“Lookin’ good!”  We love to hear it said to us.  All of us, believers or not, have a desire to look good to others.  This desire is so strong within us that this pride/envy way about us expresses itself easily in our thoughts, spilling out into what we say.  Looking good to each other promotes exaggerating what is really real and what is truthfully going on.  Let’s call exaggerations for what they really are.  It is called lying in God’s thinking and God does not like liars.  He abhors false statements that lead people away from Truth.

Friends, as leaders in the church, we do it all the time!  When we talk with other leaders in God’s churches who also boast about “how many” they have on any given Sunday, the numbers are always exaggerated.  When we talk of how many are serving in the church, the numbers are rounded up when reported to others.  (We rarely ask each other what God is doing in our own lives to help us grow in His character!) When we lie (exaggerate) from the platform or in the hallways to the congregation we think that it will encouraging more from them, but when we lie the opposite happens, especially when people see what is really going on.  Trust is ruptured and is hard to rebuild.

When the illusion that we are successful overrides what is truth, we are in trouble. 

I’m reminded of Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” We produce illusions with our lies.  God gives visions to those who will listen to understand in obedience to Him.  Jesus, God’s Son, was Truth and came to show us how to live a life pleasing to God.  So, what do we seek and what will we choose—man-made illusions or visions (revelations) from God?

Ezekiel points out, at least to me today, just how much we disappoint God when we lie—just to look good.

Ezekiel 13, The Message

People Who Love Listening to Lies

13 1-2 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, preach against the prophets of Israel who are making things up out of their own heads and calling it ‘prophesying.’

2-6 Preach to them the real thing. Tell them, ‘Listen to God’s Message!’ God, the Master, pronounces doom on the empty-headed prophets who do their own thing and know nothing of what’s going on! Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals scavenging through the ruins. They haven’t lifted a finger to repair the defenses of the city and have risked nothing to help Israel stand on God’s Day of Judgment. All they do is fantasize comforting illusions and preach lying sermons. They say ‘God says . . .’ when God hasn’t so much as breathed in their direction. And yet they stand around thinking that something they said is going to happen.

7-9 “Haven’t you fantasized sheer nonsense? Aren’t your sermons tissues of lies, saying ‘God says . . .’ when I’ve done nothing of the kind? Therefore—and this is the Message of God, the Master, remember—I’m dead set against prophets who substitute illusions for visions and use sermons to tell lies. I’m going to ban them from the council of my people, remove them from membership in Israel, and outlaw them from the land of Israel. Then you’ll realize that I am God, the Master.

10-12 “The fact is that they’ve lied to my people. They’ve said, ‘No problem; everything’s just fine,’ when things are not at all fine. When people build a wall, they’re right behind them slapping on whitewash. Tell those who are slapping on the whitewash, ‘When a torrent of rain comes and the hailstones crash down and the hurricane sweeps in and the wall collapses, what’s the good of the whitewash that you slapped on so liberally, making it look so good?’

13-14 “And that’s exactly what will happen. I, God, the Master, say so: ‘I’ll let the hurricane of my wrath loose, a torrent of my hailstone-anger. I’ll make that wall you’ve slapped with whitewash collapse. I’ll level it to the ground so that only the foundation stones will be left. And in the ruin you’ll all die. You’ll realize then that I am God.

15-16 “‘I’ll dump my wrath on that wall, all of it, and on those who plastered it with whitewash. I will say to them, There is no wall, and those who did such a good job of whitewashing it wasted their time, those prophets of Israel who preached to Jerusalem and announced all their visions telling us things were just fine when they weren’t at all fine. Decree of God, the Master.’

17-19 “And the women prophets—son of man, take your stand against the women prophets who make up stuff out of their own minds. Oppose them. Say ‘Doom’ to the women who sew magic bracelets and head scarves to suit every taste, devices to trap souls. Say, ‘Will you kill the souls of my people, use living souls to make yourselves rich and popular? You have profaned me among my people just to get ahead yourselves, used me to make yourselves look good—killing souls who should never have died and coddling souls who shouldn’t live. You’ve lied to people who love listening to lies.’

20-21 Therefore God says, ‘I am against all the devices and techniques you use to hunt down souls. I’ll rip them out of your hands. I’ll free the souls you’re trying to catch. I’ll rip your magic bracelets and scarves to shreds and deliver my people from your influence so they’ll no longer be victimized by you. That’s how you’ll come to realize that I am God.

22-23 “‘Because you’ve confounded and confused good people, unsuspecting and innocent people, with your lies, and because you’ve made it easy for others to persist in evil so that it wouldn’t even dawn on them to turn to me so I could save them, as of now you’re finished. No more delusion-mongering from you, no more sermonic lies. I’m going to rescue my people from your clutches. And you’ll realize that I am God.’”


“For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth, so that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

If we consistently chase the natural desire to “look good” we will always be at war with evil and ourselves. Evil delights in our fall to pride, envy and jealousy for he is the inventor of all that is not God. However, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)  Instead of spending wasted time and energy on lying to look good—SEEK all who is good alone and that is God.

We are all called to minister and our calling is serious.  “To be called of God and to speak His Word to His people is serious and should not be taken lightly. To assume a place of ministry without being called and gifted is arrogance, and to manufacture messages without receiving them from the Lord is impertinence. The false prophets in Ezekiel’s day were guilty of both. Popularity is not a test of truth. History shows that those who spoke the truth were usually rejected by the majority, persecuted, and even killed.” –Warren Wiersbe

The Ministry of Reconciliation—Who we are and what we do

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:11-21, NIV (Emphasis mine.)

  • Be reconciled to God through repenting to Jesus, His Son. 
  • Really believe that what God says and does is really real.  And we will be saved forever. 
  • Trust God.  God always says what He will do. 
  • God does not lie.  Jesus is Truth.  His Holy Spirit guides us in all that is truth.  We can rely on Him. 
  • “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
  • Instead of looking good, seek the only one who is good—God.


Help us to run from the temptation to merely look good for the moment but to be reconciled to you who is good.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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