What is truth? In the world we live in today it seems the answer is whatever a person or group of people determine is right for them. It goes something like this, what is right for you maybe wrong for me or more bluntly, truth is whatever fits with my world view. We have been given free will by God to choose this way of thinking. However, in James 1:16 we are warned not to be misled and in James 1:17 “the source of all that is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.” “He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” And further in James 1:18, “He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word.”
To unpack this a little take a step back and consider that God created in each of us a need for something greater than ourselves, a need for Him. There is a sense of this in each of our lives. This need is like a big emptiness that needs filled and we will fill it with something. God is truth and so there is a craving or desire for the truth in each of us. However, we have this ongoing battle with our sinful nature which tempts us to fill that void in our lives with that which is not from God and we deceive ourselves into believing that this “filler” is somehow true. For many of us truth equals whatever makes us feel good, happy, etc. We replace God with something else and these idols take many forms…the obvious ones of various addictions, material possessions, and careers and the not so obvious ones of hobbies, relationships, ourselves (sometimes we make even ourselves into Gods), and even our families (when we place them ahead of God in our lives). The reality is that while all of these seem to fill our need they will in the long run still leave us feeling empty and ultimately let us down.
Why? Only God is permanent. Going back to James 1:17 “…He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” In Genesis 1: 1-2 we read that “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Reflecting back to James 1:18, “He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word.” How do we know this is going to fill our need? We know this because as we read God’s word and pray over it and ask God to speak to us thru His word and help us to understand we become engaged in the process of being transformed. As we are transformed we discover that this great emptiness we feel becomes filled with the true goodness and joy that can only come from God. This does not mean we will never have a tough day or feel down, but what we will experience is a sense of inner peace that can only come from God.
So we have to ask ourselves which truth do we really want? Do we want to choose from the “truths” our sinful natures desire and this world encourages us to grab hold of? Or Do we choose God’s word? If we choose God’s word how do we get there? Well, stated simply, we walk in the spirit daily by reading the bible, praying, praising God, serving, and fellowshipping with other Christians. Easy? No it is not. This is a discipline that takes time, patience, and effort and we won’t always get it right, but God knows our struggles and He gives us the grace we need to move in the right direction.
Walk in the Spirit,