Tag Archives: Liars

Spiritual Liars by A. W. Pink

I came across this in my reading and knew I had to share it.

Spiritual Liars
Arthur Pink, 1937

“Remove from me the way of lying” (Psa_119:29). How we should be humbled by such a prayer as this, for it is evidently an appropriate one for all the Lord’s people. The fact that it is not only recorded in Holy Writ—but here in the 119th Psalm, rather than in the prayer of a particular individual on some special occasion, plainly intimates this.

There is nothing in all the Old Testament of wider latitude and of more general application, than the various petitions found in this Psalm—each of them is pertinent to the experiences and exigencies of all the saints, and the one now before us is certainly no exception, no matter how hesitant we may be to acknowledge the truth of it. Reader and writer alike are spiritual liars, guilty of dissembling before both man and God.

There are different kinds of lies; some are spoken—others are acted; some are intentional—others involuntary. We often pretend to be what we are not, and are indictable with much formality. We are guilty of making promises to God which we break; of uttering penitential confessions while our hearts are hard and unaffected; of asking for spiritual blessings for which we have no felt need; or returning thanks for mercies which have made no impression upon us. All of this is a species of abominable dissimulation.

When we are convicted and made conscience of the same we cry, “Remove from me the way of lying!” Below is a message recently sent to two dear souls who enjoy little assurance; may it please the Lord to make the same a blessing unto others of His distressed family.

“Remove from me the way of lying.” How well suited is this petition to the quickened child of God, who is often made painfully conscious of how much insincerity and hypocrisy is mixed up with his worship, supplications, repentance, and thanksgivings! When an honest heart examines his religious life, reviews his prayers, and ponders his character and conduct, he perceives how little reality and how much dissimulation characterizes all his spiritual exercises, until at times it seems that he himself and all pertaining to his solemn profession is only a sham. If it were not so it would be quite useless for him to pray.

“Remove from me the way of lying.” Observe how strongly this is expressed—not simply “deliver me from lying,” but “the way of lying”—a regular course, a confirmed habit.

Now the very fact that we find this petition so well-suited to our case, supplies clear evidence that we must be among those who are enabled to see themselves in God’s light, for no Satan-blinded and sin-deceived soul feels and knows himself to be a spiritual liar.

Moreover, the petitions which the Spirit of Truth has so graciously recorded in this 119th Psalm are most obviously neither designed for nor suited, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Should not this very consideration at least revive the spark of assurance which so often waxes dim in your breasts? Furthermore, the very fact that you can, from the depths of your soul, feelingly pray, “Remove from me the way of lying” is clear proof that you are not among those who love darkness rather than light. You want to be genuine with God, to be delivered from all insincerity, and this evidences an honest root amid the rank weeds and thistles of deception and formality.

Perhaps you answer, I follow you thus far—but alas, I have not the ear of God. Countless times have I confessed to Him my lack of sincerity, and begged Him, (in substance at least, if not in those identical words) to “Remove from me the way of lying”; but so far from my prayer being answered, I am conscious of increasing unreality in my devotions.

Thank God that you are so conscious, dear brother and sister—if God had given you up “to a reprobate mind” (as He had the sovereign right to do, and as He has countless millions of our fellow creatures), then you would be quite unconscious of “the deceitfulness of sin,” quite indifferent to the unreality of your devotions. I ask you, frankly, Is it not so? Yet, perhaps, that hardly removes your difficulty.

But this does, “Remove from me the way of lying,” like many another prayer, awaits its answer until the life to come! We were born in “the way of lying”—it is the very sphere in which “the flesh” lives, moves and has its being; the way of lying ends only when the flesh itself is removed. Until then, the quickened soul is burdened, exercised, shocked, plagued, grieved by it—by the unreality and formality of his devotions—and that very grief finds expression in this prayer which is so well suited to some exercises of soul.

Then step out of your mental gloom for a moment, into the warm sunshine of the clear implications of this verse, and thank God for having placed in your hands, yes, and put into your mouths—such a prayer as this, which, because it is so well suited to your case, denotes that you are entitled to make use of the same; which, in turn, proves you belong to that quickened company who are painfully aware of the plague of their own hearts.

 

A Thought on How we Treat God

     They say a good title will make or break you; that it will either draw people in or turn people away, and that’s probably true.  But, I look at it like this: write the truth; as much of it as you know and understand, and just trust that God will lead those who He wants to view it to see it.  So, if you’re reading this I believe with all my heart that you’re not doing so by accident, but by design.  Personally, I don’t think there’s any such thing as accidents, anyway.  I’m not a believer in coincidence, or luck, and I don’t believe, nor-in any way-trust those who claim to read the story of my life in a bunch of tea leaves or in the stars above.  I admit to being perplexed, even baffled, by people who will call a psychic hotline, or anxiously read their horoscope, and go through their entire day anticipating some great foretold event that supposed to happen, but can’t wrap their mind around the thought that an all seeing, all knowing, perfect and holy God is the Creator and Sustainer of all.  Notice I said, all.  (emphasis mine)  This includes you, and me, and every single thing that we know and understand. 

