You Can't Handle the Truth

"Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men." But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. -Luke 9:44-45

One of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history is in the movie "A Few Good Men" where Jack Nicholson's character exclaims in the court room "You can't handle the truth!". While this was merely a movie, the statement still rings true in real life. A lot of times, we can't handle the truth.

Jesus knew this. In Luke 9:44-45, while the disciples were marvelling over all the miracles Jesus recently performed, Jesus told them in plain language He would be captured, yet they didn't understand what He meant. They didn't understand because God kept the truth from them. They couldn't handle the truth.

I find it interesting that even though they didn't understand, they were afraid to ask for clarification. Instead, they quickly changed the subject and started arguing among themselves about who was the best disciple!

Sometimes its just not our time to understand. Often we pray and pray, asking for wisdom in a certain situation but the solution eludes us. Other times, we really don't want to gain understanding because we change the subject and worry over more trivial matters, just as the disciples did.

To gain understanding, we must be able to handle the truth. Spiritual maturity is key and timing is everything. So the next time you are at a loss regarding the answers to all of your "Why, God?" questions, ask yourself (and God) what He wants you to learn about yourself through your current circumstance. God will tell you the truth when you've matured enough to do something meaningful with it.

Connect learning with living:

  • What situation are you questioning in your life?
  • How would knowing the "why" of the situation change your future?
  • How diligently are you seeking the truth of the situation about you?

Receiving Love Obstacle #1-Pride

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. - 2 Corinthians 7:1 NASB

Too often we let ourselves get in the way of what God wants for our lives. In my last post, I mentioned that there were four things that cause relationships to break down: too much pride, too many priorities, too little patience and too limited a perspective.  Actually, these are tactics to avoid in any aspect of our lives!

Today we will talk about pride. Pride is the root of all evil in the world. Pride hinders holiness because it creeps into the fabric of our lives, sometimes without our knowing. It shows up in our priorities, causes impatience and keeps us from seeing the big picture. Unfortunately, pride isn't always self-recognizable. It is often unearthed only after someone (or the Bible) confronts us with the error of our ways.

Essentially, pride is selfish and wants to be right at all costs. If we are prideful we will look for ways to prove we are right, rather than try to understand someone else's point of view. Admittedly, I am guilty of this at times. I will research a point until I've found the answer that proves what I've already decided was true...and then stop looking.  After all, why would I want to dig up evidence that I could be wrong? I quit while I'm "ahead". But am I really ahead and am I really right?

We don't get "ahead" or gain just by being right. A lot of times we lose. Conflict erupts that might have been avoided. Fellowship breaks down and we miss out on the love God intends for us. God wants us to experience His love on earth and in eternity. We can have all of that if we seek Him and His wisdom with an open rather than a closed mind. How is your state of mind today? What would God say about you?

Receiving Love: 4 Obstacles to Acceptance

I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? - 2 Corinthians 12:15 NASB

I can feel for Paul.  Being pushed away and misunderstood by someone you love is a very painful and emotional experience. By the nature of Paul's writing in 2 Corinthians, it would appear that he was not being well received at the time. I think we've all been on the receiving end of rejection and have most likely pushed someone else away at some point in our lives. Why do things have to be this way? What causes this to happen?

I believe that we see a very clear picture of what causes relationships to break down in 2 Corinthians 7:1-4. Here's a quick summary:

1. Pride...too much (v1)

2. Priorities...too many (v2)

3. Patience...too little (v3)

4. Perspective...too limited (v4)

The bottom line here is that we all get in the way of our own happiness and what God has intended for us. When we do, we often start blaming other people for the lack of satisfaction or reciprocity in our relationships, when in fact, we may be the ones causing the problem.

In my next few posts we will dive into 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and learn about those obstacles getting in the way of how we receive love from others. Stay tuned for my next post on how our own pride gets in the way.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her other blog at

Thinking Like Children

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." - Luke 18:17

If you can, think back to a time in your life before innocence was lost.  Before behavior patterns became cemented into your lifestyle.  Before you knew it all.  Before you were ever hurt or betrayed by someone.  Before you became judgmental.  When it was easy to forgive.  Times were easier then, weren't they? 

