Galatians 6:7 | Please don’t Live Your Truth

The mantra of the modern person that is preached and taught today is “You be you. Live your truth”. This sounds wonderful and in the free society that America has provided, people may be whoever or whatever they want to be. We as a society have moved far beyond conversations about what is truth or is there an absolute truth. Now society demands that we recognize, affirm, and support whatever an individual decides is true for themselves. But the age-old problem with truth is still true… Truth is fixed it cannot change.

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV

There are truths out there that we are constrained by. There are natural laws and laws of personal interaction that are true regardless of how I live or what I believe about them. The laws of gravity prevents my ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. There are laws of nature that demand I will grow old and die. No matter what I believe incorrectly or correctly the truth of reality is fixed and this brings us to a powerful realization of an absolute truth that impacts everything. That absolute unchanging knowledge is that where there are laws there is a Law Giver. Where there is a creation there is a Creator. The truths and the laws that we are constrained by, these laws that provide order and consistency are given by God the creator of truth and the creator of humanity. Jesus declared that he is the truth therefore anything that is truly true is sourced from him. The order of mathematics, the order of physics, the order of the seasons, the very order that scientist use to conduct their research, and the order of interpersonal relationships are all sourced from God the creator and law giver.

7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7 ESV

This brings us to what will be a shock to many living in this contemporary time. We have no power to alter or set aside what God has ordered and set as true. Paul writes that God is not mocked. It is the only time in the Bible that this Greek word is used. Contempt, the turning up of one’s nose at truth and the order God has set in place will not last.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21 ESV

Continuing on in his thought that God is not mocked Paul goes on to explain what he means by putting the result of mocking God into terms of sowing and reaping.

8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8 ESV

Mocking God looks like someone who is consumed by personal truth. A pseudo truth that they build life upon. In fact, Paul right before this topic on mocking God writes what a personal truth looks like to God. From this list of personal truth one can start to see how reaping corruption is the only conclusion.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 ESV

Alternately someone who sows to the Spirit. A person who understands that there is no truth apart from God the law giver and creator would look like this to God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24 ESV

I have one more point to make on this topic which is very emotional for many who are trapped in their own truth and are consumed by the physical and relations created in this personal truth. The final point is around perspective. The life we build in this world is temporary. The power I accumulate the way I love others if outside the truth of God’s order will come to nothing and set me against God. In order to reap in eternity, one must submit to God and his truth now in this moment of grace. My personal truth is a lie and a trap that leads to destruction. God is truth and he is eternal. He is able free and untangle each of us from the desires of this world and set our heart on him if we recognize his authority and truth through faith.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 ESV

You do not have because…

The book of James has some harsh words about who we really are and how it impacts our relationship with God. The wonderful part with his harsh plain-spokenness is that it is clear to the one who wants to draw near to God what the path forward looks like. James clearly states what God is looking for. This is a walkthrough of James 4:1-8. Take time to read and meditate on what James the brother of Jesus has to say. God is available and He is near for those who are ready to humble themselves.

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. James 1:1-2 ESV

James opens with the point that our passions are at war with the new person we should be in Christ. We fight amongst ourselves. We hate our brothers. We want what others have and plot to take it from them. Then James points directly at such evil children and reminds us that we do not have because we did not ask.

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Romans 9:16 ESV

We do not ask because we live life apart from God. Do we turn to him and ask him to provide for our needs? Do we turn to him and ask him to provide for the desires in our heart? Do we turn to him and ask him to put Godly passions in the foundation of our soul? No we don’t, we life live like the atheists striving and working in our own will as if God our creator did not even exist.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:3-4 ESV

Then there are those of you who will say “I prayed and asked for a Job and God has not answered” or I asked for a perfect girlfriend or car, or whatever and God did not provide. Where is the answered prayer that God promised? This is hard to answer because only you know in your heart what God has to say to you. However I will give a few possibilities. First it is out of wrong motives that you ask. If you pray for a 100 score on a test for school and you do not receive it then I must ask why you prayed for the 100? What was your motive? Did you want the 100 because you wanted to boast to your friends at how smart you are? Did you want the 100 because you needed it to pass because you neglected the responsibilities of study? What obligation does God have to answer such a prayer? Is he simply someone that grants wishes for your own selfishness? Second you ask God for things that will allow you to continue your selfish life filling the passions of this world and not focusing on the eternal things that are important to God. Third, what if God’s answer for now is “No” to that job? Has he not provided for your daily needs? Has he not been faithful in this time without steady income? Is there not joy to be found in trusting him daily? What if he has a season of life where you must truly trust him for your daily bread? I have been there for a season and God can restore what is taken away and to him I give the credit and appreciate what I have now even more.

