Our children are at the age where they like to do puzzles. Typically, we dump the puzzle on the table and begin by flipping all the pieces right side up and finding as many edge pieces as we can. After we have the border completed, we begin working in the middle. We are not sure if this is the best way to do a puzzle, but this is where we start. There are two verses in the New Testament that don’t seem connected, yet they start with the same concept. Is it just chance? Must we begin with this? You decide; here is the concept.
Philippians 4:8 gives us a list of wonderful words, then tells us to “think on these things.” Do you know what the first word is? It begins with, “whatsoever things are true.”
Next, go to Ephesians 6; in verses 10-20, we find the armor of God. We are to use the armor of God so we can “withstand in the evil day.” (13) The first article we are told to put on is the belt of truth.
Two passages talking about different subjects begin with the same principle. We must begin with truth! This point was emphasized personally when the book I was reading gave 3 steps to demolishing footholds and strongholds. Can you guess what they gave as the first step? The first step was to announce the lie.* In my words, we must acknowledge how things really are. We must begin with what is true. Unfortunately, this can be harder than it sounds.
If you believe God will never forgive you, of course it will impact your actions. Or if you see yourself as a terrible failure who won’t ever get anything right, why would you keep trying? What if you have been taken across every time you have bought a used car? You could easily be convinced that every used car salesman is that way. This simply is not true. Each of these begins with a false premise. It won’t end well because we are not starting with truth. These examples are good because they address 3 major areas, the truth about God, ourselves, and others. When we begin with truth in these areas, we are laying a solid foundation for living.
When the Horst family starts puzzles, we begin with the border. To us, this is a great way to start, we like it, but at the end of the day it’s not a big deal. Go ahead and start your puzzle however you want. You can’t do this with truth; truth doesn’t work like that. “You have your truth, and I have my truth” will lead to trouble unless your truth is actually true. We must do the hard work of evaluating our thoughts and examining our foundations. As we establish these on what is true, good things will happen.
*Cusick, Michael John. Surfing for God. Thomas Nelson, 2012.