Innocence is underrated.  From a learning perspective, innocence brings ease into learning.  With innocence, old ways of thinking don't have to be unlearned and skeptical thoughts don't have to be wrestled asiide.  From a teaching perspective, there is nothing like teaching a pupil who is eager to learn, has no presuppositions the subject matter and is willing to accept instruction for what it is and nothing more.  Children are that way.  It is no wonder Jesus loved them so. 

Jesus used the children as examples for us.  He knew how difficult we make things for ourselves sometimes by thinking too much or rationalizing ways to live our own way and still be right with God.  He knew how much we need to be right and would resist being told to change our ways.   He also knew that with our own adult thinking we would fail.

How do you receive God's instruction for your life?  With adult resistance or childlike acceptance?  Oh, if only we could accept His teachings as llittle children.  Maybe we can with a little work on our part to put our pride aside.  If we ask God to receive His wisdom as eager to learn children, He will grant our request.  Only then can we enter the fullness of all God intends for us.  Maybe it won't be as hard as we think.  After all, as Christians we are children of God.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Receptivity to God's Word

Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands.  And they  bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. - Neh 8:6 NKJV

Have you ever listened to someone,either in a group setting or one-on-one, while thinking to yourself "I wish I could be anywhere but here"?  How much information do you think you gleaned from the person speaking?  On the contrary, when you were interested in the subject matter or the speaker, it is likely that you took home some practical information to use or share with others.  Our attitudes affect our intake.

In the book of Nehemiah, we see a group of people yearning to hear the words of God.  In the open square before the Water Gate in Jerusalem, the people gathered to hear Ezra read the Book of the Law to them.  I wonder if they were ecstatic because their city wall was now complete.  Maybe they had renewed zeal for their calling as God's chosen people.  Ezra read from morning until midday, and "the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law." (Ne 8:3)  After hearing the reading, a collective "Amen" was heard (v6) and they bowed and worshiped the Lord in a humble pose.

I bet this was a sight to behold.  There are three principles from Nehemiah 8:1-6 we can all use to reap the full impact of God's Word in our lives.

1.  Attitude - Seek God's truth for our lives.  When we look forward to how God can change us, we will be more receptive to what he has to say.

2.  Attentiveness - When God speaks to us, we need to give Him our full attention, expecting to hear life-changing principles or promises to apply to our situations.

3.  Application - Everything God says can be directly applied in our lives.  We need to be willing to press our ways into God's mold, not His into ours.

When will you next have the opportunity to hear from God?  It could happen any time, especially if we pick up our bibles daily to hear from him directly.  How will you approach that time differently this next time?


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Battle Ready

Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.  (Numbers 1:2-3 NASB)

Israel's history has been plagued by war starting back in biblical times.  In Numbers 1, we see the very first census being taken by Moses of all the men who are "battle ready".  We see the phrase "all that were able to go to war"  mentioned 13 times in this chapter (NKJV)".  God told them to take the census.  He knew what they were in for in the days and years to come.

Things aren't much different now in our world.   Yes, we have electricity and lots of other amneties and our fighting tactics are different.  But battles rage on every day across the globe.  Where there is not a physical skirmish going on, a spiritual battle flourishes in our homes, churches, workplaces, hearts and minds as we pit our own priorities with those of what God desires from us.   What battle are you participating in?  Are you battle ready?

God needs "soldiers" who are willing and able to go to "war" for Him.  He prepares us for the battle by character building forged in our trials and sufferings, not in the good times.  It is hard to accept that God is more concerned with our character than our comfort.  No matter what life situation we are in - a financial crisis, a troubled marriage, a chronic health problem - God will use it for his glory.  He will use it to create a fine soldier who is willing and able to lay down his own life for the good of someone else.   Are you ready to enlist?

For further thought:

1) What prevailing circumstance in your life is preparing you to serve God in a greater capacity?  How can looking at your life in this way help you to persevere?

2) Who in your life are you able to help or fight with in the "battle" of life?

3) What do you need to do to become "battle ready" for God?