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Making The Crooked Places Straight
   I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. Isaiah 42:16
   For years I thought God would go before me and remove all of the obstacles of life and make me a nice smooth roadway to follow into glory, but that is not what He meant by this scripture in Isaiah, and my path has not been very smooth. The crooked places that He was straightening out were actually in me and not in the road. Nobody likes to be called crooked, but everyone is a crook in God's eyes until He starts His roadwork in us.
   The Hebrew word used in Isaiah to define crooked translates to be prideful, distorted, fraudulent, deceitful, polluted, perverse, warped and froward, meaning disobedient. The amount of these attributes that we possess determines how crooked we are. We often think of crooks being criminals: bank robbers, murderers, etc. but God calls us criminals when we allow these characteristics to remain in our hearts.
   The opposite of crooked is straight and we need to go straight if we truly want to walk in the blessings of God. People leaving prison used to say as they left the pen, "I'm go-in straight!", most today go straight to the dope house because prison doesn't teach anyone to change their life. The word penitentiary means to be penitent, or repentant, in other words a place to go and repent.
   I believe the greatest sin that we of the church commit today is lying, oh, we don't call it lying, we call it a gray area where we say things that aren't quite true and then justify why we said it. Being in sales for most of my life taught me the art of stretching the truth to gain a sale, not a bold face lie, but a nice smooth story convincing the unsuspecting customer that what I had was the best. It's like selling a used car and telling the old story that it was driven by a little old lady that only drove it to church, when in actuality it was in Katrina.
   Today's televangelists will tell you anything to get your money to support their ministry, or should I say lifestyle. Send me a love offering and God will pay your house off, or give to my ministry and God will give you a new car, sow a seed, reap a blessing. It sounds so convincing and yet it is a lie from the very pit of hell! I've worked with many Christian businessmen and most don't have a problem lying about anything that will gain an advantage. We justify the fact that our proceeds will benefit Kingdom work when in actuality it will pad our pockets. I know, I've been there, and done that and bought the tee shirt.
   The salesman's creed is "Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies." I am afraid this very statement has also entered the church because we seem to have no conviction of sin anymore and we justify what we say and why we said it. I will never forget the conviction in my heart the first time I was caught in a lie when I told my first grade teacher something and she brought in my mother to confirm it. After that experience it seemed easier to lie because I didn't repent, I just felt remorse for being caught.
   Satan is the father of lies and there is no truth in him, he is full of darkness and deceit and he will always tempt you to lie rather than tell the truth. If we want to act like the devil we will end up in the Lake of Fire where he will ultimately be thrown along with the beast and the false prophet. Jesus said, "The truth would set us free." and I also believe that telling the truth will also set us free from a lying spirit and give us the ability to walk as sons of light.
   That you may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:15  
May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding and bless you with wisdom,
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Hebrews 13: 20,21