I don’t want to write about this, which is generally a good sign.
Let’s talk about faith, and not the faith that is given in yes or no questions. I am not someone who is impatient, but life throws you just as many curve balls as it will take for you to learn necessary lessons, and to actually decide to improve your batting average.
So, let’s talk.
The idea behind yes and no questions is the spirit of doubt. The spirit of doubt is opposite of the truth, which according to 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 is “patient and kind, does not envy or boast, is not arrogant or rude…does not insist on its own way, is not irritable or resentful, does not rejoice at wrongdoing, and REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.”
My personal take away from that knowledge is that It is time to get off my laurels.
The truth is all things because God is all things, and God is the spirit of truth (via the Holy Spirit on earth) that makes all truth known, visible, and accessible. Therefore, doubt destroys those things, clouding people’s visions and hearts, inciting terrible crap that should never happen, and trying to use as much demented tools in whatever way possible to dissuade people from doing what is the truth (#thebible). Therefore, “Love never ends” (1st Co 13:8). It doesn’t “pass away” (13:8), it does not “speak like a child” (13:11). There’s even a bit about mirrors, (13:12), which insinuates that even in looking in mirrors, we can’t know the truth, because it is the Holy Spirit of God that reveals that truth. Therefore, 1st Co 14:1 says “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy”.
Paul tells us in 1st Co 14:10 that “There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning”, and says that all gifts might be used “so that the church may be built up” (14:5).
So then, why does prophecy matter? (1st Co 14)
- It shares (14:1-3)
- It builds up a church (14:4-5)
- It teaches (14:6-8)
- It clarifies (14:9-11)
- It unites (14:12)
- It is for the mind (14:13-16)
- It makes things known (14:17)
- It is meant to be humble (14:18-19)
- It makes one become mature by engaging the mind in holy thinking (14:20)((not wisdom; see Ecclesiastes 1-2, but especially 1:12-18))
- It endures (Psalm 52) vs. other communication methods and means (#Facebook)
- It convicts (14:20-24)
From all of these portions of the Bible, what implications have to be drawn about Truth?
Well, the truth is like God. God is eternal, and he is good.
It is meant to be given to others through sharing.
It is meant to be used for God’s mission and Kingdom.
It is meant to be offered in a way that teaches, clarifies and unites.
It is meant to have a very mentally engaging aspect and goodness in that.
It is meant to be transparent, making all things known, and doing so with humility and grace.
It is meant to seek what is holy, and aim to try to understand it, giving its jurisdiction and justification to understand to God.
It can’t be undone; it endures.
Lastly, it is recognized in a way that can be frightening to receive and also joyous (conviction).
If we can say that prophecy is the recognition, understanding, action, and sharing of the truth in a way that does all of those things for all people, so that the truth might be known, visible and accessible to all, then prophecy is basically how well we steward the Truth.
By that thinking, False Prophets are those who steward the truth poorly or try to diminish it for their own gain.
By that thinking, Demagogues are those who are false prophets but with envious and covetous intentions.
By that thinking, Self-righteous people are people who have the truth, but either keep it for themselves or find ways of sharing it for personal gain, acknowledgement, or recognition of what was never theirs.
Given all of that information, what does it mean to steward the truth well?
Well, you probably have to share it. You probably have to let God decide how he would like to use it, which involves a lot of listening regarding timing, personal intentions, context, boundaries, and all people’s needs, let alone the people who will be directly and immediately affected by your decisions.
It is meant to make clear, unite, and engage your mind; so if answers come after a period of doubt, division, and cognitive ease, you should probably ask God for his counsel and guidance to be sure you are making the right decision.
The Truth is transparent; it is 100% and 100%, both good and bad. There is no in between, the answer is “Yes” or “Both”. No one is blameless, because no one can be. No one is able to claim less blame (and thus cast judgment as justifiable). The Bible tells us that “he who is without sin should cast the first stone” (John 8:7; literal words of Jesus), which draws attention the fact that none of us will ever be born, die, or live blamelessly in anything. Matthew 7:2 also clarifies that when we judge, we are liable to be judged by the same judgment we cast against others as against ourselves.
In the world we live in, there is a dichotomy between bad and good; based on opinions for the most part. There are uncomfortable experiences. There are awkward goodbyes and awkward hellos. There are kidnappings, murders, and bad style across the street from cotton candy and school carnivals, or as painful and heart-rendering obvious as it may be to say this, overlapping them. We get what we are given, although we can ask for more (Matthew 7:7) in a spirit of unwavering faith, and God will provide.
Lately I have been equivocating about the Truth, which doesn’t change. I have routinely forgotten that the same spirit of needing to express the truth that I wrote with when I was younger was in my journal entries on October 2nd of this year, as was it in all the consecutive and prior ones. The truth endures, I swear. I often write so quickly I don’t even really read what I write, just to get it out. But the truth which is given by the Holy Spirit is in us all, and if any person is able to see it in words, it is because that Spirit has allowed them to see, nothing else. After Christ died and was resurrected and several of his disciples were fleeing in the opposite direction he commanded them to go, he joined them on the road (Luke 24:13-35) and only after he has walked with them and broken their bread, blessing it for them to eat, are they physically capable of recognizing him; it is the same thing that called Paul to become such a leader in the early church and martyr, after the scales fell from his eyes (Acts 9:18; All of Acts 9).
I’ve been pretty blind lately and willfully so, but I am finally able to see that in regards to the Truth. I plan on praying some more and reflecting and what not, and I’m so glad finals are almost here and the semester is almost over; I should have so much more time to not panic then. To each of you who reads this, have an excellent week; I know I’m enjoying the lighter side of inclement weather, but such is life. To God be the glory.