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CAN WE TRUST IN THE INTEGRITY OF GOD?
December 29, 2015
Is God A Liar?
How much is God’s reputation worth to Him? If He makes a promise can we count on Him to keep it? Will He be faithful to His own Word no matter what the cost? Hebrews 6:18 tells us “These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when he makes a promise…. These things encourage us who came to God for safety. They give us strength to hold on to the hope we have been given.”
“By the time we were headed down the last mountain, our knees were so weak that they rapidly and involuntarily shook with every downward step… Jennie and I had so many bruises and scrapes on the backs of our legs from slipping and then sliding down various parts of the mountainside that our legs were beginning to resemble raw meat. Our hands and arms swelled out in various places where we had been scraped by jungle thorns and creepers…We could see by the blood stains on our socks and muddy pants that those leeches had sucked way more than their fair share… It couldn’t have been clearer that God had given us just enough strength to accomplish our task though we in and of ourselves had felt completely inadequate. He didn’t give any more than we needed or any less, He gave us exactly what we needed. And most important of all He had given us favor in the eyes of the Dao people. It would have only taken one man and one of those many bows and arrows we had seen and the survey could have gone bad, not to mention one or all of us could have ended up dead. As I lay there that night drifting in and out of sleep on that hard floor an old saying once again came to mind: “We are immortal until our work is done.” – From Pages 178-180 of Prophecies of Pale Skin
The fact that God does not lie is not only a great encouragement in relation to the safety of His people but it is also an incredible encouragement in relation to His plan for this world. Why? Because it means that those of us who go out as ambassadors for His name and lay everything on the line for the sake of God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom are living for something that ultimately cannot fail. We are investing our lives in not only a plan but also a promise because God cannot and will not lie.
Isaiah 48:9-11 shows God’s commitment to His own glory and to the integrity of His name and reputation. “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”
If God says He is going to do something then He can be trusted to do it. One of the greatest encouragements to us as missionaries and ambassadors of the cross is that we are investing our lives in something that ultimately cannot fail!
There is nothing that better demonstrates that we believe God is true to his Word and reputation and that He “does not lie” than when we lay it all on the line for the sake of the advancement of His kingdom, for the sake of His name and His reputation. Is there ever a battle where soldiers don’t come back bruised and bloody? Is there ever a war where those soldiers on the front lines don’t at times long for some relief from their foreign surroundings and dream about the comforts of their homeland? Is there ever a war where some don’t make the ultimate sacrifice for their cause?
“The isolation from our families and the rest of the world was beginning to take its toll… The Dao kids that always leaned up next to us and relentlessly petted our arms and tugged on our strange yellow hair didn’t seem so cute anymore. In fact, we had both contracted scabies from the village kids and were itching relentlessly… We had been dealing with giardia and amoeba from eating most our meals with them also….After a while, when the people came up to our porch seeking medicine for the stinking, festering slashes on their backs and arms, yellow puss oozing out of them because they refused to bathe, it took everything in us to look on them with compassion anymore…I was tired of being there. The job of learning their language was starting to seem impossible ….” – From Pages 201-205 of Prophecies of Pale Skin
But on the day that the war is won, and the King declares that the victory is ours, just like He said it would be, the celebration begins! And any sorrow that was faced or any hardship that we endured will be drowned out by the eternal joy of being in the presence of our loving God who not only sent us out, but also empowered us along the way and even orchestrated the victory for the sake of His own great name and reputation.
The bottom line is that when God tells us in His word that at the end of time, there will be “A vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10) those words are as good as gold!
“Looking up at my face and directly into my eyes, Apius continued. “Friend, when I saw you and your wife hike into our valley and I saw your pale skin, and then I saw you building a house here and trying to learn our language, and you told us you had an important message for us, I remembered my father’s dream. Upon remembering the dream I decided I would do everything I could to help you learn our language as quickly as possible. I am here, living with you and helping you because I am waiting for the day I can hear your message. That is why I built my house here.” I could hardly believe what I was hearing.” – From Page 205 of Prophecies of Pale Skin
There is no people group, no nation, no tribe or language that a missionary can go to in this world without the assured hope of God doing something great. Why? Because if there is even one nation, one tribe, one people or language group missing on that great day when we are all gathered before the throne singing and shouting His praises, then what does that make God? It makes Him a liar!
“As I went in and propped my door open once again for the day’s traffic of giggly kids and festering wounds I realized something very important. I understood for the first time that morning that what was going on there in the Dao valley was so much bigger than me. It was about so much more than my wife and I and our measly efforts. This whole thing was not about us at all in fact! God had a plan for these people since long before we ever arrived. Even though they had been forgotten by the rest of the world, God had not forgotten about them… Multiple men had experienced the same prophecy through dreams and passed it on to their children and clan also. God had been giving them these prophetic dreams to prepare them!.. Before we had ever arrived here God’s predetermined plan of having “people from every tongue, tribe, people and nation one day standing before his throne” as the Book of Revelation talks about, had been put into play! I realized that God was even more committed to His Word than I was because if even one of the tribes was missing on that final day when everyone was standing before God’s throne, that would make Him a liar. And God is not a liar, nor will He let Himself be made into one!..We realized that we would not fail if we would just let the Lord be the strength we needed and keep moving forward… Not because we were anything special or had what it takes to make someone place their faith in Jesus Christ but because God loved these people and was committed to His words.” – From Page 207 of Prophecies of Pale Skin
- What would it be like if we could not trust the fact that “God never lies”. Why is it so important in our lives as believers that God always keeps His word?
- If we refuse to get involved with what He has commanded us to be a part of, does God miss out or is it ultimately us that misses out on the privilege of playing a part?
- Read Psalm 67 and ponder these verses and how they relate to your own life.
Used with permission. © 2014, D.S. Phillips
The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood is a thought provoking study on the effects of the Bible and the Cross in an isolated culture in which they had never been previously introduced. Based on the true story found in Prophesies of Pale Skin.
Along with his family, D.S. Phillips lived and worked among the very remote Dao tribe in South East Asia. The Dao tribe is a people group that before they arrived had no written alphabet for their dialect, not a single verse of scripture available to them and no church or religious organisation of any type working among them.
If you would like to purchase the book go to: The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood