Have you ever noticed on your morning commute a building, a sign, a restaurant that you had never noticed before and then found out it had been there for years? You’ve made that back and forth drive on the same road a thousand times and this is the very first moment you became aware of something along the way which had in fact been there the whole time. It snaps you out of the blank stare and pulls you into a present awareness of your surroundings. It shuts off the auto pilot mode and you realize “wow, I’ve never noticed this before.” What is now very obvious to you seemed invisible on your other morning drives but what changed was not the building or structure but your awareness of is existence.
Truth operates much in the same way. The truth is like that fixed building–strong and steady, grounded, solid, on a good foundation. It has always been there and always will be but if we aren’t looking for it and aren’t aware of it then it fades into the background and becomes seemingly invisible to us. One definition of deception is something which clouds our ability to see the truth. Having a love for truth is the only thing that, through the grace of G-d, leads us out of deception.
I receive e-mails from many who have friends, family, etc. still involved in groups, churches or IHOPs that teach their extra-biblical ideas as doctrines and deviate from the simplicity and truth of scripture by teaching their own version of “truth”. I can hear their frustration as they tell of trying to share the truth of scripture with those who simply don’t have eyes to see or ears to hear anything that is not taught by IHOP or doesn’t support IHOP’s central doctrines. There is a lack of testing what they hear, a lack of sensitivity or openness to even seek understanding or find answers. Instead they seem to just avoid and deny the existence of the questions.
The reality is that no one wants to believe that whatever they are involved in is wrong or in any way in error. Very often deception becomes the wool that gets pulled over our eyes when we are afraid to be wrong and admit it. In those situations, we can quite easily blind ourselves to what is true because to deal with the areas of deception is to also deal with the foundational lies we have chosen to embrace and believe. Addressing and dealing with the cracks and holes in our own personal belief system is an uncomfortable place and those who require comfort are usually unwilling to go there. They don’t want to identify it for what it is, unpack the lessons to be learned there and then move on out of it. Instead it becomes a spiritual tomb where their love for truth just gets buried and forgotten. The pride and fear of being wrong causes them to put up a defensive front. This self-protective shield creates a personal prison that locks them into that wrongness because a love for truth cannot coexist with a desire to be comfortable. The pursuit of truth will lead you down some uncomfortable and bumpy roads at times. The price tag for living that kind of life isn’t a cheap one but the value is priceless.
Have you ever known something to be 100% true to the core of your being and felt utterly frustrated and bewildered that others didn’t see what you saw or know the truth you knew as if you were reading out of 2 different Bibles? How can it be that the truth which is obvious to one person can be completely invisible and seemingly nonexistent to another? The thing I have noticed in my experience is that the only thing that determines whether someone recognizes and embraces truth or not is based on whether they are looking for it. It’s like that building I mentioned at the beginning of this post. If you weren’t looking for it, it would blur into the backdrop of the morning commute. There must be a heart for truth and a pursuit to know truth that leads us. When anything leads our course besides a love for the truth, deception can always find a place to roost. G-d is the G-d of truth. He is not the author of confusion. Where confusion exists there is a mixture of truth and error because truth is not confusing. Truth brings clarity, understanding and freedom. It’s the mixture that breeds confusion and inner conflict.
So friends, here is my admonition to you. Set your heart on what is true. Guard carefully what gains jurisdiction in your thoughts and beliefs. Let the truth of scripture be a light to your course and a torch that illuminates your path. If you have friends or family that are still swirling in the debris of deception, pray for them that G-d would put within them a love for truth so that He can lead them out.
Grace and peace to you.