And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:29-31 ESV

James calls it adulterous that we seek to fill our own passions. God knows what you need and he has promised to provide that. Has he not been faithful? Jesus wants for us to seek after him, his kingdom. He wants you to put your trust in Him. However God never promised to make us rich in material things. What good are those material things anyway? Will they aid in your future eternal destiny? Doubtful.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 ESV

James is as straight forward as he can be here. If you love the things of this world more than God, if you choose the pleasures of this world over the life Christ is calling you to live then you choose to be an enemy with God. It is that simple.

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:5-8 ESV

Do you love Christ? Do you love God and what he has done to create you, save you, and provide for you in eternity? We are adulterous in God’s eyes because he will not accept our cheating on him with the world. James makes it perfectly clear that if your ambitions and your plans are consumed with the things of this world you are his enemy. God’s ambitions and plans do not involve this world. This world is temporary just like our mortal bodies. But James has good news for us double-minded sinners. Submit to God, and humble ourselves to God because through Jesus he gives more grace. Lastly if you do not already know the joy of salvation in Jesus then today is the day to give up the selfish ambition and seek what life Christ has for you. All that is needed to get started is to speak to Jesus with honest words admitting that you need him. Eternity is at stake.

Who is God to Judge?

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. Exodus 12:21-23 NIV

29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Exodus 12:29-30 ESV

God sent a destroyer to kill the first born in every house in the land of Egypt. Women, children, men, rich, and poor no one was exempt except for those that covered their homes with the blood of a lamb. Jews around the world still celebrate that event today as Passover.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:17-18 NIV

Jesus became the saving Passover lamb for us in eternity just like Moses demonstrated for a temporary moment. As it states in John 3:18 The Egyptians stood condemned already because they had rejected the one true God. The angel of death is coming for everyone because every person that has ever lived is condemned. Only the household that is covered in the blood of lamb will be spared with Jesus being the perfect Lamb for all that turn to him. Christians be they Hebrew or any nationality celebrate this event as Easter, the death burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and it occurs at the same time of the year as Passover. Passover was just a temporary event of judgment and salvation where Easter is the eternal event of judgment and salvation.

The Challenge that needs to be worked out is the idea that God has been unjust in killing the women and children of the Egyptians. To answer this charge one must understand our place in Creation. God is the Creator and I am created to be in relationship with Him. Yet I have rebelled against that relationship and I have tried to live life without God who created me. Because of that rejection God should have cast me away. Here is a verse from a song I like…

Tomorrow’s never promised, but it is we swear.
Think we holding our own, just a fist full of air.
God has never been obligated to give us life.
If we fought for our rights, we’d be in hell tonight.

God never promised long life or health and prosperity after the curse entered the world due to our sins. This world and our lives in it are temporary. In the book of Job God gives permission to Satan to kill the children of Job. God’s reason for this has nothing to do with Job and if he was faithful to God. God has his own reasons and his own plans. In the time of grief at having lost his family Job demands an audience with God feeling that he had been wronged. God appears to Job and his friends.

6 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:7“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 8 “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Job 40:6-7 NIV

Paul is just as clear about our right to challenge God’s justice and authority.

17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? Romans 9:17-21 NIV

It seems to me that Western ways of thinking, thinking that is based on the power of technology and the comfort of wealth, creates the illusion that we can view ourselves as God’s equal. Or that we can make God in the image of a man. God is not part of the Creation. We think to ourselves on all the things we will do and be. Yet in reality we have less control of events than we like to think. God placed us where we are born, in location and time. God has given us gifts of intelligence and strength.

Before concluding let me address specifically the charge of God’s judgment impacting the children of Egypt. God does not see life on Earth as the crowning achievement. Humankind forgets that this life is cursed and temporary. If God determines to bring children to their eternal home early that is His prerogative.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV

Looking back to the Egyptians that God judged remember that God did not force the Egyptians to do anything they did not want to do. He allowed them to rebel and seek after god’s of their own making. That rebellion is our very nature. I do the same today and this is why God put on the limitations of man in the form of Jesus and died to restore the relationship. God’s perfect justice was satisfied in the punishment of Jesus and Jesus is the demonstration of God’s perfect love. God is always consistent and always perfect in all that He does. This short temporary life is your opportunity to embrace the mercy that He has provided and submit to Jesus as Lord for salvation.

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:17-19 NIV