Last Sunday our pastor finished a three part series with “Gathering Mini” – meeting one on one or in groups of three – specifically meeting for mentoring and discipleship. He asked a few people to share an example from their life, and knowing I am always happy to talk, he tapped me.
I spoke about Jay, a man God sent at the right time to make a huge change in my life. I was in my early thirties, and I was still walking mindlessly in what I had been told was the truth. I knew what the Bible said because I had been told what it said, and I knew how Jesus would have voted. I was reading and studying the Scriptures for myself, but I didn’t question or challenge much of what I had been taught in the fifteen years since I began actively following Jesus. I had moved past most of the legalism, and was no longer a Pharisee in training, but I had a long way to go. Looking back, I see I was starting to move in the right direct, and I was ready for someone like Jay.
Box? What Box?
Jay was an ordained minister who had worked with a large, well-known ministry for years. He could have written his own ticket with a number of churches and ministries, but he felt God calling him to something else. He moved to Austin, Texas, a town he had no connection with, and got a job as a cab driver. He was assigned an area on the edge of the University of Texas. He befriended another driver who was president of the local N.O.W. chapter. He connected with “The Lost Boys” – a group of mostly teenage runaways who made a living primarily from homosexual prostitution – and they called him their Chaplin. He ministered to the strippers who used his cab to get to work – with dozens of them getting saved and one forming a help group to move women out of that life.
Jay was not conventional by any definition of the word, and he had been “out of the box” for so long I doubt he knew where the box was. While he was only a couple of years older than I was, he was far more mature in the Lord. I guess he saw in me the potential to look beyond what is said to be the truth, and find real truth. Whatever he saw, he befriended me, and became a true mentor. Jay didn’t teach me in a traditional way, he challenged me. He questioned what I believed; forcing me to the Bible to see if what I believed was there. Some of it was there, and some was there but not quite as I believed. Some things were not to be found in the Bible, and some things I believed turned out to be contrary to the clear truth of the Bible! I discovered I had been lied to, and that I had too often accepted the lies without doing due diligence to check what I was told. One thing I never doubted in all this was God. I didn’t think He had misled me, or might not be real; I understood people had lied to me, or passed on lies they thought were truths. My faith was strengthened as I set aside the traditions of man for the timeless truths of God.
I say all of this because we are all walking in lies.
We believe things about God that are not true. We believe things about right and wrong and what we should do that are not correct. We also believe lies about marriage, and about who our spouse is and who they should be. None of us (me first and foremost) will ever be free of all the lies in this life. If you think you’re free of lies you’re more deeply deceived than most. If you think you have most of it right, or most of what is important right, you’re probably deceived.
If you choose to live with what you believe, you are choosing to continue in lies. Only by challenging what you believe can you discover where you have been misled. I’m not talking about throwing everything out and starting over, and I’m not talking about replacing what you believe with a different set of traditions and beliefs. Ask God to show you where you have less than the full truth, and know He is eager to show you more of His truth (James 1:5-6).
If you do this, it will change your life, and it will change your marriage. There’s likely to be some turmoil for a time, but in the end, things will be far better than they are now. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
By the way: Had Lori and I not learned to go beyond what we were told was true, The Marriage Bed and our blogs would never had happened.