Distinguishing the True from the False

Things are not always what they appear to be. There’s much that goes undetected below the surface (in the inner workings) that we can’t see. Evil has a way of incubating in secrecy, and darkness until it’s time to rear its ugly head—by then it may be too late.

Parable of the Wheat and Tares—A Cautionary Tale

                The premise in the parable Jesus told about the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:24-30, is about a man who sowed good seed of wheat in his field, but while he was asleep, an enemy came and sowed tares among his wheat. The tares that Jesus referred to were (and still are) common among the region where the listeners lived. A tare is a toxic weed known as darnel, which is a species of rye-grass that is bitter tasting and poisonous. It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. Wheat is golden, but the tare reveals its true color when it ripens. It’s only then that the difference is discovered. Jesus went on to explain the meaning behind the parable after his disciples asked him to.

“He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore, as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:36-43).

WAKE UP CALL: Your Basis of Truth Matters

                How do you determine what is true and what is false? Where do you go to help you to discern what’s right and what is wrong?  Your answer will determine what type of seed is sown in your heart to take root and either direct you or misdirect you.  God’s Word (as the written Word (Eph. 6:17), and as the living Word (Rev. 1:16, 19:15)) is compared to a two-edged sword in Hebrews 4:12 that’s quick and powerful, capable of sharply piercing and dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow—discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (that which is begotten of the flesh and that which is begotten of the Spirit (John 3:6), as well as between the natural and spiritual (1Cor. 2:13-14)). The word ‘discerning’ comes from the Greek word kritikos, meaning that God’s Word acts as a ‘critic’ to be man’s judge (John 12:48). Yet men and women have become the critics, deluded by their deceitful hearts (Jer. 17:9, Rom. 3:10, 23), and dare to sit in judgment on that very Word that is meant to judge them. God’s Word is clear though, that in the last day men and women will be criticized (judged) by the same Word on which they today sit in judgment (Rom. 1:18-31)

                It’s time to wake up and realize that an enemy has been sowing tares among the wheat (Eph. 5:8-13). Make no mistake about it, we’re living in troubling times where evil is called good, and good is called evil (Isaiah 5:20). The enemy of God, Satan, has been sowing lies and perverting the truth of God since he slithered into the garden (Gen. 3). The root, core, and motive of Satan is to oppose, pervert, and destroy all that God has created for good and for His purposes. Lying is his native language and his purpose is to entrap and destroy those that buy into his enticing words (John 8:44, 1 Pet. 5:8). This dark evil should not be taken lightly as we war not with flesh and blood, but with dark spiritual wickedness and forces in high places (2 Cor. 10:3, Eph. 6:12). Please don’t be duped into the enemy’s lies that puff up your fleshly mind telling you that you can handle this on your own or in your own strength (Col. 2:18).

                It’s unbelievable what’s being promoted, accepted, and celebrated in our society today—and even more so that those who dare stand up against it are being silenced and persecuted. Don’t be discouraged as God has not left us defenseless or ignorant of the enemy’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11, 10:3-5). All we need to discern between the true and the false and be equipped is provided in God’s Word (the only source of what is true) (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 4:12, Eph. 6:10-11, 13-17, Col. 2:2-3).

Our Creator and Redeemer is the only One Who has our best interest at heart (Rom. 5:8-11, Eph. 2:4-10, 1 John 4:9-10). We can trust His pure, faithful, unchanging, and immutable Word (James 1:17, Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:18). We can also learn more about God’s enemy and how it will end up for him (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-18, Rom. 16:20, Heb. 2:14, 1 John 3:8, Rev. 12:9, 20:2).

Anything that leads you in the opposite direction of what God has clearly stated in His Word is from Satan so take heed before you swallow his bitter and poisonous lies.

                To help you gear up, I pray that the following chart will help you dig into God’s Word so you can discern/understand the differences better between the True and the false and redeem the time because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16).

“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that will He reap. For he that sows to his flesh will he reap. For he that sows to his flesh will reap corruption (ruin/perish); but he that sows of the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:7-10).

