Lead Me to Your Truth
This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. — John 10:6
So in context, remember Jesus was speaking to religious leaders. And he is coming down hard on them. And rightly so. Jesus is the Great High Priest. They are leading his church. These are his flock, and his concern is always for his people. Therefore any spiritual leader who has strayed from the truth and is doing harm to his people, intentionally or unintentionally, is of concern to him.
Keep in mind, at this point in the Gospel of John, we know of only one spiritual leader who is even willing to test the message of Jesus against the Scripture. One man sneaks out at night to inquire about Jesus — that is Nicodemus (John 3:1-2). But in John's story, he is the only interested spiritual leader. So we discover that out of the 70 approximate spiritual leaders on the Sanhedrin and the 1000+ approximate priests who served in the Temple, there was only one we know of who even considered Jesus's message. That is a strikingly small percentage. Tiny, in fact. Therefore this stern warning was an important warning. And I think this might even be applicable in the same ratio today. But I will let Jesus decide that.
And you'll notice — they don't get it. They don't understand that Jesus is calling them thieves and robbers, even though Jesus uses one of the simplest metaphors in the Bible — A farming metaphor that an agrarian people would have known. Spiritual leaders were in contact with sheep all the time.
Here's the point. We are all deceived at some level. Our perceptions are easily affected by disinformation. And the reason this happens is because we don't put ourselves in front of objective truth. And when we are not regularly exposing ourselves to objective truth, we grow accustomed to our preferred version of truth. Therefore we don't see the truth when it looks us in the face.
Gentlemen, when I read this as a spiritual leader, I am so convicted by it. And I want to ensure that I am in no way believing, teaching, or directing you toward any of my deceptions. Theological creations formed by my own self-deceptions.
But there is a way to overcome this. It's by doing this.
- Read Scripture.
- Accept it as the objective truth.
- When you read it and encounter a self-deception.
- Confess it.
- Act quickly on this "new" objective reality.
- In what ways am I exposing myself to objective truth, particularly through regular engagement with Scripture? How can I deepen my commitment to reading and studying the Bible as the objective source of truth in my life and ministry?
- Am I open to recognizing and confessing any self-deceptions or biases that may be influencing my beliefs, teachings, or guidance as a spiritual leader? How can I cultivate a humble and teachable spirit that actively seeks alignment with the objective truth found in Scripture?
DO THIS: Do the five steps above.
PRAY THIS: God, I come before You with humility, acknowledging my tendency to be deceived and influenced by my own biases. Please help me to actively seek and embrace objective truth through Your Word. Forgive me for any self-deceptions I may have held onto, and guide me to align my beliefs, teachings, and actions with Your truth. Grant me the wisdom and integrity to faithfully shepherd Your people.
PLAY THIS: Spirit Lead Me.
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