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September 19, 2017

God helps those who help themselves. Do you believe that? I hope not because it is not true. In fact, that quote was written by Benjamin Franklin and is a calling card for ‘self’. The truth is that God does NOT help those who help themselves. Why should He? The pride and self-reliance of one who helps himself has everything under control. What does he/she need God for? This lie by Benjamin Franklin is just one example of the many lies that believers accept as truth today. Many believers have lost their ability to discern what is true in the swamp of moral relativism and ‘self’. Today I throw out a lifeline to help others understand God’s battle strategy for truth.

First of all, truth is not relative. It is absolute and unchanging whether we accept it or not. When Jesus stated, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me” in John 14:6 He was giving us true facts about Himself. Whether we believe it or not doesn’t affect its truthfulness. The problem that arises is when ‘self’ in its prideful arrogance thinks it is greater than God and can be an arbiter of what is true and what isn’t. This is terribly ironic since the ‘self’ nature was given to us by the father of lies himself, satan. ‘Self’ will never accept truth and spirit will never accept lies. To receive and obey truth one must start letting ‘self’ be brought to death and let spirit be in control.

We can begin by learning the lessons of special active obedience that Jesus learned. “Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered,” Hebrews 5:8. Jesus gave up everything to come to earth. Once here He continually surrendered His will to God the Father. He learned to actively and sacrificially obey the will of the Father even as it meant He suffered in doing so. If we follow in that same level of active, sacrificial obedience to the Father, regardless of the cost, it will kill ‘self’ and allow truth to reign in our spirits. Likewise, if there is no, or little, active obedience to the Father’s will in us then there will be an abundance of ‘self’ and its lies. The path towards truth is paved with steps of sacrificial obedience.

How does one find the truth? First all the written word of God, the Bible, is truth. Secondly God Himself can only speak truth. So to read God’s word and listen to Jesus’ voice one is hearing truth. What we do with the truth, in sacrificial obedience, will open us to more truth. We will NOT progress further in truth if we do not obey the truth we already know. If we choose not to obey Him, we will dig deeper into lies. Keep in mind satan is craftier and smarter than we are. He can easily fool us and teach us lies as he has been doing this to mankind for millennia. The only sure way to know truth is to draw close to Jesus in sacrificial obedience. Abandon all thoughts and hopes that you can discern truth without God and sacrificial obedience to Him. You can’t. You already have the ‘self’ nature. We all do. The ‘self’ in you is much stronger than your spirit because you have had it since birth. The influence of the world and satan with his minions also work tirelessly to convince you of lies. The only way out of this milieu is to be led by Jesus. As the great judge and truth giver Jesus and His Holy Spirit will always lead us in truth. Our only job, and this is absolutely critical, is to completely obey the truth we receive from Him.

Truth is like eating. You have to start with easy truth until you grow up and can handle more difficult truth. Difficult truth will not be served to you until you obey the current truth on your plate. Simple truth is truth that is easy to accept, as in “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16. Difficult truth is truth that is hard to obey, like “So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33. Both are true but one is much easier to actively obey than the other. It is also good to remember that there are layers to the same spiritual truth that are only unveiled to us as we mature enough to receive it. What we miss as spiritual children we will understand as spiritual adults.

When we first meet Jesus He gives us simple truth that is easy to accept because it does not cost us anything. Suitable to our spiritual age as children the early truth we learn is sweet and delicious. This truth makes no claim against our ‘self’ nature right away. The design, instead, is to awaken our spirit to Him. Once awakened the spirit longs for more truth. The truth Jesus begins to lead us in then begins to cause us to hurt a little. Not much at first but it is enough to make us think, do we want to continue? The pain that we are feeling is the first pangs of death that ‘self’ is going through. If we stop here ‘self’ will win and our spirit will be put back into prison or put to sleep. “Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light.” Eph. 5:14. If we do choose to face the pain of a dying ‘self’ Jesus will lead us into more difficult truth that will strengthen, mature and embolden our spirit. The ‘self’ nature within us will fight back ferociously. This is where the spirit learns the truth about the ‘self’ nature and how to proactively fight against it. As our spirit gains strength through the power of the Holy Spirit and sacrificial obedience it will begin to defeat ‘self’ more easily. This process of obedience to truth will continue until God the Father declares us to be His adult sons.

So truth is critical to our spiritual growth. God has designed it this way for it is the only way to counter the lies of satan and ‘self’. We know that ‘self’ loves lies and hates truth. ‘Self’ will fight against truth and growth of the spirit all it can. It does not want to die. That is why ‘self’ will kill the truth that threatens it. Spirit, however, loves truth for spirit knows that truth is life. Spirit will repent of ‘self’ and lies when truth comes. As we grow Jesus will continually lead us into truth that is designed to mature us into adult sons. Our reaction to truth will tell us a lot about how strong or weak the ‘self’ nature is within us.

As our family was led in the wilderness by Jesus, He taught us clearly that there are only two choices we have to the truth He puts on our plate. Those choices are to kill it or repent. When new truth is presented to us, first realize that God makes sure the truth is age appropriate for the individual. He does not give university level challenges to spiritual children. He knows exactly how old you are in the spirit and will give you exactly the truth you are ready for. Jesus then waits for your response. The most common response we observed was to kill the truth. This was demonstrated by ignoring the truth, laughing at it, putting it aside, trying to minimize it or attempting to destroy the message or messenger. Regardless of the response it was not acceptance. We observed many times believers trying to attack the one God used to bring forth truth and the truth itself. The ‘self’ in these believers was raised to varying levels of anger and response to dismiss the offensive truth. It was sad to watch believers actually argue against what was clearly written in God’s word in their attempts to not accept the truth God was giving them. When new biblically based truth is presented to believers, I can assure you the majority of the response will be to kill it. The reason for this is that these believers have given themselves over more to ‘self’ than to their spirit; their spirit led by Jesus. What calls itself the church today is indeed in a sad state of moral disrepair.

On the odd occasion we would observe the extremely rare situation where truth would be accepted and repentance would take place. It is humbling and sobering to observe as one faces the ugliness of ‘self’ in them and chooses to accept God’s truth over the lies they formerly believed. It is also a beautiful process as one lets goes of the lies that bound them in fear and pain and Jesus releases them with truth. The pain of ‘self’ is quickly forgotten and the joy of new found freedom in spirit and truth is obvious.

Today you have a choice to repent of the lies your ‘self’ has believed and be set free by the truth Jesus brings. I can assure you that the small suffering caused by sacrificial obedience and death of ‘self’ is far, far less than the great freedom that comes from knowing the truth. Jesus is TRUTH. Let His truth set you free starting today.