1 Kings 22:24-25 “But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.”
I thought there was a code of ethics that journalists followed that kept their integrity intact because they reported facts and not opinions about the facts. We hear truth spun to us in so many ways, it is hard to really know what is true and what is not.
So, we come to the church and expect that at least there, the truth would be spoken. Today, the are so many ‘flavors’ of the Christian church, you can have it your way – just like Burger King.
But there is just one problem:
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
On just these two verses alone, I realize that my way is NOT the way to go.
So, how do I know what is true and what is a lie? I must start here:
Romans 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Every word of man must agree with God’s Word before I can truly believe that it is true. But you may be saying in your heart, ‘Surely, my pastor would tell me the truth!’
I revere every man that accepts the calling of pastor. I pray for those who enter into the ministry to stand at the helm of a congregation; to lead them is the high calling of God for their life. I do not, in any way, want to diminish their importance and their position in the church, but:
He is just a man.
I have seen where the ministry began to be all about the man of God instead of the God of the man of God. People have studied their habits and mannerisms, dress, speech, delivery and style – all to exhibit outwardly, the fruit of God’s work in their pastor. It makes one wonder just who it is they truly worship.
Some may call that harsh criticism, but dear reader, I know firsthand what that path looks like for I almost fell prey to it myself.
We read of prophets who counseled the king of Israel as to what was the word of the Lord. In the context of our text today, God reveals to us that there can and will be lying spirits – even in the church. The church as a body is not infallible – only God’s Word can claim that.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
My enemy, Satan, has the ability to transform himself to look just like one of God’s messengers. So, how do we know? How do we discern just who to trust?
Many of us would agree that we are in the latter days. If that is true, God gives warning.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
My intent for this devotion today is not to point fingers, expose hypocrisy and lies, or call anyone out. I humbly wish to lift up where you and I need to go to find the way of truth in our life.
When we read the bible; when we pray; the Holy Spirit is our guide and teacher. He will lead in the way we should go. It is God’s promise to us.
Psalms 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
The truth is not confirmed by the majority of ‘Amens’ in the church, or the direction that many follow, but it will be in the still, small voice we hear in our prayer closet.
Jesus, Himself told us:
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Paramount to this discussion is our relationship with the Holy Spirit and our ability to hear and heed His voice. Work to listen. Covet when He speaks. Long for what He speaks. Pray for the ability to discern His voice alone that all others would seem as tinkling cymbals and sounding brass.
I so desire to hear only God… no matter who, or what God uses to speak!