Who am I speaking to? Don’t we all do some things “wrong” because we did not know better? It is called “ignorance”. Why is this word seen as “stupid” when it does not mean that at all? The apostle Paul persecuted Christians out of his zeal for God. It was not until Jesus revealed Himself to Paul that Paul says God had “mercy on him because he was ignorant about what he was doing.”
We are ignorant when we “believe” we are doing right when we truly are doing wrong. We all do this and have done it. So today the Lord gave me a greater understanding regarding those who have persecuted me. Why? Because they were doing what they “thought was right” and when I look at it that way I can be merciful and show compassion. Jesus recognized this regarding the Romans who were crucifying Him, some say He was also speaking of the Jews who were persecuting Him. Certainly the Romans were just doing their job and were ignorant. But also Steven prayed for his persecutors in Acts Ch. 7 when they killed him, and they were teachers of the Law. But my real question or discussion is “how to avoid” being ignorant regarding what is right and wrong in every situation. How to know for sure you are doing exactly what God is asking you to do. Or how to know you see with clear lenses and not foggy ones, or dark, or dusty lenses when you are interpreting God’s Word or interpreting the Holy Spirits voice in every situation you encounter. How do you know that what a Bible teacher says is truth? For the Bible says that in the last days many will be deceived and false teachers will abound!
Because our times are filled with information, interpretation, ideas, images, and everyone has their own opinion and interpretation of everything, we are in danger! When I say we I mean Christians. Satan is a deceiver, and the Father of Lies. When he speaks he must twist the truth, just enough, so that we will swallow it without examination. He has been deceiving from the beginning of time and he will continue.
So, what is the cure to our dilemma? Well, believe it or not, the very first thing is to “swallow our pride” simply because it is pride and ignorance which causes us to not examine ourselves or to question our beliefs. Since the beginning this has been a problem. This is why churches divide, and why we have so many theological views, etc. Therefore, we must be willing to take a step back, check our own biases, presumptions, history, upbringing, which have all affected our views of the Bible and of the world. However, this is not for the faint of heart. THIS TAKES WORK AND COURAGE! But, if we are WILLING, which is the key word I want you to focus on, then God can show us. But, if we are not willing to examine our own biases and beliefs which we were raised with or that we learned growing up in church, then we may be deceived about many things regarding God, His Word, salvation, heaven, hell, and His return, etc. And I say “may” be, not, “are” deceived. The reason that it takes faith and courage to go about this kind of thing is that if you find you were wrong about something regarding God and His Word, it is humbling, and it can shake your theology and doctrines about various things. BUT, as I found out, it is worth it in the end. I had to do this various times over many years. But in doing so I learned the Word of God and the voice of God. And I have helped many over the years with difficult questions regarding the Bible. But, I did have a “crisis of faith” but that crisis of faith only led me to find answers and God has blessed that journey!
Anyway, my point is there is the Spirit of Truth, which all believers have living within them and there is the spirit of error, stemming from Satan, influencing the world and trying to influence Christians. And it is necessary that we “discern” the truth from the error. The Holy Spirit WILL lead you ONLY to truth, ever. Satan will only lead you to half-truths, errors, twisted truth, etc. And we are in dangerous times due to the amount of opinions and interpretations of well…everything. But, if you are “willing” the Spirit of truth will lead you on your journey to find the truth about everything. But again I must say it is ESSENTIAL for us to remove our pride and preconceived views which we have held so dear for so long and ask the Holy Spirit to give us clear lenses by which to see the Word of God with “fresh eyes”. This process cannot happen if we are not honest with ourselves and our own ignorance. This is essential, WE MUST HAVE A PURE HEART AND WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS!!! That is the key. That, and willingness to hear the truth by the Spirit of truth from the Word of Truth.
Why is this so important right now? Because there is division within the Body of Christ, and walls and confusion blinding Christians, and a house divided cannot stand, and the enemy loves it, and it is keeping us from walking side by side for the glory of Christ! And it is GRIEVING OUR FATHER. And if we are to impact the world for Christ, it must be obvious that we have “been with Christ”, in other words, obvious that we are “walking in accord with the Spirit of Truth” because then we have something different to offer which the Father of Lies cannot offer the world. And because in all honesty our greatest problem in American Christianity as far as I can tell is the merging of the “secular with the holy”. Or the world with the Church, or light with darkness…get it. This epidemic has filled American Christianity and it has polluted it from the outside in. And the only way we can tear the two apart is through humility, faith, and willingness. Therefore let us conclude We MUST desire the pleasure of God greater than the approval of man. We must be willing to let go of those who will not walk with us in the truth. We must trust God to take care of the details when we step out in faith to search for the whole truth. It is a journey and it can only be done with honesty, and the Holy Spirit. Tell Him your desire, then trust Him, then search the scriptures and pray for wisdom from above.
Finally, I pray "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened" (Eph. 1:17-18) Amen