“[Y]ea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Rom.3:4a)
If these words tell us anything, it is that when our stories, or our conclusions, differ from God’s, we are the ones who are lying. In other words, there is only one truth (The Bible never speaks of “truths,” only “truth.”); and you and I cannot be relied upon to always have it. We can have a living, eternally binding relationship with the Author of all truth, Jesus Christ (Jno.14:6), and we can have access to His living Words (1Pet.1:23), but we have this Treasure in “earthen vessels” (2Cor.4:7). And that’s the fly in the ointment. We can strive to serve God with a perfect heart, but a willing mind is the best we can hope for, says David. “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind…” (1Chron.28:9). Fortunately, the Apostle Paul tells us this is good enough, as far as God is concerned: “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2Cor.8:12).
Does this mean we should always be questioning everything we believe? Not at all, especially when the people of God down through history have, by and large, believed the same thing. Most importantly, there can there be no dispute about the truth of redemption in Jesus Christ. According to God, anyone who would do that is an unquestionable liar (1Jno.2:22). When this does becomes questionable, nothing is sure; and one is doomed to flounder (and eventually drown) in a sea of perpetual seeking.
As believers, you and I are not “seeking the truth”; we have it. It is only for us now to grow in knowledge (2Pet.3:18), by allowing the Teacher to guide us into all truth (Jno.16:13). David says, “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psl.138:8); and I take that to mean everything, including my understanding.
What does all this mean to me, a great-grandmother, sitting in a little room in an obscure, old western town with more history than future? (I’m talking about the town!) It means that the foundation of my life has been, and still is, sure and steadfast. I have not believed a lie; I have embraced the Truth. That’s why I open the pages of God’s Word daily, knowing that though I may not know all the answers, I’m in the right classroom! My vessel may be faulty, but I drink from the Fountain of Truth.
And it is no small consolation to me to be able to say to my four children, “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths” (Prov.4:11). To have told them anything else would have been to tell them a lie.