TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES (PT.4)

One Is The Loneliest Number

The pursuit of truth is a lonely game. A solo project. Independent by necessity. There is the call and desire. There is the journey. There is the excitement at the possibility of unveiling once hidden knowledge. There is the voracious consumption of information, of vetting sources, of cross-referencing, of keeping up the guard, lest you be fooled. All of it (usually) experienced alone. On your own time.

And it’s not that you necessarily want it to be that way, but that’s just the way it is.

At some point, though, the focus changes from personal discovery to the the desire to share with others. It’s a logical step. Why wouldn’t other people want to know what you have discovered? It’s no secret, TRUTH is an elixir enjoyed most in the company of others.

But that’s when the loneliness kicks in.

It doesn’t matter who you share with – husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, neighbor, father, mother, aunt, uncle, cousin, or anyone else you feel so inclined to – odds are resistance is inevitable. Because very few people are on the same path of discovery, seeking the same truths, and it’s especially unlikely that a perfect match is within your current circle of relationships. What one person finds worthy of pursuing, another may find undeniably drab. And our propensity for sharing with exuberance instead of calculated clarity often blurs the intended message.

But these aren’t the only reasons for the disconnect.

There’s another reason seemingly out of our control that gets in the way – Truth is selective, generally revealing itself to whom it wishes. That isn’t to say that the revealing of truth is some mystical, magical experience only reserved for the wisest of sages. Quite the contrary. But it can be biased. Because the Revealer of Truth is in control and He reveals to whom He pleases.

Consider the following verses of Scripture:

Daniel 2:22 “He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with him.”

Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

It’s quite clear that certain truths are hidden, concealed by God for His purposes. And oftentimes He reveals them in His timing to whom He chooses. Also of consequence is that He wants each of us to search out hidden truths in order for Him to reveal them. If someone hasn’t ‘chosen’ to search for a certain truth, it’s quite possible that when presented with new information it will fall on deaf ears for that very reason. They are in part blinded by their own disinterest, purposeful or not.

So what does all this mean for the truth seeker?

Be prepared. It’s lonely out there. You will feel abandoned. You will be confused. You will be frustrated. You’ll wonder why they can’t see it. You’ll contemplate what can be said in order to convince them. You’ll question why they don’t share the same joy in your discovery. You may even question their lack of intelligence! But just know that resistance is inevitable, even from those closest to you. It can be a source of discouragement if you let it. It can be a catalyst for abruptly stopping your own pursuit of truth if you encounter too much of it.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. If you know going in there will likely be resistance, you can minimize the effects. Because the alternative is to not share with anyone. And that’s not healthy either. Sharing with others let’s us work out what has been revealed, to articulate it further, so that we can fully grasp the revelation ourselves.

And finally remember who is ultimately in control of Truth. All Truth. He’s selective when it comes to removing the blinders and has undoubtedly revealed things to those around you which aren’t even on your radar.  That alone should keep you grounded, and from forcing the issue.  Let truth take it’s course.

IT will reveal itself on it’s own time.

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HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH

Streets of gold. Mansions. Pearly gates guarded by St. Peter. Dwelling in the clouds, endlessly, eternally playing a harp. Everything shiny, clean, bright. Everyone wearing white. Reunions with loved ones. Reunions with Fido. Crowns, halos, robes. All of these are images of heaven perpetuated throughout the ages. Some more desirable than others. Some better left to the imagination. But imagery aside, heaven is often thought of as the goal of the believer. A real paradise, the opposite of hell. A place with no more tears, no more suffering, no more sin. A place where we finally get to meet God face-to-face.

But is heaven the believer’s final resting place? Is it the true goal?

Is it home?

Revelation 21:1-5 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Earth is our home. Past, present, and future. It was created for us by a loving Father, who at the beginning of time came DOWN to earth to dwell with those he created.

Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

So it was at the beginning. So it shall be again. But there will be no reason to hide next time, for sin will be conquered, the earth restored.

It’s humbling to think about. God wants us for himself. He wants to walk with us. Commune with us. Just be with us. On this earth. It’s what He planned from the start. And will do once again. But I suspect many fail to look at it this way, that He will come down to earth to be with us, not that we will go UP to Heaven to be with Him. It’s a perspective issue. One that when seen through the proper lens reveals a Father’s overwhelming love for His children.

