MM00043 What lens are you using
Mentoring Manna: What lens are you using?
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
John 7:16-17 “Jesus answered and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.’” How can we know God’s Truth when it seems so many contradicting doctrines arise among those who read the same Bible? Jesus encountered this question in His day. Jesus was new on the religious scene and He taught the Scripture from a different perspective. Predictably, what Jesus taught about the Scripture was in sharp contrast to the doctrines and traditions of the religious leaders of His day. How did Jesus say they would know if His doctrine was from God? He said that it begins with a willingness to do God’s will. Many say they want to know truth, but then are unwilling to accept the truth when they hear it. In order to know the Truth, we must desire Truth more than our own version of the truth. If we are unwilling to let go of our version of the truth in order to embrace “THE” Truth, then we will never know the Truth. This does not necessarily mean that what we believe is wrong, especially if what we believe has a strong foundation in the Word of God. Neither does it mean that we open the door to every wind of doctrine. No, rather it means that we allow our version of truth to be held accountable to the Truth of the Word of God. Jesus’ teachings never violated the Word of God. However, His teachings did violate commonly accepted religious teachings and traditions of the day that had drifted from God’s word. It is important to remember that God is not obligated to uphold and confirm our version of the truth. He is only obligated to uphold and confirm His Word. Naturally, each one of us is sincere in what we believe to be truth. However, sincerity is not the determining evaluation of truth. A person can be sincere and still be wrong. Consider this: A deceived person does not know they are deceived or else they would not be deceived. Each of our particular versions of truth is developed from looking through own particular “lens”---a lens that we seldom question. If we are sincere in our search for Truth, we must first consider the lens through which we are interpreting what we see. The “lens” we use may be our own personal experiences, religious background and tradition, childhood nostalgia’s, social status, theological biases, political biases, moral biases, racial prejudices, or anything else that we have accepted in our heart to be “truth.” If we are unwilling to lay aside our “lens” in order to search the Scriptures objectively, then we will never be able to discern the Truth. Everything will be obscured and distorted through the bias of our lens. Do you sincerely want to know the Truth? If you do, then do as Jesus said. Lay aside your lens and be willing to submit your version of truth to THE TRUTH of God’s word.
Application: The knowledge of truth will set us free. However, in order to know Truth, we must first be willing to speak the truth in our heart. We must lay aside those things that hinder us from objectively studying the Word of God. Truth always demands change in our life. Many times it is our fear of change, along with its consequences, that hinders us from receiving God’s Truth. But Jesus said that our knowledge of the truth would set us free. God’s Truth always brings change, a change that brings freedom. Remove your protective “lens.” Embrace God’s Word as Truth and allow the Spirit of Truth to be your Guide. If you do, Jesus promised that you would know whether a teaching is from God or from man.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I want to know Truth. I believe that Your Word is truth. I believe that Jesus is the Truth. I lay aside my version of truth so that I may embrace Your Eternal Truth. Deliver me from any lie that I have embraced as truth. I am willing to embrace and follow the Truth that You reveal to me in Your Word.. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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