A Wardrobe from the King Chapter 2
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
What is Truth?
Face-to-face with the Truth, Pontius Pilate asked this ageless question, then walked away. Soon afterward he condemned Truth to death. He didn't know that Truth would live and reign forever!
Truth is now at work in those who know Him -- guiding our paths, renewing our minds, and drawing us closer to Himself. Truth clarifies, purifies, and cuts through the distortions, deceptions, and compromises of the world.
"Clothed with Christ," we are sheltered in Truth. Through Him, we see things as they really are.
Truth is the first piece of God's armor, the part that holds everything else together. I can go no further until I have "put on" Truth through Spirit-given knowledge of His Word. The truth of His will, ways and presence is my protection in every challenge ahead.
Precious Lord of Truth, I am amazed that you, the mighty King of heaven and earth, would receive me into your holy presence. Please continue to "guide me into all truth," so that I might live each moment in the shelter of Your love. Thank You, my King and my God!.
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Clothed His Word
God's eternal Truth is like an assortment of strong, bright, multicolored threads that weave through each royal garment, binding them together. The individual pieces of my new spiritual wardrobe are:
The truth of my King: His life covering and filling me.
The truth of His righteousness shared with me.
The truth of His peace in and with me.
The power of faith in Truth.
The truth of my salvation.
The triumphant proclamation of the Word of Truth.
To make this truth vital and active in my life I need to take the following steps:
Feed on TRUTH: Read, study, and delight in God’s Word.
Meditate on TRUTH: Review truths stored in my mind, hide them in my heart, and make them part of myself.
Filter for TRUTH: Screen every thought and action, making sure they agree with Truth.
Follow TRUTH: Walk by its light, knowing that He is your strength and provider.
Feed on Truth
I put on Truth from the inside out. Inner purity produces outward beauty. Therefore, I put on Truth by feeding in the fertile pastures of the Bible. Here I see, hear, and learn to know precious Truth; for when I seek God in its pages, He opens my eyes to see the wonders of His sovereign grace. I hear my Father assure me of His everlasting love for me. Becoming intimately acquainted with my best Friend, I learn to live in union with my beloved Bridegroom who is preparing me to share His life for all eternity.
Here I read His love letters to me. Chapter after chapter disclose His purpose, His ways, His joys, His sorrows, His amazing love, His awesome holiness, His compassionate heart. This is our time together—a time of listening and being heard, a time of worship and delighting in His saving love.
Having heard His voice and received strength and direction for my day, I begin work, confident that my King who spoke truth to me will indeed do all that He has promised.
Meditate on Truth
Unlike mystical, contemplative meditation, Biblical meditation is simply a quiet reflection on a Truth from His Word that He shows me each morning. He may point me to a particular verse -- perhaps a promise, a command or a Word of Comfort -- that I can remember and carry with me all day. The Bible is full of reminders:
"Oh, how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:97
"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died [to your sinful nature], and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-4
Such simple acts brings delight in His nearness and a commitment to follow. It lets my heart speak His thoughts (from His Word) back to Him, while I listen for His gentle guidance in my mind.
As I put on truth, I put off the old selfish thoughts. God’s words through his psalmists illustrates the joy of Truth:
"When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches; for Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy." Psalm 63:6-7
Filter for Truth
Sometimes it seems impossible to keep my mind “set on the things above.” An overwhelming onslaught of distracting, unwanted thoughts crowd out His thoughts of love, peace, and victory. How do I ward off those intruders and nurture the peaceful, triumphant truths of my King? God gave the answer through Paul:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians10:3-5
Since the first challenge to the reign of truth comes in my thoughts, I must make a choice. Will I yield to the “flesh” and its way of thinking? Or will I continue to let truth fill and renew my mind, conforming it to the mind of my King?
Jesus is Truth! He lives, sees, thinks, and acts truth. So must I, when I abide in Him. My own thoughts express worry, hurry, and resentment—and all sorts of lofty speculations which contradict the truths I know about my King. But when He, the sovereign, omnipotent God of the universe, has planned my life, why should I worry? When my Shepherd has all the time in the world, why should I feel hurried? Since "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God," why should I ever be resentful?
So when I question the source of a thought, God’s written Word and His indwelling Spirit show me the course to take:
If the thought is from the flesh [human nature], I must deny it and put on the truth that fits my new identity in Christ. I must replace “I can’t do it” with “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
If the thought is from Satan, I must resist his lie by the power of Jesus, then replace it with truth.
If the thought is from God, I must affirm and obey it, then walk in the light of that truth.
I dare not be spiritually lazy and neglect truth. The moment I yield my mind to the perspectives of self or the world, I take off God's armor. His thoughts are higher and better than my own; mine don’t even fit in His wardrobe.