Those who subconsciously take the other view – that Heaven is truly where it’s at, the goal let’s say – aren’t entirely to blame. Escapism has been ingrained in Christian circles for the better part of the last 150 years with the advent of the teachings of a pre-tribulation rapture, most notably dramatized in last couple of decades with the Left Behind books and movies. It’s that perspective that gives believers a way off this earth, an easy way out, escaping judgment, eagerly punching their non-refundable ticket to an observation deck in the clouds, watching, while the world burns. But there’s no promise of that in Scripture. In fact it tells quite the opposite story.

In regards to the beast of Revelation whose reign happens DURING the tribulation and his persecution of believers:

Revelation 13:5-8 “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Revelation 20:4 “…Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”

In regards to the return of the Lord, and the gathering of believers, which happens AFTER the tribulation:

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are ALIVE and REMAIN until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are ALIVE and REMAIN shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

The second of coming of Jesus is the culmination of this temporal life, when the bodies of those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be transformed from mortal to immortal. When Jesus will establish his kingdom on EARTH, not heaven, for his children to rule and reign with Him. It is that great hope that should embolden the believer to view the earth as a worthy destination, the place that God created at the beginning of time so that he could dwell with His creation. A place proudly called home.

DON’T FEAR THE REAPER

Something is happening. More like something has BEEN happening. For a long time. Only now, though, does it feel like it’s coming to the proverbial head. You can feel it in the air tonight. You can feel it in the air EVERY night. And the divide grows deeper by the day. Left, Right. Republican, Democrat. Liberal, Conservative. Progressive, Regressive. Bible thumper, Bible dumper. Truth teller, lie spreader. Law abider, lawbreaker. Sinner, saint. It’s most evident on the fringes. Extremes inevitably hang out there. But it’s certainly not limited to those elements. With protests, riots, violence, and vitriol no strangers to the widening divide at all levels.

How did it come to this? Why is the divide so pronounced?

Can’t we all just get along?

It’s easy to say it’s just a sign of the times, exacerbated by 24/7 news cycles, social media, and cyber anonymity. Always connected. Always agitated (or so it seems). It appears everyone has an opinion now, a cause they champion. Often times it defines them. Often times it puts them in a box with seemingly like minded individuals. Warranted or not. Fair or not. And while all of this is certainly a reason for the greater divide, it feels like something else is at play. Something noticeably out of our control. Something metaphysical. Something spiritual.

Could it be that the current divide is inevitable? Prophetic even? I suppose it’s too early to be absolute, but it’s worth exploring, if only for context of the present time we live in.

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Matthew 13:24-30, “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Parable of the Tares Explained

Matthew 13:36-43, “Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Since the fall of mankind there have been two seeds in the world. The good seed and the bad seed. The wheat and the tare. The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

The good seed was planted at the beginning, at Creation. At some point when Adam and Eve let their guard down, the enemy (Satan) was able to sow his seed as well, the Tare. And what is a tare exactly? A tare is a weed that looks identical to wheat until it reaches maturity. Only when it produces the ear (the fruit bearing portion) can it clearly be distinguished from wheat. The seed personifies Satan, the one who portrays himself as an angel of light (wheat), but is in all actuality the prince of darkness (tare).

What does this mean for today? The parable states that both the wheat and the tare will grow together until the harvest – meaning the 2nd coming of Christ. As the time draws closer to the end of this age, the closer to the harvest we get. And subsequently closer to the production of the distinguishing fruit of the wheat and tare. Could this be what is happening now? Could it be that the fruit has started to appear, not yet in full bloom mind you, but clearly visible, hence the greater divide we are now experiencing. It’s a definite possibility.

Now, this is not about which side of the divide is right or wrong, or which side is the good seed and which side is the bad seed, for terms like Left, Right, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, and the like, are often nothing more than categories people put themselves and others in to be protected within the group or so they can attack the other side collectively. Instead this is about two seeds at enmity with each other. This is about good and evil. The good seed shinning brighter, the bad seed receding further into the darkness, so that the line in the sand can be drawn, eliminating the middle ground. It’s either one or the other. Wheat or Tare. Choose this day whom you serve. And which seed lives inside you. For the harvest gets closer every day. And the sickle the reapers swing will not miss the tares destined for the fire.

