The Truthfulness of God: The God who guides us in the truth
Read John 16:5-15
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
For three years, the disciples enjoyed the daily instruction from Christ. For three years, Christ guided them with his infinitely wise counsel, giving insight from the scriptures to help them navigate through the immediate crisis they faced. Every time they were confused, or perplexed, they could turn to Christ and he would bring clarity and perspective. But then Christ announced the unthinkable. As they gathered together to celebrate the Passover, Christ informed them that he was going to be betrayed and leaving them. Fear, anxiety and confusion swept through their minds as they faced the prospect of going forward without the guidance of the one that they had devoted their life to follow.
The fear and confusion that gripped their minds that evening is no different than the confusion plaguing our own thoughts when life becomes unpredictable and unmanageable. In the end we are left with conclusion that truth is illusive and unknowable. With all the different conflicting views being propagated, how can we know if anything is true? We wonder, like the disciples did that night, are we left to blindly navigate life where there is no real truth, only the truth that we can determine ourselves? In a world of conflicting narratives, many have concluded that truth is relative. While we affirm that God is a God of truth, how can we, as fallen individuals, ever be able to determine what is true?
Even as we struggle, along with the disciples, to understand what Christ was saying, Christ gave us a promise that we are not abandoned to figure out our own way in life. Instead, we are given another guide who is present by our side each step of the way to guide us in the truth. Not just that he would help us understand what to do, but he would serve to guide throughout life in how to live within the truth of God.
But this brings us to the key question: How do we discern the leading of the Holy Spirit from the plethora of voices we hear in our society today? The answer lies in the study of the Bible. The Holy Spirit guides us in our understanding of Christ, his redemptive work, and how we are to live in response to Christ aswe read his word.
But here lies our greatest danger. In our quest for truth, instead of searching scriptures, we turn to our own personal reflections. But Proverbs warns us of the danger of relying upon our own wisdom and views to guide us. In Proverb 14:12 we read, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” To trust in our own thoughts is ultimately self-deceptive. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” If this is the case, then what hope do we have? The answer brings us back to the work of the Holy Spirit and the study of scripture and humbling acknowledging our need for guidance. In Ps. 25:3,4, we find the prayer that we desperately need to pray daily, “Make me know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation, for you I wait all day.” When this becomes our prayer, and the scripture becomes the object of our search, we have the assurance that the Holy Spirit will guide us in the truth.