I cannot rest in Him while I think the thoughts of the world. But the armor stays in place when His Word filters my thoughts and I view all things from the purifying perspective of truth.
Each day I face these questions: Will you choose the thoughts and ways of Truth. Do you really want to walk with Him? Then come and follow. Share His concerns, His sufferings, His work and
If I seek His armor merely to find comfort and safety, I might answer yes to His call, but my fellowship with Him would be short-lived. I would soon learn that His narrow path leads to hostility, rejection, and pain. So if I'm blind to the nature and challenges of spiritual warfare, I would complain, resist and give up when He leads me into battle.
I persevere today because I know that none of the world’s suffering :an compare to the joy of oneness with Him. If I, like Paul, have set my heart on the King and have made Him my first love, I will not hesitate when Truth beckons me onward. Like Paul, I have found the treasure of my heart and can “count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
Truth, like meat, makes me strong and healthy when I take the right steps: choosing the good rather than the bad, taking it home, storing it in my mind, then eating it. If, over the years, I have bought and stored that which is counterfeit or corrupted, I need to cleanse my mind of the old junk food and fill it with fresh growth-producing truths.
God does not evaluate my life by what He sees in the pantry of my mind; His main concern is how I use what I have. He knows what I have stored. My pantry may be full of food as a Christian who has been collecting truth for years, or it may hold only a cupful as in a new believer. Now He watches to see what I eat; for the food that I chew and swallow into my heart determines my thoughts and actions. In turn, my thoughts and actions determine the protection of oneness with my King—or the pain of separation from Him.
For years I filled my mind with information that was both inconsistent with my knowledge of God and destructive to my relationship with Him. I chewed, swallowed, and filled my mind and heart with junk food, then suffered the consequent destructive thoughts and actions—sins which separated me from my King.
One day I saw the danger of this process and began to clean and fill my pantry with good things—wonderful truths about God, His character, and His ways. Every morning I read His Word. I even chewed and swallowed some as I stored it away on the shelves of my mind.
If I had stayed with His food all day, I would have avoided a bellyful of distress. Instead I patted myself on the back for the good breakfast, opened the newspaper, and swallowed some of its facts. I watched TV for a while, put some of its tidbits on a shelf, and ate the rest.
A phone call brought reminders of a hurtful incident still stored in my mind. That became an early supper. Rather than satisfying me, the meal only whets my appetite. So I reached for some more snacks: thoughts of a “hopeless” situation, a confusing relationship, a rejection by a friend.
Suddenly I felt the pang of indigestion. What did I eat? Where is that good meat I bought yesterday? I reached for it, but the hunger was gone. In choosing my own way, I had lost my sense of direction and missed the joy of His presence. Why didn’t I just eat the food He gave me?
Depleting my pantry is certainly no worry, for whatever I eat is replaced and increased by its very use. Just as the fish and bread were multiplied to feed five thousand people, so that which is consumed is multiplied in my pantry—whether it is good or bad.
What will you eat? Jeremiah tells his choice:
“Thy Words were found, and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16
Let us encourage each other to seek, choose, take, and feast on Truth—restorative truths that renew our minds, transform our souls, and produce strong, vibrant, triumphant life that never ends.
STUDY QUESTIONS: Putting on TRUTH
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Read John 14:6.
1. Who is Truth?
2. Write the message of each of the following verses, replacing the word "truth" with the name of Jesus.
3. Notice how the above verses fit together and build on each other. Summarize their combined message. Which of the verses means most to you today? Why?
Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-19. Ask God to awaken your heart to the wonder of His greatness as you read David's prayer to God. (David spoke these words when he commissioned his son Solomon to build God's temple.)
4. Praise your King as you see Him through David's eyes. List His attributes and explain what each means? Appropriate these truths about God (make them part of yourself) by affirming and meditating on them, then giving Him thanks thus "girding your loins" with the truth about God.
5. What happens when you recognize and affirm God's greatness together with your own finiteness? Are you encouraged? Why or why not?
6. Look at God in the following verses. How do you see Him? What do you learn about yourself? How precious are you to Him?
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
7. In a practical way, how might you keep your "loins girded with truth" hour by hour?
8. What are the two main aspects of truth (concerning God and yourself) that you must continually remember before God?
Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
9. Why does the armor protect you?
Against what kinds of dangers does it shield you?
What confusing or deceptive lies about you, about your circumstances, or about God might bombard you today?
10. Give a recent example of the protective power of Truth in your own life. How has He guarded you against Satan, the world, and the flesh?
11. What has occupied your mind this week? Look at these things or persons in the light of God's greatness and love for you. How does truth alter your perspective on your circumstances?
12. Review David's words of praise and affirmation to God in 1 Chronicles; then write your own prayer of praise to Him who is the Truth.
Next: Chapter 3: Clothed with Righteousness
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