“Is, has been, shall be. . . without Truth, philosophy moves to the existential, art moves to the sensual, religion moves to the mystical, education moves to the skeptical, and individuals move to the transcendental.” These words of renowned apologist Ravi Zacharias accentuate the impact of a faulty interpretation of truth.
Our culture is in constant pursuit of its acceptance. It claims that truth is relative, evolved, segregated, existential, and experiential. It suggests that the standard of truth is entirely subjective. It persuades that truth should be navigated through individual exegesis.
However, Scripture refutes these notions and identifies truth as a personal being. John 14:6 declares that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, while Hebrews 13:8 affirms that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever—meaning, truth is, has been, and shall be. Here, Jesus represents all three truths at once, in agreement, in unchanging and perfect form.
Therefore, we can be assured that a conflict between these three would not be the truth.
Truth is absolute, steadfast, immutable, and its standard is God. It is only truth upon which humanity may exist and prevail.
Know Truth, Know the Lie
Lies are unrecognizable without truth. For instance, at some point in our lives, we’ve all found ourselves wrestling with unrecognizable voices of self-doubt. We then legitimize these doubts through the lens of societal standards and humanistic values, creating a pathway to self-deterioration. Eventually, we accept those claims and profess them as truth, initiating a slow process of spiritual, mental, and emotional self-sabotage. Lies work each time, unless you know the truth.
Saul had surrendered to his personal lies, by way of pride, prior to his encounter with Christ (see Acts 7:58 8:3; 9:1, 2, 22:3-5, 26:10, 11). He was proud of his ideologies, his work ethic, his ancestry, and his beliefs. But in the presence of God’s truth and its revelation, none of Paul’s personal lies mattered. The one thing that mattered was God’s destiny for him.
When you know the truth, you are equipped with the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to discern the lie. Proverbs 2:6 says, “The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding,” while Isaiah 11:2 confirms that the Spirit of the Lord contains the Spirit of wisdom, of understanding, and of knowledge.
Therefore, to receive the correct form of truth, it must be viewed through a biblical lens.
Prior to the digital age, most of us recorded pictures on film which had to be developed in a dark room. Conditions in the dark room had to be carefully controlled in order to achieve the desired result. In a similar way, our destiny is only achieved through a slow and careful process of transformation guided by God’s hands. God’s desire is to take us into a dark room of anonymity, develop us in obscurity, and imprint his image on us, so that we may be exposed to the light, and propelled into our destiny.
We will never reach our destiny until we become like him. And becoming like him is a transformation that occurs in the unknown, side-by-side, step-by-step, with him.
After Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, Saul was blind (we might say, “in the dark room”) for three days, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally undone. He was vulnerable and fearful, unable to influence what he could not see. He sensed his old soul being revamped, restored, rejuvenated, and reconstructed. By the time he came out of his dark room he had surrendered his physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental authorities to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Transformation occurs when God establishes his destiny within us, for his pleasure, his work, and his purpose. God took a man with the loyalty of a Semitic, the passion of a Roman, and the ingenuity of a Greek and transformed him into a powerful vessel for his glory—a proclaimer of Christ’s deity and Messiahship.
Journeying Through Truth and Transformation
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Beloved poet and author Maya Angelou’s words embody the truth behind the beauty of God’s image in us, and the preparation, patience, and persistence required to remain confident in that truth while venturing through transformation toward our destinies. How we interpret the truth directly affects our transformation and how we respond to that transformation directly impacts our destiny. When we believe who we are, based on his truth and his transformation, our spheres of life become engineered for success.
Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” The Greek word for workmanship sometimes has the connotation of a “work of art” while the phrase “prepared in advance” carries forward the theme of God’s sovereign purpose and planning. The charge in Ephesians 4:24 coincides with this verse and speaks of creating a “new self” within the context of his truth and transformation, to be “like God.” It refers less to the indwelling of Christ or an essential nature (both achieved as a new believer), but more to the kind of person he desires to produce in a believer. Essentially, a new way of life that is “put on” positionally at conversion, and experientially as a Christian.
Acts 9:3-6 offers four scriptural principles for our journey of truth and transformation into becoming men and women of Christ.
A revelation that led to intervention (v. 3). The light through which God revealed himself to Saul created a physical disorientation that caused him to fall. God typically shows up most frequently and most unexpectedly when we are on a path we control, and will cause deliberate physical, spiritual, and mental setbacks so he may regain control. Learn to discern between deceiving destinations and divine detours, as one will lead to your destruction and the other to your destiny.
An inquiry that led to grace (vv. 4, 5). God asked Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?” revealing to Saul the true object of his persecution. This revelation of personhood was so evidential that it compelled Saul to question its authority (“Who are you Lord?”). The person of God is revealed through his grace and where Saul’s sin abode, God’s grace was greater (Romans 5:20). Our redemption depends on God’s grace, an essential truth to understand and impart as we journey toward our destiny.
A statement that led to intention (v. 5). The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” God exposed Saul’s sin not to humiliate him, but to humble him. Later we see the outcome of this moment when “at once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God” (vv. 20-22). Likewise, we must be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and morally undone before God can use us to make an impact.
A command that led to purpose (v. 6). “Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” This instantly launched Saul into a new purpose. His imprint on humanity was so significant that he came to be known as the founder of Christianity. Paul’s message became a declaration of what he himself had become convinced of on the Damascus road: Christ’s deity. God’s message will never deter from his Son (Hebrews 1:1-4). His bottom line was, is, and will always be Jesus, and he will use his transformed followers to point the lost and broken to Jesus.
Thilini Cate is an educator and a writer who is passionate about equipping individuals in both local and global capacities. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership while traveling for the purpose of experiencing various cultures and people across the world.