“All a person’s ways seem right in his own opinion, but the LORD evaluates the motives.”
“I gave them over to their stubborn desires; they did what seemed right to them.”
Here we are again on Thoughtful Thursday. I am so grateful for the wisdom God gives us in His Word. Reading the book of Proverbs is like drinking refreshing water for the soul. Today I was struck by the verses above, one from Proverbs and one from the Psalms. Evaluating truth has become very complex today – determining what is right is almost considered being judgmental – in truth, we stumble over its simplicity.
Who is right today? So many differing political and religious opinions – how can we know truth? It is an age old question that Pilate asked Jesus in John 18:28, “What is truth?” Pressed by all those who were claiming many falsehoods about Christ, Pilate knew that Christ embodied the truth – He was truth personified – and yet Pilate caved and acquiesced to the voices that were louder. The people wanted an insurrectionist, a murderer, a terrorist, if you will, released – Barabbas – not God. Not truth, but a lie. Claiming innocence, he still did not lead according to truth, but according to peer pressure. Sound familiar?
Left to our own devices, we are easily led astray, too – that is the natural drift. We think so many thoughts in a day, I cannot fathom counting them all, yet God knows each and every one. Amazing. God can reveal our inner heart if we ask Him to help us recognize our hidden motives. Running our thoughts through the filter of God’s Word and through prayer helps us to discern whether our thinking is godly and right. Only He can evaluate our thoughts accurately and justly – we lack the objectiveness and sincerity. Top that off with the reality that our own hearts within us are deceitful. Bummer. But laying down our agendas again and again, surrendering our way to His Word is a great start and lifestyle.
We have all heard the WWJD phrase, and I believe it was helpful, at first. But complacency and rationalization often keep me lulled into a sense of “I’m ok”, and excusing myself based on my intentions rather than my actions. I can whitewash any motive and sanctify it with nice religious sounding terms, but the Holy Spirit nudges me – do I listen? Sometimes I just want to rest. I want to feel like I have arrived. But we dare not look back from the plow and cease our laboring in Christ – it will be worth it all.
God does grant us rest in Him, but we must saturate our minds in His Word to ascribe toward the mind of Christ. Our flesh is always ready to offer an easier road, but it is a deceitful one. Cling to God and His Word today. Read when you don’t want to. Do hard things and run hard after God. God promises to give us wisdom if we cry out – He alone can reveal if the path we are on is right. Unlike Pilate, let us not be sidetracked by the multitude of opinions or political correctness. Like Pilate, let us recognize that only Christ was truth and the source of discerning truth. He still is today. Recognizing Christ as LORD and truth is not the same as living that truth out in relationship. Keep living the truth and put truth out there – lest any goodness remaining in this world become engulfed with lies.
Lord, please open up our eyes to see Your truth. Help us to boldly proclaim your truth and not cave in to the fear of man. God help us and have mercy on us!