     Have you ever been in a situation where someone: a child, a spouse, a coworker, a customer, continued to question you repeatedly about some issue though you had already told them, and shown them-in every conceivable way-what the answer was?  Like the child traveling long distances who keeps asking, “Are we there yet?”  “When we going to get there?”  we do the same thing to God.  As people, we grow weary of those who refuse to believe us; who continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, and I can hear it now.  That thought running through your mind saying I wouldn’t put up with someone like that.  Well, if you’re a parent, (and even if you’re not) you and I both know you have.  There’s not a parent (an individual) on the planet who hasn’t gone through this with their child, or someone else’s.  You know what I’m saying.  The point is made.  We’ve all been there.

     For those of you who don’t know your Bible, or just have a passing familiarity with it, God, Himself, admits to being wearied by His people.  In the book of Malachi, chapter 2, verse 17, we read, “You have wearied the LORD with your words; “Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?”  In that you say, “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the LORD, And He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?” (NKJV).  Now, don’t make the mistake, or get the impression, that God is wearied in the same way that you and I are.  The world at large has this notion of Him, that He is in some way like us, and that alone accounts for the lack of reverence  we give Him.  Let me be clear: He doesn’t get tired; He doesn’t get worn down, He doesn’t lose His temper.  God doesn’t respond or act in the way we do!  The Bible says that we are made in His image, not that He is made in ours, and by this I mean that we are capable of displaying and understanding some of His unique qualities in our own lives to a degree.  The term “wearied” in this verse is in the sense of growing impatient with people who continue to make the same complaint continually despite the fact that He has already answered them.  Now, tell me, who in this world can’t relate to that?

     The people in Malachi’s day were doing the same thing people do today, and they are just as brazen about it.  I believe the term is “In your face.”  Forgive me if I’m behind the times, but you know what I’m saying.  People say today just as they did then, that “God doesn’t care about those who do evil.  If God cared, He wouldn’t allow people who are evil to prosper.”  They asked then, as now, “If God cares so much about Justice, why hasn’t He come already?”  I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people say something to the effect that if God hasn’t come in two thousand years, why should I worry about or be concerned about whether He’s going to come at all?  I’m going to tell you the same thing that God told them through Malachi.  If God were to come right now, who would be able to stand before His justice?  The answer is no one.  There’s not a single person who can stand before Almighty God alone, but there are those who can stand behind His son.  If God doesn’t care about evil; if He doesn’t care about justice; then why I ask you is so much of God’s word concerned with the wicked?

    What kind of people are we that we despise a God who has extended his mercy and compassion to us rather than His Holy and Just wrath upon us over an interval we call time instead of being filled with gratitude and thankfulness for being given every opportunity to fall before Him in repentance.  The reason the people in Malachi’s time didn’t perish in the light of God’s judgment is the same reason we don’t, and it’s because of who God is; not because of who we are.  How arrogant we are to think that we are anything in and of ourselves, or that we are the owners or possessors of anything.  All that we are and have is because of who He is; because He doesn’t change.  The truth is we (all us humans) are liars and thieves and murderers.  Liars because we promote a religious philosophy that says that God loves every one, and that every one has some good in them, and God is surely too good to send anyone to hell.  Let me state this in the strongest terms possible.  God doesn’t send anyone to hell!  God did everything within His power to keep people (you) from going to hell by doing the unimaginable-something no human will ever be able to fully comprehend-in that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins, to die in your place, to give you a place in Him.  You choose hell.  You choose life.  The choice is yours and everyone makes it of their own accord.  

     We’re thieves in that we take that which doesn’t belong to us, and call it ours.  Our homes, our cars, our children, our money, our lives, and because that’s not enough we take all those things from others as well.  In the Old Testament, a tithe was a tenth-in modern times that would be 10 cents of every dollar-be given for the care of the priests, widows, and orphans.  In the New Testament, the tithe is not even mentioned.  We’re asked to give liberally, cheerfully, and proportionately to the church and those in need, and we can’t even do that.  Imagine if it were the other way around, and God told us we had to give Him 90% and we could only keep 10%.   Can’t you just see people lining up to complain and justify taking more than their fair share?  

     And, worst of all, we’re murderers.  Every single one of us.  You say that’s harsh, that’s too much, that’s not true.  It is true.  It’s truth cries from the unheralded silent voices of children who never got to see the light of day.  It’s truth comes forth in the rampant disintegration of the family, the abuse and outright murder of our young children, the serial monogomy in our society, the proliferation of pornography, and in the almost complete and total abandonment of preaching Biblical doctrine in our churches.  The vile filth in the entertainment industry, the proclamation and promotion of falsehood in the media, and the assault on our freedom, and right of expression to live and worship as we choose are all forms of murder.  We’re all guilty of murder, for no one of us has ever been free of anger, malice, and deceit. 

     What kind of people are we that we treat God like He’s Santa Claus or a credit card?  We praise Him with our lips, but our hands and feet are motionless.  We pray and beg and plead while our bank accounts are full and our checkbooks are balanced.  We plead with Him for His provision, protection, and peace, but we can’t find it within ourselves to extend it to others.  We cry for His compassion, mercy, and love, but can’t hear the cries of others.  We yearn for blessing but can’t stand to walk in obedience to His will.

     Are we any better than the people in the book of Malachi in the way they treated God?

From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

     No one is beyond God’s grace.

““Base things of the world hath God chosen.” – 1Co_1:28

Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour’s passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair. Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus’ tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour’s compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father’s right hand in glory everlasting. Base things of the world hath God chosen.” – 1Co_1:28 Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour’s passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair. Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus’ tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour’s compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father’s right hand in glory everlasting.