May you be established by the root of righteousness that can’t be moved and yields fruit (Prov. 12:3, 12).


Who or What’s Your ‘Go-to’?

Bad news surrounds us as new viruses abound, gas and food prices continue to soar, and corruption, violence, and lawlessness becomes more pervasive. It sure can become easy to get caught up with all that’s wrong.

                Who or where you turn to when the going gets tough will determine your state of peace

What’s your ‘go-to’?  A ‘go-to’ is the person or thing most trusted to accomplish a purpose, and relied on regularly for expert knowledge, skill, or performance. When we operate out of our fleshly sinful nature ‘quick fixes’ like shopping, gambling, over-eating, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. are easy to turn to. Some of these alone aren’t necessarily bad in moderation, but when they become our ‘go-to’ the tendency to overindulge, binge, and engage in addictive behavior brings enslavement—not lasting peace. Other drawbacks regarding these ‘go-tos’ are buyer’s remorse, debt, weight gain, ill-health, and premature death. And just as detrimental (when used in excess) is technology in the forms of social media, videos, and online gaming as they high-jack our time away from true, meaningful relationships and experiences. When our ‘go-to’ is our self we can become over controlling and then ironically spiral out of control when things don’t go as we’ve planned.

                Maybe you do turn to God as your ’go-to’ (mostly) but struggle with staying on a steadfast course with Him. It’s easy to get side-tracked, distracted, or preoccupied with earthly things. The author Bob Goff said, “Distraction robs us of the ability to both live in the moment and discern what lasts.”  Cultivating a long-term perspective is necessary because it’s in the things of God that one receives the best return on investment of their time (Phil. 3:20, Col. 3:1-2). The apostle Paul said, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:8).  Paul wrote in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).  

                If you’ve ever tried to hold still and balance on one leg, you might’ve found that you could do it longer when your focus was on what you were doing. Once your mind starts veering to other things, you’re inclined to teeter and then fall.  We all know that’s how it is for most things, whether it’s putting in too much (or too little) of an ingredient in baking or tripping and running into something when our mind wanders. Those who take their attention off the road (either by texting or other distractions) while they’re driving are more apt to get into an accident.  We can also be headed for a crash in the same way when we divert our focus away from the Lord and onto our troubles, taking on a posture of fear instead of standing firmly in God’s strength (Eph. 6:10-11, 13). A mind that’s ever renewed with God’s truth remembers that He is so much more reliable, infallible, and eternally powerful than we are or whatever (or whoever) is in the world (Rom. 12:2, 1 John 2:16-17, 4:4). God is the only good, pure, righteous, and superior source to turn to. Our sight is limited while God is all-knowing and not bound by time (Isa. 46:9-10, 40:21-31, Rev. 1:8).


“He will not be afraid of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).

Our faith is built as we stay in God’s Word and communicate with Him on a daily basis. This helps us to stay in ‘trust-in-God’ mode rather than turn to lesser things. Those who are steadfast in faith repel the devil’s fiery darts (Eph. 6:16, 1 Pet. 5:8-9). Those who cast all their anxieties on the Lord have a peace that passes all understanding as their hearts and thoughts are guarded in Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 5:7, Phil. 4:6-7). It’s helpful to get in a habit of declaring God’s lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night (See Psalm 92:2). In the morning we can direct our voice to the Lord and look up to Him for direction as we begin our day (Psalm. 5:3, Prov. 3:5-7).   In the evening it’s just as important to refocus our minds on Him instead of on earthly worries. We can put them to rest for the night when we give them to the Lord in prayer (Phil. 4:6).


“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:  For You, Lord, only make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).


                This summer disconnect and disengage from your temporary ‘go-tos’. Think long term. Be available to notice the beauty and the opportunities that the Lord has allowed you to be a part of for His greater purposes (Eph. 2:10). Be present in the moment. Pay attention to whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, things of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Meditate on these things (Phil 4:8). Let the Lord be your ‘go-to’ and allow your heart to stand in awe of His Word and bring you peace (Psalm 119:161, Isa. 26:3).