God helps those who help themselves. Do you believe that? We hope not because these words not true. In fact, Benjamin Franklin wrote that quote, and it has become a calling card for ‘self’. The truth is 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 we throw out a lifeline to help others understand God’s battle strategy for truth.
Truth is not relative but absolute and unchanging whether or not we accept it.
Jesus is truth
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 facts about Himself. Whether we believe doesn’t affect its truthfulness. A problem arises 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 ironic since the father of lies himself, satan gave us the ‘self’ nature.
‘Self’ will never accept truth and spirit will never accept lies. To receive and obey truth, one must let ‘self’ die and allow the spirit to 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.
Steps of truth
The path of truth is travelled with steps of sacrificial obedience.
How does one find the truth? The written word of God, the Bible, is truth. 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 Jesus, 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 we can discern truth without God and sacrificial obedience to Him. We can’t because we already have the ‘self’ nature. Everyone does. ‘Self’ in us is much stronger than our spirit because we have had it since birth.
The influence of the world and satan with his minions also work tirelessly to convince us of lies. Our only way out of this milieu is to follow 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 critical, is to obey completely the truth we receive from Him.
Simple truth and difficult truth
Truth is like eating. Start with easy truth until you grow up and can handle more difficult truth. God will not serve difficult truth to you until you obey the current truth on your plate.
Simple truth 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 hard to obey, like “So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say goodbye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33. Both are true but one is much easier to obey actively 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 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 leads us in then causes us to hurt a little. Not much at first but enough to make us think, do we want to continue? The pain that we are feeling are the first pangs of death to ‘self’. If we stop here ‘self’ will win and put our spirit back into prison or 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 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 will fight back ferociously. This is where the spirit learns the truth about the ‘self’ nature and how to fight against it. As our spirit gains strength through the power of the Holy Spirit and sacrificial obedience it will defeat ‘self’ handily. This process of obedience to truth will continue until God the Father declares us to be His adult sons.
Truth is critical to our spiritual growth. God has designed life this way for truth 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 as it does not want to die. That is why ‘self’ must kill any threatening truth. 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 designed to mature us into adult sons. Our reaction to truth will tell us a lot about how strong or weak our ‘self’ nature is.
Kill it or repent
As Jesus led our family in the wilderness, He taught us 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 God presents new truth to us, He makes sure the truth is appropriate for the spiritual age of the individual. He does not give university level challenges to spiritual children. He knows how old you are in the spirit and will give you only the truth you are ready for. Jesus then waits for your response. The most common response we saw was to kill the truth. The truth was ignored, laughed at, minimized or the message and messenger attacked. 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 rising to varying levels of anger and response to dismiss the offensive truth. It was sad to watch believers argue against what was written in God’s word in their attempts to not accept the truth God was giving them. When a previously unknown biblical truth is first presented to believers, we can assure you most of the responses will be to kill it. The reason for this is that these believers have given themselves over more to ‘self’ than to their spirit led by Jesus.
What calls itself the church today is in a sad state of moral disrepair.
On the odd occasion we would see the rare situation where people would accept truth and repentance would take place. It is humbling and sobering to experience as one faces the ugliness of their own ‘self’ and accepts 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. We forget the pain of ‘self’ and embrace the joy of new found freedom in spirit and truth.
Today you have a choice to repent of the lies your ‘self’ has believed and be set free by the truth Jesus brings. 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.
Homer and Wanda