Psalm 101:7, 8
No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.
I absolutely love this passage. Here’s why. A number of years ago my family was enduring a brutal time. The church I pastored had severe financial pressures (we had nothing to do with creating the debt we just “inherited” the consequences of someone else’s “faith”).
I had outspoken critics in the congregation who with syrupy sweetness regularly told me all I was doing wrong as a pastor. (The most vocal of them had been saved almost 3 years so surely had great insight into church leadership.) Some of the critics were self-proclaimed prophets who would spout as “the Word of the Lord” any bird-brained idea that flitted through the canyons of their cranium. Others thought nothing of slandering me and harassing my kids because they actually acted like children. Though their children were in rebellion and running from God, they knew exactly how “pastor’s kids” should be raised.
I knew God had assigned us there so I took it in stride figuring God had a bigger agenda (and He did. But that is another story). But it was hard on my children, especially the oldest who was more aware of the “holy insanity” that surrounded us. Being the vocal type he regularly let us know how unhappy he was being there. I tried to encourage him but there really was little I could say as most of his observations were accurate.
Then in a time of prayer, the Lord illuminated this passage for me and let me know I needed to cast out the one who practices deceit and speaks falsely. I needed to silence the wicked and cut off the evildoer. When the OT speaks of a physical enemy the NT application of it is toward our spiritual enemies – we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. I knew Satan was the deceiver and I knew what I had to do but could my 11 year old understand it?
I sat him down and explained to him that we were where God wanted us and the best place on earth is in the center of God’s will. Therefore, he might think he was unhappy there but that was a lie. He was where God wanted him to be so he was in the best place on earth for him and we had to “put to silence” the wicked one. Therefore, we were going to stop repeating Satan’s lies – that we were unhappy, that we did not like it there, etc. We were going to speak God’s truth. Though I may not feel like I am happy, I am because I am where God wants me to be.
Amazingly, he said he understood and from that day on whenever a complaint started to surface we would silence the one who practices deceit and speak the truth – we are where God wants us and that is the best place on earth for me. From that day on things were different. Oh, the weird folks were as weird as ever. The bitter, nasty ones were still bitter and nasty but our hearts had changed.
The one who speaks falsely still whispers things in my ear – lies about God, others, my future – and I still have to silence him. But I learned the truth that no matter how strongly I might feel about something, no matter how strongly I might believe something to be true, if it does not line up with God’s Word it is a lie and I need to walk with the Truth whether I feel it or not and even, think about this, whether I fully believe it or not. The Truth is the Truth whether I believe it or not and if I will silence the liar and speak the truth I will begin to believe it and it will set me free.
Are you where God wants you? (If not, you better get there as quickly as you can! If you are not sure, you can be pretty certain you are. When you are out of God’s will He has ways of letting you know it without a doubt.) It may not be all you want it to be. You might think you would be happier elsewhere. But it is the best place on earth for you right now. Silence the liar and embrace the Truth.
I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
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