Looking for Truth In All the Wrong Places :: By Holly Spate

Truth. As time goes on, I wonder how many people in our world are really, sincerely seeking truth. It seems the truth is to many just what feels right to them. It’s their own set of rules and ways…their own reality. It appears a lot of people have their own version of “truth” that they gravitate toward.

Sadly, even many who identify themselves as believers in Christ have strayed and sought their own version of truth. Many look more to man for direction and acceptance than to God and His Word. Some base truth simply on experiences or feelings even though those things can lead them astray. There are others who are so wrapped up in idolizing their preachers and teachers that they close their Bibles and just soak in everything they are taught. They simply surrender and blindly follow, which leads them to not question anything.

But, aren’t we called to question? Even the Bereans, when Paul brought forth God’s message, searched to make sure what Paul was teaching was true. Acts 17:11 states, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

We’re to seek truth, we’re to question, we’re to make sure everything lines up with God’s truth and Word. Let’s not forget that we’re to be on guard so as not to be deceived.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 reminds believers of an important reason we’re to search for truth, pray for discernment, and not veer from God’s Word: “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.”

Sadly, many have become lax in exercising the practice of making sure everything they believe lines up with scripture. Too many have given up the truth of the Bible for a sugar-coated, feel-good version of half-truths or no truth at all. Many have stopped questioning and instead have simply accepted all they’re told with open arms. Many have listened to “preachers” whose messages clearly appeal to the carnality of man, not the truth of God’s Word, Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, and redemption. Many of the messages preached today give the impression that God is a genie that will grant a person’s every desire. People soaking up these teachings are told if they accept Christ, they will have health and wealth in this life.

Can God bring wealth? Yes. Can God heal? Yes. But, is it promised? No. We are not promised a perfect life this side of heaven. Yet, when we do get to heaven, all will be perfect. The salvation Christ brings and our reliance on Christ and His precious Word and promises are all we need in this life. We are blessed beyond imagination because of what Christ did on the cross for us. The truthful reality is that we come to a relationship in Christ because we are sinners in need of a Savior. We come because we are broken vessels who can’t fix ourselves. We come because we need the Savior of the world to save us and wash us clean from all our sin and shame.  We come because we believe that Jesus is the only way, because He is! And when we come, we’re called to trust, with childlike faith, the very One who created us and gave His all for us. We trust the TRUTH and we accept it by faith.

The truth is Jesus. With unconditional love, grace and mercy, Christ paid the ultimate price on the cross. His limitless love saved us from our sin, created a bridge back to God Almighty, bought our freedom, and promised a perfect eternity with Him for all who believe. The Bible is clear. Jesus is clear. Jesus himself said with clarity as seen in John 14:6:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is clear that those who put their trust in Him will be saved. Those who put their trust in Him will be blessed, but that does not mean believers will escape trials in this world. The truth is, we will have trials. For some, this is an inconvenient truth. But those we read about in the Bible, who were extremely close in their walk with God, suffered.

Romans 5:1-4 states: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

A cushy existence doesn’t bring us closer to Christ, and it’s not promised. Running after the things of the world doesn’t bring us closer to Christ. But, running after truth, seeking the things of God and all that entails, brings us ever closer to Him.

Our heavenly Father knows that we’re taught through trials. Trials teach us to lean on Christ more…to trust Him more, which strengthens our faith in Him. We usually grow more like Him when we’re struggling in the valley than when we’re standing on the mountain top. The bottom line is that God is interested way more in our character than our comforts.

Jesus himself said as conveyed in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Let’s examine more TRUTH from the Bible:

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:10-12).

“For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Friends, in these last days, people are leaving truth behind. They are being deceived because they’ve let their guard down. They are being deceived because they’ve closed their Bibles. They are being deceived because they are not actively putting on the full armor of God. They are being deceived because they have decided to seek after that which tickles their ears, as is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-5:

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

If we’re truly seeking truth, we won’t be blinded by allegiance to a movement. If we’re truly seeking truth, we won’t be offended when a brother or sister in Christ brings correction in love. If we’re truly seeking truth, we won’t surrender our trust to a mere man but only to the One who created all men. If we’re truly seeking truth, we’ll be as the Bereans and question everything to make sure it lines up with the Word of God.

Truth seekers are not easily offended. They don’t shy away from confrontation. They don’t let others “tickle their ears.” Truth seekers use wisdom and react with caution and love. They obey the words of Ephesians 6:10-17:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Truth seekers are discerning. As sons and daughters of Almighty God, we’re to walk in truth. We’re to open God’s Word and hold fast to the words that fill its pages…words that give us instruction for daily living. If we don’t, we risk being deceived. This deception, like a domino effect, can render us ineffective in every aspect of our lives.

Sadly, there are so many in the church today who are looking for truth in all the wrong places. The truth is readily available to all who seek it. As believers, we need to actively draw ever closer to God and cling to the truth.  And when we do, we can effectively shine the light of God’s love more brightly to a lost world. Let’s make a commitment today to actively pursue and share truth every day of our lives. God commands it, and those around us desperately need it.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32).