What place does truth have in our lives?
What makes the word truth so important and regularly used in scriptures?
Psalm 45 is one of these passages that provide a clear picture of truth. Down in the middle of the Psalm God reveals truth to be one of the three key goals of the Messiah. He brings to His kingdom subjects: truth, meekness and righteousness.
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And in Thy majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Thy right hand teach Thee awesome things. (Psalms 45:4).
This apparently is a Messianic Psalm calling upon the Messiah, the Christ, to lead His people onto victory! He seeks to establish these three chief qualities in His people's lives. Why? They are most becoming and enable them to come to God and reflect His glory.
Let's look at each of these. In as much that these three are the esteemed treasures of the kingdom of God, they are disdained by the world. The truth is ridiculed, meekness is oppressed and the righteous are slain.
Each of these qualities must be built into our lives if we are going to grow as God's people. Each quality speaks of a certain sphere of our lives.
Truth speaks of the sphere of the mind
The truth represents all of God's ruling principles underlining all of His creation. God's truth is His perspective on everything that exists. We spend billions of dollars each year on researching how things work. Once we gain that understanding, then we understand the true functioning of different objects and apply them to our lives. Great power is unleashed when we understand His truths and apply them to our lives.
We can only accept God's truth as much as we embrace it. The devil does not embrace this truth and so has shut himself from it. The difference between the Christian and non-Christian is that the Christian has a new heart embracing the Truth - the Lord Jesus Christ. Because they embrace Christ, they can embrace God's operating principles built into the world.
The Christian can be deceived though. His power can be broken up when he tolerates deceit. This reveals our problem and the challenge of Christian living: truth is revealed to us, but we don't believe and act upon it. But as we do learn and discipline our lives to live out God's truth in our lives, we are sanctified or 'set apart.' Remember, truth differs from plain knowledge because it always conforms our lifestyle to holiness, more like Christ.
Our goal then is to have truth fill our minds and so shape our decisions and lives. Christ in the Great Commission challenged His people to:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20, NASB.
Christian discipleship is the shaping of our minds with the truth once the heart has embraced the Truth. If we retreat from this filling of the mind with God's perspective, then our hearts get dull and affected by non-truth, that is deception and worldly principles.
A simple example is Jesus threefold series of commands in Matthew 6 to stop being anxious. Jesus is unfolding powerful truth in these words. The truth is that God has designed us not to worry. Anxiety reveals a heart that we are not trusting God. God's peace, however, is to live in harmony with His truth this is what He is now calling us to live out. Deception will keep us thinking that we have to worry and that it is normal. God's truth is powerful because it not only shapes our perspective but conform our lives into that of Christ!
Meekness speaks of the sphere of the spirit
Meekness represents the humbling of our lives to the rule of God in our lives. This speaks of the spirit of man - his heart attitude. Ones spirit shapes his ability to acknowledge and embrace God's rule. We think of the wild and untamed horse that bucks at any attempt to bring his will under control. The trained horse, the meek one, still has as much power as the wild. Now, however, he is under the power and authority to an outside force or will - his master's. This clearly represents our need to have changed hearts so that we will possess a receptive heart.
The Messiah is looking not for strong servants but meek ones. He wants their will to be totally submitted to His. This is done through the dying of self (cf. Romans 6 and 7) and the open acknowledgement that one is living for God alone. Only when this spirit preparation is present, is God able to begin His specialized training.
Nothing is left that is not subdued. His feelings, mind, physical body and even his will is all subjected to His Master for the making of a Spirit filled person.
Righteousness speaks of the sphere of the will
Where the truth speaks to the occupying of the mind and the meekness to the spirit, so righteousness completes the Messiah's goals by speaking to ones will. God is instilling an unflinching obedience to His law. The Law is summarized by the two most highest commands to love God with all ones heart, soul and mind and to love man as himself.
The Lord lifts His standard high where our sin becomes all the more obvious. But where sin abounds, so does grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we in the end have a greater respect for the Lord's glorious work on the cross.
Righteousness is when our lives concur with God's will. This differs from truth in that truth speak about God's perspective while righteousness speaks to what we say, think and do. Righteousness has to do with translating the principles of God (truth) into our daily lives. Romans speaks about this when our bodies are slaves of righteousness in Romans 6:19,
" For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification."
If we compromise in any area, we will fail. The Lord's purpose is fulfilled only when all three areas are fully occupied. One might look at Christ's overall purpose in these three areas:
- Discipleship is the area of spreading God's truth.
- Evangelism is the area of spreading God's meekness.
- Missions is the area of spreading God's righteousness.
If we examine the life of a Christian very closely, we will see that any of these three areas that is left untouched, is ripe for disaster.