March 04, 2014
A Life of Truth in a Changing World, by Natasha Erskine
People all over the world have their own version of the truth. We all have different beliefs that we assent to, different influences and experiences that form and shape our perspectives and beliefs. And all disciples must come to the place in which they realize that they cannot know and understand God by human resources alone.
As the author and the finisher of our faith, our Teacher disciples us from a place of human knowledge to a place of spiritual understanding. At the beginning of our journey of faith, our ideas are formed by our human context, our personality preferences, our cultural influences and experiences, etc. But our transformation comes by the renewing of our minds, as we come alive in the spirit, and live a life submitted to a truth beyond ourselves… His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
We are writing in an age where the whole world is united as one global village. We are exposed to all kinds of religious beliefs, traditions, cultures, perspectives, etc. How do we approach topics that result in cultural tensions and controversy? That step on the toes of racial or religious stereotypes and prejudices? How do we engage with the world, expressing our faith, in a way that honours the Word and demonstrates grace? The perfect love of God?
Living here on this earth, we believers must face the monstrous challenge of being foreigners in a strange land, ambassadors for Christ, expressions of a kingdom that is not of this world, the kingdom of heaven…
I do not know the answers to most of these questions, and I know this doesn't touch on the practical questions at hand, but these things I keep before me as I write…
1. Jesus Himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Him.
2. Jesus' truth brings change and freedom to whomever it meets, at whatever time in history, in whatever culture or circumstance in which a person finds himself/herself.
3. No matter how well formulated are my thoughts and beliefs, no matter how confident I am in my understanding and interpretations of the Word, His Ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I must remain submitted to the Living Word that is exalted even above the very Name of God (Ps 138:2).
4. Truth can only be lived out and experienced in a life of grace. I know the Truth because of grace. I express the truth because of grace. Someone else might come to know the truth through me, and be set free, only because of grace.
5. A life of truth requires vulnerability, a willingness to be broken.
Father, in these days of great change, with cultures clashing around the globe, truths and false truths mixed together as one, How do we exalt the truth? How do we know and write the Living Word that sets people free? Lead us out of our human wisdom and into spiritual understanding. Fill us with your grace.