Two Norths

There’s true north and magnetic north. Metaphorically speaking, one will orient you correctly and the other will drive you crazy. As the earth’s axis wobbles, magnetic north–the point that corresponds with the pole–changes with the planet. True north is found by locating Polaris (the north star) and going from there. As a Christian, there are two sources of truth, or “truth”. One would lead you astray, though. It’s a matter of getting to know God well enough to be able to tell which is which.

“Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)

Paul asks this questions of the Galatians, who had come to take a works-based approach to appropriating the grace of God. That’s a succinct synopsis, but when a child of God doesn’t realize what he or she possesses by virtue of simply being that (a child of God with a lifeline to Heaven), they’re bound to take counsel and advice and understanding and wisdom (quote, unquote) from any source other than the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. As an aside, what does it mean in Revelation (3:1) when it refers to “the seven Spirits of God”? In the same verse it also makes mention of “the seven stars”. Interesting.

“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you.” (Galatians 5:8)

While “Two North” refers to the mental health ward in a hospital, “Three North” is the suicide watch. It’s bad enough having to choose between black and white and be blind. But a bevy of options and the confusions that ensue are enough to make one want to quit.

I believe God makes intelligent people. If you have an inkling of common sense, I believe God will use that. And that He’ll require you to use it before He steps in and labels things correctly that you were unaware of. We can go through a lot of this life by the seat of our pants. But to really integrate into the deep will of God, we necessarily will need to bring more and more of our mind to Him to ensure that the thoughts we think, from their earliest induction to whatever blossoms out as a result, is colored with His truth. I know of no better way to do this than to delve into His word. Isaiah 26:3 says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.”

The key there is trust. Paul says in 2 Corinthians (5:7) “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Indicating that because we believe in–and know–God, there comes along with this, tomes of information that, as we walk with Him, are worked out behind the scenes. God is always doing things. He wants as many people as possible to know Jesus. And in turn know He and the Holy Spirit. That’s the simple and overarching plan. It brings glory to Him. But the details? The details are worked out by angels and us. And they are inscrutably and mind-bendingly complex. In light of this, when we come up against a piece of information, however small, that is untrue, it is akin to a piece of grit designed to stop the entire machinery of God’s plan for your life. This is why Jesus says “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14) You can be one of them. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, to orient you to true north. All these lies. One truth.

In closing, this passage from Proverbs exemplifies a good starting attitude for the…requisitioning of God’s truth (and truths) for your life.

“Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Who hath ascended up into Heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (30:2-6)

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