Suppose I told you that the sun will rise in the west tomorrow. (For those directionally challenged this is not true, because of the rotation of the earth the sun appears to rise in the east each day.) Almost everyone would disagree because of experience. But imagine there was breaking news that at midnight the earth’s magnetic poles would reverse, and the earth would begin spinning in the opposite direction. All the major media sources replaced regular programming with Breaking News, aired interviews with experts, and had live, on the scene reporting from scientific sites. For hours on end, all you hear is the change will happen in the morning, according to the experts and the media sources. All you hear is that the sun will rise in the west tomorrow.
What are you going to do at daybreak tomorrow? All that’s within you tells you the sun will rise in the east based upon your experience. But you are not a scientist or expert, so how can you be sure? Due to the bombardment of “news” you will most likely peek at the western sky because of what you have been hearing. It would be difficult not to.
This may sound like a ridiculous story, but it illustrates a point. We often develop our “truth” based upon the preponderance of voices screaming in our ears. “It’s got to be true because everyone is saying so.” When you are told something long enough, by enough sources, you assume it to be true. After all, what have you to prove it isn’t true? You believe it because people make it sound believable.
Here’s a truth, a lie is a lie no matter how many people are telling it or regardless of the apparent authority of those telling it.
Why is this so? One reason is because of how we are “wired”. Have you ever noticed that one thing parents never have to teach children is to tell fibs or lies? When pressed, we are wired to “spin” truth in our favor. And if we tell it long enough and convincingly enough, we assume others will believe it. Why? Because of a lack of accepted absolute truth that was wired into us at creation. God told Adam and Eve they could enjoy life in the Garden of Eden and do what they pleased, except to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan told them one small, appealing lie. He told them that if they ate the fruit, they would be like God and thus could determine right and wrong (truth) for themselves.
Here is a critical step in change. We must recognize that something is not true just because we believe it is.
This is why there is so much conflict today. People are determining truth for themselves and often these “truths” are contradictory. Evidence of this can be seen in a familiar statement, “That may be true, but I believe . . .” Truth is what I believe it to be. This is the root of chaos, hurt, confusion, and conflict in one’s life.
To see change in your life, you must learn that there is a source of absolute truth and begin to check your truths by that source. The Bible, God’s Word, is the source of truth we need. In essence it is life’s instruction manual, written by the Creator of life for His creation. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT, emphasis added). Just as God breathed into man at his creation, He continues to breathe into us through His Word.
Transformational life change begins when we compare our truth with that of God’s Word and adjust our truth to match His.
How do we do this? By allowing God to breathe into our lives daily through reading, contemplating, and digesting His Word. If you are not doing this now, begin today. There are numerous printed and online devotional books to help you get started. These will help you develop reading His Word as a daily habit. Please understand these are just a start. They are like “snacking” on His Word. Snacks are great and will help us get through the day, but it takes complete, well-balanced meals to keep us healthy. You need to read and study His Word daily. You need a full meal, balanced diet of God’s Word, the Bible.
I make it a goal to read through the Bible each year. Some may find this excessive. The Bible is God’s Word and remains a constant, so why should one reread it? Not because the Bible changes, but because I change. Each time I read it, I discover parts of His Word, His truth, for which I was not ready. But when I am ready, God breathes new truth into my life from His Word. He continues to mold and shape me and will do the same for you. You will find passages that you don’t yet understand and some with which you will disagree. That’s perfect! That’s the time to ask God, “Why don’t I understand this” or “Why don’t I agree with this?” This is the beginning of allowing Him to replace your truth with His. He wants to breathe His truth into your life and will do so through His Word. Dive into it! Read it! Ponder it! Allow God to shape you into the image He desires for you as He exchanges your faulty truth with His absolute truth.
When our truth differs from God’s, it’s up to us to choose one of the following responses:
- Accept it (believe it).
- Ignore it (deny it).
- Question it (challenge it).
- Blend it (merge it into our current belief).
- Replace it (change what we believe entirely).
The choice is yours. A popular bumper sticker reads, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Here’s another lie that is so tempting. The truth is, “God said it, that settles it.” Your belief has no bearing on the truth. Your part is how you will allow God’s truth to adjust, transform and bring freedom to your life. Your choice is to allow God’s truth to settle into and change your life.
I believe that if I eat less and exercise more, I will lose weight and be healthier. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind. I accept that fully. But until I replace what I’m doing now with that truth it will never affect my life, only my belief. Check what you believe to be true with God’s Word (not the media or your friends). If it agrees, hold onto it, and trust it. If it disagrees, you have a choice, your way or God’s way. Only God’s way will bring the freedom and transformation for which you long.
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