Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Ps 25:5 NKJV
Where does confidence come from? Surveys indicate that vast numbers of people all over the world are demoralized after the lockdowns and the covid pandemic. If you lose heart you can lose your life. Out of the heart come the great issues of life, like love and faith. If your heart caves in and quits, love and faith will quickly follow. Loss of heart can even affect your health, your immune system that keeps you healthy. A famous basketball coach, Jim ‘V’ developed cancer and died six months after losing his coaching job at his beloved North Carolina State university. A famous baseball player for the California Angels committed suicide after causing the loss of a playoff game, literally dying of a broken heart. Hope and confidence are the candles in the window that keep the heart guided and guarded and moving forward. So, where do we find hope and confidence?
The simplicity and profundity of the truths we will explore here can save a life, perhaps even yours and mine, dear one.
Truth is absolute, objective not subjective. Truth does not change regardless of circumstances. The application of it may be nuanced considering circumstances, but it is always the same bedrock reality. The word for truth in the Greek New Testament is ALETHEIA, which has many applications in Scripture but only one definition. Whenever something is used one time, or in one way, it stands out as unique, and important, and draws our attention to what God is communicating through it. For instance, there are thirty-three Greek words found in Ephesians, used only one time, and found only there in that magnificent treatise. Our job as students of the Word is to discover, discern and apply their great meaning, and teach what we can to help build others faith. Jesus said, Your word is truth! (Jn 17:17)
This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life. Ps 119:50 NKJV
The beauty of God’s Word is found in its utter simplicity. I could never read an article of a thousand words by William F Buckley without going to my dictionary for help at least twice. But God’s Word is so simple, so easily understood that perhaps 95% of it even a young man or woman of ten or twelve years can easily receive. So, why do God’s people despise and ignore God’s Word? Why can we find hours to drink in social media when we can’t find fifteen minutes to read the Word? God’s Word is life. Other words…not so much!
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. John 8:31 NKJV
A disciple is a student of a master teacher. In the sports world, we talk about ‘coaching trees,’ that this coach learned his system from that famous coach, and then he passed it on to others, branching out like a tree, but still rooted in the philosophy of the original coach. Thankfully, through the Holy Spirit, we have direct access to the original Coach, Jesus, from whom we can directly learn. Thankfully also Coach Jesus has His assistant coaches, who are His more mature disciples from whom we can get individual attention as well.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Cor 9:27 NKJV
Now, in discipleship there is a process of choosing your teacher, and your teacher choosing you as a disciple. Our Teacher’s invitation is to all, but we can be disqualified by our thoughts and actions. I was teaching a class recently where we had committed much resources and made great effort to bring in students that we thought would really value what we were teaching. But one man was defiant and self willed, and we tried several times to correct him with great patience. But finally, I said, “You are disqualified. Now, leave immediately!” Of course, he put up a big fight, but when he left, the atmosphere changed significantly.
This reality of disqualification has many great effects. If you walk faithfully with the Lord He protects you from wickedness and the snares of the enemy (Luke 10:19). But when we walk unfaithfully we are willingly walking out from under His protection. Loss of income can indicate disqualification. The falling into adultery can be a judgment of God against an unfaithful one, where they fall into adultery because of some other seemingly unrelated situation (Prov.11:6). When things are getting squirrelly, you always go back to basics. ‘Father, I’m sorry!’ (Luke 15:21)
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 NKJV
The word ‘know’ is the Greek word GINOSKO meaning to know by experience. There is a reality of the testing of truth to prove its truthfulness. For instance, If I prayed and never saw answers I would have to conclude that something in my approach lacked truth – it may have much sincerity, but sincerity is no guarantee of truth – because truth says, ‘you pray – He answers’(Mt.21:22). The effect of truth practiced and applied faithfully is freedom.
Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.” 1 Kings 17:24
We test His word; we test truth, and we conclude that His word is truth. Now, how does that work in application because the truth is supposed to produce freedom? To set up this answer I must be sure you understand several things. One thing is that you never build your faith on experiences, both yours and others. Experiences at BEST can testify to truth, but if they don’t then there is something un-truth-filled in that experience. Do you understand?
“A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” John 9:11 NKJV
Also, we need to understand that RHEMA words from God are the specific application of the LOGOS words from God. For instance, the LOGOS says He will supply all of my needs (Phil.4:19). So, in praying for the LOGOS to be manifested I ask God for the specific RHEMA words that instruct me how to receive the LOGOS. The LOGOS says, heal the sick (Mt10:8). So, I seek the Lord for the specific RHEMA words to produce that outcome. If you can interpret tongues and prophesy accurately you can easily get RHEMA words in revelation to see the LOGOS manifested. Get it?
My conclusion as I read and study the New Testament is that the Lord never intended His NT Church to be powerless but powerfilled. The wedding of the Spirit and the Word at Pentecost – at the first Pentecost Moses got the Word, at the birthday of the Church the Twelve got the Spirit and manifested it through tongues – has been the standard for understanding the whole New Testament, especially its promises. We have no reason to be discouraged AT ALL if we have the Spirit and the Word.
So, how do we gain confidence in such a time of distress, confusion and change? A deep dive daily into His Word and His Spirit can fill out hearts with confidence, hope and enthusiastic joy. RM and I recently visited our friends Henry and Sylvia in Pinole CA. Each morning I got up to pray in tongues and seek the Lord outside, while Sylvia sat no more than twenty feet away inside with her Bible that she was devouring, as she sought the Lord. I thought between the two of us we made one good composite believer with both the Spirit and the Word! Fill your mind and heart with the Word of God until it runs out your mouth and pray in the Spirit until the oil of God greases your life. You will be happy, healthy and more than a conqueror! Love you!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business!