“Our goal is not to master or manipulate this Book but to treat it as the very Word of God and to humble ourselves underneath it and to try and understand it. And there’s a big difference between trying to master it and manipulate it and trying to humble ourselves underneath it and understand it, and that’s the approach we need to have…”
I’m glad for this statement from a pastor I’m listening to this morning.
How many pulpits are filled with ‘manipulators’ of the Bible and those who demonstrate an attitude of having ‘mastered‘ God’s revelation (thinking of the recent May 21st Judgement Day foolishness). It demonstrates a right understanding and a right attitude regarding the study and proclamation of God’s Word from a place of humility before God. (consider Isaiah 6)
But this statement wasn’t made with a specific application to the preaching of God’s Truth but rather to the listener, the responder… to me. These are opening comments of preparation for the study of God’s word, more specifically the letter to the Roman’s. There are hard truths in God’s word; and how we or how I respond to these truths, especially in the living out or experience of these realities, will reveal my heart.
Am I truly humbling myself underneath the Word of God and trying to understand it in light of God and the gospel… or am I simply content to find some level of mastery of what the Bible says or have I been trying to manipulate God’s words to fit into the context of what ‘works for me’? And, when God ordains something in my life that I wouldn’t have expected and certainly don’t want, does humility and submission to God go out the window? Do I push away from what God has perfectly planned for me for His purposes and my good?
Is my faith motivating obedience to God in my life?
Recalling from our care group last night, two lies that we believe before salvation and two lies that hinder us as christians…
‘I can please God on my own by the way that I live.’ …self-righteousness, rooted in pride. (look at all the good things I do for God)
‘I’m not bad and don’t need saving.’ …failure to honor God as God. (also understood as God is so pleased with my good stuff, He won’t mind the few sins I don’t want to deal with).