Receiving truth isn’t as easy as it sounds, there are many barriers in our human make-up that insulates us from receiving truth. In receiving truth we must first of all determine where the truth is to be found? All believers would agree that the Bible is the word of God and the word of truth, but though we agree with this in our minds, the practice and the implementation of this truth is lost somehow. I am finding the biggest obstacles to receiving Gods word, is more so in the emotions and our affections, than it is in our minds. I have found this very troubling and a difficult barrier to break through.
The nature of truth is, it is unbending and uncompromising in nature, it is pure and doesn’t have respect of persons. I have found the emotional rejection of truth to be the most disturbing, for when we reject the truth on an emotional basis we lose the ability to think things through, to judge the validity of something in the light of scripture. If we allow our emotions to be the deciding factor on whether something is true or not, we may rest assured that we will miss the truth, but instead our own subjective experience will be the deciding authority.
Truth is very costly, and it will sometimes cost you the values you once held dear. See Prov 23:23 ESV, Buy truth, and do not sell it, buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. As you put the scripture above your emotions, your emotions will be governed by the higher authority of scripture itself. God made us emotional beings as well as rational beings, but we may rest assured that what we lose from our subjective emotional affections, we will more than gain in our new found love of the scriptures. The truth of the scriptures will purify us and sanctify us, the very thing Jesus said it would do. John 17:17. KJV Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.
I must warn you however, and myself also, that if I continue to allow my emotions to determine truth, I will be restricted in my spiritual growth. 2 Cor 6:12 ESV. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. Our affections hinder us from determining truth from error. Perhaps its our love for a certain person, or our affections towards a certain Bible Teacher? we get confused, and refuse to see, because of our strong affections. Sometimes we can be loyal to a fault, but aren’t we supposed to love Jesus more than these? Like it or not our spiritual growth will be measured by our love for the truth, which is accompanied by discernment. Eph 4:14 So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes, but speaking the truth in love….
It is true there are those who use truth without love, like the church in Ephesus who were commended for their discernment, “You have tried those who said they were Apostles and are not, and have found them liars, nevertheless I have this against you that you have left your first love.” See Rev 2:1-7. It is possible to speak truth without love, but I don’t thing its possible to have love without truth. Not the love that comes from God anyway, but rather a selfish, possessive human love, because Love rejoices in the truth, 1 cor 13:6.
There are some real hurdles in our spiritual growth, and I believe this one to be the biggest giant of them all! But if we Put Gods word above all else, we will be able to do this. remember the words of Jesus, the words of Jesus now, not mine! “Whoever loves Father or Mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Mat 10:37.
Of course this has been used by cults to divide and separate families, verses taken out of context. In the times we have practiced these words more accurately however, we have found our love to increase for our family members and not diminish, as we love them through Gods love, valuing their eternal soul, rather than with our human selfish love. May God help us to receive His truth!