“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. ” -Psalm 145:18
How encouraging to know that God is nigh–near in place and time—to those who call upon Him. There is a big BUT in there though; we have to call upon Him in truth.
Truth is a dicey concept, frought with loopholes and riddled with our own pride. If truth is relative, the whole game gets called off. If my subjective view of the world is legitimate just because it’s mine, well that makes for less conflict and disagreement initially, though I don’t think that’s the case in the long run.
Unlike most of my generation, I don’t think truth is relative or subjective. Sure, we can have legitimate preferences–tastes about what we like and don’t like–those things can be subjective. But, when it comes to the spiritual laws of the universe, I believe they are as set in stone as arithmetic facts and natural law. The earth will rotate at a certain speed, night will come at such and such a time, these kind of “laws” we depend upon. Without such laws, little would get done and life would be too chaotic to plan.
In a similar fashion, I believe in spiritual laws and that they are absolute. I’m not the judge of them, but nonetheless they exist and make our emotional and spiritual lives dependable. They make it so that we don’t have to live in emotional or spiritual chaos chasing this theory or that teacher. We can rest in the dependability of what has been revealed.
Getting back to the verse–what does it mean to call upon Him in truth? The word truth here means stability, trustworthiness, verity, certainty, assurance. Maybe it means being open to God–setting aside your preconceptions (and if you grew up in a church but don’t feel close to God, you may have many preconceptions that you aren’t even aware of). It means approaching God with humility, with a willingess to really hear Him, hear His thoughts and plans for things, not just come to Him with your “stuff” (though He wants that too). It means coming to Him with a heart willing to consider and trust His essential character, then from this flows a willingess to consider new things He may reveal to you.
One thing He’s shown me in His word lately is the spiritual concept of forgiveness. I’m struggling with this one because I’ve got a hurt that I’ve tried to reconcile unsuccessfully (thus far). How to forgive when the person isn’t sorry? I’m not exactly sure yet, but I’m open to whatever He has to share with me regarding forgiveness.
The children’s memory verse for the week comes from Mark 11
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
It’s tough stuff, isn’t it? From it we learn the spiritual truth that our forgiveness by God is somehow interconnected with our willingess to forgive others. Seems almost unfair, though I know it’s not. It is a difficult truth to look at though–especially if you can’t quite forgive another person.
Lord, help me to forgive those who fall short. Help me to call upon You in truth, even when that truth calls me to difficult things. Help me to trust that I can forgive someone who isn’t sorry, because I know that You wouldn’t ask me to do something that was impossible or unattainable. If anyone else reads this and has a similar difficulty, would You shine Your light on that area of unforgiveness and enable them to forgive fully. Show us more about how to forgive others, knowing that You forgave those who treated You with cruelty and abuse. Amen.