We’re ready to go a little deeper into trust, today. Have you found a sister or two to chat with? You might want your journal and a pen.
Lord Jesus, You tell us You are the Truth. Open our hearts and minds to receive You as Truth.
This week our homework was centered on God is Truth. On the first day we asked, “How do you determine truth?” What were some of your thoughts and answers to this question?
How do you respond to the world’s teaching truth is relative?
Read Malachi 3:6
What does this Scripture say about God?
God does not change.
Read Hebrews 13:8
What does this Scripture say about Jesus?
Jesus does not change, He is always the same.
According to Scripture, God’s character… who He is… never changes. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” If Jesus is the truth and He never changes, then neither does truth.
Truth exists on its own. It cannot be tampered with or changed. Truth just is…
The Greek translated as truth in John 14:6 means: what is true in any matter under any conditions (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon). Truth is always true no matter what. No matter what you feel. No matter what you see. No matter your understanding.
So how do we live in a world where the growing belief is a lie: truth is relative? And people believe there is much more gray than black and white?
We were a young married couple struggling. Struggling to get by financially… struggling with each other in every way. We ended up sitting in a counselor’s office stating our case. He would talk and I would disagree. I would tell my side and he would shake his head no. Finally, the counselor spoke and what she said I’ve kept with me over twenty years now.
A person’s perspective is their truth.
I’ve gone back to this idea over and over when faced with those who speak untruth or believe something different than me.
What do you think? Was the counselor right?
Webster’s defines perspective as:
- the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically: representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance
- the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed
Our perspective is our worldview. It’s the way we see the world around us and interpret what’s going on. Our perspective, however, can be an illusion based on a lie. Lies we’ve accepted from family, traditions, and culture.
How people view some issue or circumstance becomes their “truth,” but it may not be truth at all. Honestly many of us have fallen into the idea that we should accept every perspective as truth. This is dangerous… even deadly. It is just as dangerous to decide we have all the truth and others must come to our way of thinking.
So how do we determine truth in a world where “truth is relative”?
One of the ways we determine truth is through experience. Our experience, practicing what we believe, living life from our worldview, can reveal truth. Sometimes, we run up against a worldview wall which challenges our belief and we find ourselves stunned and disoriented, wondering what happened.
What worldview walls have you run into?
Most people believe there is one thing in this world which will make them happy, turn their lives into perfection, if they could just attain it. Many women believe the perfect man will make them happy, then when that isn’t totally fulfilling maybe it’s time to add a baby. When the kids don’t fill her up and only create more distance and chaos, maybe it’s time for a bigger house… car… boat… vacation home… When those truths fail and finances are a mess, maybe the only way to happiness is the way out… a divorce.
What worldview lie do we see played out in this scenario over and over in our culture?
The purpose of life is to be happy.
How is this working out for most people? Is this “truth” really a lie?
The truth to the purpose of life is found in Acts.
Read Acts 17:26-28
He created people to seek Him and find Him. He placed us in the exact time and place where we would have the best chance of finding Him. The truth is He will not allow anything in this world to fill the hole He placed in us for Him, except Himself.
Once we become Believers, Holy Spirit leads us to truth. He helps us interpret our experiences.
Read John 16:13
When we trust He is truth, He will reveal truth.
I used to believe my husband could keep me free from fear and anxiety. If he loved me he would take care to keep me safe. Watch the road, lock the doors at night, bring us in off the lake when storm clouds threatened and thunder rumbled rather than trying to catch one more fish! I also believed nagging and complaining would change him.
We were at the beach one summer, I sat under the house on a swing watching the water begin to churn, the clouds darken, hearing the thunder rumble. My anxiety rising because my husband had our children out in the boat. As I worried and fretted, basically cursed my husband for not caring about me or our offspring, I heard God speak: You are counting on him to do something only I can do. You are giving him My place in your life. You need to trust Me.
There was a worldview wall I smacked into. Since I’ve known the truth about my idolatry, I’ve taken my husband off the pedestal and placed the Truth where He belongs in my life. This truth has been one of the critical pieces in bringing me to a place of peace. The peace He promises when we trust Him.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
Another way we can begin to determine truth is seeking God’s wisdom. King Solomon knew the importance of wisdom. He valued wisdom so much when God gave him permission to ask for anything he wanted, he asked for wisdom.
Read 1 Kings 3:16-22
We’ve all been in this situation at some point. We’ve heard two very different sides of the same story. Solomon had no way to tell which woman the baby belonged to just by listening.
This is something I face as a leader of children all the time. Two children with two completely opposite stories and no way to determine who is telling the truth. Often a thought or idea comes to me about how to handle the situation. I believe these ideas are a direct answer to my prayers over the years for wisdom.
Read 1 Kings 3:23-28
Solomon was inspired with an idea to reveal the truth. What was it?
Solomon’s wisdom was a gift from God. He did not seek multiple degrees in education or study for years. He asked for wisdom and received it. God graciously gives wisdom to those who seek Him. Our faith grows as we trust God to reveal truth to us in His perfect timing.
You often hear, “The truth hurts.”
What do you think… does truth hurt?
There we were in the pastor’s office, my co-worker and me. As the pastor, my boss, began asking questions I realized quickly my co-worker had a different perspective of events than I did. They were mad, frustrated, and very angry. I on the other hand was dumb founded. As we finished our meeting, I left deeply hurt and wondering… Did I miss the truth here?
Seeking truth about ourselves and our world often leads to pain. It leads us to face our brokenness head-on and our first instinct is to defend ourselves.
Just this week my oldest son and I were having a serious conversation when I simply said in a humble voice, “I’ve noticed you’ve developed a habit of quitting.” He replied very loudly, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST CALLED ME A QUITTER.” He stood up and left the room and the conversation.
I knew in this moment he was not ready to deal with himself. Pushing the truth on him would have just made him angry, and angry hearts don’t leave much room for change.
As broken people, we must be willing to examine our own hearts when it comes to truth. One of the most powerful prayers we can pray is: “Lord, is this true about me?”
Read John 8:31-32
Many speak the words, “the truth shall set you free.” These words are incomplete. Jesus is making an “if… then” statement here.
According to these verses, what is the “if”?
Holding onto, abiding in, living out, Jesus’ teaching promises two things. What are they?
Living out Jesus’s teaching in our lives reveals truth and sets us free. Abiding in His Word is obedience to His Word. The more we trust, the more we obey, the more truth we know, the freer we become.
There is another truth we need to remember: There are eternal consequences for accepting or rejecting the truth of God.
We read Deuteronomy 7:9 this week regarding God’s covenant of love and faithfulness to Believers, those who love Him and keep His commandments. There is a second part of this truth.
Read Deuteronomy 7:10
Those who hate God, refuse to believe in Him and abide in His Word, those who refuse the Truth, He promises to destroy. There will be no grace for those who reject the truth of the gospel, only hell.
We cannot forget this truth as we move to live in truth. Because the truth is He came to pay the price of redemption for all people. And those who know His truth will be used by Him to set others free.
Next, we are going deeper into five weeks of Obedience, beginning with Trust and Obey. As we consider obedience, remember there are eternal consequences with every choice you make to trust and obey.
Click here for the PDF of Trust and Obey Homework: going-deeper-week-16-trust-and-obey
Lord, continue to grow our trust in You.