Listen for Truth
John 16:13 ESV
2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV
Psalm 25:4-5 NKJV
If you have been sitting in silence, listening for God to speak to you and you continue to wonder how to determine if the voice you hear is the voice of God, listen for the voice of truth. In today’s world we have good tools. If what you hear feels truer than true, you’re on the right path.
The problem with a lie is that they often contain a partial truth. Often we think, well what they said is partially true so it must be true. That’s not the kind of truth I’m referring to. God always gives us the whole truth.
Truth through and through.
Remember, a half truth covers a lie.
In John 16:13, near the end of his time with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
We know now that Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit that descended to earth on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4 as the Spirit of Truth.
The Spirit is here. The Spirit is alive and well. If you have turned to God, the Spirit is IN you.
The Spirit guides us to truth, so if you are uncertain if something or someone is telling you truth, you can ask God to guide you to the truth. If you feel like you lack discernment (the ability to know truth), you can ask God to give you the ability to know. Sometimes, that means someone you trust, I mean really trust will help you.
It’s interesting that God gave my daughter the gift of knowledge. From the time she was born, her character has been set. She is unable to lie. She’s been that way from the beginning. I don’t know if God gave her the gift of knowledge because she is truthful or if she is truthful because God gave her the knowledge. All I know is that even when she was very small when she was trying to think about lying, she would get a certain look on her face and she would freeze up. She was unable to go through with it. Then, she would burst into tears because she even thought about lying.
Today she knows even if she tries she will suffer because of it. In the face of a lie, silence is her truth. If I ask her a question and she doesn’t answer, I know the truth.
You can Ask God to send you people you know you can trust.
A second tool we have for determining truth is by reading scripture. Scripture is God breathed and we can trust it. I knew when I was young there was something about scripture that made it different from any other book. I knew that because my dad would read scripture every time he had the chance. When I was in third grade, I was given my very own Bible. That meant a lot to me because I didn’t have to borrow someone else’s Bible to read. I remember thinking I had ‘arrived’. I was (am) a reader. A junkie forever hooked on reading the written word. That included the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I wrote last week about the canonization process of scripture. Throughout history, the way ancient writings have been included in the Bible has gone through a long prayerful arduous process. Educated men of God have made it their life work to pray and pour through ancient works. I say men of God because when the process began around 300 A.D., when women were not educated.
There are four main areas (and three additional areas) of Biblical Criticism (textual criticism, philological criticism, literary criticism, tradition criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, and historical criticism.) There have been and are Biblical scholars in each of those areas who specialize in studying scripture and inclusion of scripture. For example, textual criticism is “the technique of restoring texts as nearly as possible to their original form” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/textual-criticism). Each area of Biblical Criticism studies scriptures various forms.
I include that information about Biblical Criticism in order to explain how thoroughly scripture as we know it has been studied. I am fascinated by Biblical Criticism.*
Scripture is God inspired and is filled with truth.
Finally, Psalm 25:4-5 tells us, God will lead us to the truth as we ask God to bring truth. King David tells us, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.”
We need to remember that King David’s reign was around the middle third of the 10th B.C.(H.M. Niemann, "Comments and Questions about the Interpretation of Khirbet Qeiyafa: Talking with Yosef Garfinkel", Journal of Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Law (2017), p. 255). David did not have the benefit of God’s Word, the Holy Bible that we have today. David did not have the internet.
David listened to God. He asked and he waited. Today, we rely on what he wrote because it was inspired and is true. We can trust scripture as truth.
When we need answers, when we seek truth, we can pray and read scripture.
We only need to ask, then wait for it to come.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Truth
Ask God to lead you to truth. Ask and wait.
In God, Deborah
*If I ever have the opportunity I would love to get a PhD in Historical Criticism but with the cost of higher education being what it is, I seriously doubt that item on my bucket list will come to fruition...LOL. For now, I am ever so grateful for free sources on the internet. My dad didn’t have those resources so I consider myself to be very “Blessed”.