Did you know that truth and fact is not necessarily the same thing?
Fact comes from what we see around us, but truth comes from revelation. Think about Elisha’s servant at Dothan in 2 Kings 6. He confused fact and truth. The fact was that the enemies of Israel had surrounded the city, but the truth was that God had stationed his angelic hosts to ensure his prophet was safe. When the servant speaks to Elisha he was being truthful but was not speaking truth. He was simply transferring the facts as he saw them, he wasn’t looking for the truth of what God was saying or doing through it. There was truthfulness in what he was saying but full truth is more than a factual reality.
I have never really understood why a person in a courtroom is made to say ‘I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’ The second and third component of that oath always seems to be superfluous to me. It should suffice to simply say the ‘truth’ because that should incorporate the others. Truth by its very nature is the ‘whole’ truth. If part of that truth is compromised it cannot be truth. We can talk of ‘half truths’ of course but that is more of a colloquial expression than a reality. Truth is definitive not relative and truth exists independent of fact.
Of course truth and fact may well coincide, and even collaborate, but we must free ourselves from the idea that the truth of our circumstances is limited to the facts of it! There are times in our lives when we have to separate the two, and choose which one we will place our faith in. Maybe you are there now? All you see is the cold hard facts of your circumstance and it is getting you down. Well, there is a bigger truth operating over and above those facts that you need to tap into and see. God is at work and all his works are good. Look for the truth and don’t limit yourself to the facts. Elisha’s servant returned to look a second time; this time he was looking for truth not fact and what he saw blew him away!
Why do I say all this; because truth originates from, and is created in, the heart of God. Jesus said in John 16:13 that ‘when the Spirit of God comes he will lead us into all truth.’ Only a relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit can reveal to us the ‘full’ truth about our life and circumstance. The Holy Spirit becomes a lens of truth that allows us sees through and beyond the immediate factual situation into the divine realities that are at work.
Consider this. The Bible says ‘God is not a man that he should lie’ (Num 23:19). This of course has a moral aspect to it in that God would not lie or deceive because of his holy nature, but there is another aspect to it that we don’t always appreciate. God cannot lie because whenever he speaks it has to become truth even if it is not factually correct. Every word, promise, and pronouncement that comes from Gods mouth creates truth even if it doesn’t line up with our perceived reality. If God was to say 2+2=5 then despite the fact that the answer is 4, the truth is that it is 5!
What about worship? Do you worship in fact or in truth? It may well be a fact that you are in church on Sunday singing the words and lifting your hands but does that mean you are worshipping in spirit and truth (Jn 4:24). Worship is an attitude of the heart that ‘kisses towards’ the Lord. God looks at the truth of our heart not the facts of our acts! What about giving? The fact that we put money in the offering may be masking the truth of where our heart is about our wealth. And so it goes on. Are you living in truth or are you responding to facts.
As someone once said to me, if you counted a dog’s tail as an extra leg, how many legs would it have? Most would answer five. The answer of course is four. Just because you count the leg as a leg would not make it a fifth leg….the truth is the dog still has four legs. God’s reality is not altered by our perception of our circumstances.
Learn to discern truth from fact. Understand they are not always the same. God’s truth is paramount and supersedes the facts of any given situation. Understand the facts, but always look for truth! Don’t be afraid of the facts or deny them in your life but know there is a truth that may look very different.
Don’t swallow the lie that what we see or hear is the limit of what we can believe for. Look to God and his truth will be revealed, and that will change everything. Now that’s a fact!!!!