if they can connect the dots and discover how they got here.
I propose we ask a different question when we land in a location we weren’t planning on going. Instead of asking yourself, how did I get here? Ask yourself…
What lie did I lean into, listen to, fall for, and act on?
Before Eve ate the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden, she leaned into Satan, listened to his lies, fell for his twisted truth, and then took a bite. (Genesis 3) Satan still uses the same schemes with us today.
See how these modern day scenarios parallel Eve’s ...
Scenario #1 – Compliments & Convincing
A co-worker compliments her with a high five and hug. She leans in closer to hear the details of his kind words. He smiles and invites her to grab a drink after work to discuss the next project. But instead of talking about work, they share how both of their marriages are struggling. A few weeks later, he counts how many colleagues are having affairs. He makes three promises. No one will find out, no one will get hurt, and it’s just for fun. He then asks, don’t they deserve to have fun at their age? She agrees and two marriage vows are destroyed. Faithfulness is gone forever.
Scenario #2 – Totally Trusted
She offers to help keep the books for a non-profit organization. Everyone trusts her so they share the passwords and keys to the safe. Months later, she finds herself alone in the office tasked to deposit thousands of dollars of donations. She counts the cash and separates the checks. Suddenly she’s reminded of an outstanding bill she has. It’s only a few hundred dollars. No one will ever miss such a small amount. She’s been volunteering all this time, doesn’t she deserve some sort of compensation? Stuffing the cash into her pants pocket, a hidden video camera records her every move.
Neither one of these women planned to cheat or steal. They simply followed a slippery slope and listened to a lying voice. In both cases, they agreed they deserved something that wasn’t theirs for the taking. Just like Eve in the garden, they leaned in and listened before they reached out, touched, and took the trap.
Your enemy will also tempt you with questions such as: Wouldn’t that be exciting? Don’t you deserve it? Why wait, you only live once? Everyone’s doing it, why not give it a try?
That’s why it’s vitally important to think several steps ahead of Satan. If you’re tempted to lean into something, ask yourself what am I listening to? Then ask yourself if those thoughts align with God’s truths. Would God encourage you to think like this?
Before you take the first step forward, imagine a few steps after that. Like a chess match, think three or four moves ahead. Is that where you want to end up?
It’s not a rewinding kind of thinking. It’s a fast forward kind of thinking, so we stop asking ourselves – How in the world did I get here?
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Thank You for Being a Part of the 3 O’Clock Wake Up Movement