With You Always

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20

These are Jesus’s final words in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus tells His disciples (and us) that He is with us…always. He is ever-present. He knows us and likes to be with us. He likes to be near to us. His very Spirit dwells within us. He is closer to us than our own skin.

This truth should impact us in a few different ways. It should:

  1. Prompt holiness: There is no such thing as a secret sin. We walk exposed daily before the throne of grace, every heavenly being, and Jesus Himself. There is no hiding. Whatever sin we engage in is fully revealed and exposed.
  2. Destroy shame: It’s important that we not only know that our sin is daily exposed but that Jesus sees it all and still wants to be near to us. Our sin is not bigger than His grace and love. We don’t have to feel shame. We can receive daily the grace and forgiveness we need.
  3. Uproot loneliness: As a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is always with you. This means that the Father and the Son are also always with you according to John 14:10, 20, & 26. You are never alone. You also have at least one angel by your side at all times (Matthew 18:10). In other words, loneliness is a lie.
  4. Foster intimacy: Knowing that Jesus will always be with us should lead us to engage with Him daily. We need to spend time with this One who never leaves us. If He’s always present, we need to pay attention to Him, talk with Him, listen to Him and develop intimacy and friendship with Him.
  5. Repel lies: Jesus called Himself “the Truth”(John 14:6). He called the Holy Spirit the “Spirit of Truth”(John 14:17). With such wisdom and knowledge of truth in such close proximity, we should never have to waste our time believing lies. We need only to check in with the Truth and see if what is being whispered in our mind is really true or just a deception of the enemy.

If you are a follower of Jesus, He is with you…always.

How does the knowledge of this reality impact your daily life?

The Truth–The Whole Truth

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…

Ephesians 6:14a

Truth is what keeps us from being caught with our pants down. Our culture has become so accustom to lying and to liars that people can’t tell anymore when they are bending or shading the truth. It has become a habit for many to tell “little” white lies. Yet, we are told here–unequivocally–that one way we stand firm against the schemes of the enemy is to have the belt of truth buckled around our waist.

The word in the Greek that communicates this idea of having the truth “buckled around your waist” is a compound word that combines the word “to gird” with the word “all around.” We get the idea here that Paul is saying the truth should be wrapped around us on all sides until we are fully encompassed by it.

Truth is an exposing light. This is why the enemy is a deceiver and a liar. He hates the light. Truth is sunlight, bringing life, warmth and light. But when our eyes have been so accustomed to darkness, light can be scary at first. This is how Jesus explained it to Nicodemus:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 3:19-21

Truth not only brings light, but it also brings freedom–freedom from darkness, from sin, from deception. “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free‘”(John 8:31-32).

Paul gives us a picture of what can happen when we have a constant dose of loving truth spoken into our lives:

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 

Ephesians 4:14-15

My 9-year-old son helped me see something a few days ago about the armor of God that I had never seen before. We were talking about the sword of the Spirit and how it is the word of God (Ephesian 6:17). And then, in passing, he mentioned that it must hang on the belt of truth. This blew my mind! I had never thought of this before.

Swords are sheathed on a soldier’s belt. Our sword, the word of God, hangs on the belt of truth. Our source of truth is not our opinion; it is not what our culture is saying at the moment. Our source of truth is the word of God. Every word God speaks hangs on truth.