I had a long, interesting conversation about “truth” yesterday. We talked about Who Jesus is, about the importance of the Scripture, about how to understand the meaning of Creation. What is truth? There is a question that requires careful thought. I do most certainly believe in absolute truth but knowing that Truth is not as easy as it may sound. Remember Pilate’s question of Jesus? When the Lord told him that He was sent into the world to “testify to the truth,” the Roman governor cynically asked Him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37)
The early days of my spiritual journey were shaped around the idea that the world was a place where there were only right answers and wrong answers, where those answers were shaped around solid black and white principles with no grey areas. As I matured I found that there was an additional category – “things we don’t talk about!” There were complicated and difficult issues that fell into that category and, if a question was raised, you got a lecture about the importance of ‘just trusting God,’ which I later figured out was code for ‘we don’t know how to answer that and stick with our system of truth!’ I also learned that there were some things that were declared true that were simply preferences. It was all terribly confusing to a teenager trying to hang onto to his faith.
The temptation that came from all that was to discard faith, but God was there. He revealed (an important word in the discussion about Truth) Himself in the created world, through the love of wonderful Spirit-filled people, by the work of the Spirit, and in the Scripture. I learned that honesty in dealing with Truth did not require me to have an answer for all questions; that I could and should say, “I do not know,” and leave it at that. I also learned to live with mystery – with the fact that God and His Truth are just too big to fit entirely inside of my head. Some things He choose to let me comprehend, some He asks me to discover with careful study, and some remain in the ‘to be continued’ category.
God reveals Truth and, at the same time, requires us to discover it! Sometimes it just shows up like a beautiful new day dawning and sometimes it slowly emerges from long study and reflection. But, willingness to grapple with ‘truth’ be it about physical laws of the universe or spiritual laws about pleasing God – brings great benefit to those who align themselves with it. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NIV)
Jesus’ most ardent enemies were people who thought of themselves as being pursuers of truth. But their ability to know the truth was corrupted by willful disobedience and by their insistence on maintaining their accepted traditions, which led to their refusal to live in the Spirit, to drink of God’s Living Water. Jesus challenged them – “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” (John 7:24, NLT)
Disciple, are you pursuing the Truth?
- Be a student of the Scripture and a person who loves God personally and intimately.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to pull back the curtains and let you ‘see’ the wonders of God’s plans and purposes!
- Watch out for deception that comes from living in open sin. Yes, if we persist in disobedience when we know better, we will become deaf and blind to the things of the Spirit.
- And, do not allow yourself to be intellectually lazy or spiritually tradition bound!
Are you wrestling to know God’s way for your life in some area. Is your desire to align your life with His will, but the ‘truth’ is hard to discern. Here is a promise that Jesus made to His disciples on the night of the Last Supper. Meditate on it and take the deep assurance offered by the Word with you into a world full of uncertainty.
“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. … But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (John 16:7,13-15, NIV)
Abba, sometimes the questions weigh heavily on me.
I wonder about the how, the why, the when, the where … of Your will.
Some days Your purpose gets hidden by the pain in this world,
by the insistent voice of sin and evil, or by my own doubt.
Thank you, Jesus, for the promise that the Spirit is with me,
revealing You, showing the Way.
Help me to readily respond to what I know is true and right.
Give me courage to ask myself the hard questions,
the diligence to dig for discovery, and
the patience to wait for revelation.
And, as the beauty of the Truth is revealed,
I will rejoice in You and the world will see You more clearly,
in me! I praise You for loving me.
Let this Truth be the anchor for my heart.