I closed last week asking:
Why did the Lord answer 'no' to the question: Are you for us or against us?
I was sharing about Truth and Joshua's experience before the Lord at Jericho. When asked if He was for them or against them, He answered "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord." Why didn't He say, "Yes, I'm for Israel, yahoo, yippee, I'm your biggest fan!"?
The answer is simple: It was up to Joshua and Israel to follow Him or not. He is Truth, and truth doesn't take sides, it merely presents itself as truth. If Joshua wanted God's will, then He was for him. If he didn't want God's will, then He was against him. He is Truth, and truth takes no sides, it just is that 'which cannot be hidden.' It is up to us to respond to truth, to make a decision, to go one way or the other.
Some decide for veiling themselves from the light of truth, while some are willing to humble themselves like a young child and be open and naked in their hearts and minds before Him.
Don't lie against the truth
James 3: 14 says, "If you have envy and bitterness in your hearts, don't glory in that (don't protect it), don't lie against the truth."
That means you know what is in your heart, and you know it isn't God that you harbor such things, so don't lie against the Truth who lives in you - admit it, repent, get it out. Don't reinforce the sin through denying it is there. That transparency with self and Him requires humility and results in growth in the Lord, when we admit to Him and if needed, others. Growth in Him is what life is all about.
Positive confession versus the Truth
People are taught formulas: Speak 'declarations' with their mouths while being in fear in their hearts, for instance. Back in the 80's it was the 'positive confession' - I remember being sternly corrected when I said to someone as they left our house after a meal, 'Take care!' They stopped in their tracks, turned around to look me squarely in the eye and said; "I don't take care. I rebuke that. Jesus said not to take cares upon us."
You would have thought I'd just kicked their dog by the way they snapped at me and corrected my wayward ways. Words are containers of intent and emotion, and they, burdened by their formula and therefore caught up in form and appearance, took my 'take care' wish as if I was wishing burdens and worries upon them.
What makes this hypocrisy so foolish is they were good friends and knew we would never wish them ill, but they were caught up in the fad formula of the day. To Barb and I they were being silly and not walking in Truth, but we loved them so overlooked it.
Over the years...
There have been dozens of fad formulas that in reality 'lie against the Truth' - they lie against the Spirit of Truth within each believer. In the late 1970's and early '80's I remember the 100 fold return. Then the positive confession. A decade later it was shaking and crawling on the ground like a reptile and calling it God. Still later came going to a meeting where they hoped there would be an open heaven (ignoring the fact Christ lives in us, and heaven is constantly open to us, which is why we are told to come boldly to the throne of grace.).
In more recent years there has been everything from people charging money for those who call a phone number to get a prophecy, to classes people charge for to interpret the spiritual meaning of their tattoos, and so much more. How many have fallen for these money making gimmicks? Most are so dull to the Spirit of Truth in them they haven't a clue of their error.
Most people eventually are brought back to balance; maybe there is one thing that is just too much, maybe a friend calls it what it is, maybe something goes too far over the line and their head is finally able to agree with that little grievance they felt in their spirit, and they return to the core in balance.
God is truth, and He cuts like a knife if there is anything in you that isn't Truth. But He will let each go their way in the hope they will at some point return to Truth when they are ready to receive it. Remember Mark 4: 33 says Jesus taught them as they were able to hear it. He hasn't changed. He will let people go off chasing spiritual butterflies, Truth standing alone waiting for them to tire of the fad in the hopes they will return to Him and Truth.
Know of what Spirit you are
In Luke 9 Jesus came down off the Mount of Transfiguration in a very different mood than He went up. On the Mount both Moses and Elijah appeared to Him and talked to Him about his impending death in Jerusalem. Moses spoke of patterns of things in the Law, and Elijah from prophecy, steering Jesus to the destiny He knew He came into this world for. When He came down He asked rhetorically in v41: "Of faithless and perverse generation; How long will I be with you?"
Because Jesus set His face to go to Jerusalem rather than take some side trips to which He was invited, some got offended. In verses 54-55 James and John asked if they should call down fire upon them like Elijah did in II Kings 1: 10-14. Jesus responded: "You don't know what manner of spirit you are of." (KJV ends the sentence with a preposition, I know, I know, so let the quote to stand, lol)
James and John were clueless - they were using scripture to try to justify what they wanted to do, but didn't know the Truth of the Spirit of Jesus' purpose in this earth. He came not to condemn, but to save. These 'sons of thunder' were so caught up in themselves and their own offense at people being offended when the Lord didn't take a side-trip to stay with them, they lost sight of the Truth of the situation.
And that brings me to the final point today - our prayer life
Because He is Truth He isn't going to honor prayers that stray from truth. Praying in tongues we are told in Romans 8: 26-27, allows the Spirit to join our spirit to pray God's mysteries for those we are lifting up. I tend to pray very little in English, my native language, very little. It isn't efficient.
When I want to pray for my sister in Florida, I don't know what is going on in her life at that moment. On my own I may pray she have a good day at work when in fact she took the day off to go to the beach. So instead, after I say 'I lift up my sister to you Father', the rest is in tongues because I know I'm praying for her according to His will. Often I'll sense a general topic that I'm praying about, and sometimes I'll call her or she will do the same and call me asking, "What's up? I had a need to pray for you, I felt it was in x area."
The ramifications of having the Person of Truth in us touches every aspect of life it we will let it. If you tune your mind to your spirit you can know instantly whether what you hear is right or not. It will either resonate in your spirit or it won't. He is Truth; He cannot not lie, cannot shade the truth to His favor, cannot be anything but just state things the way they are. He can only present Himself to us, and He is Truth. When we give account of our lives to Him, there will be no escaping the truth - but that's a good thing for those who love the truth.
One thing I've said since I was a teenager: I race to the judgement, I run to the light. That's how I've lived, that's my heart. I'm sure not perfect, and the road has been exceedingly difficult at times, but also very spiritually rewarding.
Next week, more things God cannot do...until then, blessings,
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