Anyone who wants to experience God speaking to them must begin where the Spirit of God begins! The Spirit of God takes the truth of God (we know God’s truth through the Scriptures) and skillfully applies it very personally to our lives and conduct. (See John 16:7-13)
During the first year of my return to the Father (see the previous posts), the Holy Spirit had to work overtime in bringing me to see my sin issues! Some of the junk in my life was so obvious I didn’t need anyone’s help seeing it. But other things were more subtle. Like my image-management skills.
Did I say lying? Well, I didn’t exactly see my lies as lies in those days. They were more like my sincere and creative image- building spins on near truths. Things I could say or imply that would help my image – or so I thought. One day the Holy Spirit convicted me about a lie I told to a professor in the college where I worked. I had forgotten about a verbal commitment I had made to him many months before and when he asked me about it, trying to hide my embarrassment and not wanting him to think that I didn’t value his opinion, I “fabricated” a story that was partially true and partially fiction. It made my lapse of memory look almost virtuous. As far as I could tell the professor was still impressed with me. But there was this sort of sinking feeling afterward. I hate that dreaded sinking feeling.
When I got home that evening God brought to front-and-center the situation from earlier in the day. He showed me very clearly that I had simply lied to the man. I felt that He wanted me to call the professor and confess my lie and ask his forgiveness. Whoah, now. That was more than I was really prepared to do. I mean, what would the man think of me? First, he’d think I was a liar (imagine that). Secondly, he’d probably think I was a religious nut-job.
I tried to avoid the conviction of sin the Holy Spirit was bringing. I tried to moralize and trivialize. But I couldn’t shake it. I simply refused to obey the Lord for several days and found myself sinking into a real ditch of discouragement and depression. I realized that I couldn’t enjoy the fellowship of God’s Spirit unless I walked in the light as He was in the light (see 1 John 1:7). I would never have peace with God until I dealt with this issue truthfully. Ah, the Spirit of truth. He wreaks havoc on the spirit of deception in a man’s heart! I had to talk to the professor.
Jacob may have wrestled with God all night long, but I wrestled for a couple of days. I didn’t want to confess who I really was…
In the next post…the liar finally goes public.