“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.” Isa 40:8
As you know, Allison and I lived in Oregon from 2006-2009. We lived in Coos Bay and, as the name suggests, it was a small coastal town just north of California. We lived just a few miles from the beach and the crisp ocean air was relaxing, especially during the evening when the sun set over the pacific. We would very often walk the beach, hike the cascades, and visit the sand dunes. For fresh fish and crab, we would drive out to Charleston, a fishing port that looked like a scene straight out of “Deadliest Catch.” You would know when you were getting close to Charleston… the putrid smell of the processing plants could peel the paint off the wall. But, strangely enough, the fishermen that worked out of the port were impervious to the smell. In fact, they didn’t even notice!
It is so very easy for us to become blind to our own faults. We don’t “smell our own sin.” That’s why we can easily point out the speck in our brother’s eye but neglect the log in our own. But let me give a word of caution here. Our tendency as Christians is to respond with, “Amen, I should examine myself more.” But, if your sin-sniffer is busted, how can this be accomplished? Answer: With the objective Word of God.
God’s Word is objective truth. God spoke all things into existence. Then, he gave us His Word to reveal Himself and his redemptive purposes. The Word is the standard of truth because it comes from God and God cannot lie. He is the Author of Reality. Therefore, he gets to tell us how it works. We, on the other hand, often interpret reality based on subjective experience. That’s why we hear things such as “Perception is reality” and “Live your truth.” This is called relativism (a product of postmodernism) and it is the extreme result of interpreting life outside of God’s objective Word.
I work at a bank. I can assure you that truth is objective. Your perception that you didn’t spend all your money is very often not the reality! There is no bank policy that allows clients to “live their truth” when it comes to their bank account. 2 +2 will always equal 4. Similarly, 400 – 500 will always mean your overdrawn! Here’s my point: God’s Word is the revelation that we need in order to live. It tells us what is true no matter what we “perceive.” Because of sin, we are blind to so much. But, God in his grace and goodness has given to us his Word- his life giving Word- as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. We need a standard outside of ourselves. Man cannot be the ultimate arbiter of truth. Why? Because we have logs in our eyes, we all have deep-rooted sin issues, we all need a Savior, we all… well, stink. So, read the Word this week and let the Holy Spirit have his work in you.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Matthew S. Rickett