By Tim Tron
“I’ve always thought that the most powerful weapon in the world was the bomb and that’s why I gave it to my people, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the most powerful weapon in the world is not the bomb but it’s the truth.” – Andrei Sakharov
Every day, we are confronted with a multitude of information that puts us at odds with our ability to focus on the word of God; the truth. This comes in one of two variations. First and probably the most obvious, are those of distractions which are in the form of outside influences. They can come from a variety of sources; devices, media, radio, podcasts, and etc. The other, and sometimes not as obvious are the things of this world, the very objects we use to serve Him become so tremendously immense in nature that they overpower our Spirit-led intentions. We become consumed by the weight of their responsibilities. Under the load of this forbearance we find ourselves struggling to keep God in our minds, let alone to hinder that departure from our hearts where we have placed Him; our last bastion of safety within; sheltered from all else.
In an effort to maintain our sanity, we must filter the cloud of noise; purging the false, or more popularly referred to as, “fake news,” from the truth. In my grandfather’s milk barn, there was the room where he kept the Separator, as it was known. In my mind, I can still picture the stainless-steel piece of equipment that stood about chest high. Grandpa Tron would pour in the whole milk, that which was straight from the cow, and it would spin the cream away from the milk, where it could then be collected and used to make the other by-products of the dairy; cheese, butter, and etc… It was obvious when the Separator was done. Unfortunately, cleansing the input into our mental pallet is not as easy.
In a documentary in the early 1990’s Bill Moyer, an ordained minister in 1954, and a reporter for CBS and NBC News, presented a vision of the future as part of a special documentary, “A World of Ideas,” whereby he predicted we would soon be living in the “Age of Information.” However prophetic his words were at that time, albeit too soon for what was really to come in 1990; we now live in that time. From the traditional nightly news to the other end of the spectrum where anyone with a keyboard and access to social media can output information, be it true or false, we face a world of a constant barrage of data. More and more, unlike in what now seems ancient times, there is little to no references given, no facts to back up said purported info. There are sound-bytes thrown like frisbees, tossed into the mix sometimes simply to cause a sensation; their aim is to go viral, another operative of many that dwell in this spectrum.
What say you then of what Christ would say to those Jews who were on the fence of becoming believers, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” -John 8:32
To know the truth is to be the truth. “If it were only that simple,” you might respond.
Winston Churchill, “Truth is the most valuable thing in the world, often it is protected by a bodyguard of lies.”
Today, we struggle to resolve fact from fiction, not only in the obvious manner in which we often think, but also what is relevant to our purpose in Christ.
Churches and denominations across the globe face an attack from a force not of this world, trying to sway their leaders and congregations into softening their stand for the truth. Giving into the world was not an option in the Apostle Paul’s time. As he spoke to the church in Corinth, he was brutally honest when he told them, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.”
Paul was making an ironic statement about the apostle’s sake. These words are something which could be taken totally out of context in today’s world and often are literally used against unknowing Christians, being misquoted to advance other ideologies. The lies once more surrounding the truth. Paul and the apostles were anything but fools in Christ although, they were despised and hated by the Jews of their time. They were always under attack of defamation of character and literal persecution. Yet, as they would leave a town, either after a miraculous healing or near-death torture, they would, as my new-found friend Jimmy Clark would say, “Rejoice in their labors of the Holy Spirit.” Jimmy had been part of a mission team to South Africa a few years back. There, they were scheduled to visit a prison where the mission team was to speak to some of the prisoners as part of their mission work. On their walk to the prison facility, Jimmy said he was overcome with a message that God had given to him; so much so, that he asked the others if he might be able to share his vision when they arrived, to which they agreed. He described walking back to the hotel from the prison after his sermon as it being one of the greatest feelings in his life, his rejoicing in the Spirit had begun.
Our path isn’t always lit with the best of lighting.
As we strive to walk down the pathway which we feel God hath set before us, we must feel like the psalmist when he wrote the words to the 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” No matter where you are in the world, no matter where you are in your walk of faith, if you have begun, you still encounter the world in which you live. Through this manner of perspective, we must give insight as to the physical and emotional challenges that being of the flesh entails.
Although your journey may be obvious, there will be at times where you will face avalanches of problems and trials. Nothing ever comes easy when you finally find yourself walking in faith. As one of my good friends and missionary Jeffrey Canada said to me once, “You know you are going in the right direction, with regard to faith, when you feel that significant headwind in your face.” Just as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, we are buffeted, and nothing is for certain. Sometimes it feels as if you can barely hang on, when another wave crashes over the bow of your ship, swamping you once more. Slowly, your grab on to the railing and pull yourself up. Taking a deep breathe you stand to your feet and take another step forward.
Do we give up?
Do we quit?
No, for we must not be vanquished. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”-2 Corinthians 4:6-10
He, Jesus Christ, is the way, the truth, the light.
Yet, in all the struggles and tests of our faith, we must not forget that once we come to know Him and truly serve, we can put our trust in Him. In this hope, for it is not simply a mystery, we have a guarantee of life eternal, that of which we cannot begin to comprehend in our earthly realm of consciousness. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”-1 Corinthians 2:9
To know Christ is to know Truth.
Confess your sins to Him, seek Him, knock and the door shall be opened. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”-Romans 10:9
Finally, when we are left with little hope, when we have been knocked to our knees for what seems the last time, remember the words of Christ, shortly before leaving this earthly realm, when he spoke these words to his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Know that through all we face, all the trials, persecutions and adversarial relations, there is one thing we can count on; the Word of God, for it, is the ultimatum of truths, and for this, we shall ever be thankful.
Thanks be to God.