When moving from one portion of a clean, efficient train station to another in a picturesque European country, there she was: the girl I will never forget.

She appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties with beautiful, flowing hair and was scrunched on the side of a stairwell, leaning against the wall. Oblivious to those walking around her, she was in the process of injecting what was most likely heroin into her left forearm’s bruised, puffy vein.

I froze.

Gently but firmly, my husband moved me forward. He knew my instincts would be to try and engage with her in the hope of providing life-changing care. He also knew the girl would fight anyone who tried to intervene while she was in the middle of getting what she wanted more than anything else at that moment.

Desperate for a fix, this woman-child didn’t care about the magnificent countryside and culture around her, or anything good. It was all about the fix… 

My mind whirled as we continued on our way. What was her name? Was there anyone in her life who cared about her? How could a girl so attractive, with such breathtaking beauty all around her, end up in a public stairwell jamming a needle full of garbage into herself?

It was tragic!

And equally tragic is the fact you and I can end up in a similar plight if we permit anything which is even slightly off in the spiritual realm to lodge itself into our support structures. Let me explain.

The Bible identifies three enemies which regularly work against us: Satan, the world system, and our natural, ungodly impulses and desires. Did you know any one of these can infiltrate what may appear to be a worthwhile tool or mindset in life, only to end up turning on us in the same way as a fiercely addicting, illicit drug?

And, unlike the girl in the stairwell who knew she had a problem, we may not even know—between our fixes—that we’re allowing things into our thinking and hearts more deadly than heroin.

What does this mean?

Simply, our support structures can be Amazing—or Tragic.

This blog’s purpose is to help us know what we can do to make our tools for support match with what God, the lover of our souls, intended. It begins with:

THE AMAZING—GOD HIMSELF

For the Christ follower, the main means of support is his or her relationship, fellowship, and communication with God. And anyone can have this wonderful unity with Him (see John 3:16).

Because He knows what is best and loves us so much, God provided believers in Christ with the Holy Spirit (who actually lives in them) and gave His Word to us for truth and guidance (see Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 5:8, John 14:17, and Psalm 119:105).

Shockingly, God has provided us with the most powerful means of support in the whole of creation: Himself!

* * *

Perhaps what you’ve just read is new to you and you’re afraid of becoming intimate with God. If so, I understand. God is so holy, all-knowing, and frightening, really.

We may ask: How can we be intimate with God?

The answer is refreshing: By honestly telling Him that’s what we want and asking Him to teach us and show us how through His Word. Oh, friend—He will! (see James 4:8 and John 3:16).

* * *

If we are not relying primarily on God and His Word to help us through life’s challenges, we’re tragically emulating the girl at the train station. You may be able to be propped up with the support of a spouse, friend, pastor, counselor, or medical team, perhaps; but the day will come when you’ll hit rock bottom and they will not be around—or able—to adequately supply for your need.

Nothing else can come close to being a substitute for God, or your time alone with Him and His Word.

As we consider God (our heavenly Father), Christ (the perfect Savior who suffered more than any of us), and the Holy Spirit (the Comforter sent to indwell every believer), we’ll recognize we possess more support than we could ever use, right there!

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

If you are an adopted child of God, you have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

That, my friend, is amazing!

God has already given us what we so often beg Him for and fail to use.

* * *

NEXT: LIVING, BREATHING PEOPLE

Our support structures should include people; not just any people, but those we can interface with who are so deeply in love with Jesus Christ that their lives—though imperfect and perhaps marred by pain—are a beautiful, compelling sign which consistently points us to spiritual excellence and creates in us a thirst and appetite for God and His Word.

When determining who should be a part of your support structure, take care to avoid having a one-on-one relationship with anyone outside of marriage that you could become emotionally dependent upon or sexually attracted to… even if they meet the above criteria.

HARMFUL INPUT CAN SEEM RIGHT TO US

As mentioned earlier, you and I can end up in a similar plight as the young woman with the needle in the stairwell. All we have to do is permit anything which is even slightly off in the spiritual realm to lodge itself into our thinking and support structures as we seek to navigate the challenges of life.

Our culture is saturated with teachers, life coaches, books, blogs, sermons, movies, podcasts, u-tube videos, and even friends and family members who either knowingly or unwittingly espouse dangerous falsehoods. When this happens, the pure water of God’s Word gets muddied—as do the convictions and priorities of those deceived by them (for more on this, see The Right Ending?)

It can be difficult to separate truths from falsehoods because truth is often used to float falsehood.

This is why we must vet everything we are reading and hearing with what the Bible says, in context (more on this at How Do We Know What’s True?)

 * * *

Are there any sure methods for recognizing a cleverly designed falsehood? Yes, and we’re so glad you asked! We can know and be fully immersed in the truth of God’s Word and run everything else through two, simple checkpoints:

HOW TO RECOGNIZE SPIRITUAL FALSEHOODS

  1. If what you are reading, hearing, or pondering is giving you a “pass” on following any of God’s commands or instructions for believers—whether it’s viewed as a permanent pass or a temporary one—then it is tragically false. Here’s one example:
  • “You can’t completely forgive someone until that person has come to a full understanding of the depth of the hurt or damage he or she caused you” Temporary pass: somebody has to come around or realize something before you can be obedient (but see Ephesians 4:32).
  1. If what you are reading, hearing or pondering deviates even slightly from what God has communicated and preserved in the Bible about Himself, His Word, the human condition, His children, consequences of actions or inactions—or anything else—it is dangerously and tragically false. An example of this would be:
  • “The Bible isn’t wholly trustworthy or relevant to our lives today.” But God says, ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness’ (2 Timothy 3:16).

* * *

The Amazing and The Tragic are both within reach.

Which are you choosing?

 

[“The Amazing And The Tragic” is an adaptation from ETL’s book, Breathtaking Hope in the Furnace of Infertility]

 

It would be tragic for you to be unaware of the truth and seriousness of the gulf which separates us (as sinful human beings) from God. The team at ETL wants you to know that He made a way for us to be rescued from eternal separation from Him. Consider also today our blog, Rescue From The Worst Of Plunges

You are loved.

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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