February 20, 2015
"So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine. And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32
What is the truth that Jesus speaks of? A Jewish Rabbi, a Buddist, a Pastor, and a Muslim all sit around a table discussing their religious beliefs. They talk about why they believe what they believe and why they don't believe other religions. Their conversation is peaceful and they all listen to each other respectfully. Though things get heated from their passion for their faith, they are able to have a peaceful dialogue about their faith.
So which one is true? What makes my belief more true than another? What causes one person to switch faiths, or remain in a faith, or stay faithless? Jesus said to His people that they were to continue in His word to truly be His disciples. If they did so, they'd know the truth, and this truth would make them free.
What does another faith believe to be true? And how is it they can cling to their faith so hard if it is not really true? Is it all about being right? Or is it about being in what you believe to be the truth? If I read the Koran, would I begin to believe what they believe? What is written within?
Do I only believe now what I believe because I read the Bible? Matthew 7:7-8 says ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
So I ask and seek and knock for the wisdom of God on this in order to know what is true. I mean, Jesus called us to go out and making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). To think that there are people in this world that still have never heard of Jesus and do not know that He has love for them, and offers them hope and a future...this boggles my mind. So what do these people believe? And if God is all knowing, all loving and everywhere, why can't He just swoop in and supernaturally whammy them into realizing Jesus? Why does He have to use other people to spread the message?
These are all very pertinent questions, that God has yet to give me revelation about. But I am going to wait on Him for an answer to these questions. One thing I do know is that back in November 2008, I had been feeling a heavy burden for a long time. I was engaged in behaviors that were tearing me apart, and pushing me further down a black hole. All the while, God pursued me.
After being fed up with the direction I was going in, I cried out to God and asked for help. Not sure what He would do, I went to Him in hopes that He would save me from continuing down this destructive path. When He did, I was convicted beyond my wildest thoughts. Believing I had it all together, God revealed to me just how broken I truly was, and showed me that I indeed needed to be in a relationship with Him. That I was not currently in a close relationship with Him, but that no matter how far I felt from Him, He had been right there pursuing me the entire time.
I also know that once again, a few months later, I was convicted by God and led to tell my now husband (then boyfriend) of a shameful secret I'd been keeping from him for a long time. The Holy Spirit literally shut my mouth for 3 hours until I confessed to Marcus what I'd done. I mean, no matter how hard I tried, I COULD NOT SPEAK...a word!! The only time my mouth was opened and words came out was when I began confessing to him.
Finally, a few months after that, when I felt led by the Holy Spirit to fast and pray before God to take the taste of alcohol from me, he did! I struggled with alcohol for a while after I started drinking. I had many a blacked out night and got into some drunken fights. Some with strangers, and many with friends.
I decided that I needed to change that. Worried about the addiction in my family history, I prayed for help. I really felt like I could not do this on my own. I continued craving the alcohol even when I didn't drink. So during my first couple of fasts, I prayed and asked God to take away my desire to drink. I didn't even realize He did until one day we were out at a happy hour with friends and I didn't think about drinking.
I have had a few drinks since then, but none of them satisfied me like before. Most I end up not finishing or it takes me forever to finish. After that, I just didn't drink, and I do not miss it at all. Why do I bring these three instances up? Because though I may believe one way and someone who is Jewish or Muslim believes another way, I do know that in all of these instances, I felt the presence of God and believe I was transformed by Him. All of these instances were early in my walk with Him, I can't explain it any other way. It was not me! Nor was it luck! It was not even a decision. I was transformed by Him.
So what is true? Jesus told His people, it was in His word. Because to be considered His disciple they had to read His word. And in so doing, they would come to that truth. It isn't up to me to convince people of this truth. It is up to me to share it, along with my testimony with them.