JOHN 17:17 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Apr 10-17)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Last week, we looked at Scriptures related to the fight and flight instinct in our two-part series. This week, we'll continue our study by looking more at Scripture related to disassociation.

Chances are everyone has experienced the fight-or-flight instinct at one time or another in their lives when faced with a threat to their well-being. Just as this is a biological reality—a product of our fallen sin nature—so is our ability to disassociate from the truth or reality of that danger.

In extreme situations, when people are trapped and cannot escape a terrifying or horrifying situation, the mind naturally can disassociate from what is happening. When someone goes into shock, they are disassociating from their situation. The person “detaches” themselves from the truth of what the body is experiencing, physically or emotionally, because it is overwhelmed. This is not voluntary. It is as much a part of the body's defense mechanism as the adrenaline dump to fight or run.

In the mid-range of the spectrum, we may dissociate when we are over-stimulated by media, noise, or other stresses. This can cause sensitive people to "zone out" from their surroundings in a daze. On the near end of the spectrum, however, we all have the voluntary ability to disassociate as a way to cope or manage stressful realities or conflicts. For example, perhaps your dad or mom was chewing you out once upon a time, and you “zoned out,” because it was uncomfortable to you—later, you can’t even recall what they were saying to you. That is a mild form of disassociation. You "checked out" from an uncomfortable reality to a more comfortable fantasy that was "safe" and what you wanted. We don't want the truth of what they were saying to be real, so we "make" it unreal for ourselves. But we're only fooling ourselves, because reality still exists. In our overstimulated, crisis driven world, many people are dissociating, rather than facing reality.

So, when confronted with a threatening reality, people can react in three ways—fight, flight, or disassociate. When we face a threat, we acknowledge it as true and we put up a fight. When we run from it, we are acknowledging it as true, but we are trying to avoid it. When we dissociate, we deny it exists by "zoning out" to a false "reality" where the threat doesn't exist. So, when faced with alarming information, we can get angry and attack the person telling us (fight), we can refuse to talk about it (flight), even though we know its true, or we can detach from it into fantasy.

God doesn't want us to do any of these things when confronted with the horrifying reality of sin. Sin is a threatening truth (reality). God wants us to accept reality for what it is. He wants us to be in truth (reality). Spiritually, He wants us to face our situation truthfully.

Many people deny the existence of God, because they do not want to face the stress and anxiety of what it would mean for them. They "zone out" to a fantasy where sin doesn't exist and God doesn't exist. After all, accountability is stressful, and Hell is a very traumatizing concept. People may react by getting angry at the person and attacking them (fight), avoiding the topic entirely (flight), or disassociating (zone out). Even Believers can struggle with disassociation because of the terrifying reality of life and our sinful desires, which truly are a danger and a threat to us. Because of these things, many righteous men in the Bible fought God, fled from Him, and chose fantasies over His reality.

Job faced the reality of Who God is and wrestled with it (fight). Jonah knew the reality of God's expectation and he ran (fled). David pretended God had nothing to do with him and Bathsheba (disassociate). David knew God’s law, which required adultery and murder to be punished by death. He knew it was very serious to God. Of all men, David was a man after God’s own heart—he knew he couldn’t get away with murder, and yet, he convinced himself he would get away with it because of a fantasy he wanted to be real. David denied the reality of his sin, by pretending the truth didn't apply to him. Similarly, when we sin, we know it is wrong, but we do it anyways, because it is the fantasy we want to be true (reality). But it isn't real.

With these three men, God required them to face reality, confess the truth, and entrust themselves to Him. Job confessed that he could not prove God wrong, and he accepted what God had allowed. Jonah realized he could not outrun God, and he had to make peace with Him. David had to let go his fantasy, face the consequences of his actions, and confess to the truth.

God doesn't sugar-coat the horror of our fallen situation. He wants us to face the ugly stress and horror of this fallen, sinful reality (The Law - we are sinners, doomed to judgement, and we cannot save ourselves). Then He wants us to entrust ourselves to Him in the midst of that terror (the Gospel - only Jesus can save us, and He will save all who put their faith in Him).

May we not dissociate ourselves from the horror of this fallen reality or the true nature of God and His expectations - not making way for sin by "zoning out" to fantasies where He doesn't exist. And may we entrust ourselves to God's salvation and help, which is the only way to be reconciled to His peace. May we praise God for His work through Christ in saving us from sin! Even so, Amen.

 

Other verses to consider:

FIGHTING TRUTH (REALITY)

“But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue with God” (Job 13:3).


FLEEING TRUTH (REALITY) - RUNNING FROM THE PRESENCE OF GOD

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.’ But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:1-3).


KNOWING THE TRUTH BUT DISASSOCIATING YOURSELF FROM IT (IGNORING REALITY)

“So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am pregnant’” (2 Samuel 11:3-5).


GOD REQUIRES US TO CONFESS REALITY AND NOT DENY HIM OR MIX LIES WITH TRUTH

“Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people did not answer him a word” (1 Kings 18:21).

“I hate those who are double-minded, But I love Your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word. Depart from me, evildoers, That I may observe the commandments of my God” (Psalm 119:113-115).

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24).

“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me’” (Matthew 16:24).

“Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times’” (Matthew 26:34).

“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16).

“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:21).

“Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” (Proverbs 25:26).


GOD IS TRUTH AND REQUIRES THAT WE CONFESS TRUTH AND LIVE BY IT

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).

“O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart” (Psalm 15:1-2).

“Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:5).

“All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies” (Psalm 25:10).

“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6).

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

“A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous” (Proverbs 14:25).

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:20-21).

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’” (John 8:31-32).

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’” (John 14:6).

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13).

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).


CONFESS THE TRUTH (REALITY), WHICH IS THE BAD NEWS OF SIN AND DEATH, BUT THE GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).

“So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).

“But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Romans 3:22).

Tags: bible, david, daze, death, deny, disassociate, face, fall, fantasy, fear, fight, flee, flight, gospel, hide, horror, job, jonah, reality, safe, sin, stress, threat, truth, zone out

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