Jesus said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from [the] wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and [the one] to whom the Son wills to reveal [Him]." (Luke 10:21-22)
It seems that not everyone who seeks the truth will find it and that it is hidden from some. It became evident to me recently that in order to find the truth, you must not have a vested interest in what the outcome will be when you find that truth. If we do have a vested interest in what we currently believe, or we stand to lose a "perk" by believing a truth that is contrary to where we now stand, chances are we will not be receptive to the truth even if we hear it spoken by a friend.
For instance, for years I wanted to get into a ministry position that would pay my way, so that I could "devote myself to the ministry full time." Have you ever heard that line of reasoning? Because of this I could not hear the voice of the Lord when he warned me that if you receive money from men, you owe those men and they own you. You cannot speak the whole truth to your supporters because of your "vested interest" in maintaining your position. It was only after I came to a place where I didn't care if I ever got a dime from the ministry that I could HEAR His warning and speak His truth to others.
Madam Jeanne Guyon, a saint of the 1600's, wrote:
"This divine wisdom is unknown, even to those who pass in the world for persons of extraordinary illumination and knowledge. To whom then is she known, and who can tell us any tidings concerning her? Destruction and death assure us, that they have heard with their ears of her fame and renown. It is, then in dying to all things, and in being truly lost to them, passing forward into God, and existing only in Him, that we attain to some knowledge of the true wisdom. Oh, how little are her ways known, and her dealings with her most chosen servants. Scarce do we discover anything thereof, but surprised at the dissimilitude betwixt the truth we thus discover and our former ideas of it, we cry out with St. Paul, 'Oh, the depth of the knowledge and wisdom of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.'"
So often we go to the scriptures to find a truth that will support our argument or conviction. This blinds us to the real truth that abounds in God's word. Our thoughts are so loud that we cannot hear the Master's voice as He tries to teach us what is true. This, I believe, is what Jesus means when He says, "you must become as a little child in order to enter the kingdom of heaven."
I once asked my five year old daughter if she believed in Jesus. Her answer stopped me in my tracks. She said, "Sure, Daddy, doesn't everybody?" Unlike the worldly wise and certain religious leaders, children have no stake in what the truth of God should be. They just believe with their childlike simplicity.
You see, the religious and political leaders of two thousand years ago had a stake in what the truth was. As a result when the very personage of Truth was among them, they could not recognize Him.
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." (John 11:47-48, NKJV)
From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar." When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. (John 19:12-13, NKJV)
The religious leaders were losing their popularity to Jesus and plotted how to kill him. Pilate feared being accused of being an enemy of Caesar for protecting Jesus and condemned Him to death. As the epitome of truth stood before him, and he was so blind he asked, "What is truth?"
The Jewish religious leaders and Pilate had a "vested interest" in the truth, their lives and their positions. Can you now see the wisdom in Jesus' seemingly fanatical statement, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26-27)? The personal cross strips you of all your agendas so that you can be conformed to the truth.
Jesus put it even more clearly when He said, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? (John 5:43-44, NKJV) As long as we desire honor from men we will not believe the truth, especially if that truth causes us to lose our popularity.
Truth is a state of being. It conforms you and brings you into alignment with its principle, just as a lie conforms you to a twisted principle. To find the truth you must not have a stake in what the truth is, but a willingness to be conformed by its marvelous light. Paul found the Truth on the road to Damascus, and because of the sincerity of his heart he was changed forever, leaving his religious position and fame behind. The Lord still seeks those who are willing to forsake all and yield to the conforming power of His truth. As Jesus confessed of Himself, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him." (John 7:16-18, NKJV)
Oh saints, how we limit God with our preconceived ideas of just what His conforming truth is, that truth that can so change us that there is no unrighteousness left in us. So many of us still seek our own glory. If you are still receiving honor and praise on this earth, you are an enemy of God even if you are in Church leadership. Paul spoke of this heavenly glory that takes you downward as the world sees it and even in the eyes of many Christians when he said, "To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now." (1 Corinthians 4:11-13, NKJV)
Poorly clothed, beaten, homeless, working to support themselves with their hands, defamed? Are these signs of those who we often identify as successful ministers? The answer is all too obvious. The next time you are looking for a man of truth from whom to learn, you might check him against this list first.
In her book, "This Side of Innocence," Taylor Caldwell wrote, "Truth-tellers and those who perceive the truth are usually unfortunate."
One of my favorite authors of the old school, Soren Kierkegaard put it this way, "The larger the crowd, the more probable that that which it praises is folly, and the more improbable that it is truth; and the most improbable of all that it is any eternal truth." (from "Purity of Heart")
Paul warned us of how important it is to not only seek the truth, but to "love the truth." If you love someone you will always put them first, ahead of your own desires. How much more this should be true of our relationship with the truth.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, NKJV)
Notice how Paul uses the definite article, "the," in the above quotation. He refers to "the truth" and "the lie." The one is the way of life and the other is the way of death. Chose life.
Remember, dear saints, you cannot have a personal stake in what God's truth is for you. You must let go of all your worldly moorings, hopes and dreams and let the river of truth take you wherever He directs. Only in this way will you be conformed to the image of Christ. Keep seeking, keep asking, keep knocking and don't settle on your lees following the example of Moab.
Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. (Jeremiah 48:11, KJV)to top