(This article isn’t about a book by CS Lewis – but I do thank him for a great title! 😊)
I love it when the Lord opens my eyes to TRUTH, don’t you? The truth really does set us free – but there are conditions… Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
We have to abide (live/stay/continue) in His Word to be His disciples. It’s His disciples (those who learn from Him and put His Word into practice) – who continue in His Word – that will know the truth and be made free! These are important distinctions, because it is possible to know the truth (have knowledge) and be bound by spiritual pride. When our pride mixes with God’s Word, it can lead to deception, because knowledge puffs up. Love, however, builds up; it’s the truth spoken in love that edifies. (1Co 8:1-3; Eph 4:15) In this way, truth actually operates much like faith; it needs love to bear fruit. (Gal 5:6) It accomplishes the eternal, when it works through love.
So…where am I going with this? I’ll tell you plainly: We must not divorce love from faith or truth. God has joined them together, and we must not separate them!
Lately, I have seen the Lord answer prayers to awaken the saints and bring us into a more Biblical understanding of Christianity and the Church. Hallelujah!! However, in our immaturity, we tend to grab onto a small piece of truth and run in the wrong direction. It’s really easy to take the enlightenment we have received from God and become critical of whatever doesn’t match it. Surely, there is MUCH all around us that doesn’t match the BIBLE! That’s easy enough to see, if God is opening our eyes…
Our knowledge, though partial, is not incorrect. However, it can (pretty easily) deceive us into thinking we are something we are not – and that is a problem… God does not measure His children by their knowledge, but rather by their love for Him and for others. So, we should gauge our maturity more by our love than our knowledge – or even our faith – since neither can stand alone and be effective.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1Co 13:1-3)
It is God – Love, Himself – who desires His very nature to be formed in us. That is our assurance of glory! Likewise, it is what we do fueled by His love that will ultimately determine our reward. (Colossians 1:27, 3:12-15; Galatians 4:19; 2 Peter 1:2-11; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; Matthew 16:27)
So, if God is enlightening you, praise Him! Let this also be the cue to humble yourself and pray that you don’t fall into pride. It’s easy to do, and if you sense that may happening, know this: God has not called us to be judges, but servants. He has not called us to criticize His people, but to love them. Probably (once your heart is right) He just wants you to become like our Master and humbly report to work. So, when you’re ready, head to the field and take your place with the rest of those who care enough to get their hands dirty.
I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. (Philemon 1:4-7)