There are many kinds of filters in the world today. There are filters for oil, air, water, light, and lint. Some filters save our lives from exposure to harmful chemicals, while others are simply to separate textures while cooking. Regardless of what they’re used for, they are useful and many times necessary.
Believe it or not, our lives use filters as well. Everything we do or hear in life passes through a “filter”—something that strains out information that determines what we believe, sometimes for the rest of our lives. How we filter our lives can be helpful—if our filter is accurate. Unfortunately, our human life filters can be faulty. They can be filled with “holes” which allow “impurities” to fall through into our beliefs and choices.
Overall, we determine what we believe through several filters. What we are taught is at the top of the list. Words hold power, and when heard over and over without interruption, we will come to believe it and act on it. For instance, if we attended a school and studied a certain concept, we may filter any other piece of information through that teaching. We may hear someone share a belief, but thoroughly reject it because we’ve been so brain-washed by what someone had previously said or taught us. However, what we are taught can be flawed because the subject may be biased and may not be the truth.
We also filter through experience. Our bank may go under, and we may conclude that all banks can’t be trusted. We may have had a poor first marriage and decide that marriage is an overall negative experience. We may even try an appliance or gadget that breaks down prematurely, and decide never to buy another, not even of a different brand. Our experience altered what we believed and decided what we were going to do next time. However, experience can also be unreliable since it is subject to other people’s flawed actions and even temperamental weather.
So what is a reliable life filter? What can we trust to sift through outer influences to determine the direction of our lives? What device can accurately remove the impurities from our experiences so what’s left is only pure truth? As Christians, we should only have one filter—God’s Holy Word. We should filter what we believe, hear, experience, and are taught through the Bible. It is the truth.
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth (John 17:17).
The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever (Psalm119:160).
Our experience is not the truth. It’s simply something that happened to us. Other’s opinions are not the truth. It’s simply what they think. Our observations are not the truth. They are simply our mental deduction. They may be physical fact, but if we are using these to determine the truth about any area of our lives, we will be disappointed and suffer defeat. Only when it’s founded on absolute Truth will we be able to live a successful life—and ultimately make it to heaven.
While everything around us is constantly changing and subject to outside effects, God’s Word stays the same. In fact, God’s Word is Jesus—the One we trust for our eternity. And the Bible makes it clear that He never changes.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him (Psalm 18:30).
When our belief is challenged by another opinion or experience, this Word is what we are to use as our filter to determine what we believe. Considering any other belief is denying God’s Lordship and our loyalty to Him. Using any other filter is an indication that we do not trust Him with everything, that He is not truly the Lord of our lives. If we have truly made Jesus our Lord, we will automatically send our experiences and other’s opinions through His judgment. His Word should be the only word we consider.
Having multiple filters in our lives is dangerous, causing confusion. It affects our decision-making and personally choices, which leads to our ultimate defeat—in every area. We can’t view our salvation through Jesus and other religions and expect a home in heaven. We can’t filter our health through God’s Medicine and other’s doctrine and expect healing. We can’t decide our lifestyle through the Ten Commandments and our personal desires and expect a peaceful, successful life. However, if our only filter is God’s Word, our path will be straight and our victory sure.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
The devil wants us to believe everything but God’s Word. He wants to deceive us, confuse us, and destroy us. He does that by sending us lies that tempt us to believe something other than God’s Word. Those lies come in the form of life experiences, people’s words, and our own flawed reasoning. The moment those lies—anything contrary to the Bible—come to us, we must immediately filter them through God’s Holy and unchanging Word. Our next action should be to reject the lie and replace it with God’s truth.
However, we won’t be able to filter anything accurately unless we have God’s Filter in our hearts and minds. The way we get the Word there is by giving attention to it through reading it, meditating on it, and studying it. Then we will know what it says thoroughly enough to use it as our one and only filter—in every situation. If we get a negative doctor’s diagnosis, we know to filter it though Isaiah 53:5, 6 and choose to believe we’re healed by Jesus’s stripes. If someone hurts us, we know to filter the situation through Ephesians 4:32 and choose to forgive. If we’re given information that denies God’s role as Creator of the world, we know to filter the claim through Genesis 1 and accept Him as Creator of all. And if someone challenges His determination of what is morally right and wrong, we know to filter it through Exodus 20 and choose to live sinless.
God’s desire is that we have a peaceful, successful life. He doesn’t want us to be stressed or deceived when determining what we believe. That’s why He was loving and gracious enough to give us a Filter—a guide—to protect us from flawed concepts, beliefs, and experiences. If we honor it as our one and only filter, we won’t just survive life’s challenges; we will prosper in them!
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (Joshua 1:8).
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).