It sounds a lot like the catch phrase for Santa, but it is a direct message to Satan, our enemy and the defeated liar. As this year skates it’s way into a quasi-locked down Christmas, it is imperative that we all get on the same page with a couple of things. A sharing of the things that we KNOW without a doubt, emphasis on that no doubt part. There are three separate moments in the early hours of the morning when Jesus had already been captured, that Peter denied Him. Even with a warning from Jesus Himself, Peter couldn’t help but use his human self preservation tactics to disassociate himself with the guy they were after. See, Peter didn’t just deny Jesus - in all three moments - Peter denied what he KNEW. This is at the most crucial moment of the entire reason for Jesus being human and for that which was about to change everything. Peter had been the guy who was first to say out loud what He knew about Jesus when He asked, “who do you say I am?” He KNEW something and in more than one occasion, stepped out by faith armed with only that one thing, what He KNEW. So for Peter to act as though He didn’t know what He knew in this one very important moment - reveals why it is even more important for us to hold fast what we KNOW in order to be a part of the promise fulfilled.
The power of knowledge for those who follow Jesus (over all else) is two fold, we are smart people with educations and degrees and positions and status; we think and use our God given brains to calculate and compute and we apply ourselves to due diligence so that we are not just blindly going with the flow; but more important to the natural knowledge that we have accumulated over the years is what we know by way of the Word of God. The TRUTH. And as Jesus followers, now more than any other time in history, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we must make a decision. Are we going to choose door #1 or door #2? A very strong point that God makes throughout the Bible is His desire to be the One we KNOW the most because we are One with Him. The working knowledge of who He is, results in the miraculous life of God expressed through us.
John 17:2-3 (TPT)
"You have already given me authority over all people so that I may give the gift of eternal life to all those that You have given to Me. Eternal life means to know and experience You as the only true God, and to know and experience Jesus Christ, as the Son whom You have sent."
2 Timothy 2:11-13 (MSG)
“If we die with him, we’ll live with him; If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us; If we give up on him, he does not give up—for there’s no way he can be false to himself.”
The further we crawl into the 21st Century the less we are allowed to say “No.” Ways of life that were for all other generations kept at bay, have demanded acceptance and as a society we have said “Yes.” We have exchanged a semblance of a moral compass for the open mindedness of a progressive, all inclusive attitude. From churches to laws being passed and everything in between, we are of the generations who don’t want anyone to feel left out. On paper this seems utopian and the kind of place that Jesus would have loved to have been a part of; however, the reality of this anything goes appetite for exponential progression has come at the price of identity, anatomy, humanity and the TRUEST LOVE that there is. Jesus exemplified quite the opposite of all that we see happening around us these days. He was a walking and talking specimen of LOVE. Love that doesn’t let us get away with things that will harm us, love that protects us from not just the things we can see, but that which is spiritual and not visible by our natural eyeballs, love that gave and gave and gave of Himself so that we would get it, love that is full of the knowledge of who God is and what we have that must be shared with others as a result. We are all in the very center of a fear based future. We are told that if we love people, we comply with what is being ordered; but this is not TRUTH LOVE. The TRUTH LOVE that we are referring to is one that casts out fear 1 John 4:18 (NKJ) “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” And so as we stick close to the TRUTH, we find out that we are indeed on the other side of a wide divide that not everyone we want to be with us, is at. Nevertheless, there we must stand firm and confident that He truly is faithful and just and ready to distribute His forgiveness to all that come to Him by way of Jesus (1 John 1:9); because as we must remain steadfast to proclaim that which we KNOW, we also must continue to help others get to the TRUTH side of things.
Matthew 5:37 (NKJ)
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Once again, Jesus throws a simplicity wrench into all that we, sophisticated humans, have come up with throughout the ages. We have therapists and counselors, even pastors who are all well meaning clever people who are truly trying to help us as we navigate life; but ultimately, Jesus makes a clear cut black and white statement, leaving out the gray on purpose. Of course, we have mostly heard this scripture applied to specific areas where our word is our bond and having a good name is the goal; but would it be fair to say that this scripture must be applied to ALL areas of life? For example, wouldn’t it be important for us to have a clear directive (straight from God) that gives us the authority to say Yes or No? Not only would this be a good idea, but we know that it is the ONLY WAY to navigate an ever changing/shifting/making things up as we go/ordering/mandating/ progressing world that we are living in. We must be people who not only KNOW what we KNOW, but we stick to it no matter what. See, Peter wasn’t a failure because he denied what he knew (Jesus); he was just caught off guard. He became swept up in the heat of the moment and he knew that he had succumbed to the pressure. Ahem, look around as we head into the end of 2020. There is pressure. There is heat in these moments. There are people calling each other out, demanding that they confess who they are and what they KNOW. And beyond this, things get worse. So out of everything else, the only thing we have as certainty in an ever fact changing world; is Jesus and who He is and who He says we are and all the rest of the TRUTH we’ve been given in His Word through grace.
Psalm 23 (NKJ)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.”
Listen up, we are the target of the enemy. He distracts us, he encourages us to second guess ourselves, he’s learned which buttons to push and he pushes them, he orchestrates sickness and diseases, he turns words from those closest to us that are reasonable and kind into weapons so we’ll give up, his fiery darts are intended to get a passionate over the top rise out of us, he’s crafty and clever - but he isn't too smart. Thanks to creative movie makers, we know how to deal with a plot that begins with the end - so we know that when we recognize his signature moves, he has no chance of succeeding because he's beat. He has been sticking close to the messiness of human nature since time began and he has become an expert at all things 'natural.' The good news is that the only way he can actually affect us, is if we let him by believing the lies, buying into the limitations, thinking we are stuck and unable to get out, forgetting the TRUTH and all that it empowers us with.
God is a good and faithful and generous and loving and watchful and heroic and provision based and zealous and protective and masterful and all consuming God. Time and again He carves out a path that gets simpler and simpler through the years. He makes a way through the drought lands and through the gushing waters (Isaiah 43:16-21) and He is with us every step of the way. If any of us have been out for a surf, we know that the bigger the storm>the bigger the waves>the better the ride. For those of us who don't surf: the bigger the challenge>the bigger the reward>the better the lesson. God won't let us down, so we might as well realize that when He is driving the car, we get to be the kids in the back enjoying the view and licking the wind. When we are KNOWERS of God, KNOWING the TRUTH from the LIES; the only word we need when confronting that which is false is a sharp, bold, strong articulate NO and in the Name of Jesus; standing our ground and putting the enemy in his place. So here is the tip of all tips: the TRUTH is the ONLY STANDARD we need, to all things TRUTH we say YES and AMEN; to ALL other things, which by the way are LIES and come from our enemy, we need only three powerful words NO, NO and uh, NO!
John 8:32 (NKJ)
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."