“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe. According to Stephen Fox’s book, John Muir and His Legacy (p. 291), this is the original version of the famous quote, which Muir wrote in his journal for July 27, 1869.
I woke up thinking about truth and how frightful it is for a liar to demand truth. Even more so, how frightful it is for a finite human being to open his or her mouth and speak “truth” on the behalf of The Truth. Seriously, I am scared how confidently we demand truth, speak about truth and we speak for The Truth because I don’t think we know what we are asking for or should I say who we are speaking about or who we are speaking for…when we are talking about truth or demanding truth.
I dare say there are many people who realize if you ask for truth, then there’s a good chance that The Truth will answer. Remember the story of Job and remember the story Jonah in the Bible. Both of these biblical stories are similar to what happened in the movie Tombstone when Kurt Russel said “You called down the thunder, well now you got it.”
From my own personal experience, I know that in wanting truth and arrogantly speaking for truth, that Truth turned to me and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.”- Job 38:2-3
At the time, I wasn’t looking for trouble and I certainly didn’t think I was offending The Truth when I used truth as a means to my ends to make my kingdom come and my will be done. Little did I know that I was not only ignorantly asking for Heaven’s thunder maker to come down, but I was arrogantly trying to sever a thousand invisible cords from the Truth when I wanted to pick and choose the truths that worked best for me. Yet, as I tugged at Truth and spoke for Truth, my chaotic and violent vibrations reached Truth, and his eye turned to me. If you have ever seen The Lord of The Rings, then you know when a big gigantic eye looks directly at you-well you are done.
Now imagine the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent eye of Truth looking at you and answering your demand for truth. Imagine tugging at a truth and it pulling the whole universe on top of you, which mind you…is just a small particle of the mind of God.
Imagine what happens when Truth comes close to you and all the darkness, shame, guilt, pain, regret and deep sin begins to be pressed out of you by Truth’s holy presence. Imagine being completely undone when Truth weighs you in the balance of itself. What would you say? Perhaps, you’d respond like Job after Truth answered him.
1 Then Job answered the LORD and said:
2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – Job 42:1-6
The Bible says that “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” If you want to hear what the beginning of wisdom sounds like, then reread what Job said after he felt just a fraction of Truth’s kabod.
Again speaking from my own personal experience, I discovered that Truth is a terrible thing for an ignorant, arrogant and self-righteous person and it’s even more terrifying for someone who wants to speak for truth while not living the truth… BUT as terrible as The Truth is for your false-self and your gluttonous consumer lifestyle-it is also infinitely perfect, beautiful, gracious, good and kind. Like William Cowper said “Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.”
Jack Nicholson was absolutely right when he said, “You can’t handle the Truth.” I couldn’t handle The Truth but The Truth handled me and when it did, it did so in in a way to save my life by cutting deep through the scales of lies that covered my true-self.
The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
Maybe this is all very weird but I say all of this as word of warning…
I have heard and seen a lot of biblical scripture pulled out of context and used to validate and justify our finite understanding of truth. I have witnessed many people speaking for God and using Truth’s words to uplift political parties, news stations, political leaders, systems, blatant sin and economies that do not contain a bit of truth, love, mercy, kindness or goodness.
We have to be very careful.
When we speak for Truth and we use truth to accuse and judge others, just know that the person that you are inviting Truth to accuse and judge first is YOU. So, make really sure that you have removed the beam in your own eye and that you are not only speaking truth, but you are actually living out that truth in thought, word and deed before you call down the thunder and demand truth.
I write this warning especially for Christians because Christians believe in The Truth and they (we) have been called to imitate The Truth. Consequently, as followers of The Truth, we must be very careful of how we speak and live. The Bible has a lot to say about idle words, white washed tombs, vipers, hating your enemy, not judging, turning your cheek, giving your cloak, worshiping two masters, being conformed to the world, liars and picking up your cross and following The Truth.
Remember… Jesus said Christians would be known by the way we loved-he said nothing about the way we voted and supported a particular political party. Likewise, before we tell others how to apply truth, we should remember that every person is called to work out their own salvation with Truth in “fear and trembling.”
“12Thus, my beloved ones, just as you have always been obedient (not as if only in my presence, but a great deal more so in my absence), work out your own salvation in reverence and trembling, 13For it is God who is making active within you both the willing and the working of that which is dearly desirable. 14Do all things without murmurings and disputations, 15That you might come to be blameless and inviolate, children of God, without fault amid a twisted and perverse generation, among whom you shine as luminaries within the cosmos,” Philippians 2:12, The Bible
Remember…we are liars if we speak truth and we are not being and living truth. From what I can gather, all truth, including being truth, speaking truth and living out of truth is this…Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
What does this mean? It means the following and so much more…
1Become imitators of God, therefore, like beloved children, 2And walk in love, as the Anointed also loved you and gave himself up on our behalf, an offering and sacrifice to God, for the aroma of a sweet fragrance. 3But whoring, and every impurity or acquisitiveness—let it not be named among you, as befits holy persons—4Nor foul conduct and imbecile chatter and flippancy, which are unbecoming things—but instead thanksgiving. 5For be cognizant of this: that no whoring or impure or acquisitive man—someone who is an idolater—has an inheritance in the Kingdom of the Anointed and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words; for on account of these things God’s ire is coming upon the sons of disobedience. 7So do not be participants in them; 8For back then you were darkness, but now, in the Lord, you are light; walk as children of light—9For the light bears fruit in all goodness and righteousness and truth—10Proving what it is that is delightful to the Lord, 11And do not have a share in the fruitless works of darkness, but rather, indeed, reprove them, 12For it is shameful even to speak of the hidden things that take place among them; 13But all things reprobate are made manifest by the light; 14For everything made manifest is light. Therefore it is said, “Arise, sleeper, and stand up from among the dead, and the Anointed will shine upon you.” 15So be scrupulously watchful of how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise persons, 16Redeeming the season, because the days are wicked. 17Do not be witless, therefore, but instead understand what the Lord’s will is. 18And do not get drunk on wine, in which there is profligacy, but be filled instead with spirit, 19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual odes, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord, 20Always giving thanks for all things to the God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed..” The book of Ephesians, The Bible