More Than Words

Ask the average Christian how to receive salvation and it’s likely their response will have something to do with a confession of faith – a proclamation regularly wrapped in the emotion of an altar call, generally at the end of a church service, emphasized on the heaviest attended days of Easter and Christmas, in repeat-after-me style, with heads bowed so as not to deter those prone to wavering at the slightest hint of the spotlight.  If sincerely expressed, it’s an admirable moment.  A moment of surrender, fondly remembered by the countless people who have experienced it.  It’s the beginning of something new, a turning point.  A public statement to follow Jesus and turn from an admitted life of sin.  It is verbal confirmation of a decision of the heart.  And it’s not something only experienced in churches.  Many a confession of faith have been declared in prison cells, dingy roadside motel rooms, behind locked bedroom doors, and anywhere else the opportunity presented itself.

But is that all it takes?  Mere words?  Is that how the greatest gift ever bestowed upon humanity is received? Is it really that simple?

Is expressing faith, even publicly, enough to ensure salvation?  Or is there more to it than that?

James 2:14-26 “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe—and tremble!  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”  And he was called the friend of God.  You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James in his Epistle makes the implication clear, one cannot have faith without works. It’s not enough to profess belief in God – for even the demons believe that there is one God, and that doesn’t seem to be working out too well for them.  Yes, confession is a start, but no matter how earnestly proclaimed, it is only a desire until it is expressed through our works (actions).  Good works precisely.  Works that match the precepts of Scripture.

Don’t be mistaken, though, this is not a proclamation that works have the power to save. Far from it.  But our words don’t have that power either.  There is nothing we can do to EARN salvation. No specific actions, no specific words.  If there was and we said or did them then we would have a right to boast about saving ourselves.  This is not about that. This is about acceptance.  Acceptance of a free gift.  Faith and works operating together. They are the mechanism through which we receive.

Interestingly enough, our faith (words) and works (actions) working together mirrors the process through which salvation was accomplished.  It was first prophesied (words) that a Savior would be born, and that the Savior would die and be raised from the dead, paying the price we were indebted to pay.  It was not until later on that those prophecies were fulfilled through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus (all moments of action). Without their fulfillment the prophesies would have just been words.  Empty promises. Incomplete.  But that wasn’t the case.  Thankfully, for humanity’s sake, they were fulfilled.  And those that came before and after the resurrection can be justified by faith that is alive and not dead.

But what about grace?  How does it fit in?  Oftentimes the importance of our works is overshadowed by the message of grace.  Grace covers many things – our ignorance towards what God truly expects from us, our propensity to give in to temptation, and our inability to be perfect, but it is not a license of unaccountability.  Grace should not deteriorate the responsibility of acting out our faith.  What are we if we are not accountable to our actions?  We are to be a light for others to see.  A light that shines brightly to compel others to leave the darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

This is the great responsibility of the believer, that our actions match what we say.  That our faith be manifested through our works.  It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.

To be more than words.

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES (PT. 3)

Self Identification

My own worst enemy.  Can’t get out of my own way.  Uttered countless times, bordering on cliche, but no less true.  If Satan is Public Enemy #1, then we are Public Enemy #1B, co-conspirators from the beginning.  The first lie recorded in Scripture was uttered by the snake, but he didn’t have the ability to force Adam and Eve to accept it.  They were willing dissenters.  It could have ended right there had Satan been rebuked, told to go back from where he came.  But there was an appeal in what Satan offered beyond the fact that the fruit was pleasing to the eye and good for food.  What Satan offered was to be like God.  And to be like God is to be in control.  In control of destiny and reality. Curiosity killed the cat.  Curiosity cursed mankind.  And while we did become conscious of good and evil, our capacity for the latter kept us as far away from God-like as possible.

From that day denial, deception, omission, and fabrication became part of the human condition, birthed from the Father of Lies.  We began to use lies to manipulate the world (and still do, of course).  We continue to accept lies, leaving us naked and exposed.  Often times the lies come from within.  Fooling ourselves into behavior we pretend isn’t detrimental to our being.  The truth seeker must understand this.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Good and evil diametrically opposed, living inside us.  This is the plight, a heavy burden.  Complicated by our propensity to first judge others before we ever dare peer inside.  The consequences of which Jesus makes quite clear.

Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Sort yourself out seems to be the prevailing message.  Why?  Because how can we see with a plank in our eye?  We can’t, the truth is not revealed to the blind.  So why do we spend so much time focusing on the faults of others and not our own?  It obvious, it’s easier.  And generally less painful.  Looking inside takes responsibility, and let’s face it, what’s buried underneath is not hidden treasure.  Much the opposite.  There’s an endless amount to purge as we have not yet been made perfect and restored to paradise.  Even those who ardently seek righteousness fall short of the glory of God.  But persistence is still rewarded during this life.

In rehab they say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.  And that’s just what those who seek the truth must do.  Because admission begins to loosen the shackles of deceit.  While never forgetting our ability to deceive keeps them loosened. Self-awareness goes hand in hand with admission.  And while grace assuredly abounds, it should not be taken advantage of.  There’s no benefit to willful insubordination.

So, if admission and awareness are the first two steps of combating our capacity for deceit then the third step that logically follows is to tell the truth.  All.  The.  Time.  And if your first thought is that you already do, then either you have completely sorted yourself out and have no need for the ramblings of this post, or more likely you are neither aware of, or have admitted, your aptitude for self-deception.  I’ll bet on the latter.

Consistently telling the truth is no easy task.  And it’s certainly not a license to offend.  It takes practice.  Start by telling yourself the truth.  The truth about yourself.  Where you fall short.  What you struggle with.  How you can do better.  Remove the plank from your eye sliver by sliver, but be prepared, it will take time and the task is never truly complete.  Then as you become comfortable with self-sincerity practice being consciously honest with those around you (not that you should be consciously dishonest in the meantime).  You may be surprised how often you sugarcoat things, tell half-truths and untruths, and even flat out lie.  Don’t be alarmed, though, remember the condition we are born with, the inclination to deceive.

And through all of it know that we have been given a guide that will help us along the journey.  The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, an ever present check and balance, ready to dwell inside of those who are willing.  The Spirit will make it abundantly clear –

Honesty, is not only the best policy, it’s the ONLY policy for the Truth Seeker.

 

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES (Pt. 2)

The Serpent of Old

Know thine enemy.  It’s an age old maxim and a primary duty of the truth seeker.  Likely THE primary duty.  For it’s a battle.  Flesh and blood.  Soul and Spirit.  Figuratively, literally, anyway you look at it.  There are no excuses for the truth seeker, the enemies tactics must be known if they want to be successful.

And the enemies are plentiful – institutions, time, tradition, ideology, peer pressure, and education – or lack thereof, to name a few.  There are however two main enemies the truth seeker faces.  The first being themselves (covered in Part 3, a shameless plug no doubt) and the second an enemy more cunning than the rest, an enemy from the beginning.  One whose nefarious spirit embodies all the other enemies.

The snake.  The dragon.  The serpent of old.  Satan, the progenitor of deceit.  The first rebel.  The first enemy.  Before man missed the mark, he did, deceiving himself into believing he should have equal footing with his Creator, if not exalted above.  And it wasn’t enough to deceive himself, no, he took a third of the angels with him in rebellion.  But even that didn’t suffice, the best (or worst) was yet to come.  The pinnacle of God’s creation, those created in His image, were the ultimate target.  And what better way to spite the Creator than a deception with eternal consequences.

The fall of man, instigated by the enemy, is the first instance exposing the snake’s strategy.  Satan laid in wait for Adam and Eve to let their guard down, ready to strike.  Did Adam and Eve know their enemy?  Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.  Maybe they were tired of fighting the temptation of the fruit hanging from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Whatever the case, Satan’s tactics worked.

Genesis 3:1-5 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

That’s all it took and humanity’s destiny was changed forever.  Adam and Eve didn’t appear to put up much of a fight.  So why was Satan successful?  What was (is) his blueprint?  His modus operandi?  It begins with questioning God, specifically God’s Word.  Did God REALLY say (fill in the blank)?  In the case of Eve, she knew what God said, she even repeated it back to the snake verbatim.  But that didn’t faze Satan, he instead used his finishing move.  Mixing truth with a lie.

“You will not surely die.” (Lie)
“eyes will be opened…knowing good and evil.” (Truth)

This is Satan’s ultimate tactic, sowing a seed in opposition to God’s Word which is the good, incorruptible seed.  Satan’s seed is the Tare, indistinguishable from the Wheat until the Harvest.  He doesn’t have the power to create, he is not the Creator, but he does have the power to take what the Creator made and corrupt it.

