“Who changed the truth of God into a lie…” –Romans 1:25
Children usually do not have any idea of what constitutes as a good exchange. They will exchange army men for candy and their mother’s fine china for a baseball card. They will search high and low throughout the house for items to barter to purchase their neighbor’s bike. They will look for items to trade up, no matter the real value so they can possess that which will give them immediate happiness. Children do not perceive that what they are able to change in at the local pawn shop has a much greater value than what they will receive. They are fixated on something else. They are fixated on themselves. And adults as well may fall into the same trap. Standing in front of the dealership, a salesman may coax an unsuspecting customer to purchase a vehicle that is selling at a price much higher than its value while trading in their reliable car at a fraction of its worth. And for a while one is clouded by all of the gadgets, the gizmos, and the new car smell, but after seeing preexisting scratch and then a gasket blows they realize their poor judgment and the true cost of what they now have in their possession. Every one of us has made a poor purchase or a terrible exchange, but the worst exchange of all is when man so long ago took the truth of God and exchanged it for a lie.
This lie tells us to do what is pleasing in our own eyes and to gratify our own innate desires. Our actions run contrary to a deep love for others and for God, but focuses in on ourselves. This lie is in the belief that we can bring about fulfillment in our lives and direct our own paths. We have been duped into believing that we should first look out for ourselves and protect our interests. We have abandoned the truths of God, of what is pleasing and is good. We instead have turned to the desires that run deep within our blood, seeking darkness and a life which is separated from Him as it runs contrary to His nature and character. We have thrown away the righteousness of God and fulfillment which can only be found in Him. The lie in which we live may bring pleasure and delight for a season but at what cost?
What we fail to realize is that God has turned us over to the darkness and wickedness of this world, because that is what our heart desires. We had the opportunity to know and have a relationship with Him but we turned away from Him and embraced our own desires which lead only to pain and destruction. All of the pain and tears in this world is caused by man’s desire to do things his ways and not God’s ways. Man has incurred the wrath of God and justly so. Our streets are filled with violence and mouths are left empty from lack of food. Our words are filled with gossip, slander and hatred against one another. We tear each other down rather than building each other up. We turn our hands against authority and reject the wisdom from our parents. Our hearts are cold to others as we look to survive.
But this was not the life in which God intended for His creation to live. He desired that His creation would have a relationship with Him, following His ways and precepts, and right fellowship with fellow man. We were to be a people filled with love and experiencing the blessings of this relationship with Him. We had the truth of God at our finger tips, and we threw it away for a short flight of ecstasy. The story does not end there though. Through God’s Son Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, we are able to be reconciled back to Him and to know the truth that is found alone in Him. He alone opens our eyes and purifies us so that we can live in a right relationship with Him that we may follow His ways and not our own. No longer are we to worship the lie, but we are to worship Him in truth.