So the question is, why is this Satan’s strategy?  Why not just outright lie?  Present evil as evil, fiction as fiction.  Well, because most people can recognize something that is blatantly evil, or something that is categorically false.  And most people aren’t interested in such things, though Satan would love for us to fall for any falsity.  No, there must be an element of truth, if only a sliver, to suck the masses in.  Something that blinds the true intent from being revealed.  Something believable.  And that’s why he does it.  Because he desires for his intentions to be hidden.  Because he knows the bad will eventually choke out the good.  The truth will succumb to the lie.  That confusion leads to doubt.

And Satan also knows the Word of God has power.  Real power.  It is THE truth.  It is life to those who follow it.  He knows he must distort it in an attempt to nullify it’s purpose.  It’s not enough to say the exact opposite.  He must twist it, take from it, and add to it, making it’s power void.

So…

Know thine enemy.  The Serpent of Old.  For his battle plan is lethal.

 

Truth or Consequences (Pt.1)

The Call of the Truth Seeker

Truth Seeking.

The noble pursuit of actuality.  For those that are willing.

But most aren’t.  Simply because it requires work.  A lot of it.  It requires us to question what we’ve been taught, what we’ve been told, what we WANT to be true.  It can be painful, rewarding, exhausting, and refreshing.  Often at the same time.

Admittedly status quo is easier.  It’s the broad path littered with tradition, sentiment, familiarity, bias, and complacency.  The gate at the end is wide, herding in the masses.

Truth, in contrast, resides on the straight and narrow path.  A perilous path.  A path that few find.  Not because it’s purposefully hidden, it’s right there mind you, but not in plain sight.  The journey must be chosen, the path discovered.  Less traveled, it’s no easy task.

And to find it we are required to leave the path we started on.  Born with flesh intent on leading us astray, no one is fortunate enough to begin on the narrow path.  We must consciously choose to leave the path of least resistance.  It’s a decision that appears counterintuitive.  There’s so many people on the broad path how can there not be something worthwhile at the end?  But that’s just it, there’s not.  Destruction wears a cunning disguise.

This contrast is expressed by Jesus in the oft quoted Sermon on the Mount.  Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Choosing to follow Jesus, or at least believing what he says (is there a difference?), is the first step a truth seeker can take, as Jesus is the narrow gate, his ways the straight path. He said as much in the Gospel of John.  John 14:6 “…I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except THROUGH me.”  Notice he didn’t say he was A way, A truth, or A way to obtain life, but rather THE way, truth, and life.  The, as in THE only.

If His claim is to be believed then this is where truth ultimately resides, in the person of Jesus.  Specifically in his words, his teachings, instructions, and commandments.  And not just those recorded in the ‘New Testament’, but all of Scripture.  The Apostle John declared that Jesus himself was the Word in the flesh.  John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”

Connecting the dots, the Word of God, is the truth seeker’s guide.  The Psalmist declared it on multiple occasions.  Psalm 119:160 “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever.”  Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.”

Unfortunately for many believers the pursuit of truth begins and ends with their confession of faith.  The acceptance of Jesus ‘into their heart’.  They made it to the path, and that’s good enough for them.  It’s time for Jesus to take the wheel.  It’s time for others to feed them the truth. The Word stays on the shelf, dusty and untouched.  But what good is it to make it to the path only to forgo the many treasures that await by continuing the journey?  Yes, we have been given a guide (Holy Spirit) that will lead us through the valleys of confusion and despair, but the personal responsibility remains.

And that’s what truth seeking boils down to.  Personal responsibility.  Either you embrace it or you don’t. It’s a conscious choice.  A daily grind.  Because deceit is everywhere.  And it’s not so easily recognized, because the author of deception is a cunning snake, figuratively and literally.

That’s where you come in, if you want the truth that is.  The truth seeker has an open mind, but a guarded heart.  Admitting the more they think they know, the less they really know.  They have the humility of a servant but the persistence of a hero.  They scrutinize but don’t make it personal.  Knowing that not everyone is at the same point on the journey or even the same path for that matter.

So, this is a call to those who truly desire the truth, that choose to travel the path of MOST resistance.  Never stop asking.  Never stop seeking.  Never stop knocking.  Doors will be opened that remain locked for the unwilling.  Much like the free gift of salvation which must be personally accepted and lived out in order to be fulfilled, so too must the truth seeker’s journey.

The invitation awaits, how far you